A Hardcore Carnivore’s Attempt to Change

Greetings all and welcome to my struggle! For all of my carnivore friends out there this is going to be hard to read, but yes, I’ve begun to switch to a vegan diet. No meat, no dairy, and all painful. No more delicious steaks. No more grilled chicken. No more whey protein, or milk, or cheese. Seriously though, it’s been a much easier transition than I thought it would be and I’m surprised that I don’t miss things as much as I thought I would. But before I describe where I’m at in the process, I’ll tell you where I began…

I can’t say I’ve ever been entirely excited about fruits and vegetables. Quite the opposite in fact. I would spend hours at the dinner table having “not finished my plate” because there were green beans on it. And I tried everything! Hiding them under baked potato skins, putting them in my pockets, feeding them to the dog… Max never was fond of green beans though, so they usually just ended up under the table. IF I built up the courage to actually try and eat them the bite was chased with milk to try and swallow as fast as possible. Through this story about green beans have I conveyed my previous disdain for vegetables yet?

Well, I can tell you it only got worse. Besides perhaps the occasional iceberg lettuce salad and maybe a few carrots (and the fantastic starches like corn and potatoes) I can’t remember having eaten any fruits or vegetables since I was 12 or so. Pizza was too easy, processed was quick and simple, and Mexican food is just plain delicious! As an undergraduate I can remember meals of toaster pastries and soda, and I was an athlete in a Division I Track & Field program!

Thankfully, by the time I entered the military after graduation I was at least eating somewhat “healthy.” Healthy to me meant leaner meats (more poultry), less fat (cutting out the candy and desserts), and fewer carbohydrates. It was heavy on the protein and that meant meat! After all, where else was I supposed to get the protein that would make me big and strong? And so I continued on that path for years, grilling my steaks and carefully measuring my scoops whey protein, all in the name of carnivore-ism. And then I met Stacey…

Stacey was a vegetarian who also ate seafood when we met. One of the first meals I made for her while we were dating was a baked salmon and mashed potatoes. It was really tasty and she instantly fell in love with me, so that was cool. Over time, I had started to adapt a few things like frozen veggie sausage, Morningstar meat crumbles, and pita chips, but still no fruits and veggies. And then, enter NETFLIX! A curse on your house NETFLIX! I was in ignorant bliss until we stumbled upon the documentary section and started learning things about our food. Titles like Food Inc., Forks over Knives, and Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead caused us to take a good long look at what we (Stacey and I) were doing to ourselves. Yet STILL I had no desire to change my diet. Well, to be honest, I replaced a few bags of chips with apples and I felt pretty darn good about that. It took a second session of Forks over Knives for my brain to finally kick into gear…

So, where am I at now? Well, about a month ago Stacey approached me while on vacation, handed me a glass full of green goo and said, “try this.” Since then I’ve switched to almond milk (the chocolate is amazing), no more cheese (I was probably at more than a pound PER WEEK and now I don’t even miss it), and I’m using fish as my transition meal while I’m out since my options are still limited. To keep a long story from becoming really long, I’m becoming vegan. It seems like transitioning instead of cold turkey (um, maybe going “cold tofu” is more appropriate) is the best way to go, so it will be a process. We’ll see how it goes. A month in, and maybe it’s just the placebo effect, I feel pretty good, recover from workouts quicker, and don’t think I’ve lost anything in the way of performance (get your head out of the gutter). One thing’s pretty evident though, I’m several pounds lighter even without trying. By several I mean around ten.

From time to time I’ll be writing up some of the challenges I face as a former hard-core carnivore both out to eat and in the house, as well as other insights and issues I may run into. If you have any questions or want to know how I’ve dealt with things as a meat and potatoes guy turned leafy green lover, ASK! By all means ask. Stacey and I would love to share the things we’ve learned with others that are interested in changing their eating habits but maintaining the social-ness of meals. That’s it for now and I hope to hear from you!

Catch you on the flax-side! (See what I did there?!?  Normally it’s flip-side but vegans eat a lot of flaxseeds so… No? Not funny? I’ll keep trying)


Update: Reflection on one year of going plant-based


2 Responses to A Hardcore Carnivore’s Attempt to Change

  1. Pingback: The Swamp – Gainesville, Florida **Guest review by Dan** | Veg Out To Eat

  2. Pingback: YEAR ONE: A REFLECTION ON CHANGE **Guest blog by Dan** | Veg Out To Eat

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