I am a vegetarian. I have been one for the majority of my life. I've never really cared for the texture of meat. Actually, it repels me, but the reason that I am a vegetarian is because I do it for the animals, my friends. I do it for the animals.
Also, if we're being honest, with the amount of chocolate-eating going on over here, it doesn't hurt that I can pass up on the burgers and bacon.
I don't know exactly when I swore off meat, but it could have been the time that my Mom secretly gave us tongue for dinner, or on the first day of first grade when I ate a bologna sandwich and proceeded to barf it up all over my classroom, and our principal Mr. Masingill called my Mom and let me go home.
Paradoxically, I do remember getting happy when my Mom then packed that strange "Ham & Cheese combo cold cut" in my lunch. You know, the square slices with little dots of "cheese" embedded in them? I had a great time picking out the cheese to eat. You can't blame my Mom though. It was the 80's, and what did anybody know in the 80's?
So for me, being vegetarian has always been no big deal, it's just what I'm used to. The only thing that I struggle with is finding good, safe, healthy sources of protein.
I've read all of the vegetarian nutrition information and yada....yada....yada.......
I've been really trying to up my dismal protein intake though. Too much (or any) processed soy isn't great for you, and tons of it is GMO! You can only eat so many nuts or eggs or cheese without counteracting the health benefits of forgoing the Whopper. A person can't live off of hummus. And the one time that I tried peanut butter, I threw up all over my friend's kitchen, so that's a no-go. (I sense a pukey theme here.....)
I thought about finding a non-animal source for protein powder, but most are laden with artificial sweeteners or are GMO or just make me feel uneasy. If I'm going to take something every single day, like a protein shake, I have to feel pretty sure about it.
Enter, Greek yogurt! I THOUGHT it was the perfect source for 12 GIANT grams of protein that I could definitely use, but then I saw that most brands were not organic, and while I'm not super strict about these things all of the time, I want my animal products to be organic. But then the lack of protein altered my thinking, and my hunger and lust for TWELVE grams of protein took over my common sense, and I purchased my first FAGE GREEK YOGURT and I was HOOKED!
Let me just tell you this..... EVERY TIME I have eaten a Fage in the past year, I've felt guilty. Yes, it's Rbst-free, but still I know for me this really isn't enough. It's ok though, because today my
thoughtful friend Roger sent me this New York Times article: "Waste From Greek Yogurt Can Be Toxic" and well, yeah, I have a feeling that my Greek Yogurt eating days have kind of come to an end.
I'm going to do some more research. There MUST be some readily available brands out there that are organic, don't use harmful thickening ingredients AND have safe production practices. Right?
So, in honor of my past that was a Greek yogurt fantasy love-affair, I would like to now share with you a very personal story about my struggles with Greek yogurt. Something that is hard for me to talk about in public, but perhaps if I reach just one person who also carries this burden, then the world won't be such a lonely place..........
(This is my spoon upside down.)
And that is what it is like for me. Every time I eat a Fage alone in my kitchen. On the floor.
I guess in retrospect, it was a lot of heart-ache and guilt and frustration for twelve simultaneous grams of protein, but still.
I guess it's back the the damn chickpeas. Let's all cry everyone. It's ok to cry....over chickpeas....
Or not. Chickpeas my constituents! Let's ride!