First of all, I would just like to apologize for this ridiculously late blog entry. I will try harder to keep up on this. Life, clearly got in the way. :-p
In regards to this blogpost, I’ve pretty much adapted a pescatarian lifestyle. I do have some “uh ohs” here and there when it comes to not eating red meat or poultry, but they are almost phased out completely.
Well, I’ve become what I have always feared and tried to fight against; the centered, happy yogi that doesn’t eat meat. I became a statistic!! This wasn’t supposed to happen to me.
I was born in southeast Texas. This means the moment we come out of the womb, get our butts slapped, we are handed a canned beer and a ribeye steak. Oh, and a cigarette, let’s not forget the cigarette.
Fried chicken, brisket, pork chops with all the trimmings, was always on the menu growing up.
If you turn down meat in southeast Texas, people look at you as if you’re some sort of alien.
In their eyes, you might as well be a gay Democrat.
Oh wait… :-p
I used to LOVE a good ribeye steak, love it. Chicken tenders with side of fries? Don’t mind if I do!
It was just what I did growing up, like my parents did, and their parents. I enjoyed the taste of it, I did. As I have gotten older, I also realize that we are all product of our environments. When you are surrounded by people that all do the same thing, chances are that you will do it as well.
I used to think that if there wasn’t red meat or chicken on my dinner plate, then it wasn’t a complete meal. Looking back on it now, it seems a little ridiculous. But, it was just my frame of mind at the time.
Over the past few years, I guess I have just acquired a distaste for red meat and poultry.
Since moving out west to Los Angeles back in 2004, I have definitely acquired a healthy lifestyle in general. It was a bit of a shock at first. I found out very quickly that a Budweiser
drinking-smoker from Texas, was not looked upon as “cute”.
I became more active outside, running, hiking, etc. And, I eventually gave up smoking because I can’t very well do these new and “foreign” outdoor activities when I sounded like a wheezy Kathleen Turner! Smoking and exercise seem to cancel the other out, and apparently you need ALL of your lung capacity to really help you through workouts.
I live in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Hollywood adjacent. This is the land of “beautiful people”. The people here tend to eat healthy and exercise very frequently. So, I adapted to my environment and followed suit. And, people eating at healthy restaurants talk about other healthy restaurants they should try on their next outing. It’s quite funny.
Reasonable portions of grilled veggies and baked chicken replaced my usual plateful of fried chicken a fries. Water began to replace Coca-a-Cola. Soft drinks in Texas is a must have accessory to go with, well, almost any meal. Think of it as a beautiful Lous Vuitton Purse to accessorize with your stunning Dior dress. It’s a MUST HAVE!
Coke-a-Cola. Steak. Fried chicken. Beer. Cigarettes. Get it?
It wasn’t until I started my yoga practice 4yrs ago that I was introduced to more vegetarians and vegans. The yoga community is saturated with these non meat eaters! I was introduced to many restaurants/recipes by my yoga friends over the years. And, apparently, salads aren’t the only thing vegetarians and vegans eat. Who knew?!
I slowly began realizing that I rarely ate red meat anymore, and was really getting tired of chicken. It was actually easier than I thought. I was also a bit irritated at myself because I didn’t want to become one of those loving yogis that didn’t eat meat. What a cliche’ !
A friend of mine, who is a vegan, once told me, “Justin, what are you doing?? Just be a good yogi stop eating meat!!” Of course, my first thought was, “I’m going to pick up a ribeye at Ralph’s on the way home just to spite this vegan asshole!” Which, is exactly what I did, I believe. Pushing people on their personal transitions is a good way to get nowhere fast. At least, with me it is.
I had to phase it out naturally, on my own. I have also watched a few documentaries on the meat and poultry industry that were pretty eye opening. I’ve also done some research on agricultural biotechnology corporations, such as Monsanto and others like them. These incredible discoveries about these corporations definitely made an impact on my decision as well.
Like I said before, you are a product of your environment, and the people you surround yourself with. Currently, I am seeing someone who is a pescatarian, with occasional “uh ohs” along with way, much like myself. Over the past few months, he has introduced to tons of new delicious, vegetarian recipes. It’s been a refreshing treat!
I can make you a mean “Cornmeal encrusted tofu over couscous and mushrooms, drizzled with BBQ sauce”. :-)
I may go full Vegetarian one day, I may not. But, it will be my decision on my terms.
The main reason for this new diet of mine is this: We are all going to die one day, of something.
I just want to live as long as I can, as healthy as I can. This combination of diet and exercise will allow me to rock out some kick ass yoga poses for a long while.
I mean, I want to keep putting my leg over my head, and doing awesome backbends for years to come!
It’s my body, and I want to take care of it!