Thursday, December 31, 2009

"Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot"

Days 59 & 60

In less than twelve hours it will be 2010. The first decade of the 21st century will be just memories. I did a lot in the last ten years including my share of diets and exercise programs.

I tried Atkins once or twice but always gained the weight back, I worked out at two different YMCAs and Bally’s, took long walks along Lake Michigan in Chicago and up Clark Street (which I think has got to be the most interesting street in Chicago besides Michigan Avenue) but was still not eating the best I could.

Well, 2010 is a new beginning that in some ways began two months earlier on November 2nd, when I first went meatless. Now I’m exercising too and the weight is staying off for the most part.

Speaking of my weight, 2010 will be the year I finally get down to my ideal range of 149 – 162 lbs (according to the Body Mass Index I did at the Y a week ago). Hopefully others will learn from my mistakes and successes that I make along the way. I am aiming to get to my target weight by June 2010. Can I do it? Let’s see. If not, that’s okay; I will still have until November 2nd 2010 to accomplish that goal.

Also, I have some new things coming up in the blog, such as:

Recipes I will present in the blog meatless recipes from vegetarian cookbooks I have recently acquired and also from the people I know. Who knows? Maybe I will even make videos of me making those recipes and post them here in the blog!

What exactly am I eating? Many people have asked this and I have been putting it off so there will be entries coming up soon showing you some of the foods that I have been consuming ever since I started this meatless experiment.

Besides meat, what other unhealthy eating habits am I trying to get away from? I will show you just what else I am avoiding in the land of terrible meal choices.

Here is to a great 2010 and have a Happy New Year!

Talk to you soon!
Facebook A Man Finally Eats his Veggies Fan Page

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Join the "A Man Finally Eats his Veggies: A Meatless Year" Facebook Fan Page!

Day 58

To celebrate 8 weeks of being meatless I have decided to start a Facebook fan page for the blog!

Click on the picture below to access the fan page:

And remember when I told you about Monte in one of my last entries? Well he has plugged my blog in his blog and you can check it out by clicking the picture below:

Talk to you soon!

Monday, December 28, 2009

8 Weeks of Meatlessness!

Day 57

I have gone eight weeks without eating meat of any kind.

I have stayed meatless through two major holidays.

I have started exercising everyday at my local YMCA.

I have lost 14 lbs.

This blog has now had over 1,000 visits in just under two months.

So what should I do to commemorate this special occasion?

How about with this?

Talk to you soon!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Who is Monte?

Day 56

He talks like a gruff character from a 1960’s Hanna Barbera short.

He won’t tell anyone his last name.

He knows the best places to eat in the Chicagoland area that you’ve probably never heard of.

I met Monte a few years back when I used to frequent The Lincoln Lodge, the best place in Chicago to go for stand up. He was one of the first acts I saw there and it was very unusual, but in a good way.

Monte performed a segment called “Off the Eaten’ Path”. This consisted of a slide show featuring Monte dining out at mostly out-of-the-way or dive-like eateries in Chicago. The individual slides would show the foods being prepared, served and then consumed, bite by bite, by Monte. The last slide for each restaurant visit gave the audience a glimpse of the register total which was always a good bargain. After the presentation he would give out a food sample from one of the places visited. Monte is a man of many talents but finding good food at a great price is by far his best one.

Soon after I first saw him perform, we started hanging out and found that we loved some of the same kinds of things when it came to movies and reading. He became a good friend and he showed me many fun places to eat in Chicago.

He still performs “Off the Eaten’ Path” live at The Lincoln Lodge and now on Chicago’s WCIU's "You & Me This Morning" as well. He exudes a great energy and a huge passion for food that I am truly envious of. He also always makes it a point to emphasize that you need to balance your diet with greens too.

Monte is quite a character but don’t take my word for it; check out his websites for yourself. To go to the home on the web of “Off the Eaten’ Path” or Monte's blog simply click on the images below.

These links are now added under the links sections on the side too. If you decide to say hello to Monte when you visit his sites please tell him that A Man Finally Eats his Veggies: A Meatless Year sent you.

Talk to you soon!

My Meatless Christmas or I’m Dreaming of a Meatless Christmas

Days 49 - 55

Hello all! Hope your holiday, whatever you celebrated, went well! I celebrated Christmas of course and, along with Thanksgiving, is the other big meatless meal challenge of the calendar year.

Before I tell you what I ate, let me tell you about some of the meatless themed gifts I got for my birthday on the 14th and for Christmas.
For my birthday my sister got me a cookbook called Vegetarian Suppers by Deborah Madison. This goes nicely with the other cookbook I got from my parents for Christmas simply titled, Vegetarian. I can’t wait to start making recipes from them in 2010 and let you know how they turned out here in this very blog!

After opening presents at my parents’ house we went over to my sisters’ and exchanged gifts with her family over there. My sister got me a 5-in-1 power blender along with another book called The Big Book of Juices and Smoothies.

My last food themed gift was a can of Spam from my nieces and nephews. It doesn’t expire for a couple of years so maybe after my meatless year I will eat it. Hmmm…maybe not.

In recent years my sister and her husband have hosted Christmas dinner at her house and she has always done a wonderful job. This year, when we arrived, there was a coffee station already set up as well as a table of snacks that included, cheeses, crackers and dips.

My mom made and brought a vegetarian chili cheese dip just for me and it was wonderful! It was much less greasy then if it was made with meat laden chili.

For the main meal I ate squash, turnip, a roll and mashed potatoes. I had filled up on Christmas candy, coffee, muffins and snacks earlier that morning so I didn’t put much on my plate at lunch.

To me, the smell of roasting turkey is one of the best smells ever. My sister had the aroma in her kitchen and my parents cooked a bird of their own that evening. That smell made me really miss turkey so a lot. This is why I started this whole experiment in early November. If I can make it through Thanksgiving and Christmas without meat I can avoid it anytime. Those two holidays are great tests to see if I an resist the urge to have meat. I figure it will make my holiday season all the more sweeter next year when I can have turkey again.
Did I tell you my friend Monte called Christmas Day? “Who is Monte?” you say? I’ll let you know in my next entry. He loves to write and talk about food too!

Talk to you soon!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

‘Twas the Week Before Christmas

Days 46 - 48

‘Twas the week before Christmas
And all throughout the week
I have been preparing for the New Year
It is the opposite of bleak

My shopping is done, both grocery and gift
I have been working out, lately
It has given me a lift

Organizing plans for Two-thousand and ten
It makes one remember; where one has been

I have given up meat; red, white and fish
So far I feel better
What more could a person wish?

The energy has gone up and the weight is going down
The Y is affordable; the best deal in town

As the year closes one should stop and reflect
So a week off from the blog it will be
Yes, a break from my dreck ;)

I look forward to the New Year and so should you
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
From me to you!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Graphic Novel About Fast-food?!

Day 45

The director of the acclaimed documentary, “Super Size Me” is spearheading a new fast-food related project that will be released in May. It’s not another film—it’s a graphic novel and it’s being released by the wonderful folks at Dark Horse Comics!

Here is the solicit information:

Morgan Spurlock (W), Jeremy Barlow (W), Lukas Ketner(A), Tony Milionaire (A), Ron Chan (A), Ron English (Cover), and others
On sale May 5
FC, 88 pages
TPB, 6" x 9"

Do you dare find out what’s happening behind the counters of your neighborhood fast-food joint? Then grab a bucket and dive into one of the creepiest graphic novels of the year! Supersized: Strange Tales from a Fast-Food Culture is an entertaining—and at times gut-wrenching—series of stories focusing on America’s ubiquitous and potentially destructive fast-food culture. A perfect companion to Super Size Me, the graphic novel will bridge the gaps between humor, fact, and heart, while peering behind the scenes of the fast-food world.

• Written by Morgan Spurlock with writer Jeremy Barlow and drawn by a variety of creators, Supersized: Strange Tales from a Fast-Food Culture is an original graphic-novel companion to the Academy Award–nominated movie and expands on some of the bizarre stories not featured in the original film.

• The creative brain trust behind The Simpsons chose Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me, 30 Days, Where in the World Is Osama bin Laden?) to direct the Simpsons’ twentieth- anniversary documentary.”

Sounds very interesting. I may just buy a copy. What a cool way to inform the public about the fast-food they gobble on a daily basis.

The above information and image can be found at:

Or just click on the above text or image.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Days 43 and 44

Yesterday, I visited my local Y and found out that there were no volunteer positions open but I could still qualify for the sliding scale because I am currently unemployed. After filling out the necessary paperwork I made an appointment for today to take a tour and fill out additional membership papers.

My guide for the Y orientation was Bill, a 60-something retiree, who was very friendly and enthusiastic. He seemed to know everyone in the place and everyone seemed to know him and like him. See, it’s that sense of community you can’t really get at a Bally’s Total Fitness. The two YMCAs I’ve belonged to over the years have has just as quality equipment as any Bally’s and their staff is more likely to be visible and approachable. The manager at the Bally’s I used to go to in Chicago seemed like an ex-con. I really think Bally’s wants your money rather than for you to get the most positive fitness experience you can. Why else would a place sell you a lifetime membership for a big lump sum yet still expect you to pay at least $100 a year to renew it? Maybe it should be Greedy Total Fitness.

Okay, getting back to today’s Y visit…

After the tour I went right to the locker room, changed and ascended to the top floor. My objective up there was the new cardio room they put in a few years back when they added onto the building. This cardio center is in addition to the ground floor cardio room they have had for many years. The new room ensures that there is rarely a shortage of treadmills, elipticals, exercise bikes or stairmasters for whoever wants to use one. I made a beeline for an elliptical and worked out on it for an hour.

After working up a good sweat, I went back down to the locker room and did some sit ups and then used the steam room. That’s what I really love most about a Y or Bally’s, they always have that relaxing component like a sauna or steam room that makes one feel at least a little bit like they are on vacation when they are using it. It’s nice to get away from the outside world for a bit.

I started off today with 202 lbs. I’ve lost 10 since November 2nd. Only 40 more to go folks.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Phase 2: Excercise!

Days 39-42

My Bally’s Total Fitness lifetime membership is no good where I currently am because there aren’t any clubs within 100 miles of here. So, I’ve been thinking about getting a membership at my local YMCA. I figure since the weather has turned icy and chilly outdoors it would be a good idea to find a place when I can work out safely indoors where there are lots of options: elipticals, swimming, treadmill and etc.

I don’t want to necessarily build up mega muscle—just get rid of the 40-50 extra pounds of flab I currently have. To do that I will have to step up the exercise routine.

I used to belong to this same YMCA years ago and really loved it. They have added on some new rooms so I am excited to at least get a tour to check out the improvements they’ve made. They already had a setup there that was just as good as any big city Bally's so I am eager to see their new features.

So tomorrow I will visit my local YMCA for membership details. I know they have a program where if you volunteer your time you can reduce your membership fees. That is exactly what I need since I am unemployed at the moment.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pleasure or Nutrition?

Days 37-38

Do you notice how we seem to equate eating in our minds with a leisure activity just as often as we do an essential biological need?

We live in a culture where we will devour anything that we think looks good and is passed off as food. Some newspapers even lump in restaurant reviews in the same section as entertainment and live events. Eating can and should be fun but it doesn't have to be bad for you. Yet...

An Angus beef McDonald's burger topped off with Swiss cheese and bacon is very delicious but not the healthiest thing a person could consume still our culture goes mad for McDonald’s cuisine even though they know it’s loaded with unhealthiness. I think most people in America probably know the latest McDonald's slogan than where to find Afghanistan on a map!

There is a restaurant named Bernie’s in Chicopee, MA that serves a special cut of prime rib that comes in three sizes; caboose, regular and the conductor’s cut. For a pretty good price you get a lot of juicy beef, sides and a soup or salad. To give you an idea how big the cuts are let’s just say the larger cut (conductor’s) is very thick and about as wide as a your car's steering wheel. The small cut (caboose) is larger than most other place’s extra large cuts of beef and often cannot be finished it in one sitting. One can make two meals out of it!

I know that people in the food industry have to make a living too but has marketing gone too far?

“Get our pizza that has extra cheese on the top, cheese in the crust and a side cup of parmesan cheese in case you want more CHEESE!

“Our new 300-piece bucket of hot honey BBQ wings will feed a family of three—but if you have a family of four you might want to go with our 400-piece bucket!”

“You demanded and we listened! Now introducing the Bacon-Bacon Onion Ringburger! It has so much bacon and deep fried onion rings piled high on a sesame seed roll there is no room for the beef patty!”

Okay, I exaggerate but the Bernie’s cuts are really that size. No joke.

Tasty doesn’t always mean healthy and you can find healthy alternatives that taste good and are inexpensive.

I’ll tell you what some of those alternative choices can be soon when I let you know what I’ve been munching on these past five weeks. Keep reading!

Talk to you soon.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Call for Meatless Recipes

Days 32-36

Five weeks of being meatless and when last I checked I was down to 203 lbs, a 9 lbs difference from when I started going meatless all those weeks ago!

And I still am keeping that ol' energy up.

Got a tasty meatless recipe you’d like to share with me and the blog readers?

Send me an e-mail at and let me know your meatless recipes and maybe I will put it on the blog or—maybe I will make a video of a foolish attempt on my part to make it and post it here on this blog!

Of course, you will be given acknowledgement if it ends up on this blog, unless, you wish to remain anonymous.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Friends in Meatlessness

Days 30 and 31

It has now been officially one month since I have gone meatless, November 2nd – December 2nd.

It also seems like I’m not alone in examining my eating habits!

Artist extraordinaire, Jade Arcade, has mentioned my blog in his blog at where his latest entry discusses the possibility of going meatless. He was also kind enough to post a link to this blog. Thanks Jade!

You can also visit his official website at and it’s worth the time to stop by folks.

Are you thinking about going meatless? If so then I want to hear from you. Maybe, with your permission, we can share your thoughts about cutting out meats with others who are pondering dropping meat from their diets.

Send me an e-mail at and let me know your thoughts.

Also, send me any links you have that you would like me to mention or post on the side of my blog in the links section. It doesn’t have to be food related either. Just send me an e-mail.

Talk to you soon.

Monday, November 30, 2009

4 Weeks of Meatlessness!

Day 29

I have made it a whole 4 weeks without meat!

I have lost 7 lbs. and am down to 205 lbs.

I have received many supportive comments on my Facebook page and in my Facebook inbox.

Many positive e-mails have appeared in my Yahoo account too!

And this blog has had over 700 visits since I started it on 11/02/09!

Spread the word if you know someone who wants to give up meat or has already done away with it.

If I can do it, anyone can!

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Link to me!

Days 26-28

Some people have asked if they can link to this blog on their respective sites or blogs. It’s alright by me as long as you let me know first. That way, I can add a link to your site on my blog.

I believe I can post links on here. Yes? I’ll find out soon.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Days 24 and 25

Many people asked how I was planning to go meatless this Thanksgiving. Easy.

I avoided turkey, gravy and the stuffing which was made with sausage.

Before the meal I munched on cheese, corn chips and other appetizers my family put out.

For the meal I was able to have mashed potatoes, squash, turnip, rolls and even cranberry sauce.

Did I miss the turkey, stuffing and gravy? You bet I did! That’s why I decided to start my meatless year in early November so I could get the two major turkey holidays out of the way within the first few months. Next year I may not go back to eating beef or pork but I don’t see the harm with turkey on the holidays.

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and I’ll talk to you soon.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Three Weeks of Meatlessness!

Days 22 and 23

I have made it past the three week mark for going meatless. In that time I have consumed no beef, pork, poultry, fish, seafood or eggs (not counting eggs baked into things and such).

212 lbs was my weight starting out the month and now I am down to 206 lbs! That’s six pounds lost in three weeks!

My energy levels seem to be good as well. I never seem to have too much or too little energy.

Digestion is good too. :)

By the way, the site counter for this blog passed the 500 mark today for site visits. Not bad I guess for a blog that's only been up a little over three weeks.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pheasant Death Row

Days 20 and 21

This weekend my brother brought me along to his sportsman club to feed the pheasants that they keep to shoot for sport there.

The pen that held them had netting on the top so they couldn't fly away and all of the birds were wearing frontward blinders so if they got aggressive with another member of their population their eyes wouldn't be pecked out.

When I was in the holding pen the birds were making their squawking sounds and would occasionally flutter around in the air in terror. I felt a bit sorry for them but it also felt a bit like Hitchcock’s The Birds.

In their attempts to escape, a few would get stuck in the top netting. One bird looked like it had just hung itself it had been trapped in the binding so long. My brother got him free so no worries there.

For the most part, the pheasants are treated humanely, until a few of their number get removed and released into the air for club members to shoot at. Being a hunter is something I could never feel comfortable with but I won’t harp on the people who are. I’ve eaten meat for most of my life and cattle are treated far worse in slaughter houses then the pheasants are at the club.

At least at the club they have the possibility of escape if they dodge the shotgun pellets.

After my meatless year is up I may go back to poultry but pheasant is just too dry a bird for me.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Clean off Your Plate!

Days 18 and 19

When I was a wee lad the policy at my house was that you couldn’t leave the table unless you finished everything on your plate. Needless to say, this led to many long hours at the dining room table by myself and turned me into an expert food smuggler.

I was a picky eater as a kid and wouldn’t finish what was on my plate because I either didn’t like it or I was too full. It instilled a lifelong sense of guilt in me if I didn’t consume everything served to me at mealtime. Looking at my eating habits recently has led me to believe this is actually an unhealthy eating habit.

When full you don’t have to eat the rest. Stop when you feel full and you won’t overeat. It’s just that simple. Wrap up what you have left over and save it for another meal. Or better yet, don’t take more than what you think you can eat in one sitting and think carefully when you decide how much of a portion to take.

Eating out? Ask for a doggie bag. I love doggie bags—especially if I am currently living someplace that tends to have people begging on the streets. On more than one occasion I’ve been asked for money by homeless people when coming from eating out. If I have a doggie bag with me in this situation it is theirs. They are usually very grateful and really, if you have more than enough and they have none then the logical thing is to give them your leftover slice of pizza instead of nothing at all.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oh $#*%! I Had Cake!

Days 16 and 17

Tonight I had some yummy birthday cake at my youngest niece’s birthday party.


Are you saying, “Jason, I thought you were supposed to be eating healthier?”

Yeah, I know it’s not the healthiest thing one could eat but it wasn’t a cake of meat. Just because one is eating healthier doesn’t mean that they can’t indulge in a celebratory treat once in a while. Just keep it in moderation folks and don’t go pigging out on it every day.

Happy Birthday Sophie!

Talk to you soon.

Monday, November 16, 2009

2 Weeks of Meatlessness!

Day 15

I have now gone fourteen straight days without meat and I still feel great!

A big thank you goes out to the loyal readers and friends who have lent me their moral support in this endeavor! As of this writing this blog has had over 350 visits in just over two weeks!

If you have some feedback or useful tips that you want to share please post it in the comment section so people who don’t know me in real life or through Facebook can see what you have to say too. After all, one of the goals of this blog is to share what we know about eating healthier with others. Let’s let the people who just stumble upon this site through links and random searches share in any useful information we may uncover together.

And here is the official A Man Finally Eats his Veggies: A Meatless Year e-mail address: in case you want to send me an e-mail.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I Dream of Meat

Day 14

For me, there are a few signs that a new diet is working.

Weight loss – I was 212 lbs. when I started going meatless on November 2nd.

Now I am down to 207 lbs.

Another sign is that I have a steadier stream of energy. I continue to feel great with the exceptions of a few blips on the radar here and there. Otherwise, I feel much better than when I was eating meat.

Better digestion. That one speaks for itself.

The last sign of a new diet working may only apply to me. It’s a strange one:

I dream of the foods I’m avoiding.

You heard that right. Meats are invading my dreams! They have been kicked off of my meal plate so they are trying to sneak into my psyche!

Last night I dreamt I had to eat at McDonald's so I ordered a salad. On top of the salad greens were strips of bacon! Under the salad was a fine layer of chilled, pre-cooked ground beef. It was firmly coating the bottom of my wooden salad bowl (since when does McDonald’s have true dinnerware?!) and was an unavoidable presence.

Waking before I could put any beef or pork in my mouth, I was relieved that it was only a nightmare.

The same thing happened to me when I first did the Atkins Diet years ago. Around that time I dreamt I robbed a donut stand at an airport! Yeah, I know, weird and random.

And yes, I have done the Atkins Diet in the past. It does take off pounds quickly but they come right back if you go off of the diet plan. Not worth it for that and a few other reasons.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Three Meals a Day

Days 11 - 13

I was feeling drained Thursday morning but felt better as the day went on. I think this was because I only had two meals the day before. Makes sense when one thinks about it—less fuel, therefore less fire.

Skipping meals can be way too easy to do in our busy adult world. I bet that’s why quick fixes like Pop Tarts, McDonald’s breakfast burritos and other unhealthy options are a frequently favored solution. That’s not as healthy as eating an apple and some cereal with milk.

According to my nutritionist, our metabolisms are like a furnace that always needs fuel to burn. If we skip a meal our systems don’t operate the most efficiently that they could and we suffer for it. This can also lead to being starved and maybe eating too much at our next meal.

To combat this one could prepare their meals beforehand. Have time the night before? Pack away a lunch for the next day or get all the ingredients ready for breakfast the next morning.

Some dieticians even say instead of eating just three meals a day you should include some healthy in between meal snacks. Some almonds or a piece of fruit at 2 in the afternoon can help you pick up your pace and help tide you over until dinnertime.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day

Day 10

Felling okay today. It’s Veterans Day so I’m not as active. That’s one reason I am not feeling high energy. I believe being active or at least engaging in an activity that uses our brain in an active manner helps the blood flow.

And of course I slept in on this holiday. Clouds also obscure the sun where I am so serotonin levels are a bit down.

Not feeling energized but not feeling drained. That’s an okay place to be especially for a middle-of-the-week holiday.

Being Veterans Day it makes me wonder what they serve our soldiers, especially in wartime, to keep them at the top of their game.

Do they eat super healthy?
Is their chow tasty?
Is it like school cafeteria food? Prison food?
Is it better than those above food line variants or worse?

I hope it’s something healthy and balanced that uses quality ingredients. Our soldiers deserve it whether one thinks war is just or not. Happy Veterans Day.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Is it Wrong to Eat Meat?

Day 9

Just over a week and I am still meatless and feeling good. I thank all the readers for their supportive comments on Facebook and in the blog itself.

Of course there are also the friends and people that are teasing and tempting me with meat products. They describe their steak dinners to me or promise to serve me succulent prime rib once my meatless year ends. They aren’t being malicious they just are having a little bit of fun while expressing that they love meat.

That’s great because I love meat too! I feel better physically not having it but I have nothing against the taste of it or the people that eat it. I’m not doing it to make a political point either. While I do think there are more humane ways the beef and poultry industries could treat their livestock, I don’t think the killing and consumption of animals is necessarily evil.

I have been told, “We have incisors for a reason” and there is such a thing as a food chain. Yeah, I can buy into all that.

I’m just doing this to see how it improves my health folks. So far so good.

In short, I believe carnivores and vegetarians have good reasons for choosing what they eat. A individual has the right to choose what they put on their plate.

However, trying something different once in a while never hurts. Just a thought.

Talk to you soon.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Made it though my first fully meatless week!

Days 7 and 8

It has been a full week since I have started going meatless.

How do I feel?

I have more energy throughout the day even when I go to bed at night.

Sometimes I am so busy I only get 6 hours of sleep and I still feel rested. (I do try to get 7-8 hours when possible.)

I do not feel starved or ravenous between meals.

When I do eat meals I feel satisfied but never stuffed.

My digestion is better. I’m more regular too.

I even lost 2 pounds!

Yeah, this feels great.

Years of feeling tired and all it took was cutting out meat, cutting down profusely on desserts and junk food and just eating balanced meals that include vegetables.

Also, I want to thank the readers who have been following throughout the first week for their support and feedback. It is greatly appreciated.

Keep checking out this space for more updates on my progress and tell your friends to stop on by—especially if they are considering trying to eat healthier.

One week down, fifty-one to go.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Day 6

Today I was having a morning cup of coffee and my 8-year old niece suggested I flavor it with M&M's.

I had put in some 2% milk and a spoonful of blackstrap unsulphured molasses (my veggie friend, Audra, tells me it is a great source of iron, calcium and potassium) and of course I wasn't going to put in M&M's.

It did get me thinking though. No wonder we are one of the most obese nations in the world. We are brought up with candy as a constant presence in our lives!

Think about it for a second.

On Halloween we are told it is tradition to dress up in a costume and come back with a sack full of candy.

For Christmas (if one celebrates it) candy fills our stockings.

For Easter (again if you celebrate it) we get a basketful of sweets!

If we are good while grocery shopping Mom and Dad may just approve of you getting candy at the check out.

And, particularly during the holidays you can't go to most offices and not encounter a bowl of holiday themed candy sitting on the reception desk just waiting to be picked over!

I have never known a child to turn down free candy. Most even spend their allowance on some. Most adults I know also just cannot walk by a candy bowl without snagging a piece to munch on.

We have so much candy shoved in our faces, it's almost like we're programmed to take it, especially when it is free.

Candy is good once in a while but not if you consume a pile of it all at once. We adult humans all have brains. We can resist overconsumption of sweets if we just stop and think. That's all it can take.

Ask yourself if it is really necessary to eat this empty calorie confection?

If I am truly hungry are there healthier alternatives around?

Why do you have to eat it all now? It will still be available tomorrow.

My niece did end up plopping a piece of Bubble Yum into my coffee. I took it out and made her chew it.

Hope you like the taste of blackstrap unsulphured molasses. Brat.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Days 3-5

I'm back. I would have posted last night but I've been having some computer problems.

Here is another thing people have brought up to me about being veggie; balancing your food groups and avoiding junk.

One of the Rebeccas I know informs me that she knows some meatless people that consume a great deal of junk food. She thinks it's just as bad as including meat in your diet and I would have to agree.

I'm not against sweets. It's okay to treat yourself to ice cream or cake once in a while but it shouldn't be something you have everyday.

Giving up meat for better health means not just thinking about giving up beef, pork, poultry, seafood or whatever; it means looking at the foods that remain in your diet after you have made the change.

Ask your doctor or a nutritionist what you should be eating and how much are the daily servings of each. Make sure you are getting your proper allotment of dairy, grain, fruits and vegetables.

Giving up meat alone won't guarantee a healthy diet. Look at everything you eat.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Day 2

Today will just be a brief update. I had complete balanced meals for dinner last night as well as for breakfast, lunch and dinner today. They were all meatless and consisted of items such as apples, bananas, Greek yogurt, whole grain bread, peanut butter and other healthy items that I will discuss in depth in further entries.

How do I feel? Well, very good for it only being 24 hours since I made the switch. The meals are satisfying but do not make me feel overstuffed and better yet—they don’t make me lethargic after I eat them!

Talk to you all later!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Day 1

Hello, my name is Jason C. and I would like to start off this blog by revealing to you, the reader, of a special talent I had when I was no more than five. I could make vegetables disappear and was quite accomplished at it.

Whether it was my parents’ dining room table, my grandparents’ kitchen table after school or even at school itself my veggies would be gone. Yes, if it was on my plate and it was green they would vanish before reaching the dishwasher.

But I didn’t eat them.

So where did they go?

In reality, they were not banished to some mystical otherworld. Instead they quietly migrated to any number of places; under my grandmother’s couch, behind my parents’ radiator or just plain into the trash when nobody was looking. If I didn’t want to eat it I would find a way to sneak it off my plate.

In retrospect, I should have been more thorough than this. Days, weeks, even months later one of my parents or grandparents would find the food I refused to chew, swallow and digest in the above hiding places. It got to a point where they were very watchful of me and my dinner plate. Often I would spend long nights at the dinner table trying to figure out how to escape my mealtime jail because those green beans were not going to pass my lips. No way. (Eventually, we got a dog so my escapes from the table were quickly obtained again with the help of my furry accomplice, Doyle.)

Naturally, as I got older and I had more say in what I ate, I gravitated more towards the foods I loved. Meats, cheeses, desserts and breads were favored while I shied away from salads and layering any veggies onto my sandwiches.

Yes, there are some veggies I did learn to like, potatoes, yams, corn, peas spinach but I still don’t eat them in the quantities I should. Sure, fruits are tasty but in my teens I much preferred to guzzle down a glass of orange juice rather than take the time to eat the fruit in its whole form where it has more natural fiber.

Preferring cow to carrot has caught up to me.

I am 5’ 9” and weigh 212 lbs when ideally I should be around 165 lbs.

I am not as energetic as I used to be and my lethargy has had a dour impact on the way I live my life.

Something has to change and nobody else can make the change for me.

This man in his early thirties needs to boldly declare:

Starting today, November 2nd 2009 I am going meatless for a year!
No beef, no pork, no poultry, no seafood and no whole eggs.

If you know me personally you are probably almost beside your keyboard laughing.
“He’s gonna give up steak?”
“What is he going to do on the holidays?”
“How will he get his protein?”

Do I know all the answers of how to go meatless? Of course not! That's why I am going through this 365-day trial and also why I asked some vegetarian friends of mine how their experiences were when they went meatless. They gave me some great advice on how to make the switch (or in some of their cases, how to reduce the meat intake.) So, thank you Audra, Chris, Joe, Melinda, Mike and both Rebeccas for relating their experience with their chosen ways of eating. I will share more of what they told me in upcoming blog entries.

If you have any helpful advice, please post it in the comments section. If you have any questions about going without meat maybe we can find the answer together. That's why I'm blogging about it!

It is not a dirty laundry blog, i.e. a gossip blog about all the quirky people and situations in my life. If it has to do with food and the food I’m eating it goes in here. If my Auntie Em passes away it will not be blabbed about in great detail here. However, what they serve after the funeral and what I consume might be written about.

Come back later in the week and I will tell you some more about making the switch. Who knows? Maybe you are also a meat eater who wants to go veggie. Maybe we can make the switch together.

Even if it’s only for a year.

Talk to you all soon.

- Jason C.