Hello Monday, Good-bye Vegetarian.

It was 7pm last night, me and Matt were at Pizza Hut, and as we were ordering toppings, then he asked me what I wanted.  I had lasted exactly one week to the hour of no meat.  I went for it, ham and pineapple.

In my seven days away from my comfort food, I learned several things about eating meat, or not eating meat. 

1. It can be done.  I realized that I do not have to have meat every meal, that there are some other options I can choose and enjoy.  I never would have tried the veggie chili used in the taco salad at McAllisters if I hadn’t done this experiment.  I will probably order it rather than with meat from now on.

2. I consumed more calories when I went vegetarian.  I’m a VERY picky eater.  Also, I’m not a big carb eater (other than a few favorite foods I do eat).  So, if you take out meat, it doesn’t leave me with many options, so I found myself eating anything and everything in sight, aka, carbs carbs carbs.  If you do like tuna, and fish, and you can eat shellfish without your throat swelling up, going vegetarian may go better for you.  If you like whole grains like quinoa and rice, or most types of beans, again, this diet may work.

3. The energy thing didn’t work for me.  One reason why I tried this diet was the allegation from some saying that they felt like they had more energy and just felt overall better.  I didn’t.  I actually felt tired (however, I must say I’ve come down with a cold which could be the cause of that).  But eating all of the carbs just made me feel sluggish and fluffy (my nice way of saying I felt bloated and pudgy).

4. I don’t think it’s meat that’s a bad thing, it’s the type of meat that could be.  I won’t lie, after eating a burger and fries, I will feel a little sluggish. However, there are a lot of lean meats that I get that do not have that effect on me.  I get primarily grass fed, farm raised red meat, which has no chemicals or preservatives in it.  It’s leaner than any beef you can get at the grocery store.  I also get bison, elk, and deer meat which are leaner than red meat.  These meats can leave me full, yet never sluggish. As for chicken, I try to avoid it because I cannot find free range without costing me out the wazoo. Grocery store chickens are generally fed “non food” (which can range from ground up cement to animal feces) and injected with hormones.  No thanks. My question is for the vegetarians who said that they feel better without meat, is what kind of meat were you eating prior?

5.  Choosing how you eat needs to be more about lifestyle than “choice.”  If I went vegetarian for the rest of my life, I would gain 10-15 lbs a year, guaranteed.  That’s including working out.  I eat cleaner when I eat meat.  Others may eat cleaner without meat in their diet.  I would suggest for one to do research in the foods they eat or would like to eat and base your diet on what is healthiest for you,  yet something you can live with.  Everyone can agree that having an unbearable diet will not last long. 

I’m really glad I took this challenge because it has helped me reflect my own diet.  I know areas I need to improve, as well as new foods I can implement into my diet so I don’t get bored. 

I got a tip of the Paleo diet (Caveman diet) that I may try next.  If anyone has any diets they are interested in or have heard of, let me know, I will do my best at giving it a whirl. 

Until the next one, I’ll be grabbing me a sandwich… with meat.

Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

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