It's a very slow process - two steps forward, one step back - but I'm inching in the right direction. - Rob Reiner

February 16, 2011

The Chicken is out to GET Me!

courtesy of

When I was young, I was a very picky eater.  My Mom always told me the only reason I survived my childhood was because I liked milk.  She forced me to eat vegetables a few times, but that never ended up well for either of us.  I generally threw them back up.  I just couldn’t stand the taste.  As a teenager my tastes grew more sophisticated.  I pushed passed pure milk and became a meat and potatoes sweets kind of girl.   Vegetables were for losers!

As an adult I better understand what it means to eat a healthy diet and I have begun to experiment a little bit more with my food.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not a solid veggie eater, and as a general rule of thumb if it’s green and it’s cooked I don’t like it – this includes brussel sprouts, peas, lima beans, and broccoli to name a few.  Now there are a few exceptions, I do love spinach and asparagus – although these have only been discoveries I’ve made in the last 10 years.  I can also tolerate almost any raw vegetable, it’s just when they are cooked that something bizarre seems to happen to them.

So this story might shock a lot of people who know me, but a few weeks ago I decided to try my hand at being a vegetarian for a week.  I ended up going 9 days!!  Yep, this meatatarian maintained a vegetarian diet for 9 days.  I’m not exactly sure why I decided to do it.  Mostly I just like trying new things and seeing if I can do them.  I was also really inspired by Jason at Cook Train Eat Race (formerly Life of an Aspiring Triathlete) who has had a fairly recent transition to a vegetarian diet and posts great weekly recipes every Thursday on the Athlete’s Plate.  I really wanted to just try out a few items.  They looked delicious.  It also caused me to branch out and try new things….like eggplant for the first time in my life!  It was awesome!  I also made this fabulous veggie pizza (I know some of you have seen this pic before on my hubby’s blog but it's worth sharing again).  I was really surprised by the experience.  First off, I hadn't died.  Second I had tons of energy and felt great….hmmm….maybe veggies aren’t for losers.

I say all that to get to the point that I think the chicken is out to get me.  I had no intention of completly switching to a vegetarian diet, so I knew I would eat meat again sometime.  Last week during my trip to Chicago I finally succumbed to some rotisserie chicken.  The next day I ended up with a severe head cold that I’m still fighting.  Now, I don’t think there was a direct correlation between getting sick and eating chicken…..but I think that chicken was sending me a message J

Then yesterday at work I ordered a chicken panini (I am very fortunate to have a good usually good onsite cafeteria at work).  About two bites into the sandwich I look down and what do I discover……..I am eating RAW chicken!  That’s right, it’s not just a little pink, it’s RAW……..ugh…I feel sick already.  I’ve definitely lost my appetite so I head back upstairs to my desk where just a few minutes later I throw up.  There is nothing better than throwing up at work in a public restroom.  I’m telling you the chicken is trying to tell me something.

Needless to say, my lunch today was brown rice, steamed vegetables, strawberries, and a side salad.  I’m not going anywhere near meat for a few days. 
So, what do you eat?  If you are a vegetarian how do you get enough protein for an endurance athlete (aside from beans)?  Have any nutritional information or recipes to share?  And last but not least answer me this - can a vegetarian eat animal crackers?  Hopefully that's not offensive to anyone, I just thought it was funny!

Remember, you are what you eat!


  1. I can also eat almost any veggie raw, but for most of them, cooked creeps me out. It's good to know you survived into adulthood without veggies, because my 8 y/o is having none of it!

    The chicken is definitely speaking to you. I have a tough time stomaching chicken at all these days. I ODd on it some years ago when I was trying to "build my body" and now the texture and flavor are just too much for me.

  2. Good for you! I have tried to go vegetarian before and it just does not work for me. Not that I don't love veggies. I eat alot of them, just not peas! I just need to have a side of meat with my veggies! :)

    And that is a great question! Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?

  3. i wish i could be a vegetarian, if it werent for chick fil a, i think i could. if i stop and think about what meat is it really grosses me out, i know that the meat industry is terrible, but i just cant give it up. i should do what you did, try it for a full week and see what happens.

  4. Thanks for the shout out. Much appreciated.

    As for protein which is a question I get asked often it really boils down to a lot of different things:

    1- Eggs
    2- Nuts
    3- Vegetables (yes, they have protein)
    4- Tempeh (see the Athlete's Plate Challenge for two recipes featuring this awesome ingredient)
    5- Soy/Tofu
    6- Seitan
    7- Spriolina

    Also, there is some discussion that the nutrients in vegetables are lost once they hit a certain temp in cooking. I need to look into this more but it is something that I am interested in finding out about.

    Lastly, tomorrow's Athlete's Plate is a guest menu but I have two recipes coming out on Friday for breakfast to help fuel your new vegetarian passion!!!!

  5. Alot of the info I read about eating for your body type suggests I too should be vegetarian. I am not a big red meat eater although every so often I get a HUGE urge to down a T-bone steak. But mainly I eat chicken (cooked) :) and fish. I also eat a boat load of veggies :)

  6. I'm not sure if I'm ready to give it up the meat..... I eat a ton of fruit and veggies and really not that much meat but to not have it at all? I don't know. I'm giving it some thought to at least trying a week or two.

    By the way that chicken pic...cracks me up!

  7. I think it's awesome that you decided to try being a vegetarian for 9 days! Woohoo!
    I grew up in KS as a meat and potato girl, but switched to being a vegetarian over a year ago, and I've never looked back. I did it for health reasons and I have to tell you it's been awesome! I do have the occasional turkey sandwiches from Jimmy Johns (love them), and my husband and I will never give up sushi, but all of the meals we cook at home are vegetarian.
    About the protein thing, you would be surprised to know that you probably don't need as much protein as you think. AND, like Jason mentioned, there are great ways to get protein without meat. He mentioned a lot, but forgot about beans and Quinoa is an amazing source of protein! Also, if you're into smoothies, you can get some protein powder (I use Hemp protein powder) and mix it into your smoothies, oatmeal, etc..
    I actually started doing a post on my blog called Tasty Tuesdays where I post some of my favorite vegetarian meals! You should check it out! :)