But, thanks to Whole Foods' deli section - which is EVIL and full of uber deliciosity - I was able to try several selections of tofu about a week ago. Tofu Curry Salad quite agreed with me. It was spicy and tasted exactly like chicken. I took home one serving spoon full of it, which was approximately 5 bites. Maybe 4. It was tofu; I can't be expected to remember.
Either way, it turns out I quite liked this Tofu Curry Salad from Whole Foods. Also, I liked the fact that not only did I like this strange thing called tofu, but I didn't eat a dead animal to sustain myself. Double Green-Hippy Bonus points!
Now, to digress, Fire Lyte is not turning into a granola eating, patchouli bathing, hemp clothed hippy. No, I still like meat. I realize that I am an omnivore. However, I also realize that I do not need to be eating meat in the vast quantities that I was eating it. Sadly enough, I have become aware that I was just consuming...not really eating to sustain myself. If I was just a little hungry, I would pile far too many slices of pastrami or ham or both on a couple of slices of bread and just swallow.
Meat is good. Or, at least, I quite like it. As a biological omnivore, my diet should include meat, vegetables, fruits, grains, etc. However, I have sort of realized - and not for the first time, but in a much more serious way - that my diet was consisting of fat, meat, fat, potatoes, meat, meat, and pie. My last name is not Rex. I am not a carnivore, and if I truly want to internalize the ideas of balance, a great place to start is my diet.
That's what I decided a week ago when I walked around the aisles of Whole Foods. I also decided to prioritize food over some other things. Not everyone has a Whole Foods in their area, but it is a bit more expensive than your average grocery store. But, trying really hard to buy the cheapest, crappiest edible food-like substances when I am - thankfully - able to afford better for myself seems to be a bit ridiculous.
So, my balanced diet is thus:
- Breakfast won't change too much. Eggs. Cereal. Milk. Toast. Jelly. Fruits, etc. Really no meat there, and I'm not a vegan so the eggs and milk being included don't bother me. Though, I make no promises about the occasional inclusion of bacon. (Mmmm....bacon)
- Lunch and Dinner are the big deals. There 7 lunches and 7 dinners a week. That's 14 balanced meals that I need to eat. While I'm not great in the Planning My Meals department, I am going to become conscious of what it is that I'm choosing to eat. So, for now, my decision is to mostly eat white and lean meat, meaning either fish or chicken. Who am I kidding? I mean chicken. Organic, fluffy, hippy, green chicken, yes. But, still, chicken. So probably 5-6 of my meals will be white meat based. 2-3 meals at the most will still include red meat. 3-4 meals will be replaced with my good friend Tofu.
Now, the goal of this new, balanced diet is to eventually cut out meat or meat substitutes for 1-3 meals a week. No, the goal is not to eventually become a vegetarian, but if I could get to 5 meat meals, 5 tofu meals, and 4 totally meat free meals. Then, I would feel good.
Because, here's the number that stopped me, shocked me, and made me seek out tofu:
Americans eat about the same amount of meat as we have for some time, about eight ounces a day, roughly twice the global average. At about 5 percent of the world’s population, we “process” (that is, grow and kill) nearly 10 billion animals a year, more than 15 percent of the world’s total.
Do you know how many Americans there are?
Those numbers don't seem to add up. If my trusty Calculator App on my iPhone is correct, then this means every single American eats 32.6 animals every year. According to that same New York Times article, every single American eats 200 pounds of meat, poultry, and fish every year.
This isn't going to turn into a Please Become A Vegetarian rant. I am by no means going that route. But, all part of living a balanced, conscious life is being aware of what I'm eating. I kind of made a resolution without even realizing I was doing it.
And I feel all the better for it. If you'd like to take this journey of a balanced diet with me, leave a comment or follow me on Twitter. I'm sure I'll be talking and griping about keeping to healthy eating constantly. In fact, I can guarantee that I'll quickly become disenchanted, which is where I'll need encouragement. And hey! Maybe I can encourage you right back! If you follow me on Twitter, just let me know with a mention that you're taking on this challenge, too. Maybe, just maybe, we can decrease that 10 billion number this year.
That would be a Riot to be proud of.
Love and Lyte,