You are what you meat

I’ve been meaning to write this post for awhile, but things have been a bit crazy lately. Fortunately, I’m on vacation this week and now have plenty of time to sit and write! I have gone through a pretty crazy transformation over the last couple of months, and would like to share it with you.

I quit a 10 year pack a day smoking habit on April 14. I became a vegetarian August 23. I got the first gym membership of my life August 31. I became a vegan on September 20. I also quit drinking coffee and soda, not entirely sure when. I think that a lot of these changes have been due to my quickly approaching 30th birthday, but at the core these are things I’ve been thinking about for awhile. I’m not entirely sure why I seem to have developed willpower, but I won’t lie when I say I’m enjoying it. I feel better than I have in years, possibly better than I ever have in my life.

I’m writing this post because this week is World Vegan Week. While I’m sure that quitting smoking and joining a gym has contributed to feeling better, I do feel that I owe the majority of this feeling to my much improved diet. I have had 0 cholesterol over the last month, I have had reduced amounts of fat, and my fiber intake has increased. My blood pressure has gone down, my resting heart rate is between 60-65BPM, and my energy levels are consistent and through the roof. I have no mornings where I can’t do anything until I’ve had my cup of coffee, and then have a food coma after lunch because I had an unhealthy meal full of processed foods and junk. I feel better about the foods I eat, my taste buds have changed to the point where I no longer even have to put dressing on salad to enjoy the taste (and this is coming from someone that used to load my salad up with cheese and ranch dressing), and as an added bonus I’ve lost 30 pounds. Also, while many of the people I work with have been ill to the point of missing several days of work, I have had nothing more than a sniffle. I guarantee you that if you choose to become a vegan and begin to make healthy food choices, you will feel better as a result. You’ll probably look better. You’ll also probably live longer.

I know that people don’t like they’re being preached to or judged– goodness knows that I don’t either. I am sharing this with you because of my convictions that it is a healthy and more compassionate way of living, and that what has benefited me can benefit you in a similar fashion. Heart disease, cancer, and obesity are the biggest causes of disease and illness in this country, and I have made the decision to not fall in to the same trap as so many others do. You can make that choice, too. Here are some good resources to check out if you’re interested in becoming a vegan or vegetarian, of if you just want to research it because you’re curious:

World Go Vegan week
Vegan A Go-Go
3 raw meals on $10 a day or less
3 vegan meals on $10 a day or less
VegWeb

4 thoughts on “You are what you meat

  1. pzer0 Post author

    I am also not so naive to think that all of you (or any) will become veg*ns after reading this post or the links at the bottom. That said, if you do choose to continue to eat meat, I urge you to purchase free range, grass-fed meat that is raised and slaughtered in a humane fashion. For my readers in Columbus, please check out http://www.localyokelfoods.com for meat that comes from locally raised animals (and is delivered straight to your door!). Buy free range. Buy local. Stop eating poor quality food, and educate yourself about what it is that you are putting in to your body.

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  2. Little Joe

    The Washington Center for Clinical Research is actually conducting a study with GEICO employees, taking on a vegan diet for a year. The end goal for GEICO is to show overweight and diabetic employees how to better live their lives so as to keep healthcare costs down for the company. It starts in January and the intro sessions are next month. I’m seriously considering it and will definitely research it well first as it’ll be tough for someone who loves meat as much as I do.

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    1. pzer0 Post author

      Dude, I suggest you try it… even if you find that you can’t make the transition to fully vegan, you will still have a positive effect on your health by cutting back on meat. The fact is that we as a society eat far too much meat. The USDA recommends about 5-6 ounces (1-2 servings) of meat/beans per day for the average person, and I know that I personally was eating easily 4-5 times that on some days (http://www.mypyramid.gov/pyramid/meat_amount_table.html). I think it’s really cool that Geico is doing that, and honestly I think it makes a lot of sense for them… especially from a healthcare cost perspective. You’ll have to let me know if you decide to try it out!

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    2. pzer0 Post author

      Also, about affecting diabetes… Katy is diabetic, and since we switched to a vegan diet she has been able to quit taking one of the two medications she was on for controlling blood sugar, and her sugar doesn’t spike and drop as much. Her blood sugar now tests in the morning at around 100-110. While I’m not diabetic (thought was told by my doctor that I was at risk), I definitely notice more consistent energy levels throughout the day, I don’t have any of the spikes I used to have after eating followed by the inevitable drop a few hours later. I no longer feel like I need a nap in the afternoon after lunch, or like I’m going to fall asleep on the couch in the evenings.

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