I survived a month without eating meat!
OK, before I go any further I will divulge my slip-ups:
- On September 1, I went to the pub with a fellow vegetarian and popped a bit of calamari in my mouth. Turns out my vege friend eats seafood. Woops.
- On September 13, I went to the pub and dunked my chip in gravy. Real gravy. Woops.
You might think it a bit crazy that I went a whole month without eating meat. I have my reasons:
- I wanted to eat more vegetables, broaden the variety of foods I ate, and try new things (or things I thought I didn’t like)
- Late last year, I was diagnosed with haemochromatosis, a genetic condition where I absorb at least four times the amount of iron as the normal person. This stink thing about having too much iron is that the body can’t get rid of it by itself and you end up feeling really terrible.
You know what, I ate things I thought I didn’t really like (mushrooms, tofu, beetroot) and they were delicious. I tried new and new-ish things (cactus, haloumi, paneer) and they were delicious. You won’t find me complaining about the food I did eat, but I can’t help but notice that there’s not that many vegetarian options available in restaurants – you get two choices if you’re lucky. Made decisions easier, I spose!
As for my health, I feel great and will be interested to see the difference eating only non-heme iron (the type of iron found in plants) has made to my ferritin levels.
Now meatless September is over, I’ve eaten bacon for breakfast (and if I’m being honest, it was disappointing) and will gradually start re-introducing meat back in to my diet. I’ll plan to increase my overall vege intake and reduce meat consumption, maybe I’ll be a weekday vegetarian. If you’re thinking about trying a meat free month, I’d highly recommend it – your perspective will change, you’ll be more open to trying new food, you’ll realise how much meat you’re actually eating and that you don’t really need it.
Coincidentally, as I write this, it just happens to by International Vegetarian Week (but now it’s not). You should give it a go anyway!