Since Vegan Fest was incredibly motivating and quite a reminder of the prevalence of animal abuse, I decided to explore the idea of being vegetarian. I’ll be honest, I love meat. Chicken cooked nearly any way is going to be delicious to me. BUT, I can’t argue with the facts concerning their mistreatment. And since where you spend your money matters, I’ve decided to cut back on meat. After reading about 75% vegans and realizing that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing, I decided to just “opt out” of meat starting with one meal a day. (Here’s why it’s worth giving it up for even a few meals a week.) I’ve been really surprised with the results.
One Month of Being Part Time Vegetarian
The biggest result was how easy it was. Not feeling like I could never have meat again made it very easy to skip on it for a meal or two. I found not eating meat became easier and easier. The only result that could be called negative is I had to start taking iron supplements. That was definitely a previous issue brought more to light by my diet change. Ultimately, there’s no denying how much better my body feels. I know my initiative to exercise more has helped, but I definitely believe cutting back meat, and most importantly, adding more fruits and veggies, has led to a significant improvement to my overall health.
So what did I eat instead of meat?
- Almond milk & cereal
- Eggs on toast with avocado and honey
- Make ahead breakfast sandwich
- Bagel and cream cheese
- Banana with almond or peanut butter
- Really, anything with eggs
- Egg salad and fruit
- Big salad with lots of veggies
- Hummus and pita (or naan, our new favorite)
- Grilled peach sandwich (sooooo good)
*This is the meal I usually chose to eat meat.
Ultimately, it doesn’t necessarily make you healthier
You can eat nothing but Oreo cookies and be vegan…but you won’t be healthy. I think that’s a big misconception about vegetarian and vegan diets. You’re not going to be a million times healthier because of it. You might lose weight, but you could just as easily gain weight. Being vegan or vegetarian is to support the kind treatment of animals…not a weight loss diet. Be sure that if you begin to cut out meat you’re also supporting you body with healthy foods and vitamins. Going to see your doctor or doing a quality amount of research prior to starting will be worth it. You’re going to hate cutting out meat if it means you’re tired and feeling crappy all the time. You gotta take care of yourself before you take care of the farm animals.
Could you give up meat for one meal a day?