Scott Funk: Going vegetarian, part 1

By Scott Funk

After a lot of research, going vegetarian seemed like a good healthy choice for me. Not an easy decision, but with hypertension, diabetes, and other lifestyle-related diseases, it seems lifestyle choices are the best solution — more exercise and, of course, diet. After all, we are what we eat.

At the beginning of summer, the decision was to devour my way through all meat in the refrigerator on my way to a strictly veggie diet. Fortunately, the refrigerator was loaded; a super jumbo size package of frozen breakfast sausages, several pounds of hamburger, three packages of hot dogs, some pepperoni, plus several frozen chickens whole and parts. Oh yes, and plenty of ham for lunches.

My first day as a vegetarian went fairly well. Sausage and eggs for breakfast, ham sandwich for lunch, and a cheeseburger with bacon for dinner. Oops, I forgot to mention all that bacon I’d stocked up on. Meals were pretty much along those lines for a couple of weeks. Hamburgers were switched out for hot dogs or pepperoni pizza, mac `n cheese with ham, etc.

Two weeks into my vegetarian diet, I hadn’t lost any weight yet, and I felt no sense of privation. Making a healthier choice was going to be easier than I had expected. Then I was invited to a business dinner at an expensive steak house. Porter House steak for me, 16 ounces. It was going to be my last steak dinner, a pound of steak seemed a fitting tribute to my passing life as a carnivore.

That gave me a great idea, I should have a farewell tour of all my fast food favorites. Double-cheeseburgers with bacon, fried chicken, and beef tacos. Like an aging rock star, one farewell tour led to another. Just as I was about to have my first meatless breakfast, another bag of sausages was discovered in the cellar freezer.

Well, I’ve been on the veggie diet for most of summer. So far, I have to confess not being very impressed. I’m heavier, my blood pressure is up, and the exercising is killing me. I just feel sluggish and tired all the time.

One thing has perked me up, though. I plan to visit my favorite Chinese restaurant for some General Tao’s chicken and there are a couple of Mexican restaurants to say good-bye to. By the time I’ve done my ethnic food tour and said farewell to the food trucks, they should start having the hunters’ breakfasts at the local churches and granges.

Aging in Place, it doesn’t happen by accident and some things have got to change, but some change takes longer to implement than others.

— Scott Funk is an Aging in Place advocate, writing and speaking around Vermont on issues of concern to retirees and their families. He works as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage reverse mortgage and HECM for Purchase specialist. You can access previous Aging in Place columns and Scott’s blogs at His e-book is available on Amazon.

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