If you’ve read any of my posts over the last few months, you may know that almost a year ago I stopped eating chicken and fish. This made me what people would call vegetarian, although I never gave myself the title. As I’ve always said, I don’t like titles on my diet. You never know when you may want to eat some chicken wings or whatever, and you don’t need the diet police writing you a citation. You should feel free to eat what you want to eat. I’m just here to provide the information/education, not to enforce any rules.
I’ve been planning some international travel soon, and I don’t want to find myself miserable because I can’t eat the food. So I thought I’d check to see if I could tolerate eating chicken, since it’s pretty much the international dish. I also plan to take some cooking classes during my travels, and don’t want to be restricted by my self-imposed dietary limitations.
So after almost a year, I decided to have a Chick-fil-A salad. And here is what I learned.
- Chick-fil-A is expensive as hell. When that lady told me “That’ll be $13 blah blah blah” it took my breath away. And my money. I wanted to cancel the order but I was in the drive through and others were behind me and she was waiting and grinning like she was getting a commission, and I was thinking of everyone but me. I should have been thinking about saving for my bday in Dubai trip next year and getting a chicken shawarma when I get there for way less than that and putting the rest towards some gold, something I can keep. I digress.
- I am bloated. Swole. Full. Even a day later. It’s not comfortable OR cute.
- It takes a lot of chewing to eat chicken. Like way more than I’d like to commit to. My daughter says that’s a new level of lazy. I don’t know if it’s lazy, but I had been having such a hard time eating chicken and fish for two years before I stopped consuming it, due to some faulty dental work. So I got used to not doing a whole lot of chewing. I think that’s the thing that led to my giving up chicken and fish to begin with. And although the dental work was repaired several months ago, I think I still like the ease of eating beans, nuts and tofu for my protein.
- The insomnia is back. Digestion takes a lot of work, particularly digestion of animal flesh. Much of this work is made more difficult when you recline at night and can actually wake you up. I experienced that for sure last night, just like I used to. I don’t like it one bit.
- I’m now irregular. One of the biggest problems with eating meat is the amount of time it takes to pass through your digestive tract. Now I’m all off schedule with my regular morning throne time. Not cool.
- I can take or leave chicken. There was a time when I thought they could not put enough chicken on my salad. That was also the time when I thought Chick-fil-A was a gift from God. When I first stopped eating chicken I remember saying I’d be okay if I never had another piece of fried chicken in my life. Surprisingly, I still feel that way.
- I ate a chicken. I no longer think of chicken as a protein but as a life. So I don’t say I ate some chicken. I say I ate a chicken. I ate her. She could have had babies, she could have enjoyed her life, but I ate her. I don’t feel sad, but I feel like I owe her the respect of acknowledging that she had a life.
Needless to say, I won’t be chomping down on chicken regularly. For me, I just don’t see the point. I’m glad to know that I didn’t get sick like the time I tasted some pork. And I’m glad to know that when I go somewhere and chicken is the only option, if I choose to eat it I’ll be okay. But I won’t be going out of my way to include it in my diet. Except for that chicken shawarma when I get to Dubai…That’s a must.
Now it’s back to my mostly plant based diet. It’s working quite nicely for me. I’ve seen people struggle with following a particular diet just because it sounds good, and I clearly don’t believe in that. I think that’s tied to some ego trip or something – being able to say you’ve gone X number of months without eating blah blah blah. And then you end up with some guilt trip because you slipped and fell into a chaffing dish full of bacon at the brunch buffet. Who cares? Your diet is your business. It should be about your health, not some title. When you get sick and tired of being sick and tired, that usually makes it easier to change your diet. So no, I don’t claim to be vegan or vegetarian or whatever, but I do enjoy the benefits of those diets more often than not. So when you hear me say I don’t eat doughnuts, it’s because between the sugar, grease, and gluten, they make me sick, and for no other reason.
What about you? Have you been thinking of giving up anything lately? If so, what’s stopping you? And if you have given up something, how do you feel about it? Has it made you feel too restricted in social situations? Or is it working out just fine? Remember, do what is best for you, which may mean creating your own way of eating.