We used to eat a lot of meat. We would either have beef, pork or chicken every night of the week. Once in a while, we would have fish. On top of dinners, most of our lunches included deli meat, sliced chicken or tuna and always cheese.
It was a rarity for us to have a meat-free meal. And a meat and dairy free meal? No way. The only time I recall eating a vegan meal was when Bill’s daughter Tori, who has been vegan for over 4 years, came to visit for Christmas one year and we had vegan lasagne for Christmas dinner.
So to sit here and write about being a vegan is somewhat of a shock to me!
I’d like to tell you how my husband and I started eating plant based. It’s been almost six months since our last non-vegan meal. That’s not a long time but I have learned so much since last July, I thought I’d pass some of it on.
I read Atomic Habits by James Clear last February. It was and continues to be impactful for me in terms of making lifestyle changes. I recommended the book to Bill and he also read it. He came upon a section about shaping habits by going through phases.
While Clear was using becoming vegan as an example, it got Bill thinking about his own meat consumption. We both knew we were eating more meat than we thought was healthy. Bill thought Clear’s tiered approach, easing into a new habit in phases, was interesting and doable for us. In June, he suggested we not eat any four-legged animals (beef, pork, lamb) for 30 days. I am always up for a challenge, so I quickly agreed.
We stocked up on organic chicken breasts at Costco and stored them in the freezer of our RV. Back then, we were traveling around the Lake Tahoe and Gold Country regions. During the month of June and into early July, we ate a lot of chicken and more fish than usual. Neither of us missed beef or pork.
When our 30-day trial was up in early July, we were staying in Truckee (Lake Tahoe area). Bill, who is more social than I am, always gets to know our fellow RVers. He met a man about our age who was RVing with his wife. Bill started talking to him regularly.
When Bill told him he had lost 60 pounds, I lost 90 pounds and we had both stopped drinking alcohol, the man mentioned he too gave up alcohol and he and his wife became vegan. He suggested we try a plant based lifestyle and recommended a couple of documentaries for us to watch.
That night, we watched The Game Changers. We were riveted. At the end of it, we both looked at each other and said, “I’m in!”. We skipped phases 2 through 4 listed in Atomic Habits and went straight to phase 5!
A few nights later, we watched Forks Over Knives, which delves deeper into the health benefits of a plant based diet. It further solidified for us that this was worth trying.
If you have an interest in adopting a plant based lifestyle, I recommend both of this documentaries. Later, I will have some books that impacted the way we eat and live too.
In my next post about our plant based lifestyle, I will discuss how I adapted to a new way of cooking and grocery shopping.
Thanks for reading!