There are many things about 2012 that have changed my previous ways of once living or thinking. I feel that every day, I continue to grow and learn but so far, this year is shaping up as more of a transforming year more than anything.
This morning, I got myself out of bed at the ungodly hour of 4am and made it to the gym by 4:30am to teach my RPM class. As I was getting ready to teach, I noticed a few things…..
Since I’ve been teaching RPM, in the past 6 months, my legs have gotten noticeably large. I’ve always had strong legs, which I believe comes from years of running, but never have my legs been as strong and defined as they are since I began biking. No wonder my thighs are bursting out of my pants these days.
I got home and heated up some oats before heading out for the day.
Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats with Blackberries, Carrot Cake Granola, Sunflower Seed Butter
I had some meetings this morning and then headed into the office before lunch. A few of my lovely coworkers had planned a lunch date and invited me along. I couldn’t turn it down.
We went to Panera and unlike my last salad experience, this time, they truly delivered.
I ordered the Fugi Apple Chicken Salad which was excellent!
Those sweet apple chips were banging and I also found out that Panera uses all natural antibiotic free chicken which also made my quite pleased.
Speaking of chicken, that brings me to my next point…another change that I’ve endured this year is my vow to eat meat once again. For the past 2 years, I had considered myself a pescitarian and turned up my nose at the thought of eating poultry. I didn’t really have a personal objection to eating meat, I just convinced myself it wasn’t for me. Truth be told, at first, I had a hard time digesting meat when my Cohron’s was at its worst so I eliminated it during that time. However, most foods were hard for me to digest at the time but I eventually added them back in gradually. Meat just never made it back into the mix. Over time, I liked my identity of being a self proclaimed vegetarian and it became a part of who I was.
This year, things changed. My priorities changed, my desires changed, my body changed and I knew that what it needed most was what it was lacking….animal protein. So I began eating meat and I actually enjoyed it and no one, not one single person made a big deal about it.
The one meat that I had turned my back on for SO long was bacon. I’m not sure what irked me so much about this food but even the smell was hard for me to take. I never really saw myself craving bacon until this past week. Courtney has been posting the most incredible photos of turkey bacon and I haven’t been able to get it off my mind. So today, I headed to the health food store to find some Organic Turkey Bacon and did something I thought I’d never see myself do….
I ate it!
Honestly, I really don’t know why I was so afraid of the stuff. After looking at the nutritional stats, it’s pretty incredible just how healthy it is. 30 calories per slice, 1 g of fat, 6 g of protein per slice….wow…in two slices that more protein that I would get in most of my meals.
I used the “baked” method to cook this and served it with a side of scrambled egg whites and roasted brussels sprouts.
It was good. It still might take some time to love it but I definitely didn’t hate it.
A common misconception that many people have is that not eating meat will make you loose weight. This is so false. When I stopped eating meat, I actually gained weight. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing because it was at a time when I needed to gain, but naturally, my body ate more and more carbs and lacked protein. I know that they are so many wonderful protein options for vegetarians but I seemed to avert mainly to fruits, veggies and carbs. Since including more protein, I’ve increased my muscle definition, energy, and overall physical strength.
So I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t regret this decision one bit. Do I miss labeling myself as a vegetarian? Sure, some days I do. But I must say, living my life without any kind of rule or label is much much more gratifying. Besides, I’d rather who I am be more than what I eat or choose not to eat. Meat or no meat, I’m still the same person, maybe just a little less self focused on what I think I should be rather than what I actually need to be.
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