The very first question that I get asked every single time I tell someone I am a vegetarian, “Where do you get your protein from?” It happens without fail. I don’t really know why people ask me that question, or even why they want to know. It’s not like if I tell you the secret that you’re going to jump on the wagon with me. Oh no. The meat-eater community wouldn’t allow it. Switching from carnivore to vegetarian is like switching religions. A 20 year practicing christian couldn’t even begin to fathom themselves as a muslim. They love that pork too much, even though the bible says not to eat pork…..It’s all good though.
Understand, I’m not trying to convince anyone to be a vegetarian. You can try it if you want to or you can keep eating your hormone infested meat packages, doesn’t make a difference to me. I can only help those who want to be helped and inform those seeking knowledge. Science isn’t necessarily science, meaning that the facts aren’t as black and white as we would hope. I made my decision based on logic, research, experience, and what I have seen. I have eaten primarily meat most of my life and have seemingly been pretty healthy. At least on the outside, but so do most cars on the road. You can polish it up and make it look nice, it may purr like a kitten, and it might even go 0 to 60 in 5 seconds, but all it takes is one bad part to break and the whole vehicle is out of commission. You never know when that part is going to break, so you better stay on top of it and take care of it the way you know a car should be handled.
I hope my answers to these popular asked questions will give the insight you’ve been looking for when it comes to being a vegetarian.
1. Where do you get your protein?
The most popular and unavoidable question. My answer lately has been the same place gorillas, rhinos, elephants, and cows get their protein. Plants. Vegetables. Fruits. You know, the usual. I also eat about 8 eggs a day and have an occasional protein shake. I don’t go out of my way to make sure I consume large amounts of protein. There’s no need. Our bodies are capable of creating a majority of the necessary amino acids needed to build muscle. Obviously we still need it from an outside source, but since I’m not working out more than an hour a day and I’m not trying to gain weight my body doesn’t need an excessive amount of protein. If I was a body builder or still playing college football things might be different. But most people don’t even exercise frequently enough to ever need to eat meat or consume extra protein supplements.
2. What do you eat?
Here is a typical day for me. In the morning I eat 4 scrambled eggs and 2 packets of cinnamon/maple brown sugar oatmeal, with a little flaxseed oil in my oatmeal. A couple of hours later I will drink a glass of green juice that I make using the supplement powder Organifi. Sometimes I’ll add a scoop of protein powder to it. For lunch I might eat 2 egg sandwiches or 2 veggie burgers. I prefer the Beast Burgers from Whole Foods. A couple of hours later I will drink a carrot/apple juice that I make myself using a juicer. And finally for dinner, I will mash-up 2 nice sized avocados in a bowl, add lemon juice and sea salt, creating a beautiful batch of guacamole. I will eat it with either flaxseed vegetable chips that I get from Trader Joes or some type of black bean chips. I’ve been on this specific meal plan for about 3 or 4 months. I’m still 200lbs at 5’9″ feeling stronger than ever.
3. How long have you been a vegetarian?
I started back in 2013 after my last college football season in 2012. I didn’t cut off meat cold turkey, I knew I wasn’t ready for that. I started off one food group at a time. First it was pork. A couple of months later I cut out beef. Then by the summer, chicken and turkey. I still dabble in sea food here a there. But it’s never been my favorite.
4. What’s the difference between vegan and vegetarianism?
Vegans don’t consume any animal products whatsoever. They are a very strict bunch. This includes pork, beef, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, or any other dairy products. Vegetarians typically only stay away from the meats. It’s not uncommon to find a vegetarian who eats fish. I don’t know why exactly, it’s just one of those things.
5. Why did you become a vegetarian?
I wanted to see how I would feel. I felt that it would definitely make me healthier, at least healthier than I was before. I use to eat so much crap. I was the McDonald’s king. I also knew that I wouldn’t play football forever and definitely wasn’t going to workout with the same intensity and frequency for the rest of my life, so I figured making this switch would get my eating habits under control.
6. Do you feel better?
100% I do. I never felt bad before, at least not on a regular basis, but man does it feel like an elephant has been lifted off of my chest. It’s like one of those deals when you don’t know how bad things are until things are good. Like, if you grew up poor you might not know how poor you were until you become financially well off. Then you think back remembering how happy you guys were but at the same time how much you struggled. You enjoyed the way your family stuck together but you wouldn’t ever want to go back to that life. Meat made me happy, but I wouldn’t want to go back to that old way of eating again.
7. Do you get hungry?
Not any more than the average person. My hunger is about the same as it was before. The real difference is when I finish eating. Since my carb count is very low, I don’t feel so bloated or over stuffed. I eat what my body needs and that’s it. With the occasional snack of gold-fish or ice cream. I haven’t reached complete cleanliness yet.
8. Do you miss meat?
Not really. If I happen to be really hungry and someone walks by me with a juicy burger of course I want to eat it, but I don’t have specific cravings for meat. I just want to eat when its time for me to eat. If I just finished eating I definitely have no desire to eat meat.
9. Do you think everyone should be a vegetarian
This question I’ve never been quite sure about. I’ve watched many documentaries, seen many videos, listened to many podcasts, read a few books, and my conclusion so far is cleanliness and nutrition. As long as your food is clean and you are receiving the proper nutrition I think you are fine eating whatever you choose. Meat and vegetable/fruits can be clean, but they can also be filled with many hormones, pesticides, herbicides, vaccines, chemicals, steroids, preservatives, and whatever else that happens to fall into the mix. The difference between meat and plants is that vegetables/fruits have live enzymes that are very beneficial to the bodies cells. Meat is dead, especially after we cook it.
I appreciate all of the questions and interests about the vegetarian lifestyle. I don’t do it to be a cow savior, I do it because I’m on the path of becoming the greatest version of myself and I am willing to go to whatever extremes I feel are necessary in order to get there.
I will see you on the other side of greatness.
Mel Jones #coachMP