This is an update on My One Word for 2012: Change. Periodically I will stay accountable by letting you know how I'm doing. The good, the bad and the so-so. No holding back.
Month One of being a vegetarian is over, and I see no reason to stop now. It has been strangely easy. I think I expected more challenges. Sure, there were a few times when the smell of hot dogs nearly drove me crazy, but overall it was pretty easy to stay away from meat. (And we even fired up the grill on Alexa's birthday -- H and I diligently ate veggie burgers instead of hamburgers.)
This surprised me because I've eaten meat all my life. I've been asked what made me try this. The real catalyst, the real thing that pushed me to go meatless for a month was reading up on growth hormones. If farmers are using these unnatural means to make cattle and chickens fatter faster, what happens to me when I eat those hormone-ridden animals? Several studies have linked the consumption of this meat to early onset of puberty in girls, childhood obesity and cancer.
Will I be a vegetarian forever? Who knows. I'm willing to eat organic, local meat on occasion. But I don't miss it enough to make it an integral part of my life anymore.
Right now I'm subscribing to the lacto-ovo vegetarian diet (one that excludes meat, fish and poultry, but allows eggs and dairy products). We buy organic, free-range eggs, almond milk, and organic cheeses. For those worried about Alexa, she's drinking organic cow's milk so she can get all the nutrients she needs, and she's also eating a few servings of meat per week. Otherwise, she's getting her protein and iron from the same sources we do: beans, legumes, etc.
The pros: I've lost 7 pounds in the past month, and the only thing I've changed about my eating habits is cutting out meat. I've not changed my level of activity. I "feel" lighter -- meals do not bog me down as much.
The cons: I have to pinch my nose when I smell hot dogs. OMG, hot dogs smell so good. Strangely, this is my only meat temptation.
I'm curious whether I can take this a step further and limit my chocolate/sweets consumption. I have no doubt I'd see even better results weight-wise and energy-wise if I were to completely cut refined sugars. I'm ready to take a four-week challenge ... AFTER MY BIRTHDAY.
Sources: PreventCancer.com, Huffington Post, Natural News, among others
Labels: My One Word: Change