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Becoming a vegetarian: Pizza, pasta and Little Debbie

Staff Reporter

Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 01:02

Richard McKinney | The Houstonian

Richard McKinney | The Houstonian

                                                         Veggie Tales: Pizza, Pasta, and Little Debbie

I have made a terrible mistake! Before you gasp too heavily, no I have not eaten the entire McDonald’s menu. I made a mistake that many of you have probably made, mistaking ‘vegetarian’ for ‘healthy.’ While it is true that vegetables are healthy, simply not eating meat does not make one healthy. Okay – enough of the rhetoric.

Cheese pizza still has grease, pasta still has carbs, and Little Debbie snacks are still delicious. While all of these foods are vegetarian, it does not mean they are in any way healthy (though most things are fine in moderation).

I love melted cheese stacked on top of tomato sauce smeared across fluffy dough, probably a little too much, which is what has made this difficult. To anyone thinking about doing this, heed my warning, it will be tough.

I am pulling through, though. I have discovered new ways to look at a menu. For instance, this past weekend I traveled with the speech and debate team to Baton Rouge   . Being in the midst of people who are not vegetarian is not really that hard – but it took some practice to see the menu through different eyes. I used to find the best looking burger on the menu, point and grunt like the cavemen did in the olden times. However, upon review of the menu, I found that several places will serve a black bean patty – Chili’s and Buffalo Wild Wings to name a couple.

The best part is that they are actually really quite tasty. This is something I’m finding comes in handy, being able to substitute vegetarian substances in lieu of the food you love. This, I feel, is an important first step on the transition into vegetarianism. While eating the mayo, ketchup and pickles on a burger may not still be all that healthy – it is a very decent start to a normal vegetarian lifestyle.

It’s also great to just find new favorites. I had never realized Einstein’s serves anything other than just bagels and massive sandwiches until I had given up meat. While I can just take the turkey off the sandwich, I figured this would be a great opportunity to find out how to look for vegetarian options on campus (I will talk more about this on a later date). My new favorite lunch is a cup of broccoli and cheese from Einstein’s (which I’m told does not contain chicken broth, if anyone is wondering) with a plain bagel to dip into it.

All in all, I feel great about this past week and look forward to another week of meatless dining. I need to certainly cut down on my intake of pizza, pasta and Little Debbie before I turn “Little Debbie” into “Big Deborah.”

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