Final thoughts and reflections: Summary of my green experiment

Quite some time has passed since I have started working on this blog and now it is time to look at everything what I have done over the semester. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I can’t say that these 15 weeks made me vegetarian, I am going to go back to my regular diet. I’m still on it now, but I can’t wait for this Monday to come, as it is going to be my last day of not eating meat. However, I can say that I am ready to reduce meat consumption significantly and pick what I eat more carefully.

I think this was a very important experience for me, not that this blog changed me completely, but I do feel way more informed about vegetarianism and why people become vegetarians than I used to be. I don’t feel much different from the times when I still ate meat, at least I don’t notice the difference if there is one.

As I look over those past 15 weeks, I remember my first “withdrawal symptoms”: how I started liking not eating meat: my relapse which lasted for a week, but which made me more confident about my goal; and how I started making videos,reporting news and researching more about the topic of vegetarianism. And of course, I remember all the people I interviewed and all those opinions on vegetarianism that I got.

I’ve mostly received positive comments on the matter of vegetarianism, from professor Homer, students Mariam Geladze, Rafael Bastos. They were talking about vegetarianism in terms of it being beneficial for saving animals and for your own health, that is helps a lot if you’re determined about it. I have however also received negative comments on this matter from students Boyan Mladenovski and Martin Stojanovski, who by funny coincidence are both from Macedonia, who said that vegetarianism can destroy many job places that are belonging to people connected with meat-producing industry. I also heard an idea that vegetarianism might not be so beneficial for little children, as their bodies are still in development and they need all the possible proteins and carbs they can get in meat.

I also learned more about different aspects of vegetarianism, such as veganism. Unlike vegetarians, vegans also exclude milk, honey and eggs from their diet, and are also avoiding wearing silk. It’s pretty much a protest against any kind of animal-based products.

The journey has been very long, but it also feels like I only stopped eating meat yesterday. The most important lesson I have taken out of it is that vegetarianism can be quite beneficial for you if you’re not too enthusiastic about it and if you’re not trying to reduce something in your diet that shouldn’t be reduced.

I want to wish goodbye to my readers, thanks for bearing with me and my writing and staying till the end. My biggest achievement I consider inspiring a fellow blogger to perform the same kind of experiment and gave up alcohol for almost a month (26 days). Farewell and have a nice life!

Advertisements

The struggle is back

I must admit that this week I faced the struggle of wanting to eat meat again – even though I have excluded meat from my diet for a long time now, my body still remembers the delicious taste of meat and wants me to consume it again. I’m not feeling any weaker, but the temptation of going back to meat is really really strong. I think however, that I’ll be able to hold on til the end of my experiment, since it’s just a couple of weeks left.

This week I asked a student Maria Altergot what she thinks of vegetarianism. She answered by saying that she does not believe vegetarianism is something people should bother themselves with, as there are components in meat that are irreplaceable (if you have read my blog carefully enough, you should by now know it’s not true).

“You can not achieve balance in food eating only vegetables, fruits and milk products”, Maria said.

After talking about the matter of vegetarianism in general, I asked Maria about a specific piece of news connected to the topic of my blog – Norwegian army introduced Meatless Mondays for soldiers, believing strongly that it helps the environment. Maria however said that she fails to see how it will help the environment  and she doesn’t think this kind of diet is suitable for soldiers.

This is all the news I have for now, but I promise to keep you updated throughout next weeks. Cheers!

First Actual Follower

Dear readers! It’s been a while since I made a post last time, but it’s good because I got so many exciting news for you now. First of all, I’m glad to say that no more “relapses” happened and I’ve been able to sustain my vegetarian diet fully, which is something I am really proud of.

Image

Sneak peak of me, anticipating my vegetarian pizza

Second of all, I didn’t just put this title up for no reason – I really have a follower now, and not in the Twitter way of this word. Michiel Hommel a.k.a. Micky Bumbar, a Dutch journalist who came to AUBG two years ago for an exchange semester and with whom I became close friends, decided that he is going to follow my steps, in his own way. The thing is, Micky has a specific kind of love to alcoholic beverages, that he is not always able to control. So what he decided to do was to quit drinking, not for 15 weeks, but for as long as he could. As far as I am concerned, it’s been a week since he didn’t drink (people who know Micky will get how astonishing that is, others – please just believe me, it’s astonishing=)). It is kind of funny, because this exact blog could have been all about quitting alcohol, as it was my first thought, but then I thought to myself that it was a bit unrealistic =D
Anyways, I’m glad for Micky and I hope he holds on more many more days. I’ll try to keep you updated on his situation as well as mine. Till then, have a good life and veg on.

Half-way on the vegetarian side

After a week of being a vegetarian I realised I might have made a mistake to try that.

It has been quite a journey. With all the struggles I had I must also say it’s been quite challenging for me to maintain a vegetarian lifestyle. I’ve had my ups and downs this semester, I was doing pretty good at first as you can see in my first three posts. After that I’ve made a big mistake of allowing myself to have a day off and have a Meat Day in my vegetarian diet(click here to find out more about that) and the whole week after I kept going back to meat here and there.

I don’t really feel different compared to the days when I was still eating meat on a physical level, however, a month without eating meat gave me much more belief in myself…

I am happy to announce however that I am back on track now, I am meat-free for two weeks already( 1 and a half month if you count the overall experience). I’ve learned a lot more about vegetarianism, as I planned to. I learned how to work on blog in extremely short amount of time. I learned about 5 shot video and how to shoot it. I guess you can say this class has been really productive for me so far. As a matter of fact, the blog became a very big part of me, every time I go to eat now I am reflecting a lot on what should I take and what shouldn’t, whereas month and a half ago I would just eat whatever looks better. It certainly warms my heart to know it is only a half of the journey, as I am certainly enjoying this one, and my answer to the question “Can a devoted met eater survive without meat for 15 weeks?” right now would be “Yes, absolutely”.

 A lot of people I know keep saying that my experiment is over now and I didn’t do that good, but I strongly disagree with them […] and declare that this is a part of experiment, which is still in the progress.

Just one more good reason to become a vegetarian

So these news I found states that a research has been conducted by University of Mississippi in two local (meaning Mississippi region) fast food restaurants, that shows that chicken nuggets sold in those places contain only 50% meat; the rest is bones, fat and blood vessels. (For more information click here)

Now, it’s not that it surprises anybody, I mean it is pretty much assumed now that fast food meat is not really meat at all. And still… and still it’s quite disturbing to know that, because when you end up in a strange city and you’re lost and cold and hungry, where are you going to eat? Naturally, you will most likely not be willing to experiment and would like to stick to something you know rather than try something you’ve never ate before.  Hence, the thing you’ll look for in an unknown city are the signs of the world wide known restaurants, that you know will satisfy your hunger in a fast and cheap way – you’ll look for something like McDonalds, KFC or Burger King. Now the question is, whether the info above will affect your decision in further situations like this particular one or not. Natalia Gorbunova, a junior student at AUBG, told me if she heard more news like that she would definitely become a vegetarian, even though she’s not completely ready for that now. She also told me she wasn’t really surprised by the data either. “I don’t think it’s a surprising or shocking news, because if you want real meat you have to buy it at the meat market, where you can see if it’s fresh, but if you go to fast food you’re ready to meat that is not real”, Natalia said.

The first thing I thought of when I read the news would be the canteen of ABF Student Canter. Do they use the same methods as the rest of the restaurants or do they do it in their own way? Are the students of AUBG also getting only 50% of the meat we’re paying for? A person to resolve my concerns was Vlad Vasilenko, a freshman student working in ABF Student Center canteen, who assured me that all the meat related products sold in canteen are 100% natural and pure meat. “We’re not some fast food chain restaurant, our chef is very picky about that and would never let us use unnatural products”, said Vlad.

With that all being said I leave you with the thoughts about what and how you eat, stay tuned for more news on vegetarianism.


Meat Relapse: I’m gonna need some extra support in here

So yeah, I relapsed. As I said in the previous post, I wanted to encourage myself a little bitand have a “Day Off” this past Monday, but the unexpected happened. First of all, when I went to canteen and ordered two large sausages and a steak and ate it all by myself, I felt digusted as I haven’t felt for a long time. I doubt the meat rejection process started so early (I mean just after 1 month, come on), but I blame it all on simply eating so much meat in one meal, I guess even if I was still eating meat on an everyday basis I would still feel bad after eating so much.

The second thing that happened though surprised me more, because after I reminded myself and my body how good meat actually tastes, I actually started coming back to it not only on Monday, but also Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Not big portions, but little ones, in the evening…But still, it is a huge issue that I successfully eliminated, given the fact that I managed to constrain myself both Saturday and today(Sunday). A lot of people I know keep saying that my experient is over now and I didn’t do that good, but I strongly disagree with them (if I wasn’t a professional, I would use some other words here of course, but hey, it’s a class blog after all) and declare that this is a part of experiment, which is still in the progress. This is not about not eating meat at all, this is not a race or a competition. It’s all about being able to control the physical and mental of what you have, and even though I’m wasn’t doing so good this week, I’ll make it up with all the rest of them.

Mariam Geladze, a junior student at AUBG, told me she became vegetarian two years ago. Her reason for that was compassion to animals and their sufferings. Her trick that helped a lot, as she stated, was that she was looking for a person to start being vegetarian with, which she found in her current boyfriend. So yeah, now I’m kinda looking for grass-eating buddies, any volunteers?

Week 4: It’s been quite some time

So the week four came along and you know what that means – that’s right, I haven’t ben eating meat for exactly a month now. How do I feel? I don’t really feel different compared to the days when I was still eating meat on a physical level, however, a month without eating meat gave me much more belief in myself, as a month and 1 day ago I didn’t even think I was capable of doing it. It’s always nice to know your capabalities and I am now one step closer to discovering mine.

I have to admit though, that even though I didn’t eat meat, this week was for some reason the toughest of all, the temptation to go back to my normal diet has been arising practically every day, which surprises me a little, after the success of the previous week. In order to give myself a little present, I decided that today I’ll pamper myself a bit and take a day off from my diet eat the tastiest traditional Russian dish that contains meat – pelmeni (which is basically same thing as ravioli, but bigger and contains more meat).

This week I was talking to Raphael Bastos, a brazillian-american exchange student, who did something similar to what I am doing right now. Raphael told me he once became vegetarian for a month due to a bet his friend challenged him to. He was first trying to eat healthy, making fruit and vegetable salads, but soon enough he started eating chocolate cookies, chips and different candy bar. “Everything that coul keep me going without meat basically,” Bastos said. This example can only show us that experiences from vegetarianism vary and not all the people can handle the pressure. Since the idea of vegetarianism is eating healthy and not just not-eating-meat, I figured if you start eating unhealthy you might want to switch your diet back to meat-containing products, I guess that would be the lesson of the week.