Posted in 30 Challenges, Getting Started, Healthy Eating

30 Days as a Vegetarian

Beginning tomorrow, I will be embarking in a new 30 Day Challenge, where I will follow a no-meat, vegetarian diet.  Before I get into my reasons for wanting to try this challenge and what I hope to gain from the experience, I feel that I first need to provide an honest reflection of where I am as I begin this challenge.

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Getting Started…

I am a MEAT EATER.  I revel in my omnivorous leanings and delight in making and eating steak, bacon, chicken, shrimp, and quite frankly just about any meat-based protein.  In ‘preparation’ for my 30 day meat free diet, today I ate a cheese burger for lunch and Italian sausage with bacon laden loaded baked potatoes for dinner.  I eat meat for almost every lunch and dinner.  I hate tofu.  Meals don’t feel complete without meat as a main course.  And up until rather recently I would roll my eyes and the very thought of a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.

This challenge has also probably received the most criticism and divisiveness from friends and families.  Some have been pretty excited and supportive but many have been less enthusiastic.  My mom looked at me with a mild horror: “what will you eat??”“you need to be awfully careful with your diet”. Others just looked at me incredulously “why would you do that???”

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About 10 years ago I attempted to try a vegetarian diet.  I lasted 36 hours, specifically 2 lunches, 1 breakfast, and 1 dinner.  So there are a lot of potential hangups and pitfalls for me in taking on this challenge.  But as I think about reasons for doing this, I have developed some pretty clear motivation.

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Finding Inspiration and Staying Motivated

  • Focused Food: I recently watched the documentary based off Michael Pollan’s book, In Defense of Food.  I have never been a huge proponent of never, ever eating meat and his 7 words of wisdom “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” resonates with me.  There is value in eating well, in enjoying food and being mindful about what you eat. I like that principle and feel like that is a great tenet to follow as I begin this challenge.
  • Improved Health: This tends to be one of the top arguments in favor of vegetarian and vegan based diets.  The improved health benefits for plant based diets is widespread and pretty well documented.
  • Lowered Carbon Footprint: To be able to personally make a small positive impact on the environment by reducing my personal carbon footprint is hugely motivating.
  • Involvement and Support from Others: A few days ago, I was chatting with a co-worker and mentioned that I was going to be embarking on this meat-free challenge and she and her husband decided to join!  I also have gotten some great feedback and insights from actual vegetarians and vegans, which makes me feel pretty optimistic.
  • Internal Stubbornness: Most importantly, the desire to make it a full 30 days and commit to this challenge will be the final push in hopefully getting me through this challenge.

 

Posted in 30 Challenges, Getting Started

30 Days; 30 Challenges

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The time has come to take on a new challenge… or rather, 30 new challenges.  Each of these challenges will take course over a minimum of 30 days, for the simple fact that it feels too daunting to not have an end date in sight and a single week is too short to feel significant.  These challenges are meant to inspire, strengthen and satisfy different parts of myself.

So here is my schedule of (30) 30 Day Challenges:

  1. September 15- October 15: No Junk Food
  2. November 1-30: Limited Spending
  3. December 1-30: Diversify Workouts
  4. January 1-30: Record Life’s Little Details
  5. January 25- February 25: Home Repairs
  6. March 1-30: Homemade Meals/Paleo Eating
  7. April 1-30: Financial Fitness
  8. April 1-30: Wake Up Early
  9. May 1-30: Style
  10. May 15- June 15: Read Everyday
  11. July 1-30: Cleaning
  12. July 1-30: Meditation
  13. July 15-August 15: Vegetarian Eating
  14. August 1-30: Random Acts of Kindness
  15. August 15- September 15: Drink 1 gallon of water/day
  16. September 1-30: Capsule Wardrobe
  17. October 1-30: Waste Free Living
  18. November 1-30: Running
  19. November 15- December 15: Creative Projects
  20. December 1-30: Service and Giving
  21. January 1-30: Write Everyday
  22. January 15- February 15: No Sugar
  23. February 1- March 1: Swimming
  24. March 1-30: Study and Learn Something New Everyday
  25. March 1-30: No Drinking
  26. April 1-30: Gardening
  27. May 1-30: Try Something New
  28. June 1-30: Networking
  29. July 1-30: Sunset Photography
  30. August 1-30: Money Saving

Wish me luck!

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