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My Meatless Diet – Why I Don’t Label It

I adore animals, so the idea of eating them has always made me uneasy.

In 2004, while at college and eating pretty carelessly, I attempted to “go vegetarian”. I didn’t know much about nutrition – I ate meat-free pizzas, packaged soups and processed foods. After just one week I was drained of energy and falling asleep everywhere I could.  So back to meat I went, thinking that’s just the way we have to live.

Since this experience, the idea of a plant-based diet kept nagging at me but I was hesitant, thinking it was going to be hard, particularly with my travels. I was worried it would be too restrictive when eating out and by jumping into this “category” I was opening myself up to the risk of failing, which would lead to judgment. So, because I wasn’t “ready yet”, I continued with my habit of consuming meat with every meal.

I was scared to try it because I was making the change a bigger, more intimidating deal than I needed to.

One night, I was out for dinner with a group of new friends and one of them had ordered a vegetarian dish. I asked her if she was vegetarian and she replied, “kind of, but I don’t like to label it”.

That resonated with me. There was a freedom that came without the label. There are no rules to be broken. Just conscious decisions to be made at each meal.

I decided to casually stop including meat in my meals to see how I would go. I looked up new recipes and in that process I started to learn… a lot. I was fascinated by everything I was reading about the human body, our digestive system and the strength of confusion that exists in our society from manipulating marketing.

A month had passed and I hadn’t once missed having chicken in my salad or beef in my stir-fry. I started to learn about new foods, that are actually easier to cook, and a heck of a lot more healthy. It was easy. It wasn’t intimidating. I just made simple decisions at every meal. 

It has now been eight months since then and I feel fantastic. I still eat seafood occasionally and free-range eggs sometimes. I don’t need to eat at special restaurants as my friends often assume, and despite what I was fearful of, it has made ordering off any menu a heck of a lot easier.

With every single meal, I’m using my power of choice to do my bit for myself and the planet; and that’s a lot more powerful than you may think.

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So, if you have any urges to do something, remember small changes make a big impact.

LG x

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Chanelle Gehrke
    June 20, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    What a wonderful post! I wish more people were like you. I’ve been a vegan for 5 years, and vegetarian for 10 years, and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m going to share this on my wall. 🙂

  • Reply
    Dieter
    April 7, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    .. you probably like the picture of this cow … called activist cow 🙂
    .. http://www.gallerygiselle.com/cow-portrait.html
    cheers, Dieter

  • Reply
    celestedimilla
    April 3, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Hi Lynn! Thanks for your thoughtful reply – I appreciate it. I absolutely see your point, and it makes sense to me. You seem like someone with a lot of heart – I like that. Thanks for following!

  • Reply
    celestedimilla
    April 3, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Hey Lynn! From your blog it looks like you live an exciting life. My life may not be as exciting as yours is, but I can certainly resonate with your love for animals. I get why you don’t label yourself, and that’s great. It works for you. I’ve been following a plant-based diet for almost a year now, and for about the past 6 months I’ve called myself a vegan. It’s been a gradual transition to embracing this label, but it feels right to me now. It works for me. Anyway, great post – I enjoyed reading it!

    • Reply
      Lynn Gilmartin
      April 3, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      Hi Celeste, thanks so much for stopping by! I love your blog – very cool name! I’m certainly not saying everyone needs to remove the label, and I don’t shy away from the label, but I just like to encourage the ease of good choices. My intention is to share with people who are intimidated by the idea of bringing in any change, and making it out to be a big deal, like I was at first. Many people are scared of failing or being judged, so this was my little way of removing that fear, and it helped me realise that it really wasn’t a big deal at all! Sometimes we just need that little nudge for ourselves to figure that out. Good on you for embracing and doing what feels great for you! That’s what it’s all about 🙂 Thanks again! xx

  • Reply
    shannonphotographer
    April 1, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Always great reading LG. It’s strange to read exactly the same thought processes that I’ve just made, have already been made by you. I decided the same thing a month ago, and haven’t wanted to call myself vegetarian at all – but have just told anyone who asked (mainly the kids) that I’m just not eating meat at the moment. I feel much better in general and haven’t missed eating meat one bit.
    Thanks for talking about the mind games we play with ourselves and how little changes are the easy way to make big changes.
    S

    • Reply
      Lynn Gilmartin
      April 1, 2013 at 10:33 am

      That’s awesome Shannon!! I’m so glad that so many others are on the same page. We really do play games with ourselves and make our own lives harder than it should be because of it. Thanks so much for reading, and leaving such a lovely comment. It means a lot to me 🙂 See you next week!

  • Reply
    Trever
    March 30, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    I love your devotion to animals. Boots must love when he sees you coming! I confess I am still a meat eater but you are inspiring me to make changes. Keep up the good work.

    • Reply
      Lynn Gilmartin
      March 31, 2013 at 12:24 am

      Thank you for your lovely comment Trever!! It means a lot to me 🙂

      We are all individual, so what suits my diet, doesn’t mean it’s going to suit yours. But what I do insist as the most important change is just being more aware of what we are consuming/purchasing, which will be my next blog about animal factory farming. There is lots of information here if you are interested: http://www.makeitpossible.com

      Thank you again! x

  • Reply
    Regular Suzi Homemaker
    March 30, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    This really resonates with me at the moment! I eat mostly plant based, but when I go out I eat dairy and eggs on occasion, and I always feel a bit guilty about it.

    • Reply
      Lynn Gilmartin
      March 30, 2013 at 10:01 pm

      Don’t ever feel guilty Suzi – focus on all of those good choices you make everyday, rather than the odd “rule breaker”. It’s always OK to mix it up every now and then 🙂 thanks so much for stopping by xx

  • Reply
    Dominick
    March 30, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Sounds so familiar it spooky. I started to eat healthier to control my blood sugar. After a bit of research I decided to go on a no meat, no wheat, no sweets diet. I usedto tell my friends I was 95% vegtarian. Now I just say I eat a healthy diet. Lost 45 lbs and have so much energy. Your posts are inspiring me to stay the course. Thanks.

    • Reply
      Lynn Gilmartin
      March 30, 2013 at 10:02 pm

      You’ve made my day Dominick! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

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