Years of minimal meat consumption + low energy + 2 meals with meat = energy restored
It is easy not to eat red meat in Boulder, and by and large, the only times I have in the last 15 or 20 years is when I have been a judge at a chefs’ competition (and that’s just a bite here and a bite there because there are so many dishes to taste), at a fixed-menu dinner with not options (hey, I ate kangaroo a few months ago) or when my husband orders a good sausage in Europe or a good filet mignon anywhere and I have a bite. I probably have eaten no more than two or three pounds of mammal meat a year.
My slide to red meatlessness was not a long-past “decision,” but was an evolution in my eating. I don’t miss the meat-in-the-mouth taste, and I feel environmentally virtuous because it takes many pounds of fodder to bring an animal to market weight in order to produce a single pound of meat. And here I do mean mammals — beef, lamb, pork, farm-raised game meats and the like — because I never quit poultry or seafood. And we all know that too much red meat isn’t really healthy.
But lately I’ve been feeling really tired, and this past week, got a real protein craving. I ate red meat two nights in a row. The skies did not fall. I was able to digest them both. I perked up. I am unlikely to become a heavy-duty carnivore, but I realize that a protein hit once in a while is good for me. Some people need it all the time, some never and I’m now one who will eat meat as needed. Is it a fall from grace?
I had “big juicy burger” on the brain, when we went to Murphy’s South for happy hour, but I ordered a pair of lamb sliders instead. The meat was tasty and tender, and I did feel a slight power surge. The next evening, I still hadn’t gotten over the burger craving, and at Foolish Craig’s, I ordered a burger from their regular menu. It claimed to be a half-pounder, and it came on a toasted bun with a choice of cheeses (I picked mozzarella), lettuce, tomato and red onion, with good, crisp skin-on fries, a small ramekin of cole slaw and a pickle spear on the side. I really felt the protein hit, but I can’t pretend that I was ballistically happy with the taste combo that, back in the day, I once loved. So I’m comfortable eschewing red meat — till the next set-menu dinner or next protein craving. And as Edith Ann would say, “And that’s the truth.”