Why I Stopped Eating Poultry: It’s Not What You Think

quote

Jason Silva

 

One insignificant decision, good or bad, can alter the course of one’s life forever. The changes occur like a domino effect. One domino tilts forward causing a forward motion and for as long at another lie ahead, the movement is continuous.

 The “domino effect” is a great metaphor for how we choose to live. I say “choose” because the action is voluntary. Throughout our life, we can opt to remain unchanged and hold on to our conceptual beliefs, moral convictions, and unwavering attitudes or we can decide to open our mind and open our heart to the unknown.  For me, the later is working its magic!

Four days remain for me to finish reading, The Happy Vegan by Russell Simmons.  A goal for 2016 was to seek more education, so I chose (there’s that word again) to work on a Master’s degree.  Monday ended my first class and the second course starts in four days.  Simmons book is a quick read.  I enjoy his style of writing. He is practical and deliberate and precise.

I am reading the book because I need clarity on what it means to be a vegetarian.

My domino effect goes like this.

In 2014, I competed in my first figure competition. The training took my already wholesome diet to a more sophisticated level of eating clean (insert link). Building muscle mass requires more than throwing up weights.  Depending on your fitness goal, increasing muscle mass requires eating significant amounts of protein.  Because I don’t eat red meat (since 1994), my go to was poultry and seafood.

Toward the later part of 2015, I was getting tired of eating chicken and turkey.  Thoughts about giving up both on a regular basis occasionally plagued my brain, but I wasn’t quite ready to give up the likes of homemade turkey burgers and turkey chili.

January 2016 rolls around, and without doing much research, I take the plunge.  I decide to give up the chicken and turkey and go with more seafood and more plant-based protein.

I was consistent until February 7th, SuperBowl 2016.  The weekend was busy and for the first time in a month, I failed to plan— I was stuck for meal prep.  In a haste and, in spite of my goal, I bought chicken breast.  For the next two weeks, I ate chicken.  Then something happened.

The unexpected.

The hot flashes returned!

HOTFLASH

HOT FLASH!

 

For most of 2015, I experienced hot flashes from hell!  From deep within, an insane and intense radiating heat ignited then spread to every part of my body extending to my scalp. I’d look like someone threw a pot of water in my face.  By 8:30 in the morning my clothes were sweat-stained. As sad as it was, I don’t believe in hormone replacement therapy or any types of medication.

I was just going to adjust my wardrobe and deal with shit.  Since the summer was only a few months away, I could dress half-naked when needed.

By the end of January, I noticed less frequency-almost no hot flashes, but I did not make an immediate connection.  The ah-ha moment was after Superbowl weekend when I started eating chicken breast again.  The hot flashes returned with venom.  They increased in frequency and in intensity.

How on earth could chicken breast affect my hot flashes??  I searched online for a connection between chicken and hot flashes.  Nada!  Zilch!  I could not find a connection.  Furthermore, I was buying Lancaster County Poultry from a nearby Farmers Market. “Lancaster County has the highest density of organic farms in Pennsylvania and one of the highest in the country.” Their chickens are said to be all natural, free of growth hormones, pesticides, and fed a vegetarian diet.

The effects may be a coincidence, my body is rejecting the meat, or perhaps something that is in the chicken.  I don’t know.  The fact is that currently and since I stopped eating poultry, the only time I sweat profusely is during a workout. When the intense summer heat arrives, I will see what happens.

Also, when I get more time, I plan to read, Eat Right 4 Your Type. The premise of the book is that not all foods are suitable for all blood types and based on one’s “genetic code” and “characteristics,” they are predisposed to certain illnesses. It is an interesting theory that I will certainly explore.

Okay I know, I got off track.

After two weeks (February 21, 2016), I returned to plant based, and seafood as my protein source and the intense and unbearable hot flashes have almost entirely disappeared.  I no longer walk around looking like someone threw a bucket of water in my face.

Is this a coincidence?  I don’t know.  Only time will tell, so for now, I chose to stay away from poultry.

More of the domino effect.

Two and half months have passed. Since I stopped eating chicken, turkey, and pork, which I never ate much of, I decided to continue eating hard-boiled eggs, omelets and scrambled eggs.

One problem!

At work one day, while eating my hard-boiled eggs, I started gagging and was so confused. I managed to eat three but tossed the fourth egg and have not eaten a hard-boiled egg since.

After the boiled egg incident, I tried an omelet but added about one and a half cups of Tuscan kale.  I was okay with that and wolfed it down.

So for now, no more hard boiled eggs.

All of the diet changes have led me to consider eliminating all animal-based foods from my diet but I need clarity.

Does that mean I will be a vegan, vegetarian, or something else?  Hmmm… Heck at this point, I don’t even know what to call myself. Not that I need a label, I am just curious.

Low and behold I found http://www.vegsoc.org.    The Vegetarian Society, who defines a vegetarian as:

“Someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses (what’s that?), nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruits with, or without, the use of dairy products and eggs. A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish* or by-products of slaughter.”

Pulses are beans and lentils. 🙂

This definition may be debatable for some; I was curious from hearing people declare themselves as “vegan” or “vegetarian.”  At this point, rather than get hung up on a label; I am proceeding slowly. As I sort through the particulars of plant-based protein sources and diets, I will continue my diet without the poultry and eat seafood as needed and continue to educate myself on meatless meals.  Plans include more figure competitions, so I still need a daily intake of a substantial amount of protein.

My fitness plans include more figure competitions, so I still need a daily intake of a substantial amount of protein. I need to continue researching and find out what will work for me.  I believe there is no cookie-cutter approach to diet (lifestyle) and nutrition.  What works for one does not work for all; therefore, I have lots of tweaking to do.

Are you vegan? Are you a vegetarian or another identify with another label?  Are you a bodybuilder or gym rat who lives on a plant-based diet?  If so, I need you.  Please comment and share your experience or advice.

Thanks for stopping by and make it a great day!

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Visions And Fragmented Thoughts

Parts of compelling posts sit in my draft box collecting cyberdust, waiting for fresh words to complete them. Good intentions will eventually compel me to sit still long enough to edit and publish my drafts.  

I started this post the weekend or just after the Super Bowl.  Umm… Today is February 27th.  Seriously this is my umpteenth attempt to publish it.  Lol!  I tell myself it’s Life girl… Don’t take it too serious.  I am thinking, 

If I don’t publish this piece today, it probably won’t happen.  😦

Why?  Next week I start Grad school!  I am so excited!!  I found a program that has my name written all over it:  Wellness & Lifestyle Management.  🙂   School will affect my down time, so I know it may cut into my social media /blog time.  But all is well. I will continue to post when I can.

Meanwhile, this post includes snippets of wandering thoughts culminating from the start of the new year.  

D i s a p p o i n t m e n t    

I am  a little disappointed with myself. Why?  Fowl play… Look!!!  OMG!
 

A non plant based protein source!
  
 

The yellow gadget is new.  I stumbled on it at BJ’s for $5 and change.  This pretty little object is a juicer.  I have not seen one before but it’s very effective and super easy to use.  Slice a lemon in half and place face down in juicer.  Press the lever and squeeze.  The juice–not the seeds–flow like you are pouring it out of a juice bottle.  Love it!  #goodfind

My good intentions of going Vegetarian lasted about five weeks. I was doing exceptionally well. Eating only fish, legumes, quinoa, and other protein sources. I did experience a weak moment one day with my friend Michelle. I cheated and ate one… or two, well cooked, juicy and flavorful honey barbecue wing flings.  

Super Bowl weekend rolls around and… I want to blame my actions on lack of time, however, the fact is, we make time for what is important to us, so I am owning my choice to buy, cook, and eat the chicken breast. It is so much easier to blame our decions on someone or something, but I shouldn’t. So, there. I said it.  

On Saturday (the day before the Super Bowl), I felt bad and I felt guilty about buying the meat. 

Fear of not consuming enough protein in the upcoming week stirred up feelings of desperation. 

Muscles are built in the kitchen. Throwing weights up on the gym floor is only a part of the equation. 

On Sunday, as I squeezed fresh lemon juice on the chicken breasts, I tried to come to terms with my decision. I asked myself, 

“Why are you trying to be so damned perfect?  And why are you stressing?”

I realize that becoming a vegetarian is merely a journey. 

journey – [jur-nee]

1.a traveling from one place to another, usually taking a rather long time; trip:

2. a distance, course, or area traveled or suitable for traveling:

3.a period of travel:

4.passage or progress from one stage to another:

“…from one stage to another.”  

Training for my first figure competition was a journey. I experienced ups and downs and made adjustments along the way.

The process of going natural involves many stages. Determining one’s hair type. Finding the right product and product combination. Discovering techniques that work. Gains and failures… you push through it.

I don’t why I thought transitioning into the world of vegetarianism would be any different. I understand now. This week chicken. Next week I will return to plant based protein.

F U N

We shunned the traditional Super Bowl party this year. Instead a handful of close friends came over to watch the game with us.

Since I enjoy healthy and clean eating, no one expects to get any real sweets and treats from me, but on Sunday I surprised them with a Pinterest inspired mini candy station.  🙂 

   
   

To appease the fans on both teams, I bought a cake which displayed both team logos. Hubby’s birthday was the following day so during half time, we sang him Happy Birthday.  

P R O G R E S S    

   

                                                                            This picture was taken last week (January 2016).

My shoulders are growing!  Yay!  

I have been mostly working out alone, without my friend, so I have learned to push and challenge myself more.  I WILL  compete again; probably in the spring so I’m working hardER to better develop certain areas such as my quads.  Each time I walk on stage, I want to look better than the last time. 🙂

V I S I O N S

Right before the new year, me and a few friends hooked up to create Vision Boards.  With everyone being so busy with kids, family, work, grandkids and more, we decided to start 2016 out by having more focus.

A vision board is a visual creation of your goals and your dreams.  Using pictures, images, or whatever you find to create a reminder is what you set out to achieve.  There is no right or wrong way of doing it. My one friend purchased a large picture frame [excellent idea], so she could hang hers in her bedroom.  I used a foam board, my daughter cut hers out… It doesn’t matter, as long as it works for YOU.  

      

      

  
 

Creating the vision boards was a fun, relaxing and a productive activity. We’re all chipping away at our 2016 goals. My board is in my bedroom.  

Seeing the board every morning motivates me to do at least one activity each day, which will move me closer to accomplishing a goal. 

M O R E  F U N

The best Christmas present ever!  When I opened the box, a few weeks ago, I was surprised to learn that the telescope needed assembly.  But I am proud to say I put it together all by myself.  Assembly is usually hubbies department. 

Since I took an astronomy class in college, I have wanted a telescope.  For Chrismtas,  hubby gave me one.  I didn’t think he was paying attention when I said I wanted one.   How cool is that? 

I am excited because our backyard is the perfect backdrop for viewing the skies.  To help us to learn learn the what’s,  the why’s, and the how’s, friends bought us an astronomy book. I told our son, that we must read the book first, then we can get busy with viewing the stars. 🙂

I am officially ending this post.  

Happy Saturday and thanks for stopping by!   Smooches!


8-Ball Mouth Watering Squash

During the summer, I don’t usually spend much time planning dinner.  About an hour or so before 5 in the afternoon, I peek in the fridge to see what is grillable. My only plan is to light up the grill and avoid the stove and the oven.

Today after perusing through Pinterest and looking over my healthy eating board, I became inspired.   I craved for something a bit more creative– Something different from the norm, so I decided that after picking up my son from camp, that I would visit my favorite roadside market; Reed’s Farm Market.

I didn’t feel like dealing with the traffic and lines at Shoprite and knew that Reed’s would have fresh produce that I could toss on the grill.  I brought zucchini, Jersey tomatoes, cucumbers, red and sweet onions. I also brought two beautiful 8-Ball Squash!  Cool right!  This attractive round squash has the same flavor (to me) as the more traditionally shaped squash (zucchini), but the shape inspires creativity. The roundness of it screams, “stuff me!” Already I have ideas for the next ones that I buy.

8-Ball Squash

8-Ball Squash

I wasn’t certain about how to cook them on the grill, so I did the following:

– Thoroughly wash

– Cut into round slices

– Place on a large greased cookie sheet

– Mince 8-10 (I didn’t count) garlic cloves

– Drizzle with olive oil (next time I will brush both sides with garlic roasted olive oil)

– Douse with freshly ground black pepper (I didn’t measure)

– Sprinkle with Cayenne (I didn’t measure)

Toss in the oven…YES THE OVEN!  It wasn’t hot today and the air conditioning was on, so it wasn’t too bad. I broiled them on low for about 15-20 minutes

The result? They were too soft. I like squash with a slight crunch, but the flavor was intense.  Also, next time, I’d sprinkle the squash with a tad bit of garlic roasted cheese (I buy from the Shops at Smithville), but you can probably find it somewhere in your home town.

Before the oven

Before the oven

My  second experiment was broiled tomatoes. Yup! Ohhhh My Gooooodness!  If you love, notice I said, LOVE tomatoes, you have to give this a try.

Beautiful ripe tomatoes

Beautiful ripe tomatoes

– Thoroughly wash 1 large (Jersey) tomato

– Slice the tomato into medium-sized circles

– Place on a large greased cookie sheet

– Coat with minced garlic (I didn’t count)

– Olive oil? (I can’t remember, but think I drizzled a little on)

– Chop a handful organic fresh baby spinach

– Grind fresh black pepper

Toss in the broiler (on low) for about 20 minutes

Mouth Watering

Mouth Watering

 

Hurry and eat the veggies while they are warm.  The flavor is amazing!!  Hubby, my son, and my mom, all especially like the tomatoes.

Now, I have to figure out how to cook them on the grill.  If you know how to please do share!  Several hours later, I’m still licking my lips!

Talk to you later!

Thanks for visiting!