Monday, March 5, 2012

No Meat March

I really wanted to join Amanda and the Vegan Challenge for March, but I just don't know if I am ready for that step just yet.  Don't get me wrong, I would love to try a vegan diet, and a month is great timeline - enough time to adjust to the way of eating and see some results (or changes in behaviors, mental and physical feelings, energy levels, etc...) - but I just didn't prepare like I needed to.  I still had yogurts and cheeses I wanted to eat, I wasn't 100% ready to give up eggs and fish.  So I am going to focus on just the meat thing this month - chicken, turkey, red meat, bacon, etc...
Would you be able to let these go bad in the fridge? I know I can't!!
For the past 5 days I have maintained a pescatarian diet, and if you have been following me for a little while, you might remember me trying out this way of eating last summer - yeah, it didn't even last a week...and if I have to be honest, I tried a chicken sausage sample at Costco on Sunday....see meat is the hardest thing for me to give up.  Meat has always been a part of my diet, yes I have (and still do for the most part) given up red meat completely, but chicken and turkey have been staples since before I can remember.

Why now you might ask? Is it because of Lent? Am I just trying to play along? 

Well, I it is sort of in alignment with Amanda's vegan challenge, and although I am catholic, it is not something I am giving up for Lent - it is actually the beginning of a few allergy challenges I would really like to undergo (meat-free, dairy-free, gluten-free).  I figure this will be the easier of the challenges I would like to undergo, and therefore a good building block for some diet control.  Ever since I have gotten to a happier place with my eating, I have lost a lot of the regimented control I put on food.  I still have fear foods, but I don't necessarily ban them - I eat them when they are in front of me, and then I feel bad afterwards.  The thing is, I don't ever want to be back in that neurotic mindset, but I need to rediscover intuitive and thoughtful food habits.  

I keep putting intuitive/thoughtful eating on my monthly goals (which I seem to have slacked on writing out), because it is still an area I need to work on.  I think this "No Meat March" will be a great start to watching what I am about to grab on my plate and put in my body.  I have always had some issues that I believe will be best dealt with on a gluten-free diet, and that I control by eating very little dairy (I almost always drink almond milk, but I enjoy some good cheese, skim milk in my coffee, and yogurts, which are not too bad on the stomach), so I am really excited to get into those challenges - but for right now, the no-meat is kind of like "base building" in marathon training - you need to train your mind and body to take the change before you can jump into more difficult workouts/changes.

So what do I hope to gain from all of this, besides a clearer mindset on food choices? Well I want to be putting things into my body, that will react well with my body, and there are a lot of studies out there toting the benefits of a no-meat diet protecting against diseases such as cancer and heart disease, and that a vegetarian type diet can lead to lower cholesterol and weight (quick read HERE).  

All-in-all, I am curious to see if I notice any changes in my daily energy, physical feelings, mental feelings - will I feel more refreshed? 

What have I been eating lately? I have been having tofu, tempeh, beans, yogurt, eggs, fish (salmon, swordfish, tuna).  I am not noticing any real changes thus far, but I also didn't start until last Wednesday evening.  If I concoct a recipe worth publishing, I will most definitely fill you all in.

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Have you tried any 30-day challenges focused around food choices?


Are you vegetarian, vegan or pescatarian? What if your favorite dinner idea/protein source?


6 comments:

  1. I am an eater of all things now. Truth be told I eat more kinds of meats than EVER before in my life. Though I was a vegetarian for 5 years of my life. I just can't seem to go back. Pregnancy made my crave milk, eggs and cheese - so my attempts at cutting out more animal products fell by the wayside. I was never a veg for animal rights (though it does make me sad) my main reasons were that eating meat wasn't economical. Nor was in environmentally friendly....nor healthy for that matter. Maybe I should try to cut some meats out!.

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  2. I just blogged my personal 10 day no meat challenge with the more than I realized variety of vegetarian types. Good luck with your challenge!

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  3. agreed it is a big shift, but for some folks that is exactly what we need so that we don't allow ourselves to get in to "have" to have foods.

    That being said just switching to vegetarian is huge for a lot of us. Makes us really think about our meals a lot more! i had fun in the kitchen last week http://www.runtothefinish.com/2012/03/vegan-week-one-food.html

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  4. Oh wow!!! Good luck friend! I am definitely pulling for you and will e interested to read about your experience! I have realized that I have given up most meat...well actually my dad noticed last time I was home. Haha. I would honestly love to try and give it up completely but I need toget better at getting in protein from other sources...more chobani I guess ;) Good luck!!

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  5. I am pretty much the worst eater on the planet, I need to restructure my eating habits. I just eat whatever I feel like having, I really should put more thought into eating fresh/clean things.

    I have never done any of these limiting challenges because I'd probably fail.

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