The First 50 Days

Please forgive me for posting this picture.  I try to include one with every post, nothing really fit, and “50 First Dates” kind of sounds like “The First 50 Days.”  So I went with it.  And who doesn’t have a soft spot for funny-voice comedian Adam Sandler?

A little over a week ago, an unexpected alarm went off to alert me that 50 days had passed since I committed to this mostly-meatless diet. The alarm?  I ran out of the digestive enzyme supplement that I bought on the first day of the 10-Day Challenge back in mid-March.  50 servings times one per day equals 50 days!

50_first_datesIt has now been exactly two months (to the day) since I ate that nasty rest-stop chicken sandwich on the way home from the Tony Robbins seminar.  And what better way to celebrate that small milestone than by going to a Michael Pollan talk in Baltimore tonight?  If you’re going, look for me; I’ll be the big running carrot taking copious notes.

For you new readers, here’s a quick recap of the past two months.  Before attending Tony Robbins’ seminar, I was health conscious, but I still ate chicken and (very occasionally) pork.  Immediately after the seminar I took Tony’s 10-Day Challenge, which entailed eating a pescetarian diet (vegetarian plus fish), eating very few dairy products, and obeying a bunch of other rules like no caffeine or alcohol.  I felt so great after the ten days that I decided to stick with it, relaxing some of the restrictions but still eating a pescetarian diet.  About a month ago I gave serious consideration to eliminating fish from my diet altogether, and I wrote No More Fishing? about the dilemma.  Since then, I’ve been completely vegetarian except for one bite of shrimp and a taste of crab soup that a friend made; this is about the frequency with which I’m willing to eat seafood for the time being.

The fact that I’ve written a new blog post almost every day should be a good indicator of how excited I am about this diet and how great I’ve felt as a result.  But there have been lots of other positive changes in my life, some non-dietary, that have flown under the blog radar.  So I want to highlight those in case some of you are still sitting on the fence about reducing your meat consumption, or even just about committing to eat more healthily.

Here’s the quick list of the changes, in my life and my wife Erin’s, that have come as a direct result of the new diet:

  • Erin now eats this way too.
  • I lost 5 pounds initially, and thankfully I didn’t lose any more.
  • Erin has lost almost 15 pounds (partly due to being sick right before we started, but she’s kept it off)
  • We’ve avoided that pesky Swine Flu.
  • We started recycling paper, glass, plastic, and aluminum.
  • Erin started composting for her garden and is growing even more vegetables than last year.
  • We shop with reusable grocery bags.
  • We produce less than half the garbage waste that we used to, owing to the previous three items.
  • We spend less on groceries, even while buying more organics and whole food products than before.
  • We almost never eat out, and rarely use the microwave.
  • We support local farmers and eat more local food by shopping at the farmers market each week.
  • I stay up later, get up earlier, and feel more energetic than ever.
  • We plan our meals for the week, rather than haphazardly throwing together dinner each night.
  • We use more natural soaps, toiletries, and cleaning products for both our own health and that of the environment.
  • Some friends and family members are eating better as a result of this blog.
  • I’ve discovered a new hobby in blogging!

This is a lot of changes, and it all adds up to a much different, better life than we were living before.  I believed Tony Robbins when he claimed his seminar would change my life, but I had no idea that the change would take this form.  Before I started eating this way, I didn’t have the slightest interest in recycling or caring for the environment, other than feeling slightly uneasy about eating animals.

But not all is perfect in NMA-land.  My knee, though much better, is still bothering me (more on running, and a huge accomplishment of Erin’s, tomorrow).  I’m eating a little more dairy than I ideally want to be, and I’m not eating the amount of greens and the variety of fresh vegetables that I was in all my early zeal.  And maybe worst of all, I’m drinking coffee again, much more than the one cup per week I said I was going to.  I think there might be another 10-Day Challenge in my future to get me back on track with all of this, and my secret hope is that I can convince some of you readers to join me!

And oh yeah, I abhor my blender.  I’m ready to drive it out to a field and go Office Space on it.   Maybe I’ll videotape that one for you.



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  1. Great work! Keep it up. And thanks for sharing your journey.

  2. FluffyGymBunny says:

    Congrats on reaching 50 days! It’s great that you’ve not only changed your diet but also many of your other habits, and even better that you’re helping others to do the same. Getting more greens and other fresh produce is a matter of planning your meals (both lunch and dinner) a bit better and looking for ways to incorporate more veg. I always try to have at least 3 coloured veggies a day, but it’s not always possible. Strangely enough, I find it easier to add veggies to meat-meals (I eat meat twice a week; oily fish once). As for the coffee – I reckon you can do it! Just find an uplifting herbal tea you like and when you want a warm, comforting drink reach for that instead…and look forward to your once-weekly indulgence of the good stuff!

    • The tea is a good idea. I went through a phase last year where I was drinking tea ALL the time, and I was thinking “this is so good; I can’t believe I used to like coffee so much.” But somehow it gradually sneaks back in. When I do another challenge, I’ll let myself drink tea and see if I can get hooked on it again.

  3. Congrats on your first 50 days!! I agree that it’s easy to fall into a “food rut” and not have as much zest as your beginner days–but as the vegetables change season hopefully you’ll try new dishes with every season! When I fall off the wagon and eat seafood or cook with butter or eggs I remember my sister quoting, “Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything–do anything!” and it reminds me that we can’t always be perfect but our little changes always matter to the environment and ecosytem! Keep up the awesome blog posts! 🙂

    • Thanks for the congrats and good point. A lot of times I find myself feeling bad about my eating because I read a lot of blogs by vegans and raw food eaters. I have to remind myself that I eat better than almost everyone I actually know in the real world, and then I feel better about it!

  4. Sounds pretty much the same exprience I had when I started eating a high RAW diet, still ate meat at first, then gave it up, waste was eliminated, used reusable bags, friends ate better too, etc. Only thing is my grocery bill was WAY more than before about 5x as high, but I also ate out a lot and not much at home, so I saved some money there. But since I eat mostly veggies and fruit the bill is still higher, but well worth it.

  5. So inspiring! I became a pesco-vegetarian on March 1 and will keep it that way for as long as I could. Reading the benefits of being energized and stuff in this post, I can totally relate. I never had this much energy when I was a carnivore.

    As they say, it’s the first 3 days that are crucial to the success of being a pescetarian. After that, it’s gonna be smooth sailing.

    Keep inspiring!

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