Vegan, Vegetarian, or Meat-Eater? How about all 3? by Joe Reid Kirby III
You don’t have to put yourself into one box, category, or cage. I think you will find that all 3 lifestyles have their advantages and disadvantages. As a thorough holistic nutrition coach and well-seasoned master trainer, here’s the way I balance all three to my benefit of living a healthy, happy life:
As I’m sure we’ve all come to learn by now, the best kind of food to eat is real food. Although junk foods may be a lot cheaper than wholesome foods, it’s been proven time and time again that sticking to a healthier nutrition regimen may cost you now, but will save you thousands in medical bills and preventable doctor visits of the future. “Foods” injected with chemical cocktails which trick your brain into desiring more of the foods that give you stomach aches, headaches, body aches, and allergies may seem more desirable for said taste; until you realize that untainted foods actually taste a hell of a lot better than the mysterious, cleverly-packaged science projects which didn’t exist 50 years ago — not to mention, that you don’t have to succumb to any nonsense side-effects.
This modern, religious food war is causing more confusion to the masses than providing the apparent goal of clarity. As a fellow practitioner of all 3 craving cults, allow me to introduce you to my simplified solution of the whole man versus food phenomenon; as well as, illustrate a practical, yet beneficial, method to which you may happily include all 3 lifestyle choices into your life without feeling deprived, stressed, or utterly bewildered — all the while, not sacrificing your good health in the process.
Suggestion number one: Place your focus on eating real, whole foods which are unprocessed (& require preparing — whether at home or compliments of a professional chef) and still remain in their natural form — for the most part. For example, if you’re a French fry lover; instead of buying an overly-processed, frozen bag of 70% modified potatoes, 30% other shit, prep your own homemade fries in your clean kitchen with your favorite types of potatoes. Google quick and easy healthy recipes; then, become culinarily resourceful with all of the fresh ingredients you can get your hands on. Make yourself a special sauce to drizzle on top of your crispy goodness and enjoy!
Suggestion number two: Take the middle-path of the two extremes. If you really sit back and think about it, herbivores and carnivores are both the extremists of the food chain. As a full time, Texas-style, all-you-can-eat meat eater (with a side of couch potato), I once packed on massive quantities of body fat and gained upwards of 20 pounds — placing me at my heaviest all-time weight of 193 pounds. Non-coincidentally, after adjusting my overall over-consumption of low-quality foods and sprinkling in a consistent schedule of daily workouts, I achieved what I’d personally consider my best body to-date — at and around 175 pounds. On the flip side, as an intermittent fasting, raw vegan, I found myself on the reverse side of the spectrum and ended up dropping a staggering twenty plus pounds in less than 4 weeks — placing me at the all-time lowest weight I’d seen since I was a teenager. Most of the lost inches were a result of body fat loss; however, I must admit that I did also cannibalize a significant amount of lean muscle tissue in the process. As a result, I slowly began to reintroduce eggs and a limited number of animal by-products (treat meals that contained trace amounts of dairy) into my diet, to regain my ideal weight and counter-act my hypertrophy nemeses.
Suggestion number three: Balance all three lifestyles in a way that you can honestly sustain and build from for the remainder of your days. The direction that I found works best for me is: following a strict vegetarian (no meat) lifestyle daily; performing an intermittent fasting, raw vegan 3-day detox/cleanse monthly, to filter organs and clean out the entire system; and treating myself to one quality meat-based meal on holidays and special occasions of which I feel I’ve earned that guiltless right. Through this methodical lifestyle choice, I’ve quickly reached my ideal weight once again and am looking to build from this promising, sustainable way of life.
Follow what feels best for you and your family, regardless of negative naysayers. Your life is yours to have and enjoy … just remember that leaning too far to either side will always lead to a fall — this thin line we’ve coined ‘life’ is all about balance.
#3CupsOfJoe … Peace. LOVE. Understanding.
P.S. Join me on the GottaLoveKirby YouTube Channel to participate in the 21 Day Vegetarian Challenge I’m hosting, brought to you in part by #3CupsOfJoe … From Your Average Joe to Fitness Model Series — beginning May 22nd and ending June 11th.
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