Meat No More Follow-Up

I’ve been on a “finding out what’s in my food” kick for a little while now. I’ve seen “Food Inc.” and “Forks Over Knives” in addition to reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Several months ago, I tried a 2 week vegetarian challenge just to see if I could do it. I admit, I didn’t really notice much of a difference in how I felt and it wasn’t a long enough time span to really track weight loss/gain. But now that I’ve learned so much more about where my food comes from and how its made, I’ve made some changes to my diet once more and I can tell you that I DO notice a difference this time. 

If you look at ingredient labels, you’ll see that high fructose corn syrup and many other corn by-products are in practically every prepackaged food item in the supermarket (assuming you’re not in a Whole Foods or similar store). This crap is NOT good for you. Some people may say “HFCS in moderation is okay” but I would disagree. It’s basically liquid diabetes and it’s in everything pre-packaged. We should all be trying to cut back. An easy way to do that is buy limited the foods you eat that come out of a box.

I’ve recently started eating more plants (fruits and vegetables) and basic food stuffs (rolled oats and whole grain rice) as well as meat/eggs that came from local, free range, grass finished (are still eating grass before they are slaughtered instead of corn) animals. I still eat meat, yes, but less of it. When I DO purchase meat, I try to go local and buy from people who are more than willing to tell me about where my meat comes from and how their animals live. Did you know there is a measurable difference in the health properties of grass-finished meat than store bought varieties which come from industrial feed lots? It’s true. There is so much interesting information in these various books and movies about how the food industry affects people and the world. Too much for me to share right here, but I would encourage EVERYONE to start paying more attention to what they put in their bodies, because what you don’t know will likely shock you into some changes.

Fruits and veggies

I’ve started to incorporate a “whole food, plant-based diet,” as the men of “Forks Over Knives” would tell you to do, into my lifestyle. Basically, what you eat should, more or less, exist in nature relatively as is. Minimal processing and such. Also, eat very little or no animal/animal by-products (dairy). They say you should because it helps prevent a slew of diseases and other health problems, but I’ll let them do the talking on that because they are doctors and I am not. I just wanted to share my experience with you all. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good box of Kraft Mac and Cheese as much as the next person who was ever a child or college student. But when I eat a whole bunch of processed food, I get this blech feeling. I feel a little lathargic, a little bloated, a little, I don’t know how to put this…heavy? Like I’m weighted down.

But since I’ve started making these changes, I’ve noticed that I have more energy and my metabolism is faster. I just feel better. Of course, I live in Southern California where we can grow ridiculous varieties of food and the weather is nice enough to have farmer’s markets year round, so I’m spoiled with my local, organic, seasonal fruits & veggies (MAN that makes me sound like a hippy! But I don’t care). I understand that lots of you out there are still buried under snow and farmer’s markets are simply not an option right now. But when the weather warms up, try checking out the Eat Well Guide to point you in the direction of your local and sustainable food options!

Until then, when you’re at the grocery store, trying picking up items that don’t come in a box or only have 1-2 ingredients. The fewer the ingredients, the less crap has been added. You’ll start to feel a difference very quickly!



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8 Comments on “Meat No More Follow-Up”

  1. Ness
    March 26, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    I did the same thing when I watched those documentaries. I had a momentary freak-out and intense urge to toss everything in my cupboard … followed by the realistic thought of how much of an overhaul those changes would take. I started out slow, first cutting out the processed items, then taking advantage of our freezer and dehydrated (for veggies that expire fast), and then have slowly cut out meat. I’m not a die-hard, so occasionally I’ll have a fast-food burger or some chicken with dinner – but boy can you tell the difference! Changing my diet to focus on fresh/natural foods has also made my grocery trips easier and faster. You would be surprised as how many aisles are filled with processed foods! Sometimes I skip the entire middle section of the grocery store!

  2. March 26, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    Well done Bryce!

    I fell slowly sideways into a vegetarian diet when i first started rooming with friends as a senior undergrad student. We just couldn’t afford the meat; when i started looking into alternative recipes i found i enjoyed experimenting, cooking and trying new foods and styles. The extra fitness followed, as did the extra information about the effects on the planet. Now, about twenty years later, i’m dating a recently turned vegan who is more strict than i, and as of last weekend, we’re basically boycotting convenience stores: you can’t buy anything there without palm oil in it, or wrapped unnecessarily in plastic. It’s pathetic and disgusting and shockingly bad for the planet. No wonder us western worlders are responsible for global warming; “convenience,” my foot. … But not my food.

    BTW check out any YouTube clips made by the great Dr Michael Klaper, MD. Just last weekend I discovered one he recorded about thirty years ago, and then i found he’s still at it as of the last year or three. All these recent movies are just presenting what he’s been saying all along.. kind of like the great Canadian ex-pro triathlete Brendan Brazier (Thrive, Vega products), et al.

    Happy munching!

  3. ChampionChallenge2013
    March 26, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    I’ve been vegan for several years and am so much healthier! It took a few tries to get it right (enough nutrients, variety, figuring out travel foods, etc), but now eating a healthy, plant-based diet is normal and it’s hard to remember why I didn’t always eat this way.

  4. March 26, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

    About two years ago, I decided to basically rule out any processed food for a couple months, solely for the purpose of wanting a new hobby to focus on (as strange as that sounds). Like you, I had an increase in energy, my skin got clearer and I just felt happier. To this day, I still eat a primarily plant-based diet (I usually eat meat when I dine out) and haven’t been to my primary care doctor once, since changing my eating habits. It might not work for everyone, but it certainly works for me! And yes, I do still love me some brewskis. =]

  5. March 27, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    Amen sister! I find myself sounding more and more “hippy” by the day.

  6. March 29, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    Thanks for liking my post! I too, am trying to become more cognizant of what I put in my mouth and the mouths of my family. It’s tough with two skinny teenagers and a skinny husband who can eat anything. I have been trying to make more homemade snack foods and continually educate my family on what they should not put in their body. It’s a hard change to make- good for you!

  7. March 30, 2013 at 9:01 am #

    I love Forks Over Knives… Another good one is “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead”, it’s more about juicing, but the food facts are kewls… I’ve altered my diet as well, basically we only buy fish, rarely eat other meats unless we are in a place with no options, and we’ve cut out most dairy and eggs. Let me say this, I LOST 20 POUNDS

  8. March 30, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    Reblogged this on TheN8kedRose.

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