The Decision Was Made
It’s been nearly a month since making the decision to go completely meat free in my eating.
I’m not putting a label on my eating such as vegan, but the more research I do, the more I lean towards a vegan diet.
This means I’m eliminating specific foods including red meat, white meat, fish, shellfish and anything that remotely resembles anything that was once a living, breathing creature.
It was a very personal decision and one I’m glad I made. I’m not jumping on some bandwagon saying everyone should go vegan. Yet, the more I research my decision, the more I realize what a great choice it is.
However, there is something I have watched happen over the last few weeks that I’m really frustrated with. Apparently, this is not uncommon when someone makes the kind of choice I made.
What I’m not happy with is that I pretty much let my eating go to the dogs. Although giving up meat was based on being kind to animals, respecting the planet and improving my health, I compromised on some eating that I long ago gave up.
As a result, I’ve been feeling sluggish, tired and not my usual energetic self. Yuk!
Quite some time ago, I gave up all dairy products, processed sugar and most pastas. In the last few weeks, since giving up meat, I once again started eating processed sugar. I’ve eaten more pasta than I care to admit. I’ve even eaten a fair amount of cheese.
Okay! Before anyone starts judging me for eating cheese, I’ve already said I’m not completely vegan, but definitely moving in that direction.
It’s not that giving up meat forced me to crave these other foods, but for some reason, I simply started making bad choices.
Reality Hit Me… Busted!
As I was eating a late-night bowl of salty pasta, I sort of “came to” and realized my healthy habits are quickly slipping… in a very dramatic way.
In making a decision that was health based, I also made many that were not.
There… I’ve done it. I’ve pulled my own covers and admitted to myself, and to the world (or at least the part of the world that is reading this) that I let my healthy habits slip.
Because I value my health and because I know how absolutely important making healthy choices are to my overall well-being, I’m making a public declaration.
Starting today, right this minute, I am committing to 30 days of not indulging at all in the following foods and additives.
- No dairy
- No processed sugar
- No pasta
Honesty Pays Off
I’m definitely not going to eat meat, but it’s the other foods I need to get really honest about.
What I am committing to is to eat at least 70% plant based foods with the other 30% unsalted nuts, non-dairy cheese and milks, beans and seeds.
What About Protein?
One of the greatest concerns people have when they eat vegan, or some level of vegan, is where their protein will come from. Truth be told, when you eat a lot of leafy green foods, you do get enough protein.
Add to that the beans, seeds and nuts, and you get plenty of healthy protein. Chia seeds are a great way to add protein and fiber to your diet.
There are plenty of alternatives to meat such as those offered by Morning Star Farms. I love the Grillers Crumbles when making a vegan chili, tacos, or anything that requires ground beef or turkey.
Is Vitamin Deficiency a Concern?
Another concern is B-12, iron and other necessary vitamins. I have a protocol of very high supplements from Shaklee.
I more than get my daily requirements taken care of by taking a super multivitamin, probiotics, B and D vitamins, Omega-3 and other needed supplements.
Alternate Dairy Products
Admittedly, I do love cheese. There are some great alternatives to processed cheese such as almond cheese. I have not had cow’s milk in years. Instead, I enjoy almond and coconut milk. I choose the unsweetened version in order not to get unwanted sugar in my system.
The bottom line is this, if you really want to eat healthy and get all the needed vitamins and minerals, a vegan diet can definitely give you what you need.
You may not want to go 100% vegan. Rather, you can slowly incorporate plant based foods into your diet as well as other items mentioned in this post. Over time, replace whatever is not supporting a healthy lifestyle with one that does.