This fall, while I was at an ag industry meeting in San Antonio, a group of friends invited me to go to a steak house with them. As soon as they mentioned the idea, my body told me it wanted some red meat so I was definitely in! With that mindset, I was all a go for steak when we got to the restaurant. Everyone was discussing which cut of steak they wanted, where they had eaten the best steaks and how they like their steaks prepared. We were lovin’ Texas!
One of our folks joined us a bit late, coming straight to the restaurant. He sat down next to me, started looking at the menu and said he was becoming a vegetarian. Wow! What a turn in the conversation! This guy has always been an omnivore, never given any of us a hint he was considering a dietary shift so I quietly asked what led him to the choice. He said he had eaten lunch with a vegetarian earlier in the day. To me its a pretty radical reaction and I have to admit I’d likely say I need to eat more vegetables rather than become vegetarian but to each their own.
I ate a salad as he made his menu selections. When our meals came…. they certainly looked different. So different in fact, I took a photo. Finished with my salad, I had a t-bone and baked potato placed in front of me. His “vegetarian” meal was on several plates. I’m not sure you can see his plates too clearly — he has french fries, a baked potato, macaroni and cheese and steamed broccoli & carrots. I couldn’t help myself but say it looked like he was becoming far more of a “starchitarian” than a vegetarian. I should know, my family has always loved starches!
I thought I was making the word up and then I turn around and catch this piece that uses starchitarian to describe one of the stages as people make the move to vegetarianism or veganism:
While for some, the transition to the vegetarian lifestyle might take some getting adjusting to, it was a natural progression for Mrs Bridgewater.
“I was born in Jamaica,” she said. “The majority of our meals in Jamaica were vegetarian, so I learned how to cook from my grandfather and my mother. Switching to a vegan diet was just about changing certain ingredients. It was about adding a vegetarian or vegan substitute. I became a vegetarian about 14 years ago and a vegan about ten years ago.”
She said some vegetarians become “starchitarians” when they first give up meat, eating a lot of pasta, white rice and French fries, but she has always been a vegetable lover.
“I wasn’t into pasta,” she said. “I decided to become vegan when I became informed about the benefits of eating whole grains. I make sure I have more green leafy vegetables, that way there is less mucus in my system. I don’t consume cheese with milk. It has definitely changed my life for the better.”
Whole grains are cereal grains that contain the rough parts of the grain usually discarded when processing refined grains. Whole grains can often be sprouted while refined grains generally will not sprout. Eating whole grains instead of refined grains is thought to lower the risk of many diseases, including heart disease and type two diabetes. A diet rich in whole grains is also thought to reduce a person’s risk for stroke and allow them to better maintain their weight. Examples of whole grains include amaranth, barley, buckwheat and corn including whole cornmeal and popcorn millet and oats including oatmeal, quinoa and brown and coloured rice.
After I saw that, I had to Google starchitarian and found that the Urban Dictionary has included the word too defining it this way “Disgustingly fat vegetarian who avoids meat by ordering the vegetarian combo plate, but chooses all starch items.” And gives this example of its use in a sentence “Oh my god, that starchitarian just ordered a veggie platter with macaroni and cheese, french fries, mashed potatoes, and corn on the cobb!” via Urban Dictionary: Starchitarian. Yep, that dictionary always makes me laugh but more importantly, it seems that the word has entered the general vernacular.
I’m sure that this guy has returned to eating his regular omnivore diet and has long ago forgotten the whim that drove him to say he was going to be a vegetarian. If he has continued on the path to vegetarianism, I wish him all the best. I’ve found shifts in diet are most successful when well thought out. I can remember one December I decided to get off caffeine cold turkey, my boss came in after a few days and said he thought a stair step approach may let me feel better and be easier to be around! LOL! That’s why I’m really comfortable making the diet resolution I’ve got going on. Its not a knee jerk reaction but a thought out plan. I’ve looked at a lot of the factors that could help me be successful too. I’ll be posting about it tomorrow.