I’ve read things over the years in regards to diets, er, “lifestyles” that say if you follow a healthy lifestyle for 80% of the time, you can stay on the right track. I am pretty sure over they years I have done just that, especially in my mid 20’s through mid 30’s, but slowly I started making the WRONG choices 80% of the time.
Since I am now trying to get my forty-four year old self back on track towards better fitness, one effort I’m going to make is cutting down my intake of meat again.
No, I am NOT turning vegan, vegetarian, hexagenarian, masturbatarian, or Hungarian. I do not think that eating meat is unhealthy, and know full well that many folks eat a low carb, high protein diet filled with meats and maintain healthy blood work and a lean body mass. But personally, I enjoy a bowl of granola with almond milk WAY more than eggs and bacon, and I enjoy pasta, beans and potatoes more than most meat. I also find that my body reacts better to both weight loss and performance with a low fat, high carb diet. Sorry Paleo and protein heads, that’s just the way it is– for ME.
I admit my brain–that was once part of a 300 pound person’s body–often misjudges portion sizes; I probably eat closer to a whole chicken at times rather than a 4 oz. or 8 oz. serving. I also admit that eating more protein (meat) keeps me fuller (sometimes too full) longer. But the fact is, it doesn’t have be part of every meal I eat. So, I am cutting back, and in many ways plan to mimic the way I ate for the first six or seven years of my marriage.
See, when I first met Wifey she had been a vegetarian for a few years already and remained a vegetarian right up until she became pregnant with B-Man, so in turn, most of the time I was a vegetarian. The only times I ate meat was if we were out or when I visited my parents on the weekends. Of course it also helped that we were living pay check to pay check in those days and not buying meat was yet another way to save money (along with drinking crap beer).
Then things changed.
I can still remember the exact time when Wifey fell of the meatless wagon: we were at the now defunct John Harvard’s Brew House having diner on a Saturday evening. We had recently found out Wifey was pregnant, so of course she was not having beer, but she was content to eat her meal while watching me have a few beers and eat a big ass pub burger. At one point during the meal she says “I know this is going sound crazy, but can I have a bite of your burger?” “Oh no! I’m not gonna be the one who’s responsible for you eating meat again, sorry sister!” “Just a bite, that’s all.” “OK, but if you get sick, or puke, it’s not my fault.” With that she took a bite of my burger and never looked back. Ten years or more of vegetarianism down the drain!
Since that fateful evening, nearly twelve years ago, 98% of the dinners I’ve made have had some sort of beef, chicken or pork in them. Where as in the past I would go out of my way to make meatless meals and give chili, burritos, etc., meatless makeovers; now we were both all in on the meats.
Time to change again.
But now I think it’s time to get back to where I was. No, I may never be a 170 pounds again, or race bikes the way I did, but I figure if I can keep myself from going a size up, and keep having fun riding my bike. If so, that is a win. I figure if I can apply the same changes to meat as I [try] to do with alcohol; limiting intake to just a few nights a week, I can save myself some calories over time and maybe, MAYBE lose a few pounds.
One thing that I plan to do this time around is avoid the myriad of “fake” meats out there. If I’m going to have a meatless burrito it’s going to be made with veggies, rice and legumes, not some high sodium, made in a lab, soy crumble with the texture of dog anus.
Will getting back to a n 80/20 lifestyle work or will it continue to be more of 30/70 lifestyle that I’m rocking my gelatinous self to right now? Who know? All I know right now is that the spicy peppers & rice stir fry I had for lunch (and seen in the lead photo above) was damn good and I look forward to more Cat 5 Cooking creations like that in the future.
Now it’s time to pick up a twelve pack of beer and a half side a beef. You know, because I don’t want to go overboard with this healthy lifestyle thing too soon.