Help for Vegetarian Burnout?
I've been a lacto-ovo-vegetarian for about ten years, and I've gotten tired of it. But I feel stuck -- the thought of eating meat again is sickening. Should I try to eat meat again? How?
I was in the same position a few years ago -- after years of vegetarianism, I needed a change of pace. Fortunately, adding variety to your diet doesn't mean you have to eat meat. Try fish instead, as I did.
My favorite fish is wild Alaskan salmon. It's delicious, and it contains plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, which can protect against heart attacks, decrease inflammation, and enhance moods and long-term health. Other good sources of omega-3s are mackerel, bluefish, sardines, herring, and to a lesser extent, albacore tuna.
However, while I encourage you to eat fish, be careful about the type you select. These days, many fish are contaminated by the toxins polluting freshwater rivers and lakes. Generally, ocean fish are safer to eat than freshwater ones, but stay away from large carnivorous fish such as swordfish and marlin. They eat a lot of smaller fish, and concentrate toxins in their flesh. Bluefish tend to concentrate mercury, so I avoid them, and I would not go overboard eating tuna. Farmed salmon -- the commonest kind on the market -- have a lower content of omega-3s and may contain residues of antibiotics and other drugs used by fish farmers to treat the diseases that occur in overcrowded pens.
Since fish spoils quickly, try to buy and cook it as soon after it's been caught as possible. Use your nose when you're at the market -- fresh fish doesn't smell fishy.
And finally, a word of caution on sushi: You can get parasitic worms from eating some raw ocean fish, and you definitely want your sushi fresh. If you like this popular Japanese food, eat it only at good quality sushi bars.
In any case, adding fish to your diet should give you a nice change from strict vegetarianism. Enjoy!