Transitioning to Plant-Based

Several times in my life I have taken a break from meat. The first time I did it was probably 10 years ago, and it was so hard. Primarily because I had no idea what to eat. I was conditioned to believe that meat was the main ingredient in any meal and everything else was a side dish. Back then, I went 30 days without meat and on the 31st day I fried up some chicken wings and ate like I had never eaten before. The thing is my body was used to not digesting meat so I had an unpleasant reaction to the wings.

Five years ago, after my last figure competition I was just sick and tired of looking at animal flesh. While training for the stage I was consuming chicken every three hours, every single day for months. Once I got off the stage, the thought of putting another piece of chicken in my mouth made me sick. So, I stopped eating meat for five months. It wasn’t hard then because I was really repulsed by mean …then after the fifth month the cravings came back, and I went back to it.

Today, I am once again grossed out by meat. I purchased a pack of turkey wings and baked them and made some rice and gravy. The turkey wing was huge. Like, as big as my head and all I could think was, “What in the world are they doing to these turkeys and why am I putting this into my body?” I hate to waste food so I actually tried to eat it, but I couldn’t. I ended up throwing the wings, rice and gravy in the trash.

I also have not been feeling like myself lately. Low energy, sluggish, brain fog … just off. My sleep patterns are trash. At the end of the day I’m exhausted and just want to go to bed – like at 7pm. Then I wake up at 3am. It’s crazy. I’ve tried exercising to clear my head, meditation … and I’m still feeling off. I 100% believe that what we put in our bodies can affect every single aspect of our lives. Why not our mental health? Let’s be honest, eating fruits and vegetables can’t hurt, so why not try it?

My intent is to only give up meat however during my research I’m coming across more and more information about transitioning to a complete plant-based (i.e. vegan) diet. I never really thought about going vegan and believed that it was just too radical for me. I mean, what about my morning coffee? I need half-n-half. And what about cheese? I have to have cheese!

Or do I?

The more I think about making this change, the more I think I should just go all the way. Giving up the meat is a no-brainer. I can do that I my sleep. Over the years I have gotten smarter about different types of food and I’ve gotten more adventurous. During this pandemic, I have spent so much more time in my kitchen and I’m loving it so the idea of trying new plant-based recipes is exciting to me.

For right now, I am going to commit to a month and then we’ll see what happens after that. I’ll begin with no meat and try to slowly move away from dairy by purchasing non-diary options for my coffee. I’m going for it 100% over the next 30 days and if at the end of the 30 days I feel better than that is a strong case for continuing on this path. I’ll be keeping a food journal which will not only list what I’m eating but how I’m feeling mentally and physically. I have high expectations and I can't envision a downside to this.

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