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food, life, Spirituality, wellness

What I Learnt from 6 Months of No Meat


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First of all, I’m not writing this in an attempt to convince you to become a vegetarian, vegan or anything else that you don’t want to be. This probably isn’t going to make you enjoy meat any less and enjoy a plant-based diet more. This is my own personal experience with becoming a Lacto-Ovo vegetarian. I still eat products with eggs in and I still eat cheese (yes, I love pizza). However, my mindset has been tweaked and shifted to appreciate a diet that involves more vegetables, grains, and legumes, that I have found more beneficial.

From a young child to a fully grown, adult man, I had been eating meat and fish in one form or another. Every now and again, I’ve given up red meat, just to see the effects on my body but I’d never taken the plunge to give it up entirely. I grew up in a family that was “spiritual” and always dipped in and out of vegetarianism and I was curious to see if I could ever give it up for a while.

As someone who started to get a little fluffy around the edges in 2011 – 2012, I decided to start a Ketogenic diet. I was eating meat once or twice a day, pairing this with a copious amount of cardio and I was rapidly dropping fat. It actually wasn’t the best health choice for me, my face didn’t look particularly healthy, I rarely smiled and I had wilder mood swings than Ben Stiller’s character in Dodgeball.

In 2017, I started to slowly phase meat out of my diet. I kind of just looked at the animal on my plate and thought, is that really benefiting my health? My taste for meat and fish slowly started to deteriorate and every time I would eat an animal, I would just be like, nope. Nope. Nope.

I ate fish and chips in January 2018 (I’m British, so). This was the last time that I consumed any animals. Even though my meal was delicious, something in me just decided that I really couldn’t condone eating an animal for two reasons:

  • It’s a shitty health choice.
  • Why do animals need to die, so that I can eat?

I’m an all-or-nothing kind of person, so when I have my mind committed to doing something, I’m going to give it my all. So, I just stopped eating it. If you’re considering quitting meat and/or fish, then you’ll hear actionable advice, like, start to cut things out in stages but if you want to do it, then the only thing stopping you from doing it is your own mind and possibly your tastebuds.

Top of the Food Chain

Eating, or not eating meat is a choice, or at least, it should be. Dr. Melanie Joy refers to the psychology of eating meat as “carnism”, a belief system that has conditioned society to consume certain animals. After researching for over a decade, she deduced that eating meat is ingrained in society and we’re unable to distinguish that eating it is not a human necessity. The ideology of carnism invisibly influences the majority of people and perpetuates the idea that animals and animal products are normal, natural and necessary.

Over 56 billion farmed animals are slaughtered every year just so people can eat them. It wasn’t exactly like I had developed a conscience overnight but I did consider to myself, was there any real need for me to sustain my life by consuming an animal that used to have its own life.

  • What made me better than the animals that I was eating?
  • Why did I deserve to live and they didn’t?
  • Why are certain animals given moral privileges over others?
  • Why is it the sole purpose of those animals to be grown, just so they could be killed and fed to me?

The choices that we make stem from our core beliefs. Society believes that household pets deserve more love, respect, and care than chickens, cows, pigs, and lambs. If you break that down and align it with your moral compass, it’s pretty fucked up. I don’t need a cow to survive, I would eat that cow purely out of taste and I wouldn’t throw my dead dog on the barbeque, making sure to brush marinade on him, while he cooks.

I have gained answers to these questions over time and they’ve given me a sense of clarity with my belief system and my diet.

Carb Coma

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One thing that I noticed when first making the transition to a vegetarian diet is that my portion size doubled. I was eating more. I wanted to feel fuller and that went hand-in-hand with eating a shit load more carbohydrates. I was eating pasta, rice, bread and everything else that I could and shovel into my mouth. But it’s cool because no animals were harmed, right? The transition also led me to eat a lot more veggies that I integrated with my carbs and yeah, it often led to a carb coma. Actually, it still leads to carb comas.

Back when I was on a keto diet, I was under the impression that carbs were the root of all evil and I should avoid eating them because they’ll make me fat. Like I previously mentioned, I was eating meat and I wasn’t looking very healthy.

Anyway, I must be boring the absolute shit out of you, so what did I learn after a good 6 months of not eating meat?

I learned that my body is not dependant on eating meat or fish. I wasn’t eating animals as a dietary requirement, I wasn’t eating animals to supplement my body for a lack of protein or nutrients. I was eating meat as an addiction, for the enjoyment of eating it.

Not eating any animals, has taught me to appreciate the vast lifeforms of this planet more. From the small insects in my garden to the cows that populate fields. An animal is a living, breathing user on this planet with its own journey. It’s unfair to take that life for our own pleasure.

This isn’t a sales pitch or a call to action telling you to be more considerate to animals or to stop eating meat, even though you think you need it. I’m not asking you buy my 30-day vegan plan or green powder supplement. I’m simply asking you to introspectively consider:

  • Why do you need meat?
  • What effect does it have on you and the world around you?

Ultimately, life is consistently hurling lessons at us. We’re always moving up in levels and this is how I, personally kicked it up a notch. I feel healthier and stronger in mind, body, and soul. I have more drive to consider what I’m consuming and how I’m consuming it.

life

How to Articulate Your Anger


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“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it as someone else; you are the one who gets burned” – Buddha

Anger is the kind of thing that sits inside of us. It sits there and waits and feeds off of your energy and your emotions. You get so pissed off at things and it just becomes counter-productive and lose your focus on what the real issue is. Whether you’re the kind of person that gets angry easily or the kind of person that allows the anger to build up and fester inside of you.

You can use that anger, it’s a tool. You can focus all of that anger into working for you, instead of you working for it. When you articulate the anger and turn the negative energy into positive energy you have a means of eliminating it altogether. Your anger can be put into a container, whether that’s drawing, painting, singing or dancing. Your energy can be infused into something. Creation can come from the most beautiful destruction and when we break we can also make.

Personally, I love to write and paint (not at the same time tho.) I love to meditate too but I find my mind wanders too much a little when I’m angry or upset and stillness of the mind is something I’m still trying to master. Anyhoo, I like to feel accomplished when I feel anger over something, so when I write, I pour my soul into my words and when I paint, I like to have something beautiful to look at. I like to feel like wow, I did that and I find that all of that pent-up energy that I had been accumulating has been dispersed into something that I have crafted.

I find that there’s a close link between food and spirituality and I love to cook when I’m pissed off. When cooking I always try to think positive thoughts so that the energy of positivity is transferred into the food. Usually, I’m cooking for others, as well as myself, so I’d like to share as much love as I can into other people too. It’s nice to feel a sense of happiness and a huge weight being lifted off of you when you create something that is enjoyed by other people.

Don’t manage your anger, eliminate it by articulating it. This world is filled with people who allow anger to fester inside themselves, causing them more harm than good. Anger doesn’t deserve to be managed, it should be eliminated from the body. Find a container or activity that helps you pour your heart, soul and frustration into and transform it into something positive.

life

8 Ways to Simplify Your Existence


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Simplicity is an acquired taste. Mankind, left free, instinctively complicates life.” – Katherine F. Gerould

Life for the average human is wild and chaotic. We get so focused on the day to day commitments in life and really lose perspective that there’s an entire world out there. There are lots of ways to keep your life as simple as possible. Here are 7 ways to combat the myriad of stress that life hurls at you.

 

Identify

Write down the most important things in your life, make a list of all of the essentials and then that will help you filter out what isn’t necessary so that you can strip it away. This process of elimination will help productivity because you’ll have removed the lesser important things from your mind.

 

Meditation

We all need to meditate. I’m a firm believer that meditation comes first, it is the primary point of our existence. Everything else comes secondary. Whether you choose to meditate in solitude or within a group, as long as you are clearing your mind and searching within then it will help to collect your thoughts. Meditation will calm you and soothe you.

 

Routine

Do you strive to be on-time? Do you eat regular meals? Do you wake up and go to sleep at specific times? Get yourself into more of a routine! set your alarm clock, have your meals at regular times and workout at specific times. Pick a routine that works best for you and stick to it. Routine will greatly improve your time management.

 

Throw Out the Shit You Don’t Need

Declutter your space. Do you still have old junk lying around the house? Throw it away and clear your space, this will allow your energy to flow more freely.

 

Disconnect Yourself

In a world full to the brim with distractions; iPhones here, tablets there and social media consistently edging its way into our lives more and more. There’s an unhealthy obsession with social media in this day and age and it consumes a lot of time. Spend some time away from your gadgets, otherwise, life will pass you by and you spent it checking to see how many likes you received.

 

I’ve Had Worse Things in My Mouth

Your body is a well-oiled machine and regular exercise and eating the right foods can drastically improve your day. Fuel yourself with lots of fruits, veggies and drink plenty of water. Did you know drinking water helps fuel your muscles? Gives you younger skin and research even shows that drinking half a litre of water within 30 minutes can boost your metabolism and help you burn calories faster.

 

Remain Positive

Keep your negativity in check, keep the bad thoughts to a minimum and remain positive. This will help raise your morale and keep you striving towards your goals, even when you feel trapped.

 

Adventure More

Try new things, explore more and adventure. See more of the world. Even if you don’t have the money to go to another country, try and find new places to visit and activities to do that are local. You will feel liberated.

 

 

How This Will Help Your Life

I have talked about 8 small changes that you can make in your life to greatly improve it. The bottom line is, less is more. Spend more time reflecting on yourself and working on yourself to drastically improve who you are. Improving yourself will improve your life.