Shelah Davis is a new convert into the vegetarian world, but openly admits to being
deathly afraid of tofu. She loves to share the fun side of her journey into the “Veg” world on her blog Royally Healthy. She also co-authors at Our Wicked Weighs ,a health blog/support group for all things weight loss and healthy.
You may think that moving toward a vegetarian lifestyle is difficult and often impossible, especially if a nice medium rare steak is a staple in your current diet. As an ex-meat lover, I am here to stand up and tell you that it can be done. Quite often, much easier than you might think.
I decided to cut meat from my diet when I began to learn about the chemicals and hormones that reside in meat even after it is processed. You see, I was on a quest for health because there were various cancers and diseases running rampant through my family tree. I knew that if I didn’t make necessary changes to my life, that I would soon become a statistic as well. A vegetarian lifestyle was the answer, at least for me.
To begin my process, I focused on planning. I decided in which order I would shed the flesh from my diet. First on my agenda was red meat. Then pork. Finally, poultry. Since I am a goal oriented person I felt that I needed the targets listed on my calendar…staring at me like a bulls eye. I decided to tackle giving up one thing per month. I thought that even at my worst, I could handle that goal. A goal that would get me to complete veg status in 3 short months. Who woulda thunk it?
I spent some time looking at all of my favorite dishes trying to find ways to make them without meat. What I quickly realized, was that it wasn’t as difficult of a process as I thought it would be. During the first month, I focused only on the red meat in my diet. I replaced all ground beef with ground veggie protein and tried other “meat” items that I found at my local health food store. I simply rebuilt the recipes that I already loved with foods that were healthy for me. I didn’t “give up” anything.
At first, the process was quite a challenge for me. Quite a bit of trial and error. I knew in the end that it would all be worth it. As I progressed, I began losing weight. A lot of weight. That alone helped in the motivation department in the beginning. It wasn’t long before I began to take note of how great I felt. Then those days of feeling great were enough motivation for me to continue on my journey.
I would be lying to you if I didn’t tell you that I do still crave meat. I find that my mouth still waters when I drive through a neighborhood and smell steaks on the grill. I don’t know if that will ever stop. I do know that no matter how great those steaks smell, they sure don’t make me feel as good as enjoying a grilled portabella burger makes me feel. I love not feeling lethargic after I eat anymore. I love being able to work with a clear head and not fighting off the dreaded cold viruses each time the seasons change.
The entire process of going from a meat loving woman to a vivacious veg gal took me less than 90 days. It wasn’t difficult. It wasn’t a sacrifice. I have enjoyed the process of getting here, almost as much as I enjoy the great way I feel now that I have arrived. Every day is an adventure for me. It is an adventure in great tasting, healthy food.