If you follow me on instagram, you’ve likely seen in my stories that I decided to try going meat-free for 30 days. This has been a long time coming. Between training for my second marathon in December, nursing Mieke and, well, generally getting older, my body has been feeling sluggish, heavy, and gross, and I knew I needed to mix things up. I’m by no means a dietitian or a nutritionist, but I decided to give it a go for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, though I know I’m only 10 weeks postpartum, I’ve been feeling incredibly heavy and bloated. I’ve had horrible IBS symptoms, and I haven’t felt like I could get properly full or nourished in a while. Some of that’s been breastfeeding, some of it’s been training, but a lot of it has been diet, plain and simple. Because Mieke has reflux, I cut dairy from my diet, and I decided I’d kick things up a notch for 30 days and cut meat from my diet, as well. It’s been seven days so far, and here’s a little of what I’ve been learning (and doing) so far…
- There are actually some great meat-free alternatives. Beyond Burgers are life for backyard summer barbecues.
- I’m still eating fish. My boys like some fish, but not all, so I tend to buy the smaller portions from Trader Joe’s, and we share.
- Buying veggies in bulk makes going meat-free for 30 days easy because I can prep it in advice and store them for quick meal-prep later.
- I can still get the healthy fats I need for breastfeeding from healthy plant-based sources like rich nut butters, avocado, etc.
- I’ve been following Weight Watchers because I had so much success last time, and cutting both meat and dairy has freed up a lot of points making it easier for me to consume what my body needs without any guilt/worry.
- My running hasn’t taken a hit at all. I’m still at the beginning stages of marathon training, but I feel like I still have that proverbial (not literal 😉 ) gas in the tank.
- My IBS symptoms have already lessened. I’m less crampy and bloated, and I’ve noticed that Mieke has less gas, as well.
Posting an actual image of how I look right now is a bit humbling because I know I’m nowhere near where I want to be. That said, however, I’m interested to see where I stand after going meat-free for 30 days. I’ve always loved the idea of vegetarianism/pescetarianism because of how I feel about the meat and dairy industry, but I’ve never really felt like I could do it. I am noticing little changes in my body – less outward, more inward – and I’m liking what I’m feeling.
I also look forward to seeing how my body deals with this diet and training, together. Do I know if I’ll always be meat-free? No. I love a good biltong (my South African peeps know what I’m talking about), but I do want to be more conscientious about what I’m putting in my body since my daughter now gets her nourishment entirely from me, as well.
I’ll recap how things have changed in the next few weeks, but for now, I’d love to hear from you. Have you ever consumed any meat-free alternatives? What’s your favorite? Do you think you could ever be a vegetarian?