Saturday, January 27, 2007

A chickenetarian aspiring to be vegetarian

Sunday Inquirer Magazine last week issue "Do or Diet" was really a great issue. I loved all the articles posted there. I guess this inspired me to finally write that entry about this way of life. I don't eat pork or beef since 1997. Come to think of it, this year will be ten years. There was also a time when I attempted to taste sinigang baboy, the soup first, so as to gradually put me back as a carnivore. But surprisingly, my taste buds would not cooperate anymore. This was about 5 years ago.

When people ask me if I am a vegetarian, I usually reply, "chickenetarian" because I don't really know what you call people who are non-red-meat-eaters. There was also a time that I tried to go vegan. But it is really hard. More often than not, I do not explain I do not eat this or that. I just eat what I can eat on the table or what is served. If there is pork in the pancit, I just set it aside.

When I was younger I loved barbeque, hotdogs, giniling na menudo and many more Pinoy foods that my Lola cooks so well. I barely eat vegetables when I was young. I had to teach myself in high school to eat ampalaya.

Well, what inspired me to go this way? In 1997, I was climbing mountains a lot. Every weekend we will go hiking. Two good friends were vegetarians who inspired me as well. But what got me to shift is the notion that when you eat meat (red meat) a lot, your sweat will be mabaho. Thus, you have to change clothes more often. Lazy me, I want to travel light and still smell good even with all the sweat from the trek, I tried this one out. But speaking from experience, yes indeed, when I changed my diet, I smelled better than before. I think there is some truth to this just observe what happens when you eat curry. hehehehe.

Yes, it was all for vanity and for a light load for the trek. Eventually, it became a way of life. Most of my family have hypertension and was prescribed with a similar diet. It was good in a way that we eat the same foods. But my father still loves crispy pata despite... Sigh.

When I started 10 years ago, my weight was 87 lbs only and it went up to my ideal weight of about 110 lbs to 115 lbs and stayed there well until 2002. When I stopped hiking, then I started gaining more. I guess because I ate lots of carbs and salty foods maybe to compensate. This I read last week that we need to be careful of.

I remember a time when some people learn about me not eating pork or beef, they have this look that says I am deprived. Well, I just usually laugh about it. I even barbeque pork during Christmas at home while we also grill veggies. Even in climbs, I still prepare pork dishes for my team even if I dont eat, because that was what we planned, I guess that is why some still forget that I dont eat red meat.

In another post I would like to share more about why this way of life is also good for the environment and maybe my aspirations of having a compassionate diet.

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