I've come to the conclusion that giving up meat for Lent is not so much a sacrifice of the taste buds or stomach, but of the hands and wrists. If I want to cook a slab of meat for dinner, I season it, put it in a roaster, and slide it into the oven. So easy.
When cooking vegetarian, you chop, chop, and chop some more. I've been chopping so many fresh fruits and veggies that I had to pull my wrist braces out of the medicine cabinet. Yet, it's been worth it. Rob has lost 20 lbs. and looks great. I've dropped 10 and feel healthier.
I think starting Lent with the fast and moving to the meatless diet has been beneficial both spiritually and physically. If we had moved directly from our old diet (which was spiralling downward, health wise) to a meatless diet it wouldn't have been as easy on our taste buds. But, after fasting for 10 days, all I craved was fresh fruits and vegetables. Really!
In fact, on Friday I had to take Sparky for his checkup at UofM Hospital in Ann Arbor. It's about a 2 1/2 hour round trip, if traffic is decent. I always take Sparky to McDonald's for a treat afterward. I decided to treat myself too. It was Friday, and Fridays in Lent call for fried fish, right? I so looked forward to that McDonald's fish fillet and my taste buds were watering. Well, I got to tell you, it was awful! After three weeks of eating only home-cooked vegetarian (with the exception of one baked fish dish) the McDonald's sandwich tasted like grilled grease. Ick. Next time, I'll get the salad!
So, I guess the trick is to make sure we keep eating healthy and not ease ourselves back into bad habits. Oh, trust me, I plan on eating the occasional meat dish once Lent is over. Besides, I've still got a quarter of a cow in my freezer. However, it's practically organic with no steroids or hormones, raised by our friends Linda and Chuck. It not only tastes way better than grocery store meat, but is way healthier.
Yet, I suspect that Rob and I won't quite be the carnivores we were before. We'd like to keep vegetarian 3 or 4 days a week.