Disclaimer: This post was not made with the intention to bash meat-eaters. I am simply sharing my experience, with the hope that you will be informed and inspired. Meat eaters and non-meat eaters [is that a word?] are all welcomed here! 🙂
Where do you get your protein? What do you eat? So that’s why you’re so small… You need some meat on your bones!! Can I be honest? I never thought I would be faced with answering questions about veganism or vegetarianism, because I never thought I would stop eating meat. Not for a day, or a week, and definitely not a full year!
So what happened? I decided to try no-meat for one week, as a fast. I liked it much more than I thought I would. Surprisingly, I discovered that I really could live without meat.
Wait. I need to rewind. I can’t go any further without expressing how much of a meat eater I really was. I’ve only had cheese pizza twice in my life, because I wouldn’t eat pizza without meat on it (and pizza has always been my favorite food!). I remember almost going one day without meat, and then going into the kitchen to get a slice of ham… because what’s a day without meat? Thanks to my granny 🙂 I was eating chicken and sucking bones before I ever had teeth!
Eating meat was all I knew. I actually thought not eating meat was silly, over-the-top, and I couldn’t understand it. I even made jokes about vegetarians 🙁 But after a few years of research, this lifestyle became more and more intriguing. It was something I wanted to try, but I wasn’t fully committed to making that step.
A few days before I went vegan, Sonic had their famous 50 cent corn dogs, and I couldn’t resist. I ate 7 of them. No, that’s not a typo. I felt so full and stuffed. It reminded me of how I always felt on Thanksgiving, after gobbling down so much food. It reminded me of how lately, I had started feeling nauseous at times after eating fried chicken.
So what changed once I stopped eating meat?
- I was able to sleep again. For so many years, it would take me forever to go to sleep – sometimes up to 3 hours. If I woke up in the night, which was often, I couldn’t fall back to sleep. It was normal for me to go days without getting enough sleep. I stopped eating meat, and I have slept better than I have in years.
- I have more energy. The foods I eat now fuel me, instead of take away from me.
- My recovery time after work-outs is much better! No more being sore for 2-3 days after a strenuous work-out. I am also able to run at whatever time of day I please, as opposed to only running in the morning or afternoons. Before I stopped eating meat, I couldn’t run in the evening, or I couldn’t run as long, because I would be so bogged down and drained. But now, I can run in the evening, even after eating.
- My eye sight has improved! I will be visiting the eye doctor soon to get actual numbers. But I have noticed that things that I were once not able to see, are much clearer.
- My digestion has improved! And that’s all I’ll say about that.
- I have noticed that I’m more sensitive to my body’s needs. For example, I am able to tell if I haven’t had enough water at a certain part throughout the day. Or, if my fierce stomach pains [and next-day break-out] is because I ate something with dairy in it. What’s that smell? Oh, that’s me not eating meat and having stronger senses.
- I’m pretty much frightened by most animals, so I was never a big animal person. However, I see them in a new light now. Learning about what they go through, just so we can have BBQ or ice cream, really opened my eyes. I have more compassion towards animals, which I never thought I would say!
- I just feel… better. Not eating meat gives me a sense of fulfillment and clarity that I can’t really put into words. Veganism makes me feel pure and clean.
Needless to say, not eating meat has made such a difference in my life. A lot of people ask me what the difference between being vegan and vegetarian is. A vegetarian diet is not eating meat. A vegan diet is not eating meat or anything else that comes from an animal [eggs, dairy, honey, etc.]. For the first 3 months of my journey, I was vegan, then vegetarian, and then vegan again. I’ve pretty much switched between the two for the past year.
Will I ever go back to eating meat? My mom always says, “Don’t say what you’ll never do.” When I stopped getting my hair chemically processed, I knew after some time that I never wanted to get a relaxer again. #Natural4Life #HappilyNappy … I digress. During the few times that I did eat meat during the past year (about 6 times), it just didn’t feel right. It provoked feelings of nausea, fullness and guilt. And it didn’t taste the same! As of right now, I’m content with not eating meat and during this 2nd year, I would like to consistently eat a vegan diet, and not switch to vegetarian.
Many people ask if I miss eating meat. The only thing I missed was my meat lovers pizza! I recently discovered a vegan, supreme pizza from Daiya 🙂 What a blessing! I am celebrating my 1 Year VegiVersary with my favorite junk food and All-Star Weekend.
Stay tuned for more posts on the plant-based diet and different recipes and alternatives that I like to use! Please feel free to email me if you have any questions, or, would just like to talk! I won’t bite, I promise – I’m vegan 😀
“But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the royal rations of food and wine … Then Daniel asked … ‘Let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink.’ … At the end of ten days it was observed that they appeared better and fatter than all the young men who had been eating the royal rations.”
Daniel 1:8, 11–12, 15