Red Meat Gone From the Kitchen Table

Thanks to a doctors video visit, not mine, a rather startling and ominous diet change came about around forty-five days ago. I thought everything was fine with my diet, and it was. The newly shared problem was red meat. No more beef or pork to be passing through the lips of those in this household.

As I have been eating red meat almost all of my life, this seemed like a very oppressive, if not impossible task. How does on go through life, suddenly not eating red meat? It was becoming obvious I would find out.

I remember as a kid, having the standard beef roast on Saturday, leftover beef something on Sunday, Monday and maybe Tuesday, beef or pork something on Wednesday and Thursday, and Fish on Friday. The fish was generally great with one exception. The every other week Friday fish meal would be canned Sockeye Salmon, mashed potatoes, and white gravy with a can of peas mixed in.

I found this meal disgusting. I like the Salmon, the potatoes were good, but white gravy with peas was the most gag worthy food I knew. My Father meant well, but in his house, you cleaned your plate, or you sat at the table until bedtime.

I spent many a Friday night seated at the kitchen table until almost bedtime staring at yucky white mush with green peas in it. My Dad was a stubborn man, and I was his son. This battle of wills usually occurred twice a month. The other Friday fish meals did not include white gravy with peas, so it was like any other meal. On a side note, my Dad was the same way with bananas. To my Fathers standard, bananas had to be black before they were edible. I never ate bananas at home growing up.

With the exception of Fridays, we ate a lot of red meat. Not to be forgotten was the occasional, but not every day breakfast addition of bacon or pork sausage. And lets not forget the roast beef sandwiches and soup at lunch time. That was a long time ago, and people thought eating well, meant eating a lot of red meats. How times have changed.

The doctor’s proclamation of no red meat, at first was no big deal. It wasn’t me who was told to modify their diet. By the second day however, it became clear, it was easier to cut out meat than juggle two meals, sometimes twice or three times a day. Good by red meats, I will sneak you in as I can.

On the dinner plate, they are not so cutesy

The pandemic has definitely made it easier to not eat red meat. As we eat at home with few exceptions, there are no cheeseburgers, beef tacos, hot beef sandwiches with fries, or other fast foods to think about eating. Good by red meat.

The first few days were okay. I didn’t feel different; though I never really felt full, even though I knew I ate enough, and I was in fact full. Sometimes I would find myself eating snacks, even though I did not feel hungry, because I did not feel my normal full.

Not feeling full went on for about two weeks, when a change fell over me. I realized, I wasn’t hungry, my stomach simply felt different. Lighter, for lack of a better description. This was my new future of no red meat. No satiated heavy feeling from eating red meat. I could live with that, I thought.

The third week, I gave away all the red meat, and red meat items in the freezer. It is kind of hard to eat red meat anything if it is not in the house. The person who took away about fifteen pounds of red meats, probably thought I was a little crazy, but they didn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Off in another person’s care went all my precious red meat, with the exception of a can of beef broth. Or so I thought.

Last week, I was home alone at dinner time. I found one little package of two sweet Italian sausages in the freezer. I was elated, I was excited. I thawed those bad boys out, put ’em in a pan and cooked them. I heated up some vegetables, and got ready for a feast.

Two were too many, so one went in the refrigerator for the next day. It tasted so good! The perfect amount of pork flavor mixed in with the wonderful herbs and spice mixture that makes Italian sausage so good.

I could feel myself actually full. An hour later the full feeling turned to a heavy feeling. The heavy feeling turned to discomfort. The discomfort went on all night and halfway through the next day. Because I didn’t want it to go to waste, the second day, I ate half the remaining Italian sausage with an egg, and the last half with lunch. My poor stomach was in rinse an repeat mode. Heavy feeling with a side of pain.

That was about ten days ago. I no longer have the urge to eat any red meat, and I find I am happy with this new lighter version of feeling full. There is life after red meat is taken off the menu. Just like any other habit, the ‘need’ to eat red meat went away.

I must admit, I couldn’t get overly enthusiastic eating chicken something every day, but having different types of chicken alternated with different types of fish is okay with me. I choose not to go back to having an upset stomach because I ‘have’ to eat red meat.

Upset stomach from red meat happened once before, several years ago, when I was overseas for two weeks. The only meats were fish and chicken, and they were scarce. When I came home, I ate red meat, and promptly became ill in the stomach. I lived on fruits and vegetables for almost a month before I could eat a ‘normal’ American meal. I suppose I am a slow learner in some areas of life.

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