Hello, my name is ASMO and I am no longer a vegetarian. It has been 4 months and 7 days since my last quasi-vegan meal.
I started off in September last year on this quasi-vegan journey. Very reluctantly you’ll recall. Recap: no meat, no dairy (except a bit of live yogurt and a bit of goat’s cheese), no soy, no gluten.
Stray thoughts along the way:
- I stopped eating fruit. I love fruit, I used to eat some every day. But while eating vegan I would look at it, look at our 3 yo devouring it, and I couldn’t stomach it.
- I didn’t miss meat as much as I thought I would. But I missed umami like a penguin misses an ice cold bath. And. I. just. couldn’t. find. it. any. where..
- I love aubergines. Except when I make them. Amazing what some chefs can do with those purple fellas. How do they make them so meltingly tender? HOW?
- I could understand the reasoning behind no dairy (and so can my gut, even before I was told to avoid it), behind soy (phyto-oestrogens, not a good idea when your oestrogen levels are through the roof) and meat (hey, thanks WHO for ruining that, by the way). But fish?!?!
- Maybe if money was no object and I had a personal vegetarian chef, I would be forever ok with this. But alas, such is not the way of our world. And I love cooking far too much to give it up. But I’m just not very good at this vegan malarkey, even when I do follow the recipes.
- Eating out had become even more complicated. It used to be ‘no gluten,, but child friendly’. And in the end that was my downfall: my parents were visiting for a weekend (cue babysitting) and we had a rare romantic evening out at one of our favourite restaurants, Vinoteca in Marylebone. Not a single dish complied with my restrictions. And so I broke my ‘fast’ with the most more-ish and umami-filled dish imagineable: a Hake, Cuttlefish, Mussels and Borlotti Bean Stew with Porcini Mushrooms. Need I say more?
- Lastly but by no means least importantly: I don’t feel any health effects from eating this way. If I did, I might have a very different take on things.
- Conclusion: I stuck to it for 2 months, then one more month where I added fish. And then I went back to my previous eating habits, albeit with a lot more emphasis on veg (which I love anyway) and trying to restrict my meat. I really don’t believe in those tight restrictions, I feel out of whack if I leave anything out. Except sugar. I have been 100% fructose-free for 5 weeks and although I hardly eat sweet stuff anyway I could feel a huge difference after less than a week. But fructose is not a food group.
And what have I been cooking since then? A storm! Recipes to follow in due course, for now my mea culpa will have to suffice. At the moment, I’m all about raw fermenting, so sauerkraut and kim chi are on the menu… Fret not, there are also soups, stews, roasts, salads and much more in my back-log. Stay tuned.