30 Day Experiment: Going Vegetarian

Last night I took down a cheeseburger from In-N-Out.  It was the last meat I will consume for the next thirty days (conveniently leaving me to go crazy at a churrascaria on Halloween if I so choose).  My girlfriend recently became a vegetarian, and is very close to going full-on vegan.  She jumped in with no last meat meal and hasn’t looked back.  We’ve tried a couple new restaurants and a couple new pre-made dishes, with more experimentation and actual cooking in our future.

I like to challenge myself.  I’ve done various personal challenges ranging from twenty-one days to six weeks in the past, but I’m out of practice.  In addition to her going veggie, we’ve also watched Food, Inc. (which you can stream on Netflix), which has me thinking a lot more about what I’m actually eating.  I’m reading labels constantly and trying not to buy anything with ingredients I can’t pronounce or don’t know what they are.  If it doesn’t sound like a food, I don’t want it in my body.  Unless it’s flavonoids, which just sound awesome.  After watching the movie, I’ve also started reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma.  It’s pretty fascinating, and I’m only about sixty pages in.

With all that in mind, and given that today is World Vegetarian Day, I’ve decided to see if I have the strength to give up one of the primary staples of my diet (meat), and what the benefits or downsides to going vegetarian are.  As a guy who eats chicken and beans for way too many meals, this is going to cause some serious restructuring for me.  And don’t even get me started on giving up lox…  I eat relatively healthy, so this isn’t Fast Food Man suddenly becoming Healthy Man, but it’s still going to be a big change.

For the next 30 days, I’m keeping it pretty simple.  The big thing is: No Meat.  This means I will not consume any meat (cow, chicken, turkey, pig, fish [aka sea kitten], etc.). I really debated about fish, as I love sushi and the aforementioned lox, but I feel that for the purpose of this experiment and given the mercury levels of some fish, I can do without for the duration of the experiment.  I’ll be opting for the lacto-ovo vegetarian experience, allowing myself dairy (mainly yogurt and cheese).  However, I’ll be consuming soy milk and will not add these items to any meals, I just won’t freak out if they’re in the ingredients or made in a facility or on equipment with it.  Hey, even the insanely delicious vegetarian brand, Morningstar Farms has products that contain dairy.  I may also make some pumpkin bread or muffins that contain eggs given that pumpkins are in season – or more accurately, that I just picked up a mix from Trader Joe’s…

I won’t be posting a daily log of what I eat or how I’m feeling unless things go really well or horribly awry, but I’ll definite write a recap at the end of the month and figure out what my next step is in terms of my diet.  With that I’m off to contemplate my meat-free lunch…

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4 thoughts on “30 Day Experiment: Going Vegetarian

  1. stay away from soy products, they have high levels of estrogen and aren’t good for you.

    go rice milk. you can buy rice dream at the supermarket and it’s tastes just like milk too.

  2. I saw “Food, Inc” recently as well and it made me start eating better more for moral and conscience reasons. Unfortunately, I am “Fast Food Man” so it’s been insanely hard for me as I had to change everything. Hope to talk more about this with you in the near future!

  3. Pingback: The Vegetarian’s Dilemma « the Rob Levin

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