So, I'm sitting here, chilling out, drinking a beer (not on the South Beach diet, but always on my diet) and catching up on my reading list. I just finished a piece of salmon with an improvised citrus chili glaze (one spoonful of chili sauce from a jar in which nothing is written in English but the words "chili sauce" and a couple spoonfuls of homemade orange-cider marmalade) served over a bed of some of that great lettuce I got from my CSA share and I'm feeling pretty good about things.
That is, until I read what Vegan Dad has posted about meat. The National Cancer Institute has recently published a study that concludes the risk of heart disease and cancer goes up by 30 percent if you eat 125 grams of red and/or processed meat a day. Horrifying. Apparently, cutting that down to eating meat once a week can eliminate most of the risk. Vegan Dad suggests you just cut it out entirely, and I completely see his point.
Except, I really, really really like red meat. Really. Few things in this world are as tasty to me as a Kansas City strip steak grilled just right (read: rare) next to a whole mess of veg with a good beer or a great, light and slightly fruity syrah or merlot. Given that I'm a student, I don't eat that with any frequency. You know what I do eat with much frequency? Processed Turkey slices. During the school year, it is not uncommon for me to toss a couple slices of turkey lunch meat on a salad and to head out to class. Oh, and bacon. One can not forget my love of bacon.
Last Fall, when I first moved into my new place sans Ex-fiancee, I briefly experimented with weekday vegetarianism on the suggestion of a book I was reading at the time, Clean Up Your Diet. Since I was trying to stem the flat-tire tide and I was also trying to save money, it made sense that, for most of the week, I should try to plan meals without meat since it tends to be a big ticket item (at least good meat does.) I got back into meat eating because I adopted some stray kittens and I was trying to acclimatize them to people (at least that's what I told myself.) I have a vegetarian crock pot cookbook that has some pretty amazing sounding things in it that I haven't tried (including a recipe on how to make your Seitan.) The problem with that is that I have to keep up on what I'm freezing and what I'm thawing. Its great to make recipes that serve a family when you live alone, as long as you remember what you've frozen for later consumption. And, of course, as a part-time vegetarian that enormous bag of frozen chicken breasts will last me forever! I'm going to have to conisder this further because I'm trying to commit to things I can turn into good habits and I don't want to burden myself with a bunch of changes that won't stick and that will just interfere with each other.