Those who know me at least 10 years, know that I was the biggest meat mouth ever!! Even my family members would laugh and harass me because the biggest portion of any of my meals would be chicken, pork or whatever meat was available. If you knew me in UWI, you'd know that I lived off that $20 box of dead aka KFC. Actually, my favourite thing to eat at any time was shrimp. Shrimp alfredo, fried shrimp, curried shrimp - you name it I've had it and loved it! I can vividly remember this one time Leroy and I went to this R. Kelly and NeYo concert and the food offered included coconut fried shrimp paired with a delicious sweet sauce. Up to this date, it's the best shrimp I have ever had in my entire life... and I've eaten a lot of shrimp.
Photo: A shrimp and pineapple pizza and a greedy Brin for my birthday in 2017
Well... Let me take you back to 2017 when a lovely documentary called "What the Health" released on Netflix. You know the documentary right? A lot of persons know about it but don't have the guts to watch it. If you haven't watched it though, I highly suggest you do. It will really blow your brain to pieces (not literally of course) and alot of it will resonate with you, at least that's what happened to me.
Anywho, when it released, my lovely boyfriend at the time (now my husband), decided we should take it in an afternoon after work. He'd heard about it and really wanted to watch it. I mean... Sure! It seemed harmless enough. Another boring documentary on healthy eating habits - eat your veggies, cut out meats... yadda yadda yadda bleh! Lol! Boy was I wrong! Not only was it not like any other documentary I watched, they came with ALL the facts. I even researched some of the things the scientists spoke about just to be sure they weren't f-ing with me. It all checked out. Wow. After watching the entire documentary, Leroy and I decided that we will try to cut out all meat... after all, it would be best for our bodies. By the way, this happened on November 2017... you know, the month before Christmas? I remember thinking "Well this isn't going to last. I'm giving up ham, turkey, beef pastelles, the whole works, just to be healthy? Being healthy can wait till after Christmas!" but then, a little birdie told me that my friends had made bets as to how long I could've given up meat for. Oh? Challenge Accepted!
Christmas passed very quickly - I didn't even miss the ham and turkey to be honest, because I ordered veggie pastelles so that filled the void - but I realized after a while that I really didn't feel for the meat. The only thing I honestly couldn't give up was eggs. Since I was a child, I've been eating eggs for breakfast in various forms (fried, scrambled, boiled, in a paste, etc.) so giving up my favourite breakfast meal was super tough and I decided to keep eating that. Brinnelle became a whole vegetarian - a lacto-ovo vegetarian to be specific, meaning I eat both eggs and dairy but I don't eat poultry, fish or any other animals.
I must say, vegetarianism has made quite a positive impact on my life though. I lost weight, my body structure changed because I lost inches off certain areas, my bowel movements have been more consistent and overall, physically, I feel healthier. Food now has a different effect on my body; now, food fuels me rather than making me exhausted. I don't experience what we Trinis call "the itis" at all.
However, if you think there was a time that I ate meat after officially becoming a vegetarian, you're absolutely right! Not intentionally though. I ate meat by mistake twice after becoming a vegetarian and boy oh boy did it mess me up... but let me tell you about the first time.
My lovely husband took me to what is now my utmost favourite restaurant (*whispers* Freebird) for my birthday a couple of years ago. I absolutely love it there! The serene environment, the accommodating staff and oh my gosh the menuuuuuuu - PERFECTION! Anywho, I was super excited to be there as I only saw pictures/videos of their food up until that point. We sat, placed our orders for everything (appetizers, main courses, desserts and drinks) and waited patiently for everything to arrive. Within 15 minutes we had our drinks in hand along with our appetizers (I know right?! Impressive! Lol), and as soon as we completed those appetizers, our main courses were ready for us.
Soooo, at this point I should give some background into our orders. A few months after we decided to be vegetarian, Leroy resumed eating meat (Bleh!) due to the fact that his protein intake was not sufficient enough to maintain his weight and size while he continued his regular lifestyle which included rigorous training. As a result of this protein deficiency, he became super skinny - which he absolutely hated - and thus, went back onto the meat train. I however, continued my vegetarianism so at the restaurant, one order contained meat while the other was strictly vegetarian... or at least that's what it was supposed to be.
Fast forward to us receiving our meals. Everything looked absolutely delicious! I was super excited to dig in... and dig in I did! I was actually into my 3rd bite when I found that I was chewing a bit too much on what was supposed to be eggplant. I gave Leroy a bit of it to taste and lo and behold, it was goat! You read that right! GOAT! We got our waiter's attention and explained that we received a dish with meat, specifically when we requested it to be vegetarian. He apologized profusely and offered to change the order to the right thing, which we accepted. I didn't think anything would've happened to me, I mean I've eaten meat (including goat) for 24 years of my life.
I won't go into the gory details but a day after eating the goat, I had horrible stomach pains and I was on the toilet for 2 days straight. Yup! TWO WHOLE DAYS! My body could not handle it at all and took 2 days to dispel every ounce of it from my insides. Now, I am super careful with what I eat because I definitely DO NOT want to experience that again. It was the worstttt!
Anywho, so that's the story of why Brinnelle became a vegetarian and will continue to be vegetarian for the rest of her life! Are you a vegetarian? If you're not, would you ever try it?