Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Last Supper

Day 366—1st Meatless Year Complete!

By the time you read these words my first full year as a vegetarian will have been officially completed.

It’s chilly outside and clouds completely line the sky like a continuous sheet of cotton as I scribble onto a cheap notepad that will comprise this entry. It very much reminds me of another day, November 2nd 2009, to be exact. Precisely one year ago on that very day I chose to go meatless for a year.

That day started with me waking up in a very comfortable and clean bedroom in upstate New York. After showering, shaving and dressing I bid the owner of said bedroom goodbye. I didn’t know at the time when we would see each other again but somehow I think we both knew deep inside that it would be never.

She looked very beautiful that morning in a black dress, which was inadvertently appropriate on this occasion. We briefly kissed goodbye and she left for her teaching job. I packed my suitcase for the long trip back to Western Massachusetts and saw myself out.

About five hours later, I was driving north on I-91 and decided to take Exit 20 to go into Hadley, MA. I had a shopping list of my basic food staple items that would help me wade into this new vegetarian lifestyle. Whole Foods, Wal-Mart, Target, Trader Joe’s and Stop & Shop were all in relatively close proximity to each other. This was a good opportunity to compare and save prices. I went home that day with three or four grocery bags filled with natural peanut butter, whole grain bread, salad greens, canned beans and fresh fruit.

Days passed, meat was successfully ignored. Pounds started to leave and long lost energy came back. A relationship ended with one woman and, soon after, another very special woman in my life passed away.

Weeks passed, and I added exercise back into my life. Holidays where thanks and gifts were exchange passed without turkey passing my lips.

Months passed and I was watching movies like King Corn and Food Inc. Going meatless was a big factor behind my healthier state but not the only one—I looked at everything I ate. More vegetables than ever before were consumed, less and less processed foods were eaten and whole grains and brown varieties replaced white breads and white rice. Of course, the exercise played its role as well.

365 days can change a lot.

I have not been this thin since grade school. I feel energized, have increased flexibility and have not experienced any illness or irregularity in the past twelve months. The closest to illness I have experienced in this time is feeling sluggish the day after I have treated myself to too many sweets at the movies or wherever.

In the middle of writing drafts of this text I had my own private celebration to commemorate being veggie for a year. I had a simple meal of rice, beans, greens and cheese-filled tortillas with a cup of coffee at this nice local place called The People’s Pint. I alone decided to go meatless and eat better so I think it was only fitting to have the last full meal of my initial meatless year by myself.

I was initially thinking about how to celebrate it in a bigger way. I thought my first ever skydive would be fun but it isn’t in my budget right now. There were many good suggestions and I went with the simplest suggestion of a veggie friendly dinner at a local restaurant. However, that actually isn’t my true reward.

Improving ones health is the reward in itself. I cannot think of a finer prize, can you? This is not some fad diet but instead healthy eating habits one has to keep up for life. Nothing in this life that is truly valuable comes without hard work.

And speaking of making a change to a meatless diet, are there those out there who want to undertake their own meatless year? Please let me know. I can do my best to give you advice and if I don’t have the answer I can most certainly point you in the direction of someone who can.

Thank you once again to Audra, Chris, Joe, Melinda, Mike and both Rebeccas for relating their experience with their chosen ways of eating before I went veggie a year ago.

To my family for accepting this new eating choice of mine and the many friends who did the same.

To the wonderful faculty and staff of the Greenfield YMCA for showing me how to properly get back into an exercise routine and also for their great sense of community.

To Mike Glazier, David Neil and Steve Mish for acting in films made especially for this blog.

To David Centeno for providing the opposing point of view and keeping all of us meatless consumers on our toes.

To Ingrid dos Santos for designing the nice new masthead.

Thanks to Dr. Paul Carlan, Jade Arcade, Monte, the cast, director and crew of Ja’Duke’s Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Nayana Glazier and Anne Harding of the Montague Reporter.

I also want to thank all of the veggies out there for supporting my efforts on Facebook and other places on the web. Lastly I want to thank you, the reader, for checking out this blog. A Man Finally Eats His Veggies will continue as an ongoing blog. See you in a week.

All writing, videos and pictures copyright the author of this blog unless otherwise noted or, if really darn obvious.


  1. Very nice post, Jason! I look forward to see what you will write about in the future...

  2. Congratulations, Jason! What accomplishments -- going meatless, losing weight, blogging regularly... Great work!

  3. Thanks Danielle! I may take more than a week off from blogging. I don't think I have missed a week since the blog began a year ago!


  4. good for you - you did it and are very inspiring!

  5. Excellently done, man. I'm proud of you. Were you under the palm of my hand, I'd ruffle your hair.