I tried vegetarianism for a week and I don't regret it
I wasn't as miserable as I thought I would be.
I'm going to preface this by stating I have no intention of becoming vegetarian or vegan. However, I have every intention rebalancing my diet to a more plant-based diet. A better diet means I'll have clear skin, more energy and better health.
Being blessed with neither food allergies and nor food aversions, I could probably eat everything all day if food comas and meat sweats were not thing. Even if my taste buds are completely happy with that, the human body doesn't work the best that way. It's like putting low-grade gas in a car that requires premium.
I hope to attempt a vegetarian diet for one month, but I believe in reasonable expectations. So I'll try one week at a time until I tap out. Since I was going cold turkey, an honest assessment of my eating habits was necessary.
I don't generally eat bacon, sausage or other breakfast meats unless I'm at brunch, so that wasn't a hard adjustment. Normally, I pick chicken for lunch and red meats for dinner. I consume meat and meat products more on the weekends. The types of meals I eat that include meat are steaks (obviously), fajitas, burgers, sandwiches, barbecue, pizza and tacos. Chicken was the easiest to cut out since the only chicken dish I'm really attached to is chicken and waffles, which is not that good for you any way. The other stuff was just going to have to go until I found substitutions for it. I got lazy really quickly because even though I didn't cut out seafood, I didn't feel like cooking it either. Since I wasn't eating cheese, eggs or drinking milk, I'm closer to a vegan diet than I thought I would be.
The next step was to find the vegetarian options to replace the protein. I lied, I don't like tofu. At all. But I like lentils, beans, mushrooms, almond milk, peanuts and greens, which can provide substantial amounts of protein. An added benefit was getting other nutrients and minerals by consuming more vegetables, nuts and legumes. With the restrictions, experimenting with different foods and cooking methods became a must. My diet was more colorful within a week and that was one of my goals.
Vegetarianism or veganism is touted as effective weight loss diets. Without really think about it, I lost five pounds. Vegetables, fruits, legumes and other whole grains tend not to be in high in calories or fat. But cutting out the oil and the fatty sides that come with some of my favorite dishes probably had more of an affect than the lack of meat. I inadvertently cut out processed foods, dairy products and white grains. Since I'm not getting a deli sandwich or a burger, I wasn't getting the chips or the white bread that went with it. I was completely fine with it.
I'm probably going to cry tears of joy when I eat my first slice of smoked brisket or have an adobe pork taco. But I'm not ready to tap out of vegetarian eating yet.