Bacon-Smelling Meat Patch Stopped Woman On Veganuary Dreaming Of Steak
I hate New Year’s resolutions.
Every year, without fail, I make them too difficult for myself. ‘Give up bread’, ‘stop drinking’, ‘lose 191 stone’. Obviously, I never stick to them, which just leads to me beating myself up about it.
It’s a vicious cycle, and one I can never seem to break. So this year, I decided to skip the ‘losing weight’ and ‘giving up all of my favourite things’-type resolutions and do something different. I decided to go veggie, if only for January.
As well as the obvious health benefits – reducing the risk of heart disease and chronic illnesses, to name just a couple – I figured I’d at least be doing my bit for the environment by giving up the meat I’d usually be eating.
I just didn’t expect to miss it so much I’d start dreaming about steak…
First of all, to make it absolutely clear: I don’t even like steak that much. Sure, I’ll sometimes order one if I’m in a nice restaurant but it’s not necessarily my food of choice. If I had to guess, I’d say I eat maybe one steak a year.
So when I woke up from a dream in which I’d devoured a steak so big it didn’t even fit on the plate, I realised perhaps my meat-free month wasn’t going to be as easy as I first thought.
The dream happened about three weeks into the month, by which point I’d successfully gone veggie without a problem. I’d swapped out chicken for Quorn, replaced sausages with vegetarian ones, and started adding a whole host of vegetables to my meals I normally wouldn’t even think of – just to bulk them up.
It was, dare I say it, actually relatively easy. There are so many meat-free alternatives in shops and restaurants these days that it was hardly any effort at all to swap certain ingredients out.
Swapping out the ingredients wasn’t the problem though; the cravings I had whenever I saw someone else eating meat were. Even walking past packets of ham in a supermarket tested my dedication to the cause.
Backed by sensory expert Professor Charles Spence from the University of Oxford, the meat patch has been infused with a bacon scent and can be scratched and sniffed to nip any cravings in the bud.
Professor Spence, who wrote the book Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating, said:
Studies have shown that scent can reduce food cravings. Our sense of smell is strongly connected to our ability to taste therefore experiencing food related cues such as smelling a bacon aroma, can lead us to imagine the act of eating that food.
Imagine eating enough bacon and you might find yourself sated.
Sounds good, right? And if anything could help me dreaming about meat when I still had a week left of January, I was willing to give it a try. Especially since I was finding it harder and harder to stay veggie.
Armed with five patches, I slapped the first one on my arm on Monday morning and away I went. My first impressions were as follows: it feels a lot like wearing a large plaster; it looks a lot like I’m wearing a large plaster (with a picture of bacon on); and it smells a lot like Frazzles.
Other than that, it seemed relatively harmless and I got on with my day. Aside from the occasional smell of bacon coming from my upper arm, and a trip to the bathroom in which I forgot I was wearing it and thought, ‘Who has been eating bacon in here?!’, I couldn’t really tell the difference.
Day one over and I was still thinking about eating meat. If anything, I was craving it more because I was constantly being reminded of bacon. Not to worry though, I was only one day in and still had four more patches to get me through the week.
Now all I had to do was take the patch off my arm, which you’d think would be a relatively quick and painless experience, right? Wrong. I have only this word to describe it: ‘OWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!’
Turns out it was a lot more painful than the aforementioned plaster, something I really hadn’t prepared myself for and so ended up having to get my boyfriend to rip it off my arm while I gritted my teeth and held onto the kitchen table.
You might think I’m just being dramatic for effect, but I can assure you I am not. It honestly felt like it was going to tear my skin off.
I even have picture evidence:
But hey ho, no pain no gain. So on day two this time I tried sticking the patch on with a bit less force in the hope there wouldn’t be a repeat of last time.
The work day came and went in a pretty similar way to the first, although I did have one colleague ask me if I’d been eating Frazzles recently, while another said, ‘That fucking stinks!’, which didn’t do much for my morale if I’m being honest.
I mean, it’s one thing sporting a massive bruise in the name of vegetarianism, it’s a whole other walking around stinking of bacon crisps with everyone thinking you’re some Frazzles fiend.
I won’t lie to you, I didn’t bother with the third patch. I didn’t give up entirely though; I kept one on my desk so I could still get the occasional smell of bacon wafting over to me.
Plus, my other colleague decided to take one for the team and try one himself to see what all the fuss was about (don’t worry, he was fully aware of the bruise risk before putting it on). And let’s just say he didn’t enjoy it…
Here are just a select few of his quotes:
I hate it.
Why am I doing this?
I can feel my arm tensing underneath it, what’s happening?
It’s starting to smell less like Frazzles and more like those cheese strings with bacon bits in them.
As you can see, it was a whole process. He then had to suffer the same fate as I had when ripping it off his skin, except he had the added pain of tearing a few arm hairs off at the same time. And I quote: ‘I don’t know how women do this all the time’.
So there you have it. I wore a meat patch for a week (well, two days) and all I got was this lousy bruise and some extremely unhappy colleagues.
But hey, I didn’t dream about steak again so maybe it did work after all.
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