2 years ago I would tell anyone who listened to eat a Palaeolithic diet. Meats, Fish, eggs, fruits, veg – no grains, no bread, no lugumes, no dairy or refined sugars.
Here I am 2 years later… Very little meat, some fish, no eggs, no dairy. Lots of veg, fruit, grains, legumes.
When people hear vegan, they automatically think it’s for health reasons, but my belief is for people to commit to a vegan lifestyle there has to be an ethical reasoning behind that choice. For someone to not order a steak at a restaurant, or to not spread some butter on their bread, I believe that there has to be an ethical reason. Human will power to just be healthy is never strong enough.
If you look at the consumption of animal products around us, it is absolutely inconceivable that humane methods of producing that product can’t be in place. The amount of eggs that we consume far out ways producing them from happy hens. The amount of dairy we consume far out ways the amount a local farmer can milk from his free roaming cow. The amount of pork far out ways ‘happy pigs in s**t’ as the saying goes. These statements are on such a low level, the more you read or watch about the way we now produce animal products is enough to turn the most cold hearted meat eater to being more wary of where they source their meat.
So back to my experience..
My wife has been a Vegan for just under a year. So I thought it would only be fair to give it a go myself. I decided that I would go completely vegan for 4 weeks, that would be long enough to see any physical effects of cutting out meat in both aesthetics and performance. Initially I was actually amazed at how little I missed meat, eggs and fish. I already consumed very little dairy so this wasn’t an issue.
My daily intake looked something like this… (don’t be alarmed at the amount I eat, I am very active so need the cals)
Breakfast : Oats with almond milk, 2 scoops of Neat nutrition vegan protein, blueberries, flax seeds.
Morning snack: Avocado on marmite rice cakes (soooo good!)
Lunch: Mexican bean wraps or vegan bean burgers and vegetables
Afternoon snack: Shake from our fuel bar or cliff energy bar or nuts and fruit
Dinner: Bean chilli and rice or similar
Late Snack: Alpro yogurt with granola and berries
…Interestingly I was actually finding that my lunches and dinners were tastier than what I was having before which was predominantly meat and veg (very boring and bland).
I felt absolutely no different physically. My strength numbers were still increasing, my fitness didn’t decrease and my body composition was the same, if not a little leaner.
Once the 4 weeks were over I treated myself to a monster steak! I felt bloated, tired and the next day I felt like I had an enormous hangover! Weird!
So currently here is how I live my life. I eat fish occasionally – maybe 3 or 4 times a week – usually for lunch. I never have dairy – whats the point, there are so many alternatives now that are better for you. I only eat meat 2 or 3 times a month and it is almost always beef just because that’s what I enjoy most and the local butcher sells local part grass fed beef. I eat more fruit and veg than ever. I am not protein deficient, I am stronger than ever, and I also have a clearer conscious that my feeding habits are having less harm on our planet, for me, this is the perfect balance.
I for one hate how every diet needs categorising. What you chose to eat shouldn’t have to fall under vegan or paleo or pescetarian or any other labelling that we have. Whatever works for you is how you should eat. Me, I am a fish eating vegan who now and then eats beef… Sue me.
If you are intrigued by how you could cope without meat – then join us here at FitLife in out meat less month of October. what’s the worst that can happen?!