A few months ago I made the decision to transition to eating a plant-based diet. I’ve attempted this a few times before but unfortunately could never fully commit and always found myself back in old ways. I continuously made excuses about why I wasn’t following through but that’s exactly what they were: EXCUSES! Something finally clicked inside me earlier this year after reading an article about how many animals you will eat in your life time if you are a ‘meat-eater’. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it when the numbers got involved and was completely disgusted with myself.
So, I stopped eating beef, pork, and chicken. I gave up beef & pork instantly but gave myself a few weeks to phase out chicken. In the beginning, I went through phases of terrible meat cravings. I would just be sitting at work absolutely craving chicken wings. Dreaming about bacon. Salivating over a steak Chipotle bowl. Those were the 3 main things I was missing but I’m so relieved and happy to say that the cravings finally passed! I mastered the art that is buffalo cauliflower bites, tried some fake bacon, and don’t even have to pay extra for guac anymore! Now don’t get me wrong, I still would love to eat those foods if they are in front of me but I choose not to because I truly do believe in this lifestyle and want to stick to it. A trick that I found works for me when a craving strikes is to down a glass of water and step outside for a minute to remind myself why I’m doing this.
Why am I doing this? At first, it was all to all benefit my running. After reading Eat & Run and No Meat Athlete, I I wanted to see how adopting a plant-based lifestyle would affect my running. Scott Jurek and Matt Frazier seemed to have amazing results so I was curious to see what would happen to myself. Slowly, I felt my recovery times after hard or long runs improving. I was running 50+ mile a week and my body was still feeling great. Best of all, I was dropping some lbs without even trying. The only difference from my last training round to this one was my diet and clearly it was working. I knew that I had made the right decision which made it easier.
After doing more reading/ researching, documentary watching, and soul searching, I’ve come to realize that the reasoning behind making lifestyle change and sticking to it is more ethical than to benefit my running (that’s just a added bonus). I knew how messed up the meat/dairy/egg industries were but always turned a blind eye to it because I liked the taste of what I was eating. It absolutely disgusts me and breaks my heart. It’s not okay. Plain and simple. So, I don’t want to contribute to that anymore. That doesn’t mean that I’m going to try to make you do the same or judge you. Sometimes I don’t want to tell people that I’ve decided to stop eating meat because I don’t want to be judged or asked 1,000 questions. So let’s all agree to be judgement-free!
I’m on my way to going completely plant-based but it’s all in due time. The hardest for me to imagine giving up is seafood. For anyone who knows me, you know that I’ve been the biggest lobster and steamers lover since I was born. I’m pretty sure I’ve had lobster each year for my birthday since I could chew. So, of course I had to buy the Brooks Lobster Launch 2’s when they came out! Dairy and eggs have been easier to use less of as I’ve never been a milk drinker and when I think about the conditions that chickens in the egg industry have to endure it makes me want to cry and not eat them. The 2nd hardest to go will be cheese. I’m addicted, it’s true. But I’m determined to cut that out eventually, too. I wish I could say I could just give up these like I did meat but when I try to go cold turkey, I fail, so I am setting myself up for success.
Anyway, I know my goals won’t happen overnight but I’m working at it every day. Slowly but surely I will get there! I’m excited to see more changes as I continue on this journey and can’t wait for the day that I accomplish what I’m after. I just know that I’m loving including more veggies in my diet & trying out so many new recipes and plan to keep on veggin’!
P.S.- Any tips/recipes are welcome and appreciated!