Saying No to Red Meat

By Jenise Jackson
Blog Content Contributor

Imagine being with the love of your life and then boom, a breakup occurs and you can’t even stomach the idea of them. Well, this basically describes my strained relationship with red meat. We were once practically inseparable, but now it makes me sick (literally). Who would have thought we would come to this?

Diets have never been my forte. Even when I considered myself an athlete, my idea of eating healthy was simply eating less unhealthy food. I was able to stay fit, but that’s because I stayed active. Once I got into college and stopped playing sports, change took effect rapidly and my weight went up. I also noticed I had a lot more stomach problems than before. I knew by the end of my sophomore year of college that a change had to be made. So for about a year, my journey to redemption has been in effect. I started working out again, but I kept my eating habits up. I saw a little difference, but not enough for my liking.

I was pretty much stuck. I didn’t know what was going to help me lose weight and fix my stomach ailment. And then about two months ago, the answer ironically came to me while I was stuffing my face with a Dave’s Single from Wendy’s (don’t judge me). My cousin sent me a link to an article that listed the benefits of removing red meat from your diet. He was basically trying to show off how he lost 30 pounds in three months. My mindset at the time is that he did it by torturing himself. I mean come on now, no red meat? Red meat had been an essential part of my life since I could start eating solid foods. Giving it up never crossed my mind because it sounded insane. But as I read the article, the pros started to outweigh the cons and I started to realize that I probably should have listened to Chick-fil-A along time ago when they said “Eat mor chikin.”

red meat c
I was initially afraid of having to find substitutes for red meat. Other than poultry, seafood is also a tasty alternative. It pairs great with many vegetable, so you can get your healthy servings each day. Photo by Jenise Jackson.

Now fast forward to present day. I’m a little over a month into this new lifestyle change and my results are admirable. Before removing red meat from my diet, I weighed 145 pounds. Along with a consistent workout regimen and not eating red meat, I have lost a total of 10 pounds in body fat. While the weight loss has been amazing, I think the greatest part of it all is that I haven’t had any excruciating stomach pain since this past December. Apparently red meats are acid-forming foods, so eating a lot of red meat along with having acid reflux was not a good mix. Although I have craved a nice medium-well steak and juicy burger from time to time, I’ve noticed that now even the smell irritates me and gives me a nauseated feeling. I would say that this is a big contributor in me staying away from red meats all together. And though I’m not as good as a vegan or vegetarian, I do feel a little bit more environmentally friendly as well and that’s nice.

Of course I don’t expect everyone to jump on the bandwagon and stop eating red meat like me, but I am here to tell you that it can be beneficial. Although we are young, our health is always important. Take the time out to be good to your body in any way that works for you. You will be grateful for it in the long run.

Featured image by Jenise Jackson.

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