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.