March is over and I have survived my month as a vegetarian! I can say that the vegetarian challenge ended up being easier than I thought. I discovered some tasty new recipes and going forward I will definitely be incorporating more vegetarian options into my diet. Unfortunately I can’t say the challenge was a complete success as I did have two momentary lapses when I honestly forgot I was vegetarian and ate some meat, but all in all I’d say I did pretty good! 29 years of meat eating is a pretty hard habit to break!
My first slip-up was on Saturday, March 14, when I was out having some drinks with friends. I was hungry for a snack and there were plates of chicken wings all over the table, I was halfway through my second salt & pepper wing before I remembered I had gone vegetarian. Since I had already broken the rule, I had a third one as they were pretty tasty.
The second slip-up was this past Sunday, March 29, when I was enjoying a tasty breakfast of waffles and fruit at my relative’s place we were visiting in Regina. I had made it through the whole weekend sticking to the vegetarian rules, but then there was an amazing smelling plate of breakfast sausages placed on the table, and I just couldn’t resist. I didn’t even consciously think about it, I just reacted and ate, realizing after my second bite that I had once again broken my rule.
So what have I learned from this experience?
- Over the month I did notice that although being vegetarian is easier now than it probably would have been ten years ago, it is still a diet with limited options in many restaurants. Also, when going over as a dinner guest, you won’t always get to eat whatever is being made. I am happy to continue on my omnivoric ways that allow me to eat what I want, when I want, where I want. I also am extremely grateful that I have no dietary restrictions that I am aware of that prevent me from enjoying the foods that I like.
- Physical wise I ended the month only 2.5 lbs lighter than where I started, and at one point on the weekend I was actually half a pound heavier, so that can likely be chalked up to water weight.
- Energy wise, I was able to keep up my normal exercise regimen and never really felt like I had less energy than when I eat meat. A benefit I felt was I didn’t have the super full feeling that can come with eating a big meat dinner, as vegetables do seem to digest easier.
How will my eating habits change going forward?
I definitely won’t be switching over to full time vegetarian, but I definitely will be incorporating more vegetarian dinners into my diet and cutting back on the portion sizes of the meat I eat. Even for lunches, the vegetable sandwiches I made were quite tasty. All that said, I do still thoroughly enjoy a good steak or tasty chicken, and I look forward to enjoying those once again.