One Month Challenge #7 – Vegetarian Month

For my monthly challenge for March I decided to ask my audience for suggestions, after receiving a number of ideas and comments I narrowed those down to the three most popular which were voted on, the results were as follows:

  • Vegetarian – 55%
  • Daily Yoga – 30%
  • Daily Reading – 15%

Looks like I am becoming a vegetarian for the month of March!  As someone who loves meat and truly believes that meat is an important part of our diet, this one will be a challenge, but I think I’ll be able to do it.

I am interested to see how this challenge goes and how I feel after a few days of eating no meat.  Some people have told me I am going to feel really good, and I know there are people who swear by vegetarian diets, so time for me to see for myself!  It’s not like I eat meat at every meal, certainly not breakfasts or lunches, but my dinners almost always have a meat component, so this will be a change.

Rules

Although some have challenged me to do this month on “hard mode” and go full on vegan, that isn’t going to happen.  I feel like that would be far too great of a challenge and change for me, so I am going to start with basic vegetarianism and see how it goes.  My definition of basic vegetarianism is no direct consumption of meat (beef, pork, chicken, fish, etc.).  However, I am still going to consume animal by-products such as milk, cheese, yogurt and eggs.

One of the rules for all of my challenges is that they can’t have a negative impact on my health.  So with that in mind, I have two scenarios that I will stop this challenge for if they occur:

  • My body weight drops below 165 lbs. I weighed in at 174 lbs this morning, and 170 is really the lower limit of what I want my weight to be.  If I hit 165 I will return meat to my diet to help put the weight back on.  I plan on consuming lots of protein alternatives to prevent this from happening.  WebMD recommends 56 grams of protein per day for an adult male, it will be interesting to track and see how I am doing on achieving that.
  • My health/mood is drastically different than normal. If I am feeling tired, faint, dizzy or anything like that due to this diet change, I will stop it and return to my normal diet.  I don’t expect this to happen, but just want to have it out there.

Expected Outcome

I honestly don’t know what to expect with this challenge.  I have always eaten meat, and although I do love my fruits, nuts and vegetables, the thought of going without meat has always quite frankly seemed ridiculous to me.  My mantra has typically been that we have incisors for a reason, to eat meat!  I am in good health and physical shape, so it will be interesting to see if this challenge has any impact on that.

There are lots of articles out there on the long term health benefits of going vegetarian, but not that many on the short term benefits, so it will be a good experiment.  I also have many friends and family members who are vegetarian or who have tried it in the past, and all of them are still alive and kicking!

In all likelihood, as long as I have sufficient protein replacement for the meat I won’t be eating, I don’t think I’ll actually notice too much of a difference aside from buying a few different things at the grocery store and trying out some new meals.  With that in mind, any vegetarian readers out there, please feel free to share your favorite recipes!

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