Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Taking Responsibility Feels Good!

It's been almost 2 months since I became a part-time vegetarian/vegan.  Long enough, in my opinion, to make some decisions about whether or not it's a way of eating I want to continue.  The verdict?  I don't think I will to the degree I have practiced these last two months or so.

My entire motivation for trying this out was that I realized I was overeating meat by justifying that eating more protein was good.  Protein is fine, but not overeating it.  Which brings me to the other more important conclusion from this experiment...really in general, the only habit I still may act on, since weighing over 250lbs, is overeating too regularly.  

I often post pictures and write about large/extra large salads I make, and large bowls of soups and chilis that are staples in my diet.  I've never pretended to eat small portions, in fact quite the opposite.  The entire reason I adopted a Veg First Diet is so I could eat larger portions and bigger meals while keeping calories low.  And it worked!  And it still works!  As long as it vegetables I'm overeating! Overeating protein, fats (cream/cheese/nuts), and other "healthy" foods along with the vegetables started to become part of the overall habit of overeating, even when I thought I was aware of it!

Years ago when I started blogging (2006) I wrote a series of posts titled "Evolution of a Diet", but I never really finished them....and now I can see that maybe I never will.  I feel so differently about food/eating than I ever have before and it's still changing, in a good way.  

I was lucky enough to do a phone interview this morning for someone else's blog and one of the things I heard myself say was;

"Healthy eating is the attitude you bring to your dinner plate, not the food that's on your dinner plate!".  

I would much rather not want to overeat, than enjoy overeating.....does that make sense?  And the good the great news, is that I'm closer and closer to feeling that way everyday!  In fact I'm so close that today could be that day!  Lucky me!

The True Lesson

The true lesson was not to stop eating meat.  The true lesson was to
bring awareness to an old habit that is no longer serving me, emotionally, the way I thought it used to. (overeating)

Since greatly reducing the amount of animal meat protein I have started the habit of taking very small portions when I do eat it.  Although I will add meat back into most one of my daily meals, I predict, naturally, I will stay vegetarian/vegan 2-3 days a week because that ratio feels right.

I also greatly reduced the amount of dairy, cheese / yogurt / butter, and to my surprise I didn't miss it much considering how much of it I used to eat.  I plan to add these foods back in, but probably not on the same days I eat meat.  For some reason it makes sense, and again, it feels right to alternate.

I got back in the habit of weighing, measuring, and researching (googling) correct portions and calorie counts of foods I was trying to guesstimate.  I also started portioning out smaller containers of servings, while still giving myself permission to eat more if I wanted to, but with the condition of having to wait 20 minutes first.  Most times I did eat more after the 20 minutes, but I still feel that I ate much less starting with smaller portions to begin with.

It feels good to take responsibility again.

Some of my new favorites:

Pumpkin Chili
Roasted eggplant
Savory oatmeal 
Bagels and bread! (lol)
Miso soup

photos above; kale/chard salad w/avocado and pumpkin seeds portioned out in a size less than half of what I used to.  Meatloaf I made this morning sliced very thin and measured out in 2.5 ounce servings instead of my previous 4-5 ounces!


Anonymous said...

I was a full time vegetarian for three years in the 1980s and gained lots of weight, NOT the good kind.

Peace ~ Bear

Tracy Reifkind said...


I could easily see how that would happen :)

Nachos! lol

Diana said...

I had a chard/kale/spinach salad the other day and almost gagged at it's bitterness. I've never had chard and I'm guessing that's what made the difference. I think next time, it will be in soup instead. Salads are the enemy to me...I'll stick with soups!

Tracy Reifkind said...


You must be sensitive to bitter, but it most definitely is the kale first, or the chard, second. Mark is also sensitive to bitter kale.

It's rare that I taste bitter in either one. Personally I don't like bitter at all so I must not taste it otherwise I could not eat it :)