Thursday, July 23, 2009

Surrendering To Vanity

I give in.

I'm sorry. I can't hack it.

Since January, when I went vegetarian, and then flexitarian (or lonely vegetarian as Honda termed it) I have gained 10 pounds.

I have tried upping my protein. I have eaten beans and lentils and beans and lentils and nuts.

I went on a diet. I counted calories. I cut out beer.

But I still craved sweets and snacks and cheese and chips. I would eat and eat and eat and still go to bed hungry.

I announced to my friend B that I was going on a body cleanse for a few days and only eating fruit and vegetables.

She told me not to be ridiculous, and said that maybe I should try eating fish or poultry again once a day.

So I did.

And lo! my cravings went away and my appetite returned to normal.

So, I'm sorry. It looks like I'm going back to eating fish or poultry once a day.

Unless anyone has any bright ideas.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Still leaves ethical concerns re overfishing, treatment of animals, amount of feed & water that goes into meat production etc

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

Anon, I do believe that Ruchi is fully aware of all those issues and will make good ethical choices about exactly what fish and poultry she eats.

ruchi said...

Anon, you're right and I agree. Which is why I said that I was sorry. I'm genuinely disappointed that I can't seem to become vegetarian or flexitarian without becoming unhealthy. If you have any suggestions or thoughts, I will try them.

Crunchy Chicken said...

I have come to the conclusion that, because humans evolved to eat mainly vegetation, a little bit of fruit (when in season) and whatever meat they could find (fish, wild birds, some game when available), we just don't do very well on a low fat/lower protein diet without lots of cravings and hunger. Which isn't a problem when food is generally scarce, but is a huge problem when you are surrounded by tasty (read: high salt, high fat) food.

Everything else gets packed on as weight and messes with our blood sugar. I don't think our bodies are adapted well to eating a lot of grains and legumes - that's really just something we've thrown into the mix in the last 12,000 years. Not long enough to change the way we store fat - high incidence of health complications due to morbid obesity is a relatively recent event and generally occurs after reproductive age, so there's no selection against packing on the weight.

That's my highly uninformed, probably inaccurate, 2 cents. But, that said, I don't blame you. I've increased the amount of (organic, sustainably raised) meat I eat and my body has changed quite a bit already.

The Mom said...

Don't feel guilty, many of us need higher protein in our diets to be healthy. I know it isn't a popular green belief, but is the truth. If I were to eat a vegetarian diet, I'd be 400 pounds. My body doesn't process carbohydrates normally.

Farmer's Daughter said...

Just saw Food, Inc. I hope that meat is organically/ethically/sustainably/locally raised as much as possible! (Blog post in the works...)

And also- I'm all about giving in to cravings :)

JAM said...

I wonder if eating meat once or twice a week would be enough to do it for you - it might. That said, I've been vegetarian for a year and also feel like I need to lose a few pounds. I don't really want to start eating meat again though. Just read a book that talks about exactly what Crunchy was saying - the whole "caveman" diet - whatever you can hunt, gather, fish or pick, so no grains or legumes, or even dairy, and of course no processed foods. Of course then you read about all the vegan = less cancer and more longevity studies. Really hard to know which is right (or maybe each is right for some people, you just have to figure out what kind of person you are).

knutty knitter said...

I have to say I can pick the vegetarian kids at school easily - they are the pale, unhealthy looking kids. (None of our kids are overweight btw.)

There are also big warnings about vegan for infants - it tends to kill them if no supplements are used. There was a case here a few years back and the parents were charged for the death of the child.

Just be careful where you get your food from and you will be fine.

I'm a great believer in all things in moderation!

viv in nz

Oldnovice said...

I'm a great believer in all things in moderation!

What she said. Takes away that "forbidden fruit is the sweetest" angle, too.

Student Doctor Green said...

Do not feel bad. This is totally what I've been struggling with as well. There's a very real difference between idealism and realism. I think the important thing is you actually saw animal rights as an issue and took action, which you are still doing in a different way. Besides we both know not all animals and fish are created equal and I know you're brilliant and will figure out how to eat your fish and have your integrity to. Rock on.

Anonymous said...

"I have to say I can pick the vegetarian kids at school easily - they are the pale, unhealthy looking kids. (None of our kids are overweight btw.)"

I lived on a vegetarian diet for 11 years and didn't gain any weight and wasnt more pale or unhealthy than before. A few yrs ago I gave in too, it was just craving for meat and have since then gained a few kilos.

Therefore I'd say there is no general rule, everyone is different. Your body tells you what you need so you shouldn't feel guilty. I think Michael Pollan sums it up really well: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

risa said...

>Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

We do that. But we raise poultry, also. There are some hard-boiled eggs in the fridge (yes, we still have one). Chicken soup in th' freezer (yep, still got that, too). But we looked our food in the eye and thanked it for its life. The veggies, got their thanks, as well. Non-discrimination.

kai said...

when I went vegan, i lost about 10 pounds and it has staid off.

I've heard and also tested on myself, that it's the too many carbs that make people crave for food.
Maybe vegan is better that vegetarian, 'couse lots of the milk stuff can be very calorie-rich.
It makes me sad that now suddenly almost everybody here is sooo suportive of eating meat.

Anonymous said...

It's the meat-eaters that have the power to influence the way our protein is raised and processed by putting their dollars into the more sustainable products. If everyone concerned about the environment went vegetarian there wouldn't be enough consumers willing to pay the premium it takes to support these practices, since I guarantee there are always going to be Americans who will never give up meat and aren't upset by factory farming.

It's beyond hypocritical to cite ethical concerns with an omnivorous diet when by doing so you are asking my friend to deprive herself of the foods she needs to be healthy. What could be less ethical than that? Screw you, Anonymous One. And screw you, kai. Learn to spell.

honda.