This is Cookie, the non-vegetarian or rather I should say Cookie, the chicken lover. However you’ll hardly see me to share the same love for vegetables. I’m very picky when it comes down to veggies. Even though I didn’t eat a lot of veggies as long as I stayed with my parents, they managed to get all the things that I eat. For some veggies I like to eat in a certain way, if it’s prepared in some other way, it’s not gonna make through my mouth.
In Hyderabad, first of all I don’t see half of the vegetables that I loved eating while I was at home in West Bengal. Mom’s not here to make the delicious curries. I buy veggies from supermarket. The best veggies are available in local sabzi bazaar. It’s like people sell fresh vegetables and fruit on the either side of the road for a particular time in the day. The sellers have smaller quantity of vegetables that they sell in a few hours. Language barrier is one of the problems and the some of my known vegetables have different colour, taste and texture. So my food options narrows all the way down to chicken- chicken curry, chicken fry, chicken pizza, chicken sandwich and so on.
It was not a problem until I lost taste for chicken. It affected my eating to great extent. So I decided to skip eating chicken for one month straight. Here’s my experience.
Limited meal options for lunch
Usually I buy my lunch from office cafeteria.
Here is the tiny menu to choose from:
- North/South Indian meals –
Veg : terribly cooked.
Non-veg: slightly better
- Chinese- Noodles/Fried rice
Veg: The amount of vegetables you’re gonna get is microscopic
Non-veg: Visible chicken and egg pieces
- Biriyani: 2-3 types Chicken and prawn biriyani will be available
- Fast food: like sandwich and puffs ( I never eat those as I’m skeptical about the freshness)
- Miscellaneous: oats, pasta, egg omelette, veg and egg sandwich, salad
The menu is not that small but as I have to eat this every single day it bores me. Non-veg meals are slightly better than its veg counterpart. When I stopped eating chicken the menu reduced to just 2-3 options as I am not a fan of vegetables. Being a picky eater doesn’t help anyone!
Preparing Lunch by myself
First week was tough. I completely hated the lunch that I had from cafeteria. I couldn’t eat properly. So I had to think about alternative options.
From second week onwards, I started preparing lunch. Eating homemade lunch was fulfilling but the extra effort added to my daily routine. I had to think of how differently a single vegetable can be prepared so that it tastes differently.
No Comfort Food or Junk Food
Usually I don’t have dinner outside on weekdays. I save it for the weekend. Just when I was about to order some fried chicken and pizza on a lazy Saturday afternoon, I remembered about the challenge. The strange thing is I almost lost taste for chicken before this month but now I was feeling the urge to eat it. I wasn’t even through one week!
Cheat days came earlier than I expected. Barely 3 days passed when some of my colleagues arranged a grand treat at the best barbeque place in the city. I might have been an idiot not to eat chicken on that day.
The next time I cheated when my colleague Bunny invited me for dinner. Bunny’s a vegetarian but his wife is not. His wife prepared chicken curry for us. For the vegetarians she made a paneer (cheese) dish. I realized that if I don’t eat chicken giving any excuse there would be shortage of paneer for the people who would not eat the chicken. So I didn’t say anything and enjoyed the dinner.
Another day we went outside for lunch and ordered chicken soup by mistake.
3 cheat days are fine, right?
I followed the challenge seriously from the second week to fourth week. I started enjoying the homemade lunch box. Trying to cook innovatively was actually fun. Still I was waiting so eagerly for the final day. Coincidentally my previous roommate was leaving Hyderabad and we had to go for dinner together. It was perfect to finish the challenge in a good restaurant with some sumptuous dinner.
My overall experience was good. It’s good to test my self control sometimes. At least in this way I forced myself to eat some healthy foods. 😊