I gave up meat for Lent. I chose meat over sweets because the former seemed easier. I’m still eating fish, seafood and eggs, so it’s basically like every day is a Lenten Friday.
I’ve never gone so long without eating poultry or red meat. It was a bit challenging initially. I wasn’t eating enough protein and was hungry all the time. Plus, I was still training for the marathon and I worried that the change in diet might negatively affect me. It didn’t.
After the first couple of weeks, I’ve adjusted to the new diet. I miss meat, but not too much. There have only been a couple of instances when I really wanted meat. One was when I was right in front of the taco stand at my family’s fundraiser. The tacos de pollo, al pastor and carne asada smelled so good. It didn’t help that I wasn’t interested in any of the meatless options. A second was after the marathon. I really wanted a cheeseburger but settled for a salmon burger.
I miss meat more out of convenience. When I cook, I usually make something with chicken or beef. If I don’t have time to pack anything for lunch, I typically make a turkey or ham sandwich, or I grab a Trader Joe’s microwavable meal. Those usually have chicken. I’ve tried TJ’s vegetarian microwavable meals and they’re either not satisfying or just taste bad.
The best part of this has been trying out new recipes and cooking some things I love but never make (e.g., tacos de papa). Over the weekend I made El Chavo’s veggie mole. I had this at his house last year and loved it despite not caring for tofu. I followed El Chavo’s directions to a tee and my veggie mole was delicious. Sean even had seconds. [Note: the chilaquiles, soyrizo with papas and beans up there were made by El Chavo too. Very delicious. He needs to post up a recipe for the salsa he used on the chilaquiles.]
If anything, I know that giving up meat for 40 days is much easier than giving up tortillas. I dreamt about tortillas three times then, but haven’t had any dreams about cheeseburgers or tacos de pollo asado… yet.