For the past year I've been playing first fiddle in the vegetarian bandwagon, and honestly, I can't remember ever feeling better! My diet consisted of whole grains, complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables...processed food was out, and whole foods were in. I laid in bed with Kittie and cried during PETA films. Dinners were usually colorful vegetable kebabs served over whole grain couscous or brown rice, accompanied by a nice salad.
I can't want it.
I suppose I should just come right out and say it: I've fallen off the vegetarian wagon and landed face first in a vat of ground beef.It began innocently enough. My gateway drug was chicken broth. One afternoon in late May rendered me quite down for the count, and there I was: lying slug-like on my bed with a set of rosary beads across my forehead, in the hopes for divine intervention (flair for the dramatic is sort of my specialty, and this was certainly no exception.) Hubby was desperate to bring me anything that would be of some comfort. The only thing I could even think about eating? Chicken broth. Sigh.
From there I moved on to the harder stuff, like chicken salad sandwich lunches with my friend Gregg, until I was a full blown user again. The day I ate the steak and cheese sub from Alfredo's I knew it was all over. (Peppers, onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles and mayo, please!)
I didn't enjoy it. (Well, yes, actually I did, but not that much.) It's true I spent the first thirty years of my life being a carnivore, but I'd really dived into this meatless lifestyle; I'd funneled the Kool Aid, so to speak. My brain had retrained itself to be repulsed by animal flesh, afraid of it, even.
Like a good Catholic, I chastised myself after every beefy bite, unable to stop visualizing those two big, gorgeous cow eyes I stared into during my company's volunteer day at the farm. I was eating the animal's pain, and I knew it. In a last ditch effort to spoil my appetite, I forced my mind to replay the horrific PETA images I'd seen, and still I chewed. In between ravenous bites, I conveyed all this to Hubby, who began giving me one of those looks he gets when he feels his life partner is channeling her inner lunatic.
The midwife assured me it's not uncommon for a pregnant vegetarian to crave meat. She encouraged me to eat whatever I wanted, but also said there are other ways to get the iron my body is probably wanting, by choosing spinach, kale, lentils, beans...
"If you can get those things down, by all means, you'll be fine. But it could be your body will want the meat."
I can't want it.
Triple decker chicken sandwiches, cheeseburgers, steak tips (sniff)...I can want those things. I really, really can. Sweet Baby Jesus and Ingrid Newkirk forgive me.
Revisiting the meals I've denied myself for over a year is like coming home again. Today, despite the soaring temperatures and smoldering humidity, I stood over a hot stove and prepared two individual chicken pot pies, and ate them both in rapid succession. (Well? A friend had given me fresh thyme from her garden. I owed it to her to take those herbs and combine them with bacon, chicken, garlic and mushrooms!)
I'm sorry, Dear Reader! I hope I haven't let you down. I was loving my veggie lifestyle! I'm certainly hoping to return to it, once my body becomes my own again. In the meantime...I'm just another bastard carnivore.