Thursday, May 30, 2024

30 Day Vegetarian Challenge

Lentil Tacos - same texture as meat and SO MUCH MORE nutritious :)
Lentil Tacos – same texture as meat and SO MUCH MORE nutritious 🙂

I completed a 30 day vegetarian challenge back in January of this year. It was the best thing I ever did 🙂
There were several people at work who were going to complete the challenge. There were three options – 1 month of being vegan (plant based), 1 month of being vegetarian (eggs and dairy were okay to eat), and eating 1 plant based meal every day was the third option (for those who just couldn’t say adios to their meat)
To my surprise, a couple days in, Greg decided he wanted to complete the remainder of the challenge with me – what!? I couldn’t believe it. This is the same guy who made me PROMISE that taking a job at Vega wouldn’t turn me into a Vegan….(more on that later). We completed the challenge together and actually continued on for an extra couple of weeks since we were going to Mexico mid February and figured it would make sense to take the challenge all the way through til our vacation.

Quinoa Patties - hell ya!
Quinoa Patties – hell ya!

A few points to note about the month as a vegetarian. Greg and I both found that we felt like we had more energy and felt better overall. It was kind of a trade off for the first week or so because although the not having any meat in our systems helped with ease of digestion, adding lots of extra beans and legumes that we weren’t necessarily used to wasn’t the best thing for digestion either. They can wreak havoc on your belly, let me tell you!
What I found surprising was what happened when I reintroduced meat for the first time after 6 to weeks of not having any. When we got to Mexico, we were starving. We had agreed that we would reintroduce meat while we were on our vacation because at that time, we figured we would really be missing it and would want to indulge while we were on vacation with our families. The first thing we had when we got there were tacos (my absolute FAV!) We had pork, chicken and beef. About 15 mins after we ate, I honestly felt like I was going to die. I was bent over grabbing onto my stomach and couldn’t believe the amount of pain I was in (cramps). I couldn’t even walk back to our room, I had to sit for 10-15 mins and wait for the cramps to subside. I didn’t think omitting meat from my diet for 6 weeks and reintroducing it would have such an effect on my system ! That pretty much did it for me. I had no real desire to have meat anymore.
We have since started having fish and seafood (so I suppose we would be considered pescitarian). I found that was the only thing that I really missed. I know there are so many different opinions flying around about whether fish (salmon, tuna, etc) are healthy or not – but when I have them, I feel great. And the most important thing is what works for ME. It’s so important to listen to your body, and mine likes fish. That may change in the future, but for now, it’s a go!

Spicy Peanut Butter Brussels - holy CRAP. Recipe will be up soon :)
Spicy Peanut Butter Brussels – holy CRAP. Recipe will be up soon 🙂

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