Just in Time for Lent…The End of an Affair (Kind of)

It’s the season of Lent and many of us have decided to give up one thing or another to commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I have never actively participated in giving something up for Lent however I have wanted to try.  I guess it always just seemed too hard, but news flash Christina, that is the point. 

Fortunately for me, my digestive system and my cholesterol, it seems that during my most recent pilgrimage to the west coast the “enlightened” brothers and sisters that I visited there were able to share some of their new-found eating habits with me…habits that have encouraged me to severely cut back on the meat I consume in my diet. 

I must admit, when I touched down in LA and I learned of my friend’s new found diet I was skeptical…the vegan restaurant that he took me to – with its no cheese policy and no Sprite policy was a rude awakening.  I can deal with no red meat.  I can go without chicken.  Going without cheese is a STRETCH.  But going without Sprite is preposterous.  I was given a real ginger ale instead.  I digress….

Over my first vegan meal – which I did not finish – my friend shared that he was not a 100% committed vegan but that he was committed to foregoing meat for the foreseeable future.  I was immediately interested in the “why”…why now, after all of these years would he stop eating meat?  I prepared myself for some meaningful answer…that he wanted to elevate his mind – that he was taking a stand against animal cruelty – that he had reached an age where his physical health had become more important to him…and then he said “I need to lose at least 25 pounds by the time Dana’s wedding gets here!”

I love my friends.

Losing weight in order to look fabulous for a wedding is as good a reason as any to go vegetarian, but I still wasn’t buying in to cutting back or forgoing meat at that point.  It wasn’t until my very last night in LA that I gave it real consideration.  Before watching the Grammys we decided to watch Oprah’s episode on the food we eat – where our meat comes from and why it’s important that we watch what we put in our bodies.  It was that episode – not necessarily my LA brethren – that made me think that I would try to cut back on meat and fast food consumption and it’s been going well.

DS Download:  I have not completely given up meat but I have severely cut back my intake and I have noticed a huge difference.  In the past month I have sat down to countless meals in which I’ve had no meat at all and that’s shocking.  You’re talking about someone who used to be (might still be) a chicken wing fiend…so imagine my surprise when I broke down and ordered some wings last week and ended up leaving four wings on my plate – I was shocked and so was everyone around me. 

Slowly but surely my body is getting used to consuming less and less meat.  I am amazed by this.  This truly makes me believe that I can accomplish anything I set out to achieve.  My revelation might seem strange to you but you have to understand I was a FULLY committed meat eater.  True story – my friend invited me to a dinner party in which he served a pasta dish that had no meat in it, I was shocked…borderline outraged.  It just so happened that I loved my friend so I just went with it, but the whole time I was thinking – if he would have just told us that he wasn’t going to serve meat in the dish I would have bought my own baggie of sweet Italian sausage to dump in my pasta…traveling with a sausage bag in your purse is commitment!

So I say to you today my vegetarian, vegan, and carnivorous brethren – what could you give up or cut back on today?