Friday, September 24, 2010

My Vegetarian Summer

This year, from May 29 to Sept 4--a total of 98 days--I ingested no meat besides the occasional fish.

For the bulk of that time, I didn't really miss the taste of animal, not until the very end. I also inadvertently lost over ten pounds. Ultimately, I learned that I need to listen to my body's nonverbal cues and that a vegetarian diet is not for me. Rather, for this body of mine, at least a little meat is best.

This really all began in the summer of 2008 when I went about 60 days without meat. I found during that time that I ate healthier in general because I had to prepare meals in advance or choose from the veggie menu. I don't know if cutting out meat was the real health-boost, or if it was simply my new conscientiousness about what I put in my mouth.

I resolved to repeat the experiment for a longer duration, not only to increase food awareness, but also to more strictly follow the wording of Doctrine and Covenants 89. In it, the Lord's charge is that we eat meat only in winter or times of famine. I'm not saying it's LDS doctrine to follow this wording to the letter, but in my mind it was worth trying.

And aside from near lapses in memory, it was surprisingly easy to forgo at first. Since meat is expensive, the new diet saved me a bit of money. I supplemented my diet with a lot of beans, peanut butter, eggs, and other protein-rich foods. I rode my bike a lot and worked out in the weight room downstairs in my building. All seemed to be going well and I wondered if I should become a permanent vegetarian.

With only two weeks to go, my cravings wildly kicked in. Evenings often found me spooning peanut butter into my mouth from an open jar. What's more, I started to really crave meat, to feel pangs of jealousy and hunger when a roommate made a delicious meat-tainted meal. It was strange to me that this only occurred as Labor Day approached and not earlier in the summer.

I also started to lose weight. It's not atypical for my weight to drop in the summer as my appetite naturally decreases and outdoor exercise increases. But I lost over ten pounds without really trying. I've gained five back since Labor Day, but for a stick figure such as myself it was worrisome.

So at a cabin in Pennsylvania over Labor Day weekend, I broke my months-long meat fast with a simple turkey sandwich. No fanfare, no averse reaction. In fact, after a few meat-laden meals, I felt healthier than I had in over a month.

Still I don't think I'll ever eat as much meat as I used to. I just don't think it's environmentally sustainable, physically healthy, or in accordance with even a loose interpretation of the Word of Wisdom. But I doubt I'll ever entirely omit meat from my diet either. As with so many other things, I'll stick to the middle road.

I've cut out sugary desserts from my diet now. I guess we'll see how it goes.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Reality Check

In perusing my blog, I realized that I haven't actually updated you, gentle reader, on the goings-on of my actual life. This post is to remedy that.

My ignorance as to how many people actually read my blog causes me some trepidation. It used to be easy to write about intensely personal things. No one read my blog, except family. Now I feel I'm flinging my secrets to the far corners of the world, to the scoffs of potentially any English-speaker equipped with internet.

Well, no matter, here's the open book. My life, right here, right now, laid bare:

* Last week I started an online relationship. Ask me about it sometime.
* I'm studying French. Very soon I'll know all the Romance languages and then I'll, you know, really be able to talk to a girl.
* I've begun writing a novel about a young, narcoleptic man. I'm predicting it will be riveting.
* I starred in an amateur video this week. The choreography was stellar, in my opinion.
* I told my class last week that our goal is to find ultimate truth. Also, when they raise their hand, I acknowledge them by saying yo. It's Spanish, you know.
* I'm studying the universe. It's one of the biggest books I've ever read.
* Having witnessed flood, earthquake, and blizzard this year, I wonder when Charlton Heston is gonna show with his list of demands. Also, I drove against traffic on Interstate 495, deliberately.
* After going on a diet, I felt unhappy when I lost weight. Now I'm trying to gain it back through exercise and swearing off sugary desserts.
* I defended Glenn Beck, but I really dislike his favorite book.
* I cut a few hundred words out of my favorite Shakespearean play and felt a twinge of regret about every blessed one of them.

I promise the aforementioned items are true, albeit veiled and misleading.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Whole Nother

Here's my latest English nerd video:

So, he makes some good points, but I really don't like grammar nazis. English is a living language, so let's not treat it like it's static. Language is about choices. Let's teach the choices and let people speak as bad or as poorly as they want. Sometimes it's fun to deliberately mangle a sentence. (And he's wrong if he thinks we can't say, "I feel bad.")

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Call for Music

In an effort to build my collection of gospel-themed music, I'm asking you, gentle reader, to send me music suggestions.

I need inspiring, uplifting music that doesn't resort to being sappy or cheesy (please no "Scatter Sunshine"). Any recommendations?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What Not To Do

I have no great love for Glenn Beck, his message or his methods. But when I see a writer who should know better use ad hominem, a classical logical fallacy my 18-year-old students know to avoid, to attack him and offend anyone who has been in or benefited from a 12-step program, I'm a little incensed.

By the academic powers vested in me, fail Washington Post columnist. Fail.

I just read that this particular columnist tends conservative. That changes nothing except make me still more grateful I'm a morally-conservative, politically-moderate, socially-liberal individual. I defy you all.