I’m going to try to write about my experience during my 30 day – No Meat, No Cheese trial without sounding like a douche. Let me begin by saying that I always fail within a few days when denying myself anything, especially if it’s bad for me. Also, I was persuaded around 2004, to believe that carbs were the reason why I had been struggling with my weight since 2001, so began my 8 year lifestyle consuming mainly meat and cheese – and gaining over 60 pounds. So naturally, I thought giving up meat and cheese for 30 days was going to be challenging but surprisingly, it wasn’t.
There are several reasons why I chose to participate in this elimination diet. Primarily, I’ve lived with food sensitivities since childhood and I started wondering why. Why am I getting hives almost every time I eat? What is my body trying to tell me about the food I’m consuming? I also want to add that this year I noticed my eyes were starting to yellow; they just didn’t have that glow they used to. My skin started to get really dry and dull. I had white bumps all over my face and red patches would come and go. I didn’t read too much into it – I just thought since I’m turning 33, these must be signs of ageing.
At first when giving up meat and most dairy, I noticed I felt lighter and less bloated but after only two weeks I started noticing some major changes in my body. My eyes were brighter. My teeth were becoming whiter and I’ve been struggling with my yellowing teeth for two years – using whitening products that were not effective. My nails now grow at impossible speed, they are also very strong – I’ve always had very frail nails and people told me I needed more calcium to strengthen them. My skin cleared up and now actually glows. My hair is abnormally shiny as well. I haven’t had a hive in 30 days and I poop like Dr. Oz. I’ve also noticed that I’m never really hungry and when my body wants food, my stomach lightly gurgles without hunger pains, like a cute flutter opposed to a gut-wrenching growl embarrassing me in meetings.
I believe the majority of these health benefits are directly related to omitting dairy from my diet, which pushed me further – I used to eat a block of solid cheese per week, I LOVE CHEESE. What helped me give up meat was all the research I did and still do. I was aware of factory farming and animal cruelty but I didn’t realize how ignorant I was to the bigger picture. I never thought my choice to not eat meat would turn ethical, but knowing what I know now, it’s really hard for me to think about eating meat again – even though I crave it everyday. I won’t share my new beliefs as they are my own and I realize this is a highly controversial subject. But, I will say the number one factual reason why I don’t want to eat meat is because most of it is diseased, for the purpose of mass production. Even in Canada, we are purchasing diseased meat without knowing it, and it’s not just beef. Recently, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, has for the first time, declared that a large amount of salmon infected with a flu-like virus is safe for human consumption. They claim there is no evidence the virus is harmful to humans. If supermarkets choose to sell this salmon are they going to add a label that reads, Warning: this fish has a virus! I doubt it. And if they did, would you buy it?
Now that my 30 day trail is over I’m wondering how to continue my lifestyle. I just thought I would lose a few pounds but I’m honestly shocked by the health benefits I’ve experienced and overwhelmed with this new moral objection to eating meat. I’m going to New Orleans on Monday (!!!!!!) and have an enormous food itinerary, so I guess I’ll see what happens next. In retrospect, I’ve always treated my body like John Mayer would treat it, but I’ve never experienced chronic pain so I don’t really know the difference between feeling good versus feeling bad – unless I’m hungover. So I guess what I’ve learned through this small journey is – I don’t have to feel bad to fix it.
Douche Notes***Some popular documentaries are Food Inc. and Forks Over Knives which are both equally disturbing but a really interesting film I watched was Farmageddon – an insight into the difficulties of organic farming. If you wonder why organic foods are so expensive, this will answer your question and it might shock you. Or you might not give a shit, and that’s your right. Namaste, bitches!