I’ve been reading/listening to Scott Jurek’s Eat & Run lately. I’m not sure I’ll ever want to do an ultramarathon, but I am inspired to think about how the food eat not only fuels my body, but potentially heals my body. So I’m flirting yet again with vegetarianism. I’m cutting back on dairy as well, pretty sharply, but I’m just not ready to let go of small amounts of cheese.
When I did this as a teenager, my dad took it as an affront to his personal eating choices. Despite not asking for special meals, he was incredibly bothered by my exploration. When I left meat out of my meals, he was mad. “There’s no way,” he declared, “you could possibly get the nutrition you need.” Actually, what he probably said was something more like, “You’re not eating right. You need meat.” With maybe a few colorful adjectives and adverbs. But you get the gist. I had to be vegetarian on the sly as much as possible. It lasted until I moved in with Jeff.
I danced in and out throughout the years with Jeff. Mostly it was about leaving a lighter footprint on the earth. I have mixed feelings about animals rights & food choice, and it’s never been a solid foundation for this choice. So… lighter footprint. My longest stint to date was the first two years I lived in the Midwest. Let me say that the Midwest is NOT an easy place to be vegetarian. Nor is it easy when no one else in your household particularly cares for vegetables or wants to stop eating meat. I hoped to win my girls over by being very clear with them about where their meat comes from, what it was and how it comes to be in packages. They were unmoved. So I did a variation on what I did as a teenager – I just kept the meat out of most of what I ate.
This time, though, I’m not doing that. I’m cooking vegetarian meals and if they want meat, they make it. I’m also more strongly coming from a place of nutrition and fueling my new love affair with running and my body. I want health. And I want to lessen my footstep. And I live in a place where it’s relatively easy to be vegetarian. I’ve been surprised at some resistance from Jeff. Still not 100% sure what that’s all about. He should know I do my homework, and this time I’m being more fully concerned with whole nutrition. No more picking out the meat.
At any rate, I feel great. I’m waiting for the back to heal to really see any changes in performance, but I know that in general my digestive tract is much happier with me. I feel better. My clothes fit a bit differently. So here we go with another small but mighty change. I love finding ways to be happy AND healthy. I think I thought those things were somehow mutually exclusive for a long time.