On July 23, 2018 I decided to go vegetarian for 40 days —- until September 1st. I did not eat meat, fish or eggs (directly) for the duration for this time, but I did eat carbs. While I came into this not supporting the movement, I couldn’t knock it without trying it. While on this journey here are some of the things I noticed.
I just didn’t feel good while vegetarian. I know that that’s not exactly something that can be quantified, but I didn’t feel my best. I felt like quitting many times during this journey because I felt really groggy and sluggish. When I ate bread it felt heavy in my stomach and made me feel like it was soaking up water. Essentially it made me super bloated, and I hated the feeling. So, very early on I knew that bread wasn’t going to be a large part of my vegetarian journey. After working extremely hard in the gym to have a nice body, having a puffy stomach the next morning after eating a sandwich was not what I wanted. Keto bread doesn’t make me feel like that, which lead me to my next realization.
Keto Food is Just as Good
One thing I did enjoy on this journey was pasta.
Initially, I ate pasta with tomato sauce and copious amounts of cheese. After that, I decided to eat pasta with cream sauces and have come up with an amazing alfredo sauce recipe as a result. Keep your eyes peeled for that.
While this food tasted good and I enjoyed it, I also knew that I could easily enjoy the same things, while keeping it keto. Nupasta could easily replace regular spaghetti, and alfredo sauce is technically a keto approved thing anyways. I really had to ask myself why I would eat carbs when I could enjoy the same types of meals without them?
If you watch my Instagram stories you know I have always said that I’m not suffering on this way of eating – referring to keto. That statement could not be truer. I don’t feel like I’m on a diet while eating keto, I feel good.
Too Much Sugar
I blame keto for making me hyper-aware of how my body feels, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. The ketogenic diet taught me to listen to my body and give it what it needs. However, it also made me really aware of the macros of the food that I put into my body. It made me uncomfortable to think of the number of carbs I was eating while vegetarian. It was rice, bread, pasta, juice, fruit, and potatoes, for the majority of my meals. No matter how you look at it, that’s a lot of sugar. I also noticed that It was really hard to get in enough protein. Majority of my protein came from dairy or beans, and it just wasn’t enough.
While I did enjoy being able to eat Krispy Kreme doughnuts and jollof rice, I can’t say I’m going to miss them that much. I’m grateful for this experience because it taught me not to rely so much on meat to “make the meal”. I was reminded of the importance of flavours because when you’re not eating meat, flavours become the most important aspect of a meal. I also look at it like I had 40 days of cheat meals. I got it all out of my system, so this last quarter of 2018 I can really focus on my fitness goals without being distracted or tempted. I gained 5lbs that I’m confident I can lose in about 2 weeks.
I believe that only after trying something is one qualified to form an opinion on it. Now that I’ve tried vegetarianism I know that It’s not for me. I wouldn’t recommend going vegetarian for any reason except for religious or ethical reasons. I might have a change of heart in the future but for now, that’s how I feel about it. I’m happy to have tried it, but it’s not for me — and that’s okay.