30 Days a Vegetarian

Never thought I would utter the words “giving up meat” and “for religious
reasons” separately let alone together in the same sentence.

Yes, I did give up meat for a bit, for the majority of the Lent this year.

Nearly made it all the way to the end, roughly 40 days, but I had a lunch date
with some co-workers and made the decision that it was better to break the meat
fast instead of being “that guy” that was only picking at sides at an awesome
BBQ joint.

If you’ve ever been to lunch with somebody that’s currently on a fast or
engaging in some other diet fad, you know what I’m talking about.

The motivation? Technically not because of the religious season, was more to
help us get out of the box a bit and break up the monotony of our usual culinary
fare. We took on this challenge as a family, and even though it wasn’t a
competition, I did win

Would I do it again? Probably not, but based on my personal observations,
there’s a solid chance that I’m going to eat vegetarian a bit more regularly.
May even go as far as sticking to vegetarian breakfast and lunch most days.

So these observations, I’m breaking things down into pros and cons. Again, these
are my personal observations, things I noticed about myself and my family.


Going to start with the cons first.

Right out of the gate on the first few days on this experiment, I found myself
eating a fuck ton of junk food. Generally speaking, I don’t put a ton of garbage
into my system, but with a newly limited list of menu items, I was grabbing
potato chips and other trash.

This subsided after a few days when I started to get some healthier snacks into
the house. This observation gave me a ton of understanding as to how people can
be vegetarians but also over weight. All about making the right choices,
regardless of what your dietary restrictions may be.

Something that I didn’t experience but the kiddo did, and then the wife, were
bad headaches a few weeks into the process. Again, it didn’t seem to affect me,
but I’m pretty sure there’s an inside joke about how I’ve been irritable and
needed a steak, or something like that.

As the time went on, I noticed that somewhere in the process I had stopped
eating breakfast entirely. My omnivore breakfast go to is turkey sausage and
sauerkraut. A while back that’d include an egg or two as well, but really
haven’t been in an egg mood.

While not too terrible that I stopped eating breakfast, I think the lack of that
extra meal may have had other adverse effects I had noticed, while perhaps not
being directly correlated to my abandonment of meat.

With that, the biggest downside to this experience that I had noticed was that I
felt like I was losing strength during my daily workouts. My workouts aren’t
terribly intense, but I was finding myself struggling more and more as time went

I had noticed a bit of weight loss during this time, about 3 pounds, which I
suspect was muscle loss from the lack of meat, skipping breakfast, or a
combination of the two.

Along with the weight loss, I did notice that my finger nails seemed to be a bit
more brittle than usual. I’m still an occasional nail biter, less stress related
and more out of the laziness of walking to the other room to take care of a
problem nail.

Okay, that was the bad, outside of the perceived muscle loss, there were no
major negative side effects that were noticeable.


I gotta tell ya, while not immediately apparent, the bowel movements from going
vegetarian were absolutely fucking phenomenal. Took a bit of getting used to,
because the flatulence level did go up a bit. Once settled in, things were like
clock work. Big fan of that.

The higher flatulence could be considered a con, but I’m not from the school of
thought that farting is a bad thing.

Weight loss. I mentioned it as a con, because I am thinking I was losing muscle
more than fat. The fact remains that I did actually lose about 3 pounds over the
course of 40 days of being a vegetarian.

One of my favorite observances, other than the amazing bowel movements, was how
rare I felt sluggish and tired through the day. It was immediately apparent the
moment I started to bring meat back into my diet, that I do feel tired after a
meal from time to time.

Also worth noting, that after reintroducing meat into my diet, slowly over the
course of a week, I did start to experience some constipation. Coincidence,
perhaps, but suspect it’s related.

Dropping meat from our diet served it’s purpose pretty well as we did get out of
our box quite a bit and have some new favorite recipes. Since that was the whole
point of the experiment, it’s nice that it actually worked out that way.

Lightlife’s Smart Ground quickly became a crowd favorite. I used it in my
favorite hot lunch and the wife made a pretty solid “meat” loaf out of

Using it in tacos ended up being such a hit that we’re going to be including it
in our normal rotation moving forward.

Josh Sherman - The Man, The Myth, The Avatar

About Josh

Husband. Father. Pug dad. Musician. Founder of Holiday API, Head of Engineering and Emoji Specialist at Mailshake, and author of the best damn Lorem Ipsum Library for PHP.

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