I Am No Longer an Omnivore; Why I Don’t Eat Meat

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vegan plant strong kale beans foodI grew up eating meat like most Americans. I happily gobbled down my meatloaf and pork chops, never really thinking about the source of my food or the impact it could have on my body. I was a kid with a lot of allergies and milk was one. Now, I would be considered lactose intolerant. I will spare you all the unsavory details, but in hindsight I realize that no animals products ever settled well with my system.
At some point in my teens I stopped eating meat. I don’t know the exact date but it was shortly before Thanksgiving. My family didn’t really get it but they were supportive and I could always fall back on items with cheese..loads and loads of cheese. Over the years I was not consistent. Sometimes I just ate poultry and dairy, with an occasional burger, then it would just be dairy and eggs. Finally, I was not eating any meat but, cheese was an ingredient at almost every meal. I was gaining weight and my cholesterol was elevated.

Vegan Coconut bacon sandwich
I decided I had to make a change. I cut way back on my cheese, dairy and egg consumption. It was gradual and it was not easy. I am still not 100% vegan and I never will be. I consider myself “plant-based”.   The majority of what I eat comes from plants. I know many people think it is extreme to eat a plant-based/vegan diet.   Common questions are, “Where do you get protein from?”, “Do you eat grass?”, “Does it taste good?”   I eat well, i  still love cooking and still eat out at restaurants. It takes a bit more planning especially when traveling but I have had some great “vegan” meals at all types of places.
Since cutting animal products and by-products out of my diet I have lost 40 lbs and found an energy level that I thought I left behind in my 30s. One key to my success is finding support. My husband has switched to plant-based eating and also lost close to 40 lbs. My mother, whom had given up on weight loss, has lost 50+ lbs so far, she started working out, and has an amazing glow about her. Twitter has been a great source for recipes, cooking techniques and acceptance.  I also am a recipes tester for Happy Herbivore’s cookbooks.

Everyday Happy Herbivore

I don’t consider myself a vegan, I am more likely to say I eat a plant-based diet.  Really, no label is needed, I am just another person going through life, making choices and doing my best on a daily basis.

vegan oatmeal raspberries

 

What would you like to know about a Plant Strong (vegan) diet?  What questions do you have for me? What recipes would you like to see?  I will be posting more on this topic and writing reviews of plant strong products, cookbooks and more.

 

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About the author: I am a plant-based mom, wife, educator and blogger.

33 comments… add one

  • I’m a vegetarian too, so you’re in good company =P

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  • Thank you for all the great comments. I was nervous about the post and all the replies have made me so happy that I wrote it. I am taking notes and putting lots of thought in to future posts.

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  • I think that it is great if you can maintain a healthier lifestyle through not eating meat. I still eat meatbut very cautious as to type and amount

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  • I like vegetables better than meat also

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  • I would love to know where to begin with a plant based diet. And what to start buying, I am also a cheese aholic!

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  • I don’t know vegan recipes and if you post them I will read them for sure! I’m very interested in this topic! I like meat but I am aware that we shouldn’t eat it every day!

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  • Kudos for cutting out me. We eat mostly chicken, fish, ground turkey. I applaud those who are vegan. I think it would be harder to go vegan than go vegetarian as to cut out cheese, milk, sour cream, etc would be hard.

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  • This is really inspirational. I’ve never been a huge fan of meat, but I wouldn’t say I’ve had a lot of support like you. My husband says he’ll support whatever I want to do — but I have to cook what he wants to eat. He’ll eat healthy, but he refuses to have meals without meat. I don’t know how to convince him more (cause I’ve already told him why it’s not ideal). So it’s really hard to just make two separate meals. I do it sometimes, but I don’t have that much time. But I’m really struggling with weight loss, so I think you just gave me that extra motivation to do it…. I’d love to read more about your journey so I’m going to peruse your site more…. but I’m here from the $1,000 cash giveaway … and staying because of your inspiration. :)

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    • Amy~ So glad you found this post! I am working on a post about everydays meals that you already make that are vegan or would be if meat is not included. For example; pasta with marinara, no meat. My mom eats plant based but my dad does not. She tries to cook meals that he can add meat to so she is not cooking two separate meals.

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  • Nice post.

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  • We’ve cut down on meat. More beans and eggs for protein. It can be done if you’re willing. Good luck

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  • Kudo;s to you for choosing to eat what works for you and your family. Congratulations on your weight loss and health improvements. Looking forward reading your reviews.

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  • I have seriously thought about switching to a plant-based diet. I keep reading more and more about how much better a plant-based diet is. I also worry about the quality of meat that I am eating. I would love to see more plant-based recipes. I wonder if you take any supplements.

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  • Like others have suggested, I would love to see what your family typically eats throughout the week. I am a vegetarian, not a vegan, but I know for myself (due to my specific health condition), I have to take supplements like minerals/vitamins.

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  • I prefer veggies myself because I do not trust what is put into our meats.

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  • I won’t quit eating meat. I’m thin and eat nothing but for the most part. It depends what kind of meat and how it’s prepared. Just eat a balanced diet.

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  • I try to eat more veggies but have such difficulty. Nothing sounds or looks that good to me. Getting my husband to eat anything that has a green hue to it is nearly impossible. I am afraid that grains are awfully nasty for me – bloating, movement issues, inflammations, etc. Any ideas for eating more green would be wonderful for a “meatitarian” family like ours. I scour pinterest (get best ideas and information there) and get a couple of things here and there. Thank you for the vote of confidence.

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  • After being chronically ill for a mess of years, I have finally realized that although I dont feel my diet has put me here, the hormones in meat, dairy, and non organic foods laden with pesticides is probably not going to get me better and decrease that toxic load to my body. I just want to feel like a human again and get back out there enjoying life. I am on a program trying to cut down on just the foods you talked about and hope I can find a way. Today I made a HUGE vat of Lentil soup with tons of veggies. I still wonder how to get the protein i need for energy and make sure I get iron. I wonder if supplements are even getting through so I would just be interested in knowing I am not depleting myself further. Recipes, YES! AND HOW do I get that glow… I need a glow!!!

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    • Eileen~ Thank you for sharing your story. Lentil soup is such a great meal. Protein is in everything, vegetables, grains etc. One of my favorite quotes is, “We’ve never treated a single patient with protein deficiency; yet the majority of patients we see are suffering from heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses directly resulting from trying to get enough protein.”
      –Dr. Alona Pulde and Dr. Matthew Lederman
      I am working on a list of recipes..let me know if there is one you would really like me to make.

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  • Yes -simple, quick vegan recipes! I’ve been a vegetarian since high school (20+ years now!), and I rely too heavily on dairy which has lead to weight gain & elevated cholesterol. My husband is trying a meatless month in Feb. too, so any healthy tips for both of us would be great. :)

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    • Eileen that is fabulous. Glad you and your husband are supporting each other!

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  • I’ve been a vegetarian for a few years now. :) I’d love to see more recipes!

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    • Thanks for the comment! I love to cook so recipes will be fun.

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  • It seems to be harder for guys to do it or ever considering getting on board with not eating meat especially. Following the Engine 2 diet made all that a lot easier. There are lots of great options in there… Your tastes change after a few weeks and I really don’t feel as if I am depriving myself of anything. I have just opened myself to eating a variety of foods. It’s been quite an adventure.

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    • It has been quite and adventure and I am glad you are with me on it!

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  • my grand daugher wont eat meat either, food looks good on here

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  • I would like to see some sample menus of what you & your husband eat on a typical workday / weekend. Great post!

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    • Thanks Patty~ Sample menus will be posted!!!

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  • The weight loss and the glow really strike me. Quite a statement. Wishing you continued success.

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    • Thank you Wendy!

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  • Sounds interesting. Not sure I could eat everything without meat…

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    • That is my Dad’s view too. Thanks for reading!

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  • Wow! Same here :)

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