I’m trying a vegetarian diet. I’ve been doing it for a bit and plan to stick to it pretty strictly for the first month. My goal isn’t to become a vegetarian. Instead, it’s to immerse myself into it so I’m forced to find out what foods I can eat to reach my nutrition goals without eating an animal to get there.
To be clear, I’m trying a vegetarian diet, not a vegan one. I’ll still be eating dairy in my normal amounts, plus eggs and honey. Once I’m done this experiment, I also know I’ll definitely go back to eating fish regularly. I haven’t decided whether or not I’ll eat fish in the midst of this experiment or not. I haven’t so far, and at the moment, I’m leaning toward “no”.
Why I’m Trying a Vegetarian Diet
There are actually a lot of reasons. I’ve been curious about trying a vegetarian diet for a while now. I feel that it’s more eco-friendly – something that is a growing concern with my lifestyle choices these days – and probably better for me, too. Then, in April, I read an article that really pushed me to get started.
The article talked about not only how important trying a vegetarian diet can be overall, but also especially for men. There’s this thing about being a man and eating meat that just seems to be pushed at us socially. It doesn’t feel manly to want a salad and fries instead of a burger. But then, when I really thought about it, am I really that insecure that I’d let manliness perceptions decide what I want to eat? Nope. Does eating vegetarian foods mean my only food option was a salad – I certainly hoped not!
What I Like About Eating a Vegetarian Diet
The first two days I was trying a vegetarian diet were really easy. Tofu, right? I cubed it up, tossed it in a pan with a mountain of vegetables and ate a massive amount of food. The next day, I had leftovers, plus eggs. After that, I felt like I’d drained my vegetarian know-how. Was that it? Would I be eating tofu and eggs with everything?
As it turns out, that’s not at all necessary. After eating very weird and eclectic meals for the following three days, I sat down and came up with a game plan. With Google and a good shopping list app, I came up with my strategy and found out that I could make a lot of meals that did or did not have animal-based products in them that still let me avoid poultry, pork, beef, and fish and still get my daily protein.
I thought I’d feel far hungrier than I did. While I did have to eat a lot more food to get full, I found that to be a bit of a benefit. I could have these massive meals and still keep my weight under control. Plus, my energy was way high. After getting through the initial big learning curve, the necessary learning has become more gradual, which I’ve enjoyed a lot. I know I’ll go back to eating meat, but I’m aiming to only eat fish regularly. The rest, I’ll save as a treat, particularly beef. Now that I’ve done this challenge, I feel confident that I can eat great, preserve muscle, keep up my energy, get full and be eco-friendly at the same time.