Yup, you guys were right. I cut meat from my diet.
As I noted yesterday, it has only been a little over a month, but I am really liking the results so far. I have more energy, which is saying a lot, considering I’m constantly low on sleep these days. My stomach has felt really, really good compared to when I was eating meat. I feel… lighter? Does that make sense?
Anyway, I actually don’t miss the meat. I didn’t eat a ton of meat to begin with, to be honest. I have had two times I have missed being a carnivore. Early on, I realized I couldn’t conveniently go to Wawa and grab a turkey sandwich/sub. But quite honestly, I was just as happy with a Chobani, veggies and hummus, and some mangoes. The other time was a little run-in with some General Tso chicken, and it was the first time I thought, “Oh, darn. I can’t eat that anymore.”
Other than that, I don’t long for meat. It may have something to do with the facts I’ve been learning about plant-based diets, animal cruelty, world hunger, and hormones in our meat. Roll your eyes and call me a hippie, but all of this information lumped together made it easy for me to cut meat from my diet.
I got the side-eye from a lot of my friends and family when I made this decision. I had to derail a lot of myths and back up my stance with some facts I have learned the past few months. I’ve heard, “You’re a vegetarian? How do you LIVE?!”
I’m not going to die from a lack of protein. I know it’s important to ensure a vegetarian gets plenty of the protein, vitamin B12, calcium, and iron. I am paying close attention to my intake of all of these, and I am getting protein from eggs, nuts, whole grains, and legumes. I’ve been on a veggie overload… and there are no complaints here.
However, there are products from the vegetarian realm that should also be avoided.
I know soy isn’t good for a girl to load up on. This was one of my biggest concerns in going vegetarian, and I have done my research to stay on the safe side of the slippery slope that is soy in a vegetarian diet. Soy protein has been linked to stomach and intestinal difficulties as well as hormonal problems. I already have some issues in both departments, so soy kindasorta scares me. I’m working hard to read nutrition labels and not load up on all processed foods. Seitan, beans, quinoa, and broccoli are great soy alternatives, and everyone knows I love me some veggie quinoa bowls. Whey, eggs, and casein, all have more bio-available protein than soy, and they are major players in my pantry.
As a newbie, I’m still learning every day about what I need to fuel my body the right way.
And yeah, I know. I’m totally not hip with the whole “paleo trend.” To be honest, I’m really happy with my decision, and so is my body. As long as it continues to work and make me feel good while making a small difference in the world, I’m sticking with it.