In 2017, I decided to cut meat out of my diet strictly as a cost-cutting measure because I have a very strict budget and since everything, except my pay, was going up, I had to make some cuts.
I already ate a lot of vegetables because veggies are cheap and filling and help you poop (more about poop later) and unless you dunk your vegetables in maple syrup or fry them in a vat of oil, vegetables are good for you.
So What is the Verdict?
Animals, you are safe. Cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, spinach, not so much.
I have no desire to go back to eating meat. I don’t miss it at all. That was pretty surprising. Switching to a plant-based diet was effortless. Nobody was more surprised than me! Now I am not going to preach to you like the newly converted, it’s up to you if you want to change your diet, but what I will say is that this was a very easy transition.
I wish I’d done this 30 years ago.
The first thing that happened was that after about four days, all my aches and pains disappeared. You know the inflammation you get just by aging. I still have the occasional pain, mostly from overdoing it in the pool or on the bike, but I no longer groan when I bend over to pick something off the floor. I don’t know if I lost any weight, cause I don’t weight myself (see this post for the reason why) but as I run out of estrogen, I am keeping the menopausal weight gain battle in check. My weight battle is a truce between North and South Korea instead of all out nuclear war. So, by my very flawed logic, vegetarianism prevents nuclear war!
What I like about this lifestyle is that it’s really hard to exceed your daily caloric intake for the day when you are eating a lot of vegetables. There are no calories or fat and not too much carb counting to keep track of because frankly, nobody should have to do complex math to figure out what to eat. Vegetables make you full, and you stay full for a very long time. Unless you are using very sweet sauces, eating veggies controls your blood sugar and keeps hunger in check. I used to be a chronic snacker, but no more. Another surprise.
I have always cooked from scratch because it’s cheaper and healthier so switching to this diet has been an easy transition for me. If you are considering eliminating meat or reducing the amount of meat in your diet, it might be a bit tough at the beginning but cooking from scratch is a skill and like anything new, it’s going to take some time, effort and planning to get good at it. My best advice is to spend a few hours of your weekend batch cooking and freezing individual meals.
I was genuinely surprised by how my body did not freak out when I gave up meat. I thought there would be some sort of detox like with sugar, but nope. It was like my brain rewired itself to actually crave vegetables. I get excited when I think of ways to cook and season broccoli. No, I am not drunk.
And Now the Part About Poop!
Naturally, there are all kinds of health benefits from eating vegetables. Lots of fibre and fibre means pooping. Apparently, as you age, doctors become very interested in your poop. Like weirdly interested in your poop. The whole not pooping thing is bad or having un fibrery poop can means bad things like colon cancer which kills a shit ton of people (oh come on, everyone likes a poop pun!). And of course the eating a lot of meat thing has been proven over and over and over again that too much meat can lead to cancer and cardiovascular disease, so even cutting back a little is a good thing.
So Let’s Summarize
- Less inflammation
- Stable blood sugar
- Less hunger
- Good poop
- Not dying young
It’s up to you to decide if you want to change your diet and all I can say is that I have nothing negative to report about my switch to a plant-based diet. As I see my own generation (Gen X) start to fall apart and sadly, die, I know this is the right choice for me. Perhaps it is the right choice for you.