The New Year’s Resolution
Every year on January 1st, millions of Americans share a common desire for self-improvement. According to U.S. News,approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February and only 8% of people actually keep their resolutions.Many buy gym memberships with hopes of sculpting the perfect beach bod, some seek to make the new year more profitable, others buy books and plan to read more. But most commonly, 45% of Americans have resolutions to “change their diets, and eat healthier.” I myself am amongst that percentile.
Motivation to change my eating habits began after speaking with a co-worker about her recent switch from omnivore to vegan. The thought of cutting out meat had been on my mind for months, so this insight intrigued me. She explained how her husband is a master mechanic and would come home every night for years complaining about his sore back. They tried frequent visits to the chiropractor, regular stretching, yoga, but despite this effort, only some pain was alleviated. She proclaimed, “after 3 months of the diet change, my husband’s chronic back pain vanished.” I frequently remind myself to take everyone’s advice with a grain of salt, but this wasn’t the first story I’ve heard of similar stature and knew I had to try the no-meat life for myself.
Searching through various dietary habits, I came across a plethora of meatless eating titles, even some I never knew had a name, such as pollotarian – those who consume poultry, fish, eggs, but no red meat. It was hard to be a pollotarian because I love a good cut of steak, but was always conscious of my red meat intake due to its known risk of high cholesterol and increase in blood pressure. I continued the search and came across the vegan lifestyle – and yes, I do mean LIFESTYLE. Vegans do not consume any type of meat substance (no milk, chicken broth or even treats that have been fried in the same oil as animal food) and most do not use any products that have been made from or tested on animals. This seemed like a big jump for me to make, so when I found the title pescatarian, I felt like Goldilocks drinking her perfectly warmed porridge, which is pescatarian friendly As a pescatarian I consume eggs and seafood but stray away from poultry and meat.
Sometimes I flip into flexitarian mode to be socially courteous. Meaning, if I’m invited to a friend’s place for dinner and they’ve worked hard to chef up a meal with chicken, I’ll consume it. But, for the most part, I’ve been sticking to pescatarian habits.
Since my diet adjustment in January I’ve noticed significant changes. My cognitive and brain health have increased, hair and nails shine and look healthier, and I find that after workouts my muscle and joint stiffness has decreased. I attribute these benefits to the omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids found in seafood!
One point I’d like to make is my personal reasoning for the desire to cut out meat. I’m no humanitarian, or animal rights activist; my zodiac sign (Leo) tells me I’m too selfish for that! Motivation for this life-changing decision is inspired by the desire to treat my body right, and live a healthy life. (Saving animals and the environmental benefits is what stops me from turning back on my weak days.) I couldn’t make this agreement if I did it for someone or something else, I had to do it for me! Ever since, it’s been that much easier to purchase tofu, beans and nuts for protein instead of deli meat and chicken.
If you’re interested in this life-style, assess your motivation for this change. It can be hard for some individuals, but that’s okay, who doesn’t like a challenge?
Best of luck and write us to tell us how it’s going!
Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals. Please speak with your doctor before making any drastic changes to your lifestyle.
*Embrace the journey and circulate the love*
p.o.m.e. guest blogger
Photo Credit: Dana DeVolk