At the start of this year, I became a weekday vegetarian. I went veggie for a short time a few years back, and I liked it but didn't really put a lot of effort into eating balanced, healthy meals, so it wasn't good for me to keep it up. I wanted to try again but allow myself to eat meat if I truly wanted to. I'm happy eating this way, and I have no intention of stopping now. Here's what I've learned over the past 10+ months:
1. It really is nice having the freedom to eat meat. It's the whole "don't think of an elephant" thing (you just thought about an elephant, didn't you?). If you tell yourself you can't eat meat, it'll be all you think about. Sometimes I really want a ham sandwich or a pepperoni pizza. This way, I don't feel deprived. It gives me flexibility rather than a strict regimen, and it's probably what's allowed me to keep it up for as long as I have.
2. It's hard to explain to others. I actually thought that people would totally get it, but I guess it's not a common concept. Maybe people think it seems non-committal or maybe they think I'm trying to ride the ethical coat tails of vegetarians while not actually being one. I don't know.
3. Red meat does not sit well with me anymore. At all. Bleh. I now feel how bad red meat is for the body. Today I smelled a hamburger from the college cafeteria, and it smelled like heaven. But I can't imagine actually eating another hamburger ever again.
4. It's easier to get nutrients I need. I fully believe that a person can get the nutrition they need from plants; however, it takes time to develop a good sense of what works for your body and how to create balanced meals without meat. I'm not saying that I can't do it, just that it's easier this way, and at the end of the week, I know I've gotten a variety of nutrients into my system.
5. I feel much lighter, and I feel like food digests better this way. I imagine being 100% vegetarian would increase this effect.
6. Sometimes I don't want meat on the weekends but during the week. Unfortunately, the weekday/weekend distinction is kind of arbitrary. Sometimes, again because I'm lacking a vast repertoire of vegetarian meals, I think it would be easier to stick a roast in the slow cooker in the morning before work and have it ready to eat at dinner time. On the weekend, though, I don't find that I urgently need meat, and I often continue eating vegetarian. In other words, I might prefer to eat meat on Saturdays and Wednesdays, but that doesn't quite roll off the tongue as easily.
7. Beans won't really give you that much gas if you eat them often. Your body gets used to it.
8. My cooking world has open up immensely. I still wish I knew more vegetarian recipes, but I've made some delicious meals over these past few months. They are tasty and filling, and I might not have discovered them if I weren't eating vegetarian 5 days a week. I recently made vegetarian Korma, for example. I'd never cooked with curry or even really enjoyed curry dishes from restaurants before, but this was insanely good. I've made all kinds of fun things in the past several months.
What about you? Would you consider being a weekday or everyday vegetarian?