Kelly the Culinarian: Thoughts from the Meatless May Challenge

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thoughts from the Meatless May Challenge

While I technically have another day left of the Meatless May Challenge, I also have a crazy busy day tomorrow, so I wanted to get my thoughts together on the topic now.

Short version: I didn't miss meat. I'm cool with eating significantly less meat, but will probably never be a true vegetarian.

I never ate a ton of meat to begin with, so it wasn't a huge sacrifice to cut out meat for the past 30 days. It was easy enough to make delicious, meat-free meals that left me satisfied. It was also pretty simple to find vegetarian dishes at restaurants. I didn't have any fast food this month, but I did eat at two chain restaurants and two independent places. At all locations, vegetarian options abounded and/or business owners happily made accommodations.

The only challenge part of this challenge was the social aspect. When I'm a guest at someone else's home, I'm uncomfortable asking anyone to change anything for me. I choose to eat this way. Plus, I feel kind of rude busting out my own food, because there's nothing wrong with the food I'm being served. My solution is that I bring dishes to share and hope for the best. Business meals are also difficult when catering is involved. So far, vegetarian options have been available, but I'm not ready to call ahead to off-site engagements to see what's going down around lunch time.

It also didn't hurt my athletic performance as I finished my first tri first in my age group. I don't feel any different in terms of endurance or performance. Given that this vegetarian experiment was easier than I thought, my new plan of action is to be mostly vegetarian. I'm don't plan to completely abstain from meat for life (true story, Taco Bell texted me. They miss me). I hope to eat meat no more than once a month. While the true vegetarians/vegans out there I'm sure are giving me the side eye, studies show that less meat is better, and we all have to start somewhere.


Erin said...

I think what you're doing is very admirable! I would definitely eat less meat (and do when I'm eating by myself) but my husband is a huge carnivore and I refuse to make two separate meals. How did Tim do with the meatless challenge?

Kim said...

I am not giving you the side eye. You should eat what you want! Any vegetarian or vegan that gives you shit about how much meat you eat is a jerk. It's no ones business but yours!

Funny story, I wanted to go vegan before my first half in 2009 but my husband thought it might mess up my training, so I waited until my half was over. It hasn't affected me (negatively) at all! I am sure it would actually be BETTER if I ate much more produce though. Ha ha.

KellytheCulinarian said...

Tim doesn't really mind. If he's home, he'll eat what I do. If he isn't home when I eat, he'll make a turkey sandwich or whatever. So far, it's been a low-stress transition.