First off, Happy World Vegetarian Day! I love that we have a few dedicated days a year to acknowledge this-even though I’m sure most non-vegheads haven’t clue about it. It makes me feel good though! In honor of today, I wanted to interview one of my favorite vegetarians, my husband, Jason. He actually decided to go vegetarian a year ago today! I don’t even think he realized it was World Vegetarian Day last year when he made that decision, so that’s kind of funny-but serendipidous for this post! As a precurser to this interview, I would just like to say that these answers are not tampered with by me-his wife. My questions and interactions are in bold and his answers are in regular type.
How long have you been a vegetarian?
Today makes 1 whole year! Woot woot! It never once crossed my mind that I would give up meat-but I’m really proud of myself and feel great! By the way, I really like your hair… (my mom cut my hair again last night and he’s drifting from my questions lol) Thanks, babe!
Ok, back on track! What made you decide to give up meat?
I did it for 2 reasons. You said I was getting a gut! ha! But really, my weight had been slowly climbing over the past few years. Personally, I didn’t really notice it, until one day, I shaved my beard and saw that I looked swollen in my face. At that point I started talking to you about it and you told me that I should watch Forks Over Knives. So, in learning about the health benefits of giving up animals from my diet from FOK, that plus my rising weight were my 2 main reasons.
What does your diet look like on a regular basis? Like what is your day-to-day regimen?
Monday through Friday, I cook and eat vegan at home with you, my wife. Most weekends I still eat like this-unless we go out to dinner and I get something with dairy or cheese in it. Also, I have eaten fish a few times over the past year-but I consider those rare special occasions.
Do you notice any changes since you became vegetarian?
My stomach shrunk! Yesss! But seriously, before I gave up meat, my stomach would hurt a lot ofter I ate. I just always thought I had a sensitive stomach. You would even make fun of me for not being able to handle food compared to your gut-o-steel! Do you remember that?! Yes, Jason, good times! (hah) Once I gave up meat and dairy on a regular basis, I no longer had this issue and still do not to this day. I also lost 25 pounds over the last year. Actually, I lost the 25 pounds in the first few months, but have easily maintained this weight since. Oh, I noticed that I am way more “regular” too-if you know what I mean…haha! Basically, I poop more now! (he’s winking at me with a thumbs up…oh dear god)
Did you ever feel deprived?
At the very beginning, I did a little. But over a short amount of time, I realized how satisfied I was after I ate. I also have much more energy now. So that feeling of being deprived has gone away. I enjoy my food much more now. There’s so much flavor that I just hadn’t noticed before. I can’t imagine ever eating another piece of meat again-even though I joke to drive my wife crazy. Haha
What reactions do you get from people when they find out your diet?
Being from New Orleans, I get a “head-scratching” look of confusion from most people I know. Friends poke fun at me about it, but they always have questions and I feel like that means they’re curious. It doesn’t seem to be a big deal though since so many people are choosing to cut back on eating meat these days.
Do you find it difficult to eat out?
Honestly, I never realized how many restaurants catered to this kind of lifestyle. I rarely encounter times when there is nothing on the menu for me to eat-without me having to alter the dish. There almost always seems to be vegetarian options or a vegetarian section. Hey, let’s go to Sudkho Thai soon! Now I’m hungry…That does sound good, we’ll go soon. With that all being said, I find that ethnic restaurants have the most options and I never would have experienced these different kinds of foods had I not decided to change up my eating habits. Shout out to Chris and Jenn-Bennachin next time you come in town? (haha shout out-he thinks this is some mtv interview or something lol he’s cute)
Since we’re on this topic, what’s your favorite New Orleans restaurant now that you eat this way?
Probably, um, this changes every month I think…right now, it’s Carmo!
What are your health goals for the next year?
I want to run more-with you of course…(he’s sucking up) maybe out at the lakefront! And I do want to weed out all animal products from my diet-and I want to be more knowledgeable about it too. Maybe I’ll watch some more of your famous documentaries….hah! (I drive him crazy with my love of documentaries…haha) I also want to get more in-tuned with nature…maybe get out more to parks that we have around here or go on the boat some more.