July 1st marked 6 months no red meat for me. I am super proud of myself! It took some major willpower, at times, and I was forced to cozy up with turkey meat more often than once. But here’s some things I’ve noticed and learned in the last 6 months:

  1. The first few days are the hardest. But like most habits we form, they’re easy to stick with once it’s been about a week.
  2. It’s easier to avoid red meat in your home. I was most tempted to eat red meat in public, especially at places like diners and bars and fast food drive-thrus. You can find red meat substitutes at the store to cook at home, but that’s often not the case at a restaurant.
  3. If you continue eating chicken and fish while refraining from red meat, you should not experience a stomach-ache when you begin eating red meat again. I can’t speak to everyone’s dietary restrictions, but I cut out meat all together for 30 days a few years ago, and when I tried a hamburger after the 30 day period, I was sick the rest of the day and the following morning. Supposedly, after three weeks, your body stops producing the enzyme your stomach needs to break down the meat, so when you eat it again, you earn a stomach ache.                                                                                                                                                   Now that I’ve refrained from red meat for 6 months, I can tell you that the stomach ache comes into play when you cut out meat across the board. So basically, if you’re a vegetarian returning to red meat, proceed with caution. If you eliminate the beef and pork but still enjoy chicken, turkey and fish, you can likely eat red meat with minimal problems. I didn’t get sick at all, so I totes pigged out on the 4th.
  4. “Real” bacon tastes better but is harder to cook. Turkey meat is barely greasy whatsoever and is cut in fine strips that you can separate with ease to line up in a frying pan. With pork bacon, that shit falls apart, gets stuck to the pan and shrinks by like 50%.  I definitely prefer the taste of pork bacon, but it seems like you get more bang for your buck with the turkey.
  5. Turkey spaghetti tastes better than beef. So I’ll continue with my ground-turkey spaghetti habits.
  6. Seafood wins this 6 month challenge. I’ve familiarized myself with scallops, seafood bakes and tuna melts galore. My love for seafood has grown tremendously in recent months.
  7. Vegan sausage sucks. Don’t even go there.
  8.  Pizza without bacon just isn’t pizza.
  9. Grocery shopping is suddenly weird. In recent weeks, I’ve completely forgotten to review the beef and pork section at the grocery store. My options have expanded since I’ve met my goal, but there’s really not a need for red meat anymore. (Although I’m such a sucker for Charcuterie plates, and I’ve avoided these speciality deli meats for months. Now, I can enjoy fancy picnic snacks with my wine again!!)
  10. Anything is possible! If you had told me last year that I would spend half of this year red-meat-free, I wouldn’t have believed you. But it totally happened and boosted my willpower over all: If I can stick with this goal, I can surely stick to others in the future. 20160701_190651.jpgKeegan treated us to Steak n Shake, our favorite fast food restaurant, to celebrate me meeting my goal! Their shakes, burgers and fries are out of this world. This isn’t Roger Ebert’s favorite burger joint for no reason. And yes, I had my ice cream before the “main course”. The perks of being an adult. On a side note, Denver is known for it’s wide selection of Charcuterie Plates, so I’m hoping to try one of these soon! In the meantime, here’s this:                                                                                                     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-UTPKL-UGY