It blows my mind that I went a WHOLE year without eating meat and I’m pretty proud of that. It feels just like yesterday that I started this journey. In the beginning of August 2017, I decided to try a vegetarian diet (no meat). In this blog post, I share why I did it, how my family and friends reacted, the struggles I faced, the benefits I experienced, and my future plans.
Vegan: Someone who doesn’t eat any animal products (no meat, no eggs, no milk, no cheese, no dairy)
Vegetarian: Someone who doesn’t eat any animal meat, but may still eat dairy.
The exact moment I stopped eating meat was right after watching a documentary called What The Health on Netflix. I watched it with my husband and we, both, tried a vegan diet for a whole week. I knew from the start, I would never be 100% vegan, but my husband really wanted to try it. After that 1st week of being vegan, I started a vegetarian diet and my husband went back to eating meat after a month of eating vegetarian.
For the whole year, I eliminated meat, yogurt, and milk from my diet. I had one egg about every 4 months and if a recipe had dairy in it, I didn’t worry about it. I cut down on cheese drastically (only on pastas if I ate out and on pizza).
If you haven’t watched What the Health, please do so! I;m not trying to convince anyone to stop eating meat, but the documentary talks truth about the United States Healthcare system and information on preventing and even reversing chronic diseases. You can definitely learn a lot from it and it will open your eyes to the world around you.
I work in healthcare, and there is one part of the documentary where I got goosebumps because I could not believe what I was watching. I started to doubt everything I ever learned about our health, everything the government tells us, and even what doctors say.
I started my vegetarian journey for myself and my overall health. Now, I also do it for the animals, our environment, and to be an example for my daughter.
If you watch the documentary, there’s a pretty good chance you will stop eating meat or at least cut down the times you eat it! Don’t worry, if you decide to continue eating meat, we can still be friends 😉
How did family/ friends react?
Besides “How do you get your protein?” this is the next most asked question.
My husband, although he went back to eating meat, is always very understanding of my decision and is very supportive. My husband actually has decided to go vegetarian as of late July 2018!
My parents were not surprised since I attempted being vegetarian once before in 2014. They don’t fully understand why I don’t eat meat or why I limit my dairy, but they don’t judge. My mom is always very accommodating when I’m vising and both my parents and siblings respect my decision.
My in-laws have no idea why I’m vegetarianand my husband has tried to explain it to them.
My friends had many questions and didn’t understand but again are respectful of my decision.
I have never felt awkward or weird telling anyone that I don’t eat meat.
The first time around (2014), I failed because I ate out a lot and was kind-of addicted to fast food (chicken burgers, chicken tenders, pepperoni pizza, gyros, and so on) and I didn’t like salads because I hated the taste of every salad dressing out there (still do, but I eat salads without dressing now).
This time around, I got past the fast-food cravings and I struggled with ideas on what to eat. I didn’t cook much at home to begin with because my parents live around the corner and always share food! AND I just never paid attention to my mom the times she tried to teach me.
At first, I was just eating out at places like Chipotle and noodles and Company A LOT. I was eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, soups, and pastas for lunches. My mom would cook me beans,rice and veggies several times per week too.
I started to look up recipes on Pinterest, and fell in love with cooking! Who would of thought that I (who never liked nor knew about cooking) would love it so much! I also learned what I need to eat for protein and etc. and that just changed it all for me. I knew I was going to make it though after all.
I was so dedicated to sticking to a vegetarian diet, that I learned to ignore meat cravings. I always reminded myself of why I was doing this and the cravings vanished right away. That was actually not a problem for me.
Fun fact: Taquero parties (party where there is someone making tacos for all guests) were my absolute favorite before becoming vegetarian. TWO weeks in, I attended a party that had a taquero and the tacos looked amazing! And guess what? I ate a plate of Mexican rice with salsa on it.
I always eat before going to a party. Being vegetarian made me realize how much people eat meat! Each party I went to this past year had not just one, but several kinds of meats. Only ONE party had vegetables (because they had wings and their order came with veggies haha).
My chronic back pain disappeared after I stopped eating meat. I struggled with chronic back pain for about 3-4 years prior to becoming vegetarian and I would complain about it all the time. Sometimes it was so severe to the point where I could not sleep at night and sometimes it would make me feel lightheaded and nauseous. Although it wasn’t everyday, it was several times per week for years. The pain is gone! It’s the best thing ever. Now, sometimes I go to bed and I ask my husband “remember the times I would complain of back pain and now I am pain free?”
Don’t be under the impression that I NEVER have back pain now. Although I have it months in between, it’s far less than before that it feels like it never happens anymore.
My acne has cleared up after I stopped eating meat. This is the main reason I wanted to become vegetarian in 2014. I’ve struggled with acne and acne scarring since the age of 12! I have oily skin too. My skin doesn’t get too oily anymore, but I still have oily skin. My acne has definitely cleared up a lot more, but I still get new pimples during the time of the month. And for my scars, they are still there (I have to do something about that).
My cholesterol has improved after I stopped eating meat.
I’ve never had high cholesterol but my numbers show improvement.
May 2018 (9 months vegetarian):
Glucose 85 (normal range 0-99)
|Cholesterol||89 mg/dL||0 – 199 mg/dL|
|Triglycerides||55 mg/dL||30 – 150 mg/dL|
|HDL||44 mg/dL||>=41 mg/dL|
|LDL Calculated||34 mg/dL||0 – 99 mg/dL|
September 2017 (1 month vegetarian):
Glucose 86 (normal range 0-99)
|Cholesterol||93 mg/dL||0 – 199 mg/dL|
|Triglycerides||54 mg/dL||30 – 150 mg/dL|
|HDL||44 mg/dL||>=41 mg/dL|
|LDL Calculated||38 mg/dL||0 – 99 mg/dL|
July 2016 (eating meat):
Glucose 87 (normal range 0-99)
|Cholesterol||127 mg/dL||0 – 199 mg/dL|
|Triglycerides||48 mg/dL||30 – 150 mg/dL|
|HDL||51 mg/dL||>=41 mg/dL|
|LDL Calculated||66 mg/dL||0 – 99 mg/dL|
My energy levels have increased after I stopped eating meat.
This I noticed right away on the first week, but specially when not eating processed foods too. It’s really great! I’ve noticed even a difference with my memory haha. Sad but true- I’m forgetful.
I don’t crave fast food after I stopped eating meat.
Since my diet includes a lot of fruits and vegetables, I don’t crave fast foods anymore. Give me some veggies, beans, and rice and I’ll be happy 🙂
My Future Plans
I am in love with eating vegetarian! I don’t see myself eating meat any time soon. Although, the thought of eating meat terrifies me right now, I’m never going to say never. Personally, if your going to eat meat, I think 3-4 servings of meat per month is okay. Meat is really not necessary in my opinion.
For next year, I will try to eat less dairy than what I already do. I’m a sucker for all kinds of cakes, donuts, muffins, and any pastry. Since most have dairy, I will try to learn how to bake without dairy. That will be fun!
Cheers to another year of no meat! Animals have families and feelings too.
I always appreciate a comment below 🙂
I would love to know if you have watched the documentary What The Health or if you will be watching it after reading this blog post.
Are you vegetarian or vegan?
Thank you for reading! If you would like to see more, follow me on Instagram @Somedayillbeontime, like my page on Facebook @Somedaillbeontime, and follow me on Pinterest @Somedayillbeontime. I am also on Bloglovin’.