Today marks a few things: the summer solstice, the six month anniversary of the Mayan apocalypse, and randomly, the six month anniversary of my decision to stop eating meat.
I lived most of my life about as close to the opposite of a vegetarian as one can get, but the idea had been in my head for a while before one day all of the influences lined up and I decided to see how it would go. I didn’t have a specific duration in mind, but I knew I had to go at least two weeks just to see if I felt any differently. I’ve never been the cooking type, so I knew it was going to be difficult if for no other reason than the ratio of vegetarian easy food to all easy food. Not sure what that ratio is, but it’s low.
My cooking has increased somewhat, but more than that has been a forced consideration of what to buy at the grocery store for a person that no longer has fast food as an option. I had neglected the produce section for far too long. I still default to those packaged steamable bags of vegetables so as to assuage the effects of my laziness while still maintaining the option of being lazy, which is one of my core values.
Of note is that I remain far from a vegan, as cutting out all dairy products was more work than I was willing to do for phase one of my attempt to confront this jog toward thirty with any kind of preparedness. I’m a sucker for cheese. I mean without the option of eating cheese, how’s a person supposed to order a pizza? And remember, laziness is a core value of mine. I’ll let you know when I figure out what another one is. So yeah, pizza still happens every now and then, but I throw broccoli on that bitch, and I have to think the florets sweep all the goo away before it sinks in to my two-pack. Then there’s the whole bread thing, which manifests itself mostly in the form of these new (to me) thin pretzel crisp things that come in the shiny laminated bag. Don’t know the brand, wouldn’t promote it if I did. Oh, and I’m a cookie monster, but only when they’re available (I have the willpower and hypocrisy to avoid buying them). And ice cream… yeah I’m not ready to go vegan. More power to those that are. Seriously, respect.
So, how do I feel after six months? Better. I’ve probably only lost a few pounds, but that’s more likely due to a couple months of taking a non-workout streak one day at a time and the recurrence of this forsaken plantar fasciitis, which I’ve gone through a few years ago. It came back at some point around March, which caused me to run only inconsistently, sometimes needing six days off to let my heel get back to the point of even feeling able to run again. After a recent race, which I had to take a week off prior to for reasons of pain, and an ill-advised and impromptu 10k through three counties (sounds way more impressive than it was, but I’m kind of a douche bag like that) three days later, the foot got to the point where I had to stop everything. No running, no standing more than I already had to, no being barefoot. This lasted six weeks. I got back into it the other day, and aside from looking to the east and seeing a shadow that looked like an alcoholic smoker trying desperately to beat the closest liquor store’s closing time, it went well. I’m rambling – the point is that I think I’d have probably lost a solid 10 pounds if that’s what I was going for and my left foot hadn’t turned heel.
The best way to describe the difference I feel after six months of not eating meat is the difference between going out to a restaurant and ordering a coke and going out to a restaurant and ordering a water. Same meal, but going with water always makes you feel a little bit cleaner on the inside. Cuz I mean, you’re already at a restaurant, so odds are the food is loaded with salt and calories and the portions are double or triple what they need to be. But it’s that damn coke that always puts you in that “why did I do this” mode. Ok, it’s those damn cokes. Honesty. My second core value. See, we’re making progress.
Anyway, thanks for reading. If anyone is wondering what the tipping point was that put me in the frame of mind to stop pondering going veg and actually doing it, check out Rich Roll’s podcast (entitled The Rich Roll Podcast) episode 7 with Michael Greger, M.D. Greger is the guy who runs NutritionFacts.org, and honestly if you don’t want to listen to the podcast (although I really do like Rich Roll, just can’t go to his level of commitment) I would strongly recommend a perusal of Greger’s website. Information is king, especially as we continue to move toward another informational dark age. That’s another topic. Cheers.