Special Diet: Vegetarianism

What it means

Vegetarians abstain from eating all types of meat, including fish. Day one of my vegetarian lifestyle sounded like a piece of (carrot) cake – it wasn’t.

J Street options

The first meal was a challenge for my meat-loving self; as I walked past J Street’s grilled salmon, I felt a pang for some kind of protein. Garbanzo beans were not what I had in mind. I scanned the salad bar and plopped some romaine onto my recyclable plate. Next came a few pieces of veggie sushi and some red pepper hummus. I reluctantly gave the garbanzos a shot, hoping for the best. After spending $7.62, my first bite wasn’t so bad – surprisingly, the beans were seasoned. I finished my pseudo-meal and waited for the main course, which never came. In fact, in my 72-hour stint as a GW vegetarian, I spent most of my time yearning for a “balanced” meal. I can only imagine what round-the-clock GW vegetarians must go through.

In my 24th hour, I started to feel that rehab-stint withdrawal. The excitement wore off, and when a friend walked into my room with leftover steak in hand, it took more than a little restraint to avoid tackling him for it. The cafeteria food got old, fast. Salad with eggs for lunch, $8.76. Mashed potatoes and hummus for dinner, $9.90. Nothing much to talk about, really.

Ah, day three. In that 48th hour I started to lose myself. I cooked eggs on toast. The thought of wasting GWorld money on more hummus made me cringe. Dinner kept me more on-assignment – the Pelham veggie burger. Crunchy, crispy, yummy. My vegetarian roommates were thrilled I’d finally discovered Pelham’s “it” meal. At $4.00 a pop, it didn’t even break the bank. Still, one cannot live on veggie burgers.

The bottom line

All in all, being a vegetarian here is no easy lifestyle. I suppose if you feel passionately about the environment, animal rights, or just don’t like meat, that resolution is easier to remain faithful, but for me, it is just too pricey. Plus, I was always a little hungrier than I wanted to be. In my 72nd hour, I enjoyed my friend’s steak. The best thing about my medium-rare meat? It was free.

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