Those of you who know me well know that I love to eat. I've never been one to be able to diet - I lack the needed discipline, oops! - or even cut back on foods that I love. When I get a craving for something, I eat it. I'm a self proclaimed foodie who'll eat anything. Recently, I forewent this thinking and ditched meat for eight days. Here's what happened.
Growing up, my family and I ate meat at every meal. It was simply a staple in our diet. As I've grown, I've learned about the concept of supply & demand and agriculture - I am the daughter of a farmer, after all. When I started cooking on my own, I started participating in Meat-Free Monday, an initiative to cut back on the demand for meat. This has been pretty successful since we started a while back, and while I know I might not be making the biggest impact, you have to start somewhere.
A couple weeks back, I decided to kick it up a notch and went meat-free for eight days. I wasn't shooting for a certain amount of days or measure of time. I just knew that I wanted to try going meat-free for more than a Monday.
What did I learn? A lot. (Just a quick disclaimer: what I learned may be just what happened to my body and may not affect everyone the same. I just know how my body felt after eight days.) I felt less bloated. This may be due to the fact that the meals I was preparing were generally healthier and contained more fresh veggies, or due to the fact that I cut meat. But either way I felt more myself than I had in a long time.
I also felt tired. This made me realize that a lot of my protein/energy came from the meat I was consuming. Realizing this made me want to find other sources of protein. I started drinking protein smoothies for breakfast and I could automatically feel a difference in energy than the days I simply ate toast or a bagel. I incorporated beans into more meals. I really, really came to love spicy black beans. During my meat cleanse I still ate eggs so these, too, became a staple in my diet. Once I started incorporating more alternative forms of protein into my diet my energy levels bounced back.
I also learned that vegetarian food items can be good. Like really good. I ate the best brunch of my life at Wild Eggs when I was on my vegetarian binge and made some of my favorite meals at home that I know I'll incorporate into normal weeks in the future. I learned that a meal doesn't have to have meat to be delicious and satisfying.
What I learned more than anything was that if I put my mind to something, I can do it. I never thought I could go an extended amount of time without anything (like I said, I lack self-discipline), but through this brief exercise I was able to know that I can do something when I put my mind to it. I don't plan to forgo meat for always and eternity (does anyone else love Holes or is that just me?) but I know that I can put my stamp on the supply & demand of meat by cutting it out on Mondays and certain weeks of my choosing. :) This was such an empowering exercise and I'm so glad I did it. Here's to more meat-free weeks!
Hi, I'm Madeline
Just a Kentucky girl blogging about her favorite things. Welcome to Mad's Muses!
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