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Strict Vegetarian
Strict, or true, vegetarians staunchly follow a diet free of animal flesh and animal-derived products like milk, dairy products, seafood and eggs. However, unlike vegans, they may not reject products like fur, silk, wool, etc. In India, a strict vegetarian diet would also exclude onion and garlic (called a sattvik diet). Notable vegetarians include ex-Beatle Paul McCartney, Spiderman Tobey Maguire and singer Shania Twain.

Flexitarian
Ideologically, flexitarians rest in no-man’s land, for they are ‘flexible vegetarians’. This newly-coined word refers to meat-eating vegetarians, ironic as that may sound. Practitioners prefer a vegetarian diet for health rather than ethical reasons, and indulge in meat and fish occasionally. Strict vegetarians balk at the term, but many health practitioners welcome it as it denotes a healthy, moderate diet.

Raw Foodist
Raw foodists only eat raw, uncooked foods (though some also eat food that hasn’t been cooked beyond 46 degrees celcius, believing higher temperatures result in loss of nutritional value). Their diet includes all raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts and fresh herbs in their unprocessed state. Some also take raw dairy products, meat and fish. Proponents include Ghost actress Demi Moore

Fruitarian
Remember Keziah’s lines to Hugh Grant in Notting Hill? “We believe that fruits and vegetables have feeling so we think cooking is cruel. We only eat things that’ve actually fallen off a tree or bush — that are, in fact, dead already.” Fruitarians like Keziah eat mainly fruits (but also some veggies, nuts and seeds) — anything that can be gathered without harming the plant. Their reasons are both ethical and health-related; they believe it’s the most natural of diets, and that uncooked fruit is healthy for both humans and the environment.

Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian
One of the most common forms of vegetarianism worldwide, a lacto-ovo diet includes milk, eggs, honey and dairy products apart from fruits and vegetables, but no meat or seafood. ‘Lacto’ means ‘milk’ in Latin, and ‘ovo’ means ‘egg’. Lacto vegetarians take milk and dairy products but not eggs, while ovo vegetarians stick to eggs and avoid the latter. Most vegetarians in India, barring those who follow a sattvik diet, would fall in this category.

Pollo Vegetarian
Strict vegetarians/vegans will contest their inclusion in this list, for pollo vegetarians (or pollotarians) have a ‘fowl’ taste. That is, they rest in halfway territory — apart from fruits and veggies, they have a fondness for poultry. Chicken, duck, goose, turkey, etc find their way onto pollotarians’ plates, but red meat is a definite no-no. Most pollotarians also consume dairy products and eggs. The debate on whether they can be called vegetarians still rages.

Vegan
The term (pr. vee-gun), coined by Donald Watson in 1944, refers to a diet that takes the ethics of vegetarianism to what he called its “logical conclusion” — vegans eat only plant-derived food and reject everything sourced from animals. That includes not just dairy products, fish and meat but also leather, silk, wool, etc. Some even reject products processed using animal derivatives e.g. white sugar. Alicia Silverstone and Pamela Anderson are vegans.

Freegan
Freeganism (‘free’ plus ‘veganism’) stems from a political rather than a healthy living or ethical philosophy. Freegans advocate an anti-consumerist, environmentally-conscious method of eating. They practice veganism as it protects animals, the environment and human health. Freegans source food by foraging through dumpsters for discarded, unspoiled items, so as to avoid wastage.

Pescetarian
Pescetarians pledge allegiance to all things green, leafy and with fins — they’re lacto-ovo vegetarians who also eat seafood. Like pollotarians, their status as vegetarians is debatable. In many instances, pescetarianism is the halfway stage for a wannabe vegetarian convert. Others cite health reasons for consuming fish. Celebrity endorsers include actors Ted Dansen and Mary Tyler Moore.

What to order on a first date is the perennial question because the answer will never be black and white. There’s a gray area that involves questions you need to ask yourself. The more you can anticipate beforehand means a better (more relaxed) you and most likely will result in a second date.

The Bomb: Sushi First, only suggest sushi if you’ve got skills with the chopsticks (though in Japan they pick up maki with their fingers, we think it’s best to stick with the sticks). And while it’s customary to eat sushi in one bite (so as not to offend the chef), you don’t want to offend your date, either. That’s why you order small things like sashimi or make sure you avoid places that serve a pound of tuna on top to rice and call it nigiri. When ordering, unless you’ve got a firm grasp of the language, stick with the English translation; and when in doubt, keep the sake flowing—can you say Sake Bomb?

Italian: Trattorias Italian food is the safest call, cuisine-wise. That being said, if you do go that route, stay away from long noodles—or anything that’s messy and risks slurping is a no-go. So even if spaghetti and meatballs or linguine and clams are your favorite, and you’ve got the noodle-in-the-spoon technique down, stick with short, bite-sized pasta—think penne, rigatoni or ravioli. What’s uncomfortable now, might be seen as some sort of boyish charm later, but now’s not the time to define that. You’re not at Nonna’s anymore.

Good Things Come in Small Packages: Tapas Food is generally served in odd numbers, so the question becomes: what to do with that third bite? The benefit of small plates is that it’ll bring you together by making you share and collaborate. And while her willingness to give you the last skewer might not necessarily be an exact precursor to what she’s like in a relationship, it’s all you’ve got for now. As for you: Offer her that last skewer, insist on it even, and show her what a truly caring guy you are. You can always go crush a burrito after you drop her off.

To the Stars: Fine Dining Usually you save the five-star spot for when things are more serious, or you know she’s tough to please (but remember this sets the bar high). Make sure this is a restaurant you’ve already been to. The question becomes: do you order the tasting menu or do you suggest options and try to show your understanding of how to pair food and wine. Generally, you’re focused on her, so lean heavily on the server. If she’s a free spirit, then go with the tasting menu, if not you’ll need to do some research beforehand—call in advance, and be willing to drop as much as rent on the dinner and, maybe, the meal comes with a happy ending.

Just a Bite: Casual Eats Don’t take her to a run-of-the-mill joint, find something in your neighborhood or hers, and it should be the go-to spot for pizza, the must-visit for a burger and the best-of-the-best for a burrito. Pick a place that serves quality drinks to take the edge off—maybe it’s tequila shots then a burrito. The food isn’t the main concern here. It’s the atmosphere. Show her you that whether you’re at a taquería or a Michelin-starred restaurant, your game is tight.

Our Final Opinion Order something that is easy, on the pocket, to eat, which enables a smooth conversation and which you have already tried. Happy Dating & a happy weekend – Team Meanublob


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