April 29, 2018 by lucieromarin
A person or persons in my neighbourhood has or have recently renounced vegetarian and/or healthy-eating – that, or they’ve renounced a vegetarian. I know this because, en route to the Post Office, I saw their cookbooks piled on the front fence of their apartment block.
I can’t speak for other cities, but here, if you have goods you wish to dispense with, and you can’t be bothered selling them or hauling them to the local op-shop (or you’re full of altruistic pay-it-forward thoughts), you leave said goods at the front of your property and passers-by can help themselves.
I left the allergen-free cookery books and claimed a swag of vegetarian cookbooks (including one by Charmaine Solomon!) and a baking book. When I walked past again, a white plastic cactus had been added to the pile. I left the cactus for someone else. As a consequence of the find, and after a token glance over the recipes for meatless meals, I’ve spent the afternoon poring over my baking books, (especially my favourite, the Amish Cook’s Baking Book) and pondering the vagaries of diet.
Perhaps the books’ owner had also just tried a Maronite Lent, and was, like me, back on the meat. I have to say that I’m happy to have meat in my life again – so happy, in fact, that when I stopped at a fundraising barbecue, and the helpful lad tried to tell me what my skewer options were, I blurted, “It’s okay – as long as it’s a dead, cooked animal, I’m happy.”
However, I’m also happy for the lessons I’ve learned. I don’t need meat in the quantities that I used to, and I’m aware of a gap in my culinary repertoire which is to my detriment. I had no idea I was so dependent. It would be better not to be so. And, for some reason, I can’t eat mince anymore. It makes no sense, as the other meats are just as dead, but there is something about ground flesh which seems, to me, just gross. Go figure.
Now that I can take my protein from a small amount of animal instead of an agonising quantity of lentils, beans and cheese, my skin has cleared, I’ve lost a little weight, and I’m not constantly hungry. It reminds me of the autumn two years ago when I decided I was going to have a really good winter, preparing myself for it with immunity-boosting, vitamin-rich, generally-healthy eating. I reduced my consumption of chocolate and baked goods and increased my consumption of spinach, raw vegetables, herbal tea, oranges, multivitamin tablets. The result? I was laid waste by some variety of virus or ‘flu. I flopped around the house blowing my nose and coughing up goo. After a few days of it, I dragged myself up the street and bought cake. For three days I ate cake and drank caffeinated tea. By the fourth day I was fine. True story.