4 Ways Consuming Little To No Meat Has Changed My Body And Lifestyle

by Brooke Van Sickle

I'm not a vegetarian. I still crave a cheeseburger and have chicken on my salads from time to time.

For the most part, however, I'm on a meatless diet.

I never consciously made the decision to consume protein from other foods; it just happened.

Here are a few reasons why:

It's easy to prepare meatless dishes.

I like to prepare meals ahead of time so I don't have to worry about what to bring to lunch.

After moving into my own place and finally being in control of what I put into my body, I became more health conscious.

I don't believe in dieting or restricting food from your diet, but I do believe in eating from the Earth.

When I started grocery shopping for myself, I read all the food labels.

Instead of looking at calorie count, I read the ingredients. If there are substances in the food that aren't natural or things I can't pronounce, I don't eat it.

I don't see the benefit in putting chemicals in my body that shouldn't be there, which is why I purchase mostly raw foods.

Most of my purchases consist of veggies.

They're quick to clean, cut and prepare. I can easily make wraps or pasta meals that containerize well. They also last longer than meals with meat in them.

There is protein in many foods other than meat.

A lot of people worry about not being able to get enough protein without consuming meat.

I don't have this problem in my diet. In fact, most of the time, I overeat protein.

Common high-protein foods I consume are Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts and eggs, among many others.

Protein is important for muscle development and overall health. It's something everyone should have in his or her diet, but that doesn't mean you have to eat pounds of meat to accrue it.

I feel better since abstaining.

Whenever I eat heavy, meat-filled meals, I feel lethargic afterward.

These meals tend to fill me up more than lighter, vegetable-based meals.

Since removing meat, I have more energy. The higher the vegetable content, the higher the fiber content.

Not only are these meals filling, but they also don't create the mid-afternoon wall I'm accustomed to.

I don't need to nap or rush out for caffeine.

I've also slimmed out. When I consume meat, my middle is usually thicker.

My stomach almost bloats from having to overly digest the meat. I might be alone, but my flat stomach has come in nicely since switching to a meatless diet.

I don't think we shouldn't consume animals.

Just because I don't eat meat regularly doesn't mean I'm against others having a mostly carnivorous diet.

Animals are on this planet to be consumed; it's all apart of the food chain.

However, that doesn't mean we should mindlessly consume whatever is handed to us.

I care about how animals are treated.

Since I'm against putting unnecessary chemicals in my own body, I don't like to consume meat that's been fed multitudes of toxic additives.

There are many places, like the local farmer's market or meat locker, to purchase better treated and more organically fed animals.

It's World Meat Free Day, and I challenge you all to try to give up meat from your meals for a day or even one meal every day.

Once you start slowly replacing meat with alternatives, you'll start to notice a difference in your overall health and well-being.

I know there are benefits to fish for magnesium and beef for iron, but your entire diet doesn't have to consist of meat.

Sometimes, it's fun to eat a color wheel of veggies.