Today, as we sat at the Loving Hut for lunch, it occurred to me just how far I have fallen from my former self.
I grew up as a meat eater – a meat lover, really. Beef, mashed potatoes, and corn was a typical meal. Or, ham, mashed potatoes, and corn. Or, pork chops, mashed potatoes, and corn … and apple sauce. There was always a big helping of meat on my plate, and I loved it. Ribs? Forget about it. I kept loving meat as the main staple of my diet until I started paying attention to my health and fitness. Interestingly, when I started paying attention, I started losing weight and getting more fit. At this point in my life, I am about seventy pounds below my meat-loving-max. Not since college have I been this healthy. I also happen to eat a lot less meat. Certainly, there is less red meat. I also do not think of mashed potatoes and corn as rounding out a balanced meal. I now know that corn is a starch, not a vegetable. Same with peas. All those lies we were told as kids!
Now it is all about the whole grains (quinoa, couscous, brown rice) and green vegetables (broccoli, beans, brussels sprouts, asparagus). Too bad that the stuff that is the best for you does not taste nearly as good as the stuff that is so tasty! I cannot seem to stomach kale or collard greens. Yuck. Yummy potatoes are out. Tomatoes sit on my plate instead of hash browns or English muffins (unless it is an Ezekiel sprouted whole grain muffin – so healthy they must be kept in the fridge). So, where is the meat? All red-blooded American butches love meat, right?
What got me started thinking about this? Like I said, we had lunch today at the Loving Hut. I looked down at my plate of brown rice and ginger tofu – yes, tofu – and thought, I am a lot different. I eat weird, hippie-like food… and I love it. Giant salads are awesome. Even better, of course, with steak or chicken. But I do not have to have meat to survive or to be butch. How liberating!
Maybe this is one of the ways that butches have an advantage over our straight brethren. Guys feel like wimps if they have a salad; they must eat a Flintstone-sized plate of meat to maintain their manliness. Sorry about that, guys.
I do not see myself ever becoming a vegetarian, but I can choose to eat less meat, to make healthier choices without feeling like it challenges my butchness. Long live the butch with a healthy diet.
Oh, and the ginger tofu is delicious, by the way.