Why I Stopped Eating Meat

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I stopped eating meat. You’re probably thinking, why on earth would a Puerto Rican stop eating meat with all that good Puerto Rican food-pernil, arroz con gandules y habichuelas? Well no it’s not for this trendy diet or lifestyle about being vegan or vegetarian. For the past couple of months I haven’t been feeling well physically. About over a year ago I was noticing that I would have pain when I drank coffee and milk. I would try to ignore the physical pain I would endure and then I realized something. WHY am I ignoring pain in my body? This isn’t normal. I wanted to really feel healthy.

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Now, let’s get into why I stopped eating meat.

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Why did I cut out meat?

Consuming milk was becoming painful to the point that I couldn’t bare to walk and would be rushing to the bathroom because of the pain. I knew this wasn’t normal. I was getting sick consuming dairy products like milk and yogurt. I started to cut out milk. I said goodbye to oatmeal, iced coffee and even cereal.

Once I stopped consuming milk, I’d cut back on coffee too. I LOVED drinking iced coffee. I think it’s a New England thing. There is this great cozy thing about drinking iced coffee here. However, I realized that drinking coffee would give me the jitters and I was wasting money on coffee which could have went to pay off my debt. So I stopped drinking coffee. Once I started to cut out dairy, it was becoming easier to realize what was not making my body feel good and start changing my eating habits. I knew I was eating WAY too much sugar and I didn’t like throwing up the food I ate. Yes- I was throwing up. Things needed to change.

I was throwing up due to milk and cereal. I then was getting sick eating this chicken stew that I had to leave work.

The next reason why I stopped eating meat?

One afternoon, I cooked stuffed peppers with chicken. In the middle of the night, my body was waking me up. I had this urge to throw up. I was waking slowly until I rushed to the bathroom and threw up. I remember that night. I remember pleading to the universe because I absolutely HATE vomiting. I hate vomiting so bad that the last time I ate fish was when I was 11. I vomited during Good Friday and never ever again ate fish. So yes, that’s how serious throwing up has an influence on me cutting out food.

I pleaded that night like please let me throw up already I will stop eating meat. I won’t eat this again. The next morning, my eyeballs were red. My skin broke out and I felt horrible. Again, this isn’t normal. You shouldn’t be throwing up food. I was being mindful when I ate fruit and vegetables, I wouldn’t throw up. Instead, I would feel more awake and more energetic. I decided why not cut out meat? Why not just stay on a fruits and vegetable diet? When I say diet, I don’t mean those fab diets to lose weight and go crashing. I mean change my lifestyle. I want to feel good, not feel sick and listen to my body. My body deserves to be listened to and to also be nurtured properly.

I decided I needed to go do some research.

This was the time to research different kinds of recipes and meal prep differently. To be honest it was hard the first couple of days. It was hard to cut out meat and find food that was actually filling me up. Before, I would research recipes in advanced before going grocery shopping. This was the same deal, however, I needed to find recipes that were actually good and tasty. A lot of the recipes I was finding were plain and lacked substance. I enjoyed eating watermelon, fruits, broccoli and salad. However, I needed to be filled up and not hungry.

So I decided to stay within my known surroundings. Hispanic/Latin food. I decided to just continue cooking the rice, beans, enchiladas and burritos that I always was doing. Instead of cooking it with meat, I would replace it with vegetables. I would still season it like I always do. I am enjoying rice, beans and vegetables as well as yummy burritos and enchiladas.

My results

Cutting off meat had me felt more energetic and focused. Before I was feeling lethargic and always had to take a nap. Now, I wake up and go throughout the day feeling energetic and happier. I still have to meal prep like before and I have to actually plan ahead for food when I am out traveling. It’s not always easy. There are some times when there are not really tasty meals and I end up being hungry. It’s still a problem but I’m working my way around it. Meal prepping was something I did before and still do. I just replace meat with more protein like beans, lentils and greens. I don’t miss meat. I haven’t missed it and it’s been a month. I did cheat and was craving coffee during a work workshop. I drank coffee and regretted it. I was in pain and I had to learn the hard way to become more disciplined and decline coffee with milk. So there are some things that I crave but I have to go find something more healthier and remember that I don’t want to running to the bathroom in pain.

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Well there you have it. This was my story. Although I cut out meat, I still eat eggs for breakfast. I wouldn’t call myself vegan but more having a vegetarian diet. Maybe in the future, I’ll cut down anything coming from an animal. But for now, I’m good at staying where I am. I wanted to share my background and why I stopped eating meat. If you are looking to cut down on eating meat, I would suggest talking to your doctor because I am not dietitian, nutritionist or doctor. I just followed my intuition and listened to my own body because I know what’s best for my body.

I want to know what’s your opinion? Let me know in the comments below. What do you feel about people cutting out meat from their diet? Would you be able to do it?