Those Bonnie Dumbarton Drums

I’m joining the Vegetarian Brigade

Temporarily joining it, that is. I’m experimenting.

Amy got me started on it when she blogged about her own experiment after reading The China Study by Colin Campbell. I got the book and thought it made enough sense to give it a try.

I don’t really go along with deprivation diets or the latest fad of “eat this” or “don’t eat that.” Our bodies don’t work in isolation with nutrients. It’s all one big, synergistical (is that a word? It should be) party. We need a varied diet for optimal health.

We are also omnivores, and I think it’s a mistake to pretend otherwise. So I don’t plan on never eating meat again. But I do agree that we need far less of it than we think.

Two things have always bothered me about vegetarians. The first is that so many people think they just eat lots of pasta (white pasta) and rice (white rice), along with loads of cheese. Oh, and salads – lettuce, tomato, cucumber… And those baby carrots out of a bag. And maybe tofu.

What a joke. That’s not a healthy diet. Try replacing the pasta and rice with whole grain pasta and rice. Then spread out into the other hundreds of whole grains available. And then – here’s the kicker – start eating vegetables.

Then there are the vegans – same as above, except they substitute soy or other faux products for the animal ingredients. So they are eating soy cheese, soy yogurt, soy or almond milk, eggbeaters, TVP (textured vegetable protein that looks like meat), and things like veggie burgers.

The vegan diet bothers me most of all, because for me, nothing is more important than eating “real” food. I realize that soy is a real food, but it just seems like the vegan products go way overboard in their efforts to imitate animal foods.

Why bother?

The China Study author recommends a whole food, plant-based diet. No animal products, lots of vegetables, lots of whole grains.

That I can do, with the caveat that I’ll have eggs and cheese once in a while, and probably meat or fish once a week. I haven’t decided about milk yet, but I don’t use it much anyway. Ice cream is the main thing.

Must. Have. Ice. Cream.

And I will have it, occasionally.

I’ve been eating mostly vegetarian for about a week, now. We had a couple ounces of grilled buffalo on Sunday. Oh, and I had two pieces of bacon with my husband’s buttermilk pancakes, which have an egg in them. And yes, buttermilk. So Sunday was not a vegan day, at all. But the rest of the week was.

I haven’t lost any weight. Although I’m eating a lot less, calorie-wise, I think I started out eating too much, in an attempt to get all the grains in. Forget it – that’s just too much food. The grains really do fill me up more.

And I love them. I’ve always been a big lover of carbs, of the bread variety. Breads, cereals, grains… Bring ’em on. In fact, one reason I always feel deprived on my usual diet is because I never allowed myself to eat many grains. Not even whole grains. I could have one or two servings per day – say two pieces of toast, or one waffle square. That was it.

And I always wanted to eat everything in sight because I was never satisfied. What a conundrum.

Anyway, so far, so good. If I haven’t lost weight, I haven’t gained any, either. As usual, I need to exercise more. Some things never change.


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