I have been trying to do the Pre-Nativity fast (Philip's Fast
). I am trying for meatless. This is a bit of a dry-run for Lent. So far ... not so good. It is difficult to find alternate sources of protein that don't involve soy or hemp (soy contains phytoestrogens and I have concerns about hemp protein and drug screenings). I bought some quinoa and lentils at Sprouts and I'll start experimenting with them. The monastic ideal is no meat, dairy, or egg.
The world is made of meat. Being a vegetarian is hard because most regular stores just don't carry many options. It seems vegetarian options are still mostly specialty items. Combine this with my weightlifting and I have some serious protein needs that are difficult to fulfill with non-soy vegetables.
However, the point of a fast is discipline
, not to find substitutes so you can be in technical compliance. I have been eating dairy and egg (reserving egg only for breakfast), but no bacon or sausage... and no alcohol. I have been eating fish, again for the protein and in the tradition of a fast, but I like fish so that is not much of a discipline.
The fact is that I could easily give up all meat if I had an adequate protein substitute. A fast should not harm you. Alcohol? I stopped drinking about a week before the official start of the fast. I have had not a drop in about a month. There is booze in my house but I haven't even been tempted a little. Easy-peasy. So, what to fast? Giving up food is not seeming like much of a discipline for me. I'll have to find some other way to practice self-control.
I feel for you vegetarians. A life without meat is a hard thing to do. The world is against you, tries to starve you, and charges you extra for your pains.