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Are You a Werewolf Vegetarian?

Posted Oct 28 2011 3:09pm

Happy Friday!  And thank goodness.  This has felt like a particularly long week, so I’m very happy that we’ve reached an end. That being said, I wish they’d turn on the heat in my apartment – it’s around 40 degrees outside, and I’m sitting bundled up in a scarf, hat and gloves as I write this because my living-room feels like a meat freezer.


Photo on 2011-10-28 at 14.07


I have to work from home this weekend, so hopefully the landlord will open his kindly heart and turn on the furnace.

Question of the day: What is your relationship with meat?

I consider myself to be a werewolf pescatarian.  Definition: 28-30 days of the month, I eat 95% beans, fish, eggs and tofu (in that order) for my protein. (I’ll usually take a bite of whatever Anthony’s having, hence the remaining 5%.) However, without fail, once a month I find myself getting angsty, cranky…dare I say, howly?


Technically not a werewolf, just a plain ol' wolf, as the google image results for werewolf were terrifying

And I know in my muscles and my bones that I need red meat.  Now, as a yoga teacher and a former vegetarian, it kills me to write this.  I would like nothing more than to be a vegetarian once again and practice ahimsa (non-violence) according to it’s most fundamental translation – mine being, “don’t kill spiritual beings, lady!” Unfortunately, I’ve tried many times (once for five years!) to be a vegetarian, and it absolutely doesn’t work for my body. I was a responsible and well research herbivore, making sure to get enough iron and protein from tempeh, tofu, beans and green leafy vegetables. It made no difference: I got my iron levels tested, and my doctor told me I had the iron levels of a person on dialysis (read: really freakin’ low.) She insisted try red meat twice per week and see how I felt. Within three weeks, I was a different person; my body was my own again.  I was no longer tired and irritable, I had energy to spare and was a much kinder person.  Unfortunately, that meant having to eat red meat. My iron levels bounced back, and have been fairly stable since then.

Since I genuinely don’t love the taste and texture of red meat, I often forget to eat it, and these days my energy levels seem just fine most of the time.

I get my iron from these iron rich foods (thanks to Dr. Kathleen M. Zelman for the list!)

  • Egg Yolks
  • Dark, leafy greens
  • Mollusks (oysters, clams, scallops)
  • Turkey (about once per week)
  • Beans, lentils, and chickpeas
  • Artichokes

But then it comes again. The inevitable one or two days where if I don’t eat red meat, my body quits on me and I’m miserable.  I send a blessing to the extraordinarily generous cow who gave his life for my nutrition, and eat the beef.

Yesterday was one of those nights.  Normally, when these cravings come on, I purchase grass-fed lean ground beef and cook it at home, which is how I would advocate anyone to eat beef should they choose or be required to do so.  However, Anthony and I have wanted to try 5 Napkin Burger for some time, so we decided to have a slightly more expensive date-night than Monday’s , and head uptown.


We got there at around 8:15 on a weeknight, and it was packed.  We were seated instantly, which was nice.  The service was a bit harried, however.


I got a glass of Sauvignon blanc, and Anthony got a Margarita.  It came in one of those small carafes which I love – it always makes me feel so classy.


After we got our drinks, we ordered our meals.  Anthony got the 5 Napkin Classic – a beef burger with carmelized onions and gruyere (he replaced the cheese with avocado) and french fries, and I got the burger salad, which is a beef patty plated on top of pickled radish, mixed lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red and green sliced pepper, and green beans.  The food came out lightening fast, which was surprising and excellent as I was FAMISHED!



Burger Salad



5 Napkin Classic



The wolf has been sated.

The burgers were good, but not great. From everything I’ve heard about the place, I was hoping for a very special burger, and these were not that.  If the service had been a bit friendlier and less scattered, the evening probably would have been more pleasant, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.  And for the moderately high expense of this meal, (two burgers and two drinks, including tip, came to $60.00), I would hope waitstaff wouldn’t look on their customers as a bother and an inconvenience.

I did my normal eat out trick and before starting to eat, divided my meal in half and put the other half on an extra plate to take home for lunch the next day. This allows me to not have to worry about “saving” half my meal – I can eat everything on my plate, and still have leftovers.  It works like a charm.


Yay tomorrow's lunch!

I’m glad we tried it, but we also agree that we don’t have to go back again.  And until next month – meat craving sated!



5 minutes elliptical warm-up

Supersets: (3 sets of 15 going back and forth between the two without break in between)

1) Front shoulder raises (16 lbs), tricep dips (body weight)

2) Chest-press (30 lbs) , upright row (16 lbs)

3) Bicep curls (20 lbs) skull-crushers (15 lbs)

4) Overhead press (ranged from 30-45 lbs), lat pull-downs (25 lbs)

1 Hour yoga workshop and class with Jenny Aurthur

3 miles walking, 3.0 mph pace

10 minutes restorative home practice.


(NOTE: This is the general menu, not every bite in my mouth.  Nor am I advocating this particular meal plan, its just what I do.
Breakfast: sliced bosc pear, approx 1 cup healthy valley organic gf corn chex, 1.5 tsp organic peanut butter

Snack: (I was at my moms, hence the corn chex – if I bought them at my house, they’d be gone in 5 minutes) – 1 cup corn chex

Lunch: 1 bowl butternut squash and chestnut soup , 1 rice cake with 1.5 tsp almond butter, plus a few olives

Snack: 3-4 oz chiobani plain yogurt with 1 tbps fitnutz powder and a dash of stevia, with 1/2 cup frozen blueberries and almond milk, plus one peach ginger tea.

Dinner: Ground local organic lean turkey tacos from Di Paolo butcher (he’s at all the farmer’s markets, definitely recommended) with local ground corn tortillas (also from the farmers market!) with chopped tomato, romaine lettuce, sweet corn, salsa and black beans.  Possible addition of local unidentified squash may be in there, as well!)

There’ll probably be at least one extra rice cake thrown in there somewhere, topped with some combination of almond butter, vegemite and/or fitnutz spread.

Be kind, vibrant and alive!

Shabbat shalom,


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