35before35: my month as a “vegetarian”.

i originally toyed with a month of vegetarianism when i was still living in india. as much as i love the savory meat dishes in indian cuisine, i also love the abundance of delicious vegetarian offerings and figured it would be a cakewalk. i never got around to it once i decided to move back to the states and made my farewell rounds to my favorite eateries, so this goal remained on the list and traveled back with me.

at the beginning of this year i decided that february would be my month without meat. yes, february is the shortest month, but mostly i knew february would be the easiest month for me to follow through — i had no travel plans and no big events to attend, so it seemed to match up perfectly.

as it got closer to february 1, my brother and mother both decided to join me in my challenge. for me it was mostly about cutting out all the meat – primarily pork and beef – that i was eating, and they decided to come along for the ride and provide some moral support.

in the end i will say that i was really a pescatarian for the month. i eat a lot of asian food and don’t like tofu, so i subbed in shrimp on those occasions. one of my friends recently bought an air fryer and has been frying up lots of catfish, so i got to partake a few times. and christina made a lovely salmon one night, which i was happy to gobble up. so while i will admit to not being fully vegetarian, i will say that i’m pretty proud of myself.

i did have one slip-up, however: during the conference that we hosted the last weekend of february, we had a lineup of food trucks for dinner on friday evening. one of those food trucks was central bbq, and i was not about to turn down some free nachos. in the end i ate – and thoroughly enjoyed – a plate of pork nachos and then added on an extra day of vegetarianism to the end of my month. and believe me, it was well worth it and i regret nothing.

overall this was a fun challenge. i tried black bean burgers for the first time and found i very much enjoyed them. i was never at a loss for things to eat, mostly because my mother made a lot of delicious vegetarian food at her house and then would have my father bring it to me; thanks to her i didn’t have to feed myself for close to two weeks. i also enjoyed the challenge of finding new things to eat at places i’ve been going to for years.

i do want to continue to keep my meat intake down in the coming months, and i might try a full-on month of vegetarianism – no seafood this time – at a later date. this was a great reminder of how much i enjoy little challenges like these, so i am excited to see what i can come up with next.

but in the meantime, i’m going to treat myself to some gus’s. and chick-fil-a. and a fireball of freedom, because that’s really what i missed most.


9 thoughts on “35before35: my month as a “vegetarian”.

  1. Tim Blight says:

    Nice one! I was virtually vegetarian in India for about a year and a half, only occasionally having chicken or beef. I found myself feeling healthier initially, but as time went by I found that I was lagging in energy a bit. I didn’t really plan my diet that carefully, however, so perhaps that was it.


    1. veena says:

      I’ll be honest, I didn’t plan my diet very carefully other than no meat. I still had a lot of room to be much healthier, but that can be another challenge for another month 🙂


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