Or so I thought...
I eat meat, every day. I love meat. I love chicken. I love turkey. I love pork. I love bison. And I especially love all the amazing meatyness that comes from the ocean. I love it all. But I also have this theory that we should be open and flexible with our diet because we happen to live in a time and place where food is always available to us. I could eat strawberries year round if I wanted to. It shouldn't be that way and it certainly wasn't always that way. Humans are incredible machines. Our bodies can adapt to so many different environments, diets, climates, etc. We adapt. But never has there been a time of such overabundance of food. And I know I don't have to begin to list the various ways this is having a negative impact on us.
From what I've learned, early humans who hunted and foraged only ate meat when it was available. AKA when the hunt was successful. When it wasn't available, we had plants or maybe dried meats...who really knows. I just know it wouldn't have been possible to eat the way I do now thousands of years ago, 500 years ago, or even 100 years ago. The same can probably be said about the way you eat. Just think about it...
Enter Meatless Monday. This is nothing more than a personal challenge. Do I think it's unhealthy to eat top quality, sustainably, locally and humanely raised, organic, pastured meat every day? Absolutely not. And you won't find a single shred of evidence that successfully proves otherwise. I'm not doing it for my health. I'm doing it to challenge myself. Because challenging yourself is how you grow.
My 1st Meatless Monday was this past Monday, March 31. I was surprisingly not nervous at all about it. I knew I would have to come prepared just like I always do, so that's what I did. It was a long day. I worked with my partner as her assistant at a wedding shoot in San Jose, about 1.5 hours drive away. We were out of the house literally all day from 9am til almost 11pm. This is what I did the night before...
I was not hungrier than usual. I was not tired or low energy. I was not bloated (my regular diet never makes me bloated, just a side note). I was not thinking about meat all day. In fact, I didn't think about it at all. That was until it was right under my nose. At around 9pm we sat down for dinner while the bride and groom ate with their guests. I was exhausted from such a long day. And the exhaustion from the entire weekend had also caught up with me as I had attended my first funeral which was much more emotionally draining than I could have ever imagined. I could barely keep myself seated upright at the table when our server laid a plate of beautifully presented and wonderfully smelling chicken breast right in front of me. My original plan was to ask for the vegetarian option at dinner. My quiche was the backup plan. We were not given the option as I had initially been led to believe we would, though. The choice was made for us: chicken. Once I saw and smelled that hot chicken, I was absolutely not about to get out of my booth, find my bags, rummage through the cooler, and eat cold quiche. Not a chance. The decision was made quickly and easily.
I ate the chicken. And it was hella good. Do I think this Meatless Monday was a failure? Absolutely not! Had I been willing to eat cold quiche over a hot plate of food, I would have but I made the choice to save my energy to pick up my fork and feed my tired, aching body. Am I being dramatic? Absolutely. I think part of me also realized how easy the day had gone and that it no longer felt like a challenge considering my quiche was right there ready for me...or maybe THAT was the challenge.
Next week I will actually be training on my Meatless Monday. That will be a totally different experience I think. I am ready though. Now that I know I can do it and it's not hard or scary.
Cold quiche vs. hot chicken is quite scary though.
Stay tuned! :)
Just wanted to address a few questions I got from folks about Meatless Monday.
- There are no "rules" for this challenge. This is a personal challenge for me. If you are joining me, create your own challenge. Maybe you will include seafood. Maybe you will not include eggs. To me, meat is the flesh of an animal. Fish and shrimp are animals. Therefore I will not be eating seafood on my Meatless Mondays.
- Protein. I got plenty of it. My oatmeal breakfast contains about 18g per serving, my quiche has 30g per serving, my eggs gave me 24g, and the rest of what I ate probably gave me an additional 10g or so. That's about 85g for the day. Plenty of protein! More than enough! By the way, I NEVER count protein in my diet, I did for this day because sooooo many people asked.
- Carbs. I don't count carbs either. Did I eat more than I usually do? Definitely. Is it the end of the world? You tell me.