I made a decision about 4 months ago to give up meat/meat-by-products and it has been one of the best decisions I could have ever made for my body and mind. While it hasn’t been entirely effortless, it’s somehow easier than dealing with eating meat. I’ll explain that in a minute tho.
I decided to do this because I have been feeling more and more crappy after eating any type of dairy and I want to get my acne under control. So I was already cutting out most dairy, but dairy is in EVERYTHING!!! It’s hidden in tortilla chips, candy, etc – it’s everywhere in one form or another. And I want to get rid of all those extra hormones so I can see how my acne and body improves.
To be real, I don’t have it as bad as some people, but I do get bad cystic hormonal acne and, as anyone with acne knows, sometimes it’s hard to face the world with giant mountains on your face. Truth.
Aside from the acne dilemma, I want to live a long and healthy life – and studies have shown that eating a crap load of plants is the best way to do that. And I already liked plants a lot anyway. 🙂
But when I say I went “mostly” plant-based, you’ll see at the end of this what I’m not giving up and why 😉
Here are a few of the things I have learned about myself and my body in the past few months.
My mind is stronger than I thought it was
I consider myself a very strong-minded person, but I never thought I’d be someone to give up meat. I mean seriously…hamburgers, bacon, eggs…I love these! Honestly I thought it would be so much harder than it actually was to give up my daily pizza eggs (3 eggs, spinach, a little cheese and pepperoni…uggghhhh so good!!!) and cheesy pizza Fridays.
But I quit it all cold turkey and it was just a switch in my mind that I flipped.
Because I want a long life.
Many of you don’t know but my mom recently passed after her two year battle with cancer. And no, she didn’t get it from eating meat lol, but nonetheless she got it. Seeing her go through all that…I can’t live that or put my family through that. So I’m doing what I can to prevent it.
That’s why I need to eat like I actually want to live long and that’s probably why it was so easy for me give it up. Because more than anything else I want to enjoy a long, healthy life with the people I love.
This was just another lesson for me in how, when you really want something, you will make time, put in the effort and do whatever it takes to achieve it. I surprised myself in doing this and that’s always a nice feeling.
My hair loves plants
This wasn’t something I expected, but my hair is freaking loving all these plants!!
It’s softer and shinier than ever. If you saw my Instagram story on it, you know how excited I was! I’ve been growing out my hair after lightening it for so long and it finally feels healthy again.
This is something that I realized after about a month in and it’s so nice! I do notice that my hair’s oil production is different than before, but I can’t say if it’s more or less. Seems to be about that same.
I still wash my hair about every 4 days and the smell of my hair on day 3-4 is a little different now. Most people might not notice this but I HATE the smell of dirty hair so I notice all these tiny things
(and yes I know it’s weird that I hate the smell of unwashed hair but I only wash my hair every 4 days…it’s the life I live lol).
Where’d all this energy come from?
Seriously. Just so much more energy. I don’t feel weighed down, unless I eat too many fried foods. I knew this would be a side effect but wow! It’s better than I had imagined. I can make it through an entire day and still have energy. I probably wouldn’t even need to drink coffee but I just love it so much so I’m still drinking!
In the gym I could go forever! So much energy.
And the focus I have now is so much better too. I’m slow to give all the credit to plants, but it’s the only real change I’ve made recently so that must be it.
Plant-based chicks can still lift like bosses
One of my biggest concerns.
I was worried I would start to feel weaker without meat or that maybe my bones would start snapping left and right (I know, crazy to think that would happen in just a few months but we all have fears, people!).
To be real though, I have seen very few plant-based ladies who are/look strong. Most of them have body types that do not appeal to me.
I admire the body type of chicks who’s thighs could lift a house.
And while I’m not sure I will ever get to that point, that’s what I’m going for. 🙂
I didn’t want to end up looking weak. I wanted to continue being strong. And that’s what I’m still doing.
Weirdly, I’m getting more protein now eating plants than I was eating my previous diet, which is great considering that’s one of people’s biggest fears about going plant-based.
Yes, I am still feeding my muscles 😉 And the plant protein is horrible but I’ve gotten used to it. I rarely drink it tho.
People are generally supportive and interested
This was something I was really nervous about, especially since I’m married and didn’t have any intentions of forcing my husband to do this with me. But he has been super supportive and has jumped on board. He eats meat when we go out and I will pick him up non-plant treats sometimes, but at home he eats the same food I do.
My friends and family have been supportive too, which really says a lot about them. (Thanks you guys!)
I expected people to be like the internet trolls…a bunch of haters and judging me but apparently I’m surrounded by really good people! Yay for me! That’s not to say they don’t get in their jokes – but I share the same memes so it’s all good.
Most people just want to know what kind of food I do eat and how it all works, which I’m happy to talk about. But I’m always remembering those memes that say…
“You know how you know someone’s vegan? Don’t worry they’ll tell you.” -.-
Yeah…I don’t want to be that person so I just keep my mouth shut unless someone asks. I’m not holier-than-thou. I’m just another chick trying to figure it out.
Food guilt is almost non-existent
This is a HUGE perk. Since I don’t eat meat or cheese, most of the foods I eat are naturally low in calories. That means I can eat a crap ton of food and not feel bad about it.
I used to feel at least a little guilty about eating some foods. Now – nada! It’s so refreshing to not worry if I’m eating too many calories or too much fat or if I’ll feel crappy after I eat it. Because most of the time the answer is no.
I’ve been treating my body well and it has been staying steady in weight and appearance.
(Unless I eat beans. Beans don’t agree with my stomach. The most I can do is lentils).
I initially lost 5 lbs when I was figuring out what to eat and how much (not my intention), but I gained it back once my eating evened out. And yes, I did periodically track my weight because I was worried I wouldn’t get enough calories but I do.
I feel like my body composition is the best it’s ever been and that’s because of all the plants.
Some things are not worth giving up
I like to take the label of “plant-based” rather than “vegan” because I’m not vegan.
Yes, food labeled vegan is just easier and convenient for me when shopping, but saying I’m vegan is committing to something that I don’t want to commit to. While I do eat mostly all plants, there are some things I won’t be giving up.
I am a person who lives to eat and if I was unhappy with my food, life would be unhappy and I want to live that long and HAPPY life.
When we travel to other countries I don’t intend on forgoing traditional dishes just because they are made with meat – I want to taste the world! We are currently in Vietnam and I definitely intend on trying tradition Pho that’s made with beef/pork and any other traditional dishes.
Plus I’m finding here you can’t get any of that vegan meat or vegan cheese so that’ll be something new to navigate. And asking for “no meat” here sometimes means stuff is still cooked in chicken broth or has fish sauce. It’s unavoidable when going out. I can’t be worried about that.
The biggest thing for me tho… I’m a huge pizza fan and I actually like the vegan cheese a lot but I cannot live without pepperoni on my pizza.
I tried all the ways people on the internet said to sauté veggies or vegan-ize pizza but nothing can match the fat and spice of real pepperoni. Giving that up for 4 months made me not excited about pizza night – and I once looked forward to it all week long!! But when I added just a little pepperoni back in, it’s like I let life back in.
Hah! Serioulsy. Pizza is life.
But it’s mostly plants for me now. And I’m cool with that.
Are you plant-based, vegan, vegetarian? I’d love to know your fav recipes you think I should try. That’s been so fun for me – cooking with new spices and try lots of new foods.
Let me know in the comments!