My vegetarian timeline

Day 1- This is awesome! I love vegetables! Who needs meat?
Week 2 – Yummmm I love cheese, cheese is my best friend. Mainly eating lots of snacks throughout the day in place of meals (apples with peanut butter, cheese and crackers, smoothies, etc).
Week 3 – Discover some really good vegetarian entrees, but still don’t have a lot of time for sit-down meals.
Week 4 – I REALLY NEED SOME CHICKEN, but I want to stick this out a while longer.
Week 5 – Start feeling kind of yucky. Stomach cramps and other digestive issues.
Week 6 – Eat meat for the first time: a chicken sandwich at Famous Dave’s, where the waiter’s t-shirt said “Vegetarians are free to change their ways.”
Next day – Wind up in the prompt care with abdominal discomfort (fearing a kidney stone or appendicitis), doctor asks me if I’ve made any large changes to my diet in the last month. Tells me to start eating regular meals at regular meal times and stop eating so much cheese.*

So, I tried vegetarianism and I’m very glad I did. I learned a lot of my favorite meals at restaurants (Flat Top, Chipotle, Noodles etc) don’t actually need meat and I prefer the vegetarian version anyway. I am still trying to cut meat out of my diet little by little and eat less of it, decreasing my demand. I’m also trying to make conscious choices. We bought some antibiotic-free, free-range chicken for dinner the other night and it was lovely. More than twice as much as the store-brand chicken full of all the junk ($6/lb instead of $2.50/lb), but we can afford it now and then.

I’m trying to assuage my conscious while also taking care of my belly. It’s about balance – just like everything else, right?

Namaste,
Jamie

*The visit to prompt care was serendipitous, because after going over my current medications, the doctor decided to share her infertility story with me. She couldn’t get pregnant (PCOS and some sort of awful embryo-killing antibody) but ended up conceiving through IVF at the age of 41 and again at the age of 44. What an incredible story!

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6 responses to “My vegetarian timeline

  1. Vegetarians seem to eat waaaaayyy too much cheese I think. My dad is a case in point. If anyone wants to see how unhealthy being veggie is come see my dad and his mac and cheese addiction!
    Which is why I’m glad I’m lactose intolerant. Vegan with occassional eggs is the way forward for sure! :)
    And yes it is all about balance (which is why I eat eggs… lovely lovely farm fresh eggs!)

  2. I agree with Rachel, we vegetarians tend to rely too much on cheese. I’m not lactose intolerant but I know that too much dairy = unhappy belly. So nowadays I stick with one serving a dairy a day, and eat vegan most of the time, with the occasional egg thrown in for good measure (Lovely Boyfriend hates eggs with a passion, except in baked goods and quiches, so we don’t eat a lot anyway).

    And yes too, it’s all about balance and finding what’s good for you. Cutting down on meat is already great :)

  3. I’m glad you’re feeling better! Sounds like it was an interesting challenge where you learned quite a bit. Good for you!

  4. Girl, you crack me up! LOL. I eat a lot of cheese… but I don’t think it’s about compensating for meat, simply the fact that I.LOVE.CHEESE. :D Given that I share a name with one I suppose it’s only logical. I am not a huge fan of eggs but I do crave them every now and then for a protein hit, and given that I can’t buy nuts here I eat them to balance my diet.

    I have often heard that people who don’t eat meat for a while and then start again suffer digestive pains like you described. Something do do with needing to re-generate the enzymes required to digest meat. Or something.

    Just think… if you eat meat half as often, you can spend twice as much to buy the best quality meat, and still break even. :)

  5. It’s great that you gave the vegetarian thing a go hon and balance is the key with anything. I’m a vego bordering on vegan. Cheese mucks with my belly too if I have too much but then I’m not supposed to have a lot of dairy in the first place. Conscious eating is the way to go and if you still want to eat meat, that is totally your prerogative.

  6. I LOVE CHEESE TOO…but I live in Italy right now, so of course I eat a lot of cheese. I’ve been doing some serious thinking about being a vegetarian. However, I fear the same thing will happen to me. So what I’ve done is massively decrease the amount of meat I eat, and when I do eat meat it is higher quality (organic) and smaller portions…except for when it comes to BACON. Is there a vegan diet that includes pork?

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