I used to be the standard gymnast from the Midwest.
Fast forward to 2012, when I arrived in California, the land of the fundamental health nut. During this time, I was asked to provide business consulting for a newly opened organic food cafe in Hermosa Beach.
Part of the compensation was a generous credit, with which I drank plenty of raw vegetable juice and plant foods. Within days, I was thrilled with how well I felt in terms of mood and energy, and incorporated this new infusion of twigs and berries into my carnivorous diet. As I was curious to learn more about the food I ate, my research resulted in an experiment in which I tried a semi-vegetarian diet for 30 days.
My concern about maintaining muscle mass acquired after 20 years of training is not to be underestimated.
The online information on herbal fitness was, to say the least, sparse. Worse, most of the guys who promoted herbal fitness had muscle tone, but looked like athletic teens, not well-built bodybuilders.
Eventually, I spotted a handful of vegetarian bodybuilders looking what I wanted to look like. So I was inspired to continue with my experiment. I quickly fell in love with this new lifestyle and created VegetarianBodybuilding.com, a site for anyone who is curious about vegetarianism and wants to eat more plants and less meat (as I did then).
Did I lose muscle mass or force-eating plants?
On the contrary, I have taken on noticeable proportions and have never been stronger in my life. As I write this article, I weigh 229 pounds. with a 6 & # 39; & # 39; frame at about 14% body fat. I'm not a fitness model, just well built and pretty strong. Both are my personal goals.
What most vegetarian articles, websites and books forget to mention is that most of our dishes taste like baby food and outlets and going out (initially) becomes a difficult task. It's true and I'm the masochistic vegan with the goal on the forehead to say that. But at least I'm honest.
That means I have herbal dishes that I really enjoy. Do I like her meat as much as she used to? Probably not. Some of them are damn good, as are some of the new vegetable protein powders on the market.
But here's the deal: I did not become vegetarian / vegan out of pleasure to make my life more enjoyable. I did it for health and moral reasons. And like many things in life, there is give and take and a price for what we want.
I am all-in. I'm ready to sacrifice a little taste for another eight years of vibrant life and a better planet. I know that my four-legged friends are also thankful.
Sometimes I miss meat, but then I remember what I saw in videos and how roughly animals are treated. If I remember, the thought of eating meat literally makes me sick. I'm not saying that's dramatic, that's what happens.
I have not always been like that when I started becoming a vegetarian, but the more I was exposed to the images of inhumane slaughter of animals, the more this change happened.
I wrote this article for the person who is considering a herbal diet because I wish someone had told me tactfully and without apology in the beginning:
The vegetarian food may not taste so good at first – though there are some great recipes.
Eating out can be a challenge.
The return on investment in terms of health and "spiritual currency" is worth it.
I think it's important when people tell us the whole truth. It shows real self-confidence when it's time to explain our lifestyle to others. This can go a long way because if we also disclose the negative side of things, it feels less like a sales pitch and gains confidence. It also prepares us better for the upcoming journey and can lead to higher chances of success.
Should the vegetarian / vegan lifestyle not contain this kind of truth?