As I write this, I’m enjoying my avocado toast with mushrooms and garlic. And if you told me 5 years ago that I would be on a plant based diet, I would have probably been doubtful. But then again, I’ve always imagined myself becoming a vegetarian, and potentially vegan. I’ve never really talked about it with folks, since it’s kind of a sensitive topic. A religious one.
Vegans definitely have a bad rep, being extreme in all aspects–not just food, but the cloths they wear, the furniture they buy, and even the manufacturing/packaging facilities of their food. I understand it, but at some point veganism has become more of a religion than a philosophy. And that part turns a lot of people off. However, it doesn’t change the fact that I’d like to be healthier, reduce my carbon footprint, and stop supporting a potentially corrupt food industry.
Over the last month, I have transitioned over to a plant-based diet. As much as I’ve avoided meat, I’ve had to eat a tiny bit of chicken, a bowl of beef broth, and a tiny bit of seafood. My current position is that I will continue to eat meat, but only because it is part of someone else’s culture or if there’s no other option. And given the choice, I will choose seafood over meats (ie. beef, pork, chicken, etc). I would say that at the moment, I’ve transitioned pretty well, and I’ve reached a point where it’s starting to feel like a smooth routine.
One question I get a lot is how do I feel now? Have I lost weight? Am I healthier? So for starters, I feel about the same, except I’m probably more hungry now. I still have a craving for some things, but that has diminished as I’ve found more plant-based substitutes. I found myself cooking and meal prepping more, which probably saves me money and has improved my overall nutrition. In being healthier, I have also cut out deep fried foods. As much as I can, I also try to avoid too many processed foods as well–more on this later. As for weight loss, yes… but it fluctuates. When I started, I weight between 195-198lbs. When I weigh myself now, I’m about 191-194lbs. I think I’m losing an average of about .5-1lbs per week, but we’ll see how long that continues. I’m more focused on health and nutrition versus weight loss at this time.
I’ve also been exercising more (via biking to work while I’m in San Francisco). Side note: I’ll be moving to a new place that’s further away from work, and I suspect that will dramatically increase my amount of exercise per day, since I’ll have to bike approximately 2 hours a day. <gasp>
I’m not sure exactly what the best way is to describe my diet, but I would probably say I’m pretty much vegan when I’m by myself. When I’m around others, I’m either vegetarian or pescatarian. Truth be told, I’m actually okay with eating meat if I can source the food… but this is really hard. I personally want to know the butcher and their methods for raising and slaughtering livestock. At this stage of my life, I can’t ignore it anymore. However, if I can’t source the food for my daily diet, I’m going to avoid it. I watched some PETA videos, and even if .01% of the food I eat is slaughtered in an unethical fashion, I find it hard to support anymore.
But all of this ties to something larger, which is my lifestyle. Over the last 5 years, I have been living for other people and my career. I’ve decided to start transitioning to take care of myself, so that I can take care of others. It requires me to put my own health as a priority, and that’s what 2020 is all about. Diet is just one part of my “lifestyle”.
Somehow I woke up one day…
I can’t change my age, but I can definitely believe that my weight and work are correlated. As I work more and travel, it’s been an ongoing battle to get into a proper routine to exercise and eat right. Routine is a process, and process reduces one-off decisions. The biggest changes I’m making this year are to travel less–this means 2 month rotations between SF and the east coast. This will enable me to develop a better routine as I settle. Secondly, I’m focusing a tremendous amount of my energy on diet, nutrition, and philosophy. By anchoring my diet and nutrition to a philosophy things will be easier to sustain. For example, I adopted two kittens with Annie recently, and it would seem contradictory to rescue animals, but yet eat other animal corpses. Lastly, my goal is to do the things I love more. I’ve put off a lot of things in my life because I believed that I needed to earn money first and then enjoy myself… but I can tell you from experience that it’s just a recipe for disappointment and stress. I think that my new take on life is to enjoy each day, and try to live in the moment more. It’s a little more expensive, but I think that being happier will enable me to be more successful and find new positive feedback loops.
I just hope that I can continue this for the long haul.
I’d like to wake up in the future on day…
Physically and mentally healthy.
And spending more time around people and things I love most.
And I believe a big part of that future lifestyle will be attributed to my diet. So cheers to our first month in 2020.