Accidental Vegetarian?

Time for a good ole fashioned debate, bloggers.  I need some input just because I am curious, and this thought randomly popped into my mind.

Last year for Lent I gave up all forms of meat for 40 days. I don’t really know why I gave up meat….but the only other alternative to giving up meat was giving up sweets, and I think after 40 days with no sugar I would have went on a massive killing spree.

It was tough at first.  The first week or so really got to me.  Being a Group Exercise Instructor means alot of calories burnt, and with little to no protein going in, I was struggling big time.

At this point I began researching more and more about other protein sourced, and experimenting with different products.  I was feeling sluggish and drained.  I accounted it to all the workouts I was doing, when in reality, I think the lack of protein was starting to affect my health.

It was at this point when I began to find some great meat/protein alternatives to help me survive the second half of my no meat journey!

I started relying on beans, legumes, and nut butters for alot of my protein.  There were also TONS of vegetarian friendly protein powders out there.  Slowly but surely I was feeling more “normal” again, and the process didn’t seem so hard.

Having a store like Earth Fare, Whole Foods, or something similar that caters to a healthy lifestyle will always have plenty of vegetarian friendly items, so shopping is not difficult.  It was my personal experience that even the big chain stores such as WalMart also offered a surprising number of vegetarian friendly/organic items.

Carbs became my friends, as well as vegetables.  Pretty soon I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything going meatless.

It was finally time for the 40 days to be over.  I had survived no meat, and felt great!  I remember “splurging” the night I finished by going to the local Thai place and having shrimp stir fry.

Boy, was that a mistake.

I don’t know if my body was just not used to animal protein, or what….but I was SICK!  Maybe I jumped too quickly into the meat department, but my stomach most certainly said it wanted no part of it.

I slowly began to extend my non-meat journey just for the fear of getting sick again!  Shockingly, it was easier than I thought.

Pretty soon, the 40 days had turned into almost 8 months of no meat!

As it stands now, I eat meat.  In Tyler terms this means chicken or turkey.  I rarely EVER eat red meat, simply because I don’t crave it *and* the fat content in red meat skeeves me out!

So my question to YOU, where do you stand on the meat issue?

Are you vegetarian?



If you are a vegetarian/vegan…why?



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16 responses to “Accidental Vegetarian?

  1. Derek

    I am a carnivore but at times considered going veg. I commend you. I do not think i would be able to give up pork. Its one of my favs lol. But good for you! Way to commit to something.

    • Occasionally I will have BBQ pork, but it is seriously maybe twice a year. I just don’t crave it, I guess! I forgot to add fish to my list! I consider fish a meat (some people don’t which confuses me) and love it!

  2. jamie

    Hey hey Tyler… You should read some of Michael Pollan’s books… The main one “The omnivores Dilema” I have been cutting back the amount of meat I am eating, simply because everything I read says that it is by far the healthiest option for your body. Like you, though, I workout all the time and need my protein ESPECIALLY with being a runner!!!! Let me know what you decide!!! This whole meat vs. no meat debate is VERY interesting to me!

    • Its very interesting to me to! I guess just because it was this time last year when I went veggie, and almost made it a permanent lifestyle. I keep going back and forth on if I will do it again! Just don’t know.

  3. I stopped eating meat about 2 years ago and lost TON of weight…then I started to gain a TON of weight back because I was overcompensating lost protein with shittons of nut butter and carbs…clearly I didn’t do my research right! I stopped eating meat in the first place for “ethical” reasons, but the weight loss made it worth while for me. It was a mistake on my part because I was litterally skin and bones. I started eating meat again after 6 months of not eating it and am still trying to lose the weight I gained from pigging out on nut butters for “protein”. SO! I think if you feel it’s ethically wrong for you to eat meat, then don’t do it.

    That said…I love meat. Nothing beats a medium rare filet mignon…mmm… 😉

  4. I’d say I’m 95% vegetarian…or maybe 95% pescatarian. I simply don’t like meat and rarely eat it. I’ll have chicken a few times a month if my husband prepares it and red meat at a nice steak restaurant maybe once a year. I love Salmon and eat it whenever I can, but that’s rare because it’s so expensive. I also was really impacted by watching Food Inc and reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, so that’s another reason why I don’t eat much meat.

  5. Jackie

    My husband and I are vegetarian at home, but eat meat out or at other people’s homes. We do tend to eat a lot of ethnic food (Thai, Chinese, etc) so we tend to eat vegetarian at restaurants as well. We do this for health and cost. Meat is expensive and I find I am just as happy eating beans. But when I travel or go out I like the flexibility of eating meat if I need/want too.

  6. Shannon

    I’ve been cutting back on animal products as a whole after reading Eat for Health, but I’m having trouble with the whole protein and carb thing. I’m having trouble finding a balanced diet without the animal protein. If I could figure it out, I’d give up meat, chicken/poultry, fish and all animal products in a heartbeat for ethical/moral reasons as well as health reasons. I rarely ever eat red meat anyway, but I do enjoy chicken and fish. I also work out – boot camp workouts 6 days a week so getting enough protein is important to me. I am very interested in this debate. I can’t wait to hear what you decide and see other comments. 🙂

  7. I personally eat meat on a daily basis. I am not a fan of the vegetarian lifestyle. I personally think it is a bit of a “fad” it goes in and out of style, but eventually people usually end up eating meat. I am also from a family that always had meat at lunch and dinner and then when I struggled with my eating disorder I tried to avoid meat (and all foods come to think of it) but as a result I really hurt my body so I need the protein from turkey, chicken, and a little beef to aide in my blood platelet issues.

    But I think that choosing to or not choosing to go meat free should be your decision. Please do not let others convince you are wrong because you choose to eat meat if that is what makes you feel best! 🙂

    • Yea, I think I will always be part carnivore. This isn’t to say that I don’t respect/understand the veggie lifestyle! I just love getting everyones unique opinions about it!

  8. Hey Tyler! I’m so glad you’re “back!” I’m middle of the road – I eat meat a few times a week, rarely red meat, and will go a week or so at a time without any meat from time to time. We also choose organic/local meats for the most part and practice moderation (focus on grains/veggies/fruits as the main part of the meal, with meat as a smaller player).

  9. Elvira

    Hi Tyler, I’m new to your blog and so far I like it a lot, congrats!
    I’ve been a vegan for a year now, I would say 99% vegan with 1% vegetarian on special occasions :). But I don’t try to preach about that lifestyle, it’s just what works better for me. I like experimenting with new types of foods, discovering new flavors and overall, feeling well and healthy. I don’t know if I will be vegan for the rest of my life, or I will reintroduce some fish and eggs in the future. We’ll see… 😀

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