I'm now 17 days and past the halfway mark in my foray into the world of vegetarianism - and I'm still alive!
I have to admit, the first week was a battle - less with the culinary options and more with the side effects of ingesting so many beans, chickpeas and other highly fibrous veges.
In the midst of rehearsals for Jesus Christ Superstar, and often in close quarters with others in the cast of around 30, it wasn't particularly ideal to feel more like a gas giant than a terrestrial planet.
However, by convincing the director that I was best suited to being positioned by myself in a lot of scenes, I managed to strategically avoid group shame and embarrassment.
Now that my body has adjusted to the new diet, I'm far more comfortable AND socially acceptable!
Over the past few weeks I've discovered a deep love of falafel-based meals as well as red pastas loaded with chickpeas, beans, greens - sometimes with a touch of Bovril to simulate the beefiness of a bolognese. Using the wonder that is coconut oil to cook with also adds that touch of extra flavour to almost every meal.
To avoid what seems like more drastic energy crashes, I've learned to snack a bit more frequently than normal on almonds and other nuts.
Tonight I'm planning a big green curry with tofu, kumara, chickpeas, green beans, carrot and asparagus. With some brown rice this should hand me all my protein requirements and also set me up for lunches for next week's rehearsals.
If you haven't tried this vegetarian thing before, I swear it's easier than you think and satisfying to know that I'm helping save the lives of animals that would otherwise be killed in excess and in cruel processes.
If you want to join in for the next few weeks, more info can be found here: http://goveg.kiwi.nz/