I spent the entire month of March (with the exception of the last day) completely meatless, dairy-less and date-less.
Just to bring y’all up to speed real quick, at the beginning of the year I decided to do a self challenge every month to help me gain some discipline and enlightenment in certain areas of my life. So my challenge for January was no Instagram and February was journaling everyday. And like I mentioned earlier, my challenge for March was no meat, dairy or dating.
First, let me be clear on something:
I wholeheartedly refer to this as a NO MEAT/NO DAIRY — not “vegan” — challenge. There is a very clear and distinct difference. “Vegan” is a very strong word that I have no intentions of ever living up to. No, I was not reading labels to see what ingredients were in my condiments and beauty products. And no, I do not believe animals aren’t supposed to be eaten. Even God told Noah it was cool to eat meat after the flood in Genesis 9:1-5:
Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.”
And I don’t eat anything rare — or medium rare, at that — so I’m good on the lifeblood.
Now if you don’t believe in eating meat, that’s your prerogative. Because in Romans 14:3, the word of God also states:
The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.
So all y’all vegans and non-vegans can chill on the beef (ha!) ’cause God loves all of us, regardless of our dietary choices.
Anyway, the whole point of this no meat/no dairy thing (along with the rest of my monthly self challenges) was to make a commitment to myself that would push me outside of my comfort zone. And anyone who knows me, knows that giving up cheese and sour cream for an entire month was A HUGE sacrifice for me.
The other part of this challenge was no dating for the entire month, which I decided to do about a week and a half before March started. There was actually nothing crazy or out of the ordinary going on in my dating life at the time, but for some reason it felt like something I needed to do — so I went with it. As I’m sure you can imagine, the whole “Hey! So I’ve decided to take a month for myself and not date anyone” conversation was prettttty awkward, but honestly that was the whole point: to do something that was 100% internally motivated, no matter how uncomfortable it wound up being.
I made a point to share my daily progress with the no meat/no dairy portion of the challenge on my IG stories. The no dating part was a little more personal so it wasn’t really something I felt the need to broadcast like that (until now, of course). But one thing that really made me feel good about doing this was the number of people who were encouraged enough to either join in on the challenge or start a self challenge of their own. On top of that, I was glad I did it simply because of how I felt mentally, physically and spiritually during the 30-day process.
A few highlights from the month:
1. I noticed that I wasn’t coughing up flem (I know, gross) every time I ate something with dairy in it since, you know, I wasn’t eating any at all. That was nice. Apparently, too much dairy causes mucous. Go figure!
2. I got to connect with some cool people who sent me plenty of bomb vegan recipes to try, including a flavorful cauliflower and roasted potato medley, a super yummy vegan pizza and a warm, savory chili.
3. There were days when I desperately craved a good burger, so I tried the Beyond Burger and the Impossible Burger, both of which are patties made completely out of plant-based ingredients. Both of them were really good, but that Impossible Burger blew my mind — and taste buds — away because the texture and taste of it was EXACTLY like meat. In case you’re wondering, they sell the Beyond Burger at most major grocery retail chains (i.e. Whole Foods, Kroger, etc.) and it’s also on the Friday’s menu. The Impossible Burger is served at various restaurant locations, so you can check and see if they’re serving it near you on the Impossible Foods website.
4. The last weekend of March I took a girls’ trip to DC with some of the women in my family, so I made March 30th my last day of the challenge ’cause there was no way I was about to go to my favorite restaurant in the DMV, Coastal Flats, and not eat everything I wanted on that menu.
5. Taking a month off from dating revealed some interesting things about myself. Things that I’ll save for another day ’cause that’s a whole ‘nother blog post in itself.
I posted a few dish pics from my March self challenge below. To follow my entire journey, you can check out my No Meat/Dairy instastory highlight on my IG page.