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May 5, 2010

Part-time Pescetarian

After spending a refreshing weekend at a yoga retreat (that I still need to blog about), I realized that one of the things that contributed to that good feeling was what we were eating. Local, organic, vegetarian, healthy cuisine, a lot of it using dairy and gluten substitutes so people with dietary restrictions would have options. Maybe in an ideal world I'd be eating like that all the time, but through some experimentation I've figured out that any diet I impose on myself has to not only have good justification but the potential for sustainability in order for it to succeed.

I don't think I can be a vegetarian. Don't even get me started on being a vegan. It's mainly because I don't have good personal reasons for not eating meat. I only have good reasons for eating less meat. And because I'm not ethically or religiously opposed to eating meat, I end up facing one thing that makes me start eating meat again: at some point, I end up in a situation where there is a lack of acceptable choices for me to eat.

See, I really like eating. I'm willing to forego a giant portion of deep fried stuff in order to keep my arteries unclogged. But I'm not going to order something that I 1) don't like, 2) don't think is a good option, or 3) shouldn't eat just for the sake of not having meat. No vegetarian pho. No $22 corn risotto at a seafood restaurant. No large fries at McDonald's. And inevitably I will end up in those situations.

So as a reasonable personal compromise, without sacrificing the spirit of this "diet," I have decided to become a pescetarian, with the caveat that I can have up to two meals each week that contain meat, if I really need to.

This seems to be working out so far.

1) I love seafood. Long term, giving up seafood is much harder for me than giving up meat. But I don't consume that much seafood anyway (it's expensive and generally less convenient), so keeping it around as an option isn't hurting anything.

2) Seafood provides me with a good option at nice restaurants that doesn't make me feel like I'm missing out on anything. So I have salmon instead of chicken. That's actually a better option for me.

3) I do not abuse my meat meals. I'm on my third week of this, and I think I'm really only using one meat meal per week.

4) Having such a low limit for meat makes me be really picky about what I'll choose for my meat. I won't eat Burger King or Lean Cuisine, but instead, I'll have a bowl of pho.

5) Even with the seafood allowance, I eat mostly vegetarian anyway. I have been cooking a lot more and fixing myself yummy salads.

6) I do not feel the need to end this diet. With one exception - I have some meat in my freezer that I'd rather eat than let go to waste, so I might have to give myself a week off or something.

Flank steak (one of my meat meals) My yummy soba noodles!

I have made for myself:

1. Lots of salads
2. Sunomono salad with shrimp
3. Cold soba noodles (broth from scratch! I made my own dashi) with fried tofu, shitake mushrooms, green onions, and peanuts
4. Shrimp fried rice
5. Vegetable frittata
6. Vegetarian red beans & rice
7. Chana masala

I'm definitely feeling healthier in general and that I have a bit more energy. I haven't been as good with the exercise, so it's hard to measure the effects on my weight, but I don't care so much about that. So yay, fishies! Let's see if I can maintain this for a longer period of time.

May 31, 2010

Alice and Shawn's Wedding

Alice & Shawn (photo courtesy of Teresa Fong) I'm at that age where everyone is starting to get married. My high school friends started a long time ago, and a good number of them have kids now. But my childhood friends have taken a little longer, maybe because they're either busy getting really educated or enjoying the fun of single life. Well, this summer, that has officially changed. In June, Ben (my boyfriend when I was 3 years old!) is getting married, and the weekend before Memorial Day, Alice and Shawn tied the knot.

I've known Alice since I was seven or so. That's about twenty years. It's crazy to think of lengths of friendships in terms of lengths of relationships - at my age, a five year relationship seems long. And though we might not have a lot in common and I've spent the last ten of those years away from Louisiana, I've kept in better touch with her than anyone else from Baton Rouge. We've shared a lot of history, listened to each other's good stories and bad stories, many of them about boyfriends... shared a love of Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, and Vienna Teng. And after years of being a long-distance observer/confidante in her journey, it was really special to see her road of singlehood end at a beautiful ceremony in a city I called my home for a decade and a half. 

Mall of Louisiana

I really don't get back to Baton Rouge as often as I want to. The city has changed a lot and many of the people I knew have gone off to other places. Alice took me to the Mall of Louisiana to see how much it's expanded. There's now a Sephora in Baton Rouge! Still no Nordstrom, though. On one hand, it's great that Baton Rouge is becoming more of a "real city," but I think it comes at the expense of its character. The photo I snapped of the outside shopping area looked as sterile as a computer-modeled image. New residential developments mimic the identical townhouse hell that I hate seeing here in the Issaquah Highlands (and many other places). But one thing Baton Rouge has in its favor is a lot of  land, which means they don't need to knock down the old places as much. So I got to make my traditional trip to Mike Anderson's, still the same, to eat one of my favorite meals of stuffed crab, stuffed potato, and hush puppies.

Next year is my 10 year high school reunion (OLD!!!) so it looks like I'll finally make a trip back to Louisiana that isn't for a wedding. :) Until then, I'll be dreaming of crawfish.

Congratulations to Alice and Shawn!

My mom's meal - Crawfish 7 ways @ Mike Anderson'sPlane view somewhere near Baton Rouge

About May 2010

This page contains all entries posted to adventures of a tired coder in May 2010. They are listed from oldest to newest.

April 2010 is the previous archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.