It has taken time, patience and quite often 2 steps forward and 1 step back.
Even today I regularly fall off the wagon and eat food, and drink alcohol that I know is doing me more harm than good.
However, as the months and years go by, I know I am moving in the right direction and gradually making small steps to improve.
Here’s an example of what I mean:
Approx 3 years ago I decided to cut back on the amount of processed red meat I ate.
This was mainly for health reasons, but also I felt ‘morally better’ for eating less meat.
No ground-breaking life adjustment, just a small change to my diet.
Fast forward to the present day..
Now I consider myself a ‘flexitarian‘, which makes a lot of my friends laugh!
Fish aside, it means I haven’t cut out all meat, I just enjoy it every now and again.
Probably once a week or once a fortnight.
The only times I eat animal meat now, is when I eat out. And then I try and find meat that is organic and locally sourced. (not always possible I admit).
I don’t buy meat from the supermarket anymore – just fish.
Obviously my fish consumption has gone through the roof!
I love fish and eat it at least 5 times a week now.
Mainly salmon, tuna, sardines and prawns.
Luckily my wife also bought into the idea of cutting back on red meat.
However, for well over a year now she has stopped eating any form of animal meat other than fish.
She’s gone 100% pescetarian.
Hats off to her too.
It does make it much easier to follow a largely meat-free diet when you and your partner are both committed.
Shopping for food and preparing meals is much easier to do.
But I Can’t Live Without Chicken!
It’s funny how most people think they won’t be able to give up chicken.
One thing is for sure – there are sooo many recipes that involve chicken.
It is a cheap source of food that can be added to virtually any meal.
But trust me, after a while you’ll get used to preparing alternative meals, and you won’t miss it.
It just takes time.
It’s also a lot of fun discovering new ‘healthier’ recipes.
Get Your Protein Without The Extras
A lot of people eat chicken for a source of protein.
Well unless you’re eating organic chicken (which hardly anyone does) you’re eating regular, quickly processed, conveyor belt chicken.
Let’s not kid ourselves people.
The chicken most people eat are born and raised in a warehouse under artificial light – known as broiler chickens.
They are fed artificial food to fatten them up as quickly as possible.
They live in a totally unnatural environment and are killed after approx 38 days.
As you can imagine, this is about as unnatural a life for a chicken as it could be.
Do you not think the meat you eat from that chicken will reflect that?
It’s got to..
There are dozens of other protein sources derived from vegetables, fish and vegetarian foods like lentils, beans, eggs and quinoa.
So Why Do I Still Eat Meat?
I don’t want to sound hypocritical, because I still enjoy meat now and again.
The difference for me today, is that I am far more aware of where the meat I eat comes from and how it was raised, fed etc.
It’s up to me then to make the decision as to whether I eat it or not.
I will always try and look for an organic option, or locally sourced.
Yes it’s more expensive, but I class it as a treat, rather than the ‘norm’.
Don’t get me wrong, every now and again I will eat some cheap, processed shite..and enjoy it!
But the more time I spend buying healthier fish and vegetarian options, the less I find myself falling off the wagon.
Start With 1 Small Decision
If any of the above resonates with you, try starting the way I did.
Make a decision to cut back on the amount of processed red meat you eat over the course of a week.
It can only benefit your health.
You never know, it might take you on a similar journey to mine – “a vegetarian with benefits!”