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Vegetarianism for Beginners Part 3

Vegetarianism for Beginners: Part 3

Weaning Yourself from Animal Protein

Okay, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty!  Day 1 you decided what type of vegetarian plan you will be following.  Day 2 you dug deep and thought about your why/reason for wanting to make this change.  Now, it’s time to give up the meat!  Ummm. . . scratch that!  I don’t want you to look at this lifestyle as one of deprivation.  Change your perception.  Yep, I’m asking you to put on those rose-colored glasses.  ?    Instead of focusing on what you’re giving up or can’t have, think of all the wonderful new foods you’ll be enjoying!  You’ll be broadening your horizons and your taste buds are going to be blown away by the new flavor adventures!

There are basically two ways to approach going vegetarian:  going cold turkey or slowly weaning yourself off animal protein.  I did the cold turkey approach, but I don’t recommend it unless you’re an extremist and have a stubborn streak like me.  ? Once I set my mind to something, I commit, and go all in.  This can either work great or lead to miserable failure.  I lucked out in that it worked for me, but I generally do not recommend this approach.

Weaning yourself slowly, one step at a time, will most likely yield the best long-term results.  Let go of the animal protein in stages.  The stages can vary, but here’s what I recommend:

  1. The first thing to go will be red meat. This stuff just isn’t good for us!  It contributes to heart disease and animals are treated with hormones which means you’re ingesting them too when you eat their flesh.  Moreover, who knows what GMOs are in the feed they are consuming which means you are consuming those as well.  ?
  2. Next to go are “white meats” such as pork, chicken, turkey, etc.
  3. Fish and seafood are the next ones to eliminate (unless you are aiming to be a pescatarian).
  4. Finally, if you want to be vegan, remove eggs and dairy from your nutrition.  If you will be following a lacto-ovo plan, skip this step.

The rate at which you move through these stages is entirely up to you.  You can do it each stage for a week, a month, or even a year.   You have to determine your own time schedule and know what works best for you.  There is no magic time frame.  YOU should be ready to forego the next item on the list before moving on.  For most people, the first stage (removing red meat) is no big deal.  It’s the second one where you may have to spend more time.  You are eliminating a variety of animal protein in this stage because a lot of animal protein falls within this category.  Take your time.  There’s no rush to get through the stages!

Finally, don’t beat yourself up if you had given up red meat and caved into a craving one day when your neighbor was grilling steaks and the scent wafted over into your backyard.  This transition is a journey with many twists, turns, and the occasional u-turn.  It’s all good!  Take it at your own pace and be forgiving of yourself!  As long as you keep moving forward, you will make progress and eventually be living a 100% vegetarian life!!  Tune in next time for part 4 in this series and remember to always… FUEL UP for a FIT LIFE!




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