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Three Tip Tuesday – Vegetarian Diet Plateau

I was so glad and amused to hear yesterday just how many of us neglect our printers. I was starting to think I was just lazy  but as it turns out, most of us fail to replace the ink, fix paper jams or figure out why our silly printers stop functioning.

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Like my new Tuesday design? Look at me getting all techy with Pic Monkey.

Anyway, today’s tips are going to be a bit more subtle than usual. I don’t know that I have three specific tips for you to take away from this post. Rather, I have been wanting to discuss my recent “vegetarian diet plateau” and from my experiences, I am hoping that you can take away some diet/nutrition/lifestyle tips to apply to your own little worlds.

So what exactly is a Vegetarian Diet Plateau? I am not sure it is even a legit term; it is just the phrase I have been using to refer to what has been going on in my life these days.

Plateaus happen. Be it a weight loss plateau, a fitness plateau or, as I have decided, a vegetarian diet plateau, sometimes we reach a point in our routine where we are no longer experiencing the positive effects of a “plan” we have been following.

Becoming a vegetarian was never something I considered, thought about or entertained.

For 33 years, I lived on chicken and turkey as my main protein sources to the point where I wondered if I would begin to cluck instead of speak.

I loved a great medium rare steak (a delicious skirt steak or sharing a steak for two) and I couldn’t get enough of my favorite chinese boneless ribs.

Yet after I came down with a horrendous stomach virus almost two years ago, I gave it all up.

I opted for stomach friendly comfort type foods and realized about 7 days later that I had yet to eat my usual protein sources.

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And I had never felt better.

A diet that was heavier on complex carbs and plant-based protein offered me immediate positive effects.

My muscles felt fueled and always ready for a run. Not only were they ready, they allowed me to move faster for longer periods of time and recovered quickly.

My stomach was satisfied without feeling weighed down. I hate the full stomach feeling.

I decided to stick with this new-found diet change indefinitely. I continued to feel benefits:

  • PMS? Completely gone. Not one symptom.
  • Reduced length of period
  • Reduction in cramps…It was as if I didn’t have it even though I did.
  • Seasonal allergies all GONE.
  • Slight eczema at different times of the year GONE.
  • Lingering shingles nerve pain? GONE!

I began reading up on the subject and learned that my experience is well documented.

It was all making sense.

Lately though, I have been noticing a change. And not for the better.

Like anything else, the body learns to adjust and adapt to the foods we eat, gets all too comfortable and reaches the dreaded plateau.

Over the last few months, some PMS symptoms and menstrual cramps have made a return. While not as severe, they are there and I really got used to having none.

My muscles are still thriving but my appetite? Well, sometimes I am just too ravenous all of the time and I attribute it to a lack in protein.

So many times I would eat bowl after bowl of veggie laden, plant-based meals feeling as though my stomach may explode yet my brain still wanted more.

Most of my diet consists of plant-based proteins with the occasional dairy product and fish thrown in; not enough satisfying protein at the moment if you ask my opinion.

Remember last week when I said I was shaking things up a bit? How I stopped eating as many vegetables?

No no, don’t get any ideas in your head – I am not saying that I have or will start eating meat and poultry again. I haven’t craved it at all since giving it up therefore I have no intention of introducing it back into my diet.

What I have done is changed things around a bit, making protein more of a focus in my diet by increasing my intake of eggs and dairy products.

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Right now, just increasing my consumption of eggs, greek yogurt and cheese (hormone/antibiotic free of course) is working quite well for me. Will it continue to work? Who knows.

Interestingly, through my research over the last few years, I have read the positives and negatives associated with dairy consumption.

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One of the major NEGATIVES, besides the claims that dairy is a major stress on our system, involves the terrible effect of dairy on PMS and the menstrual cycle.

And, on the other hand, I have read several articles stating that consuming dairy has a POSITIVE effect on alleviating PMS symptoms and mitigating cramps.

So how the heck do we figure out which foods to avoid, which study to listen to what type of meal plan to follow?

I don’t have the answer  because no one person, research study or diet plan in a book can tell YOU exactly what YOU should eat everyday for the rest of your life.

My best advice is that like anything else in our lives, it is all trial and error.

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Tomorrow I will give you a closer look at what I have been eating.

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I crack myself up with these ecards.

Have you ever reached a “plateau” in your daily diet?

What are your main sources of protein?

 

 

 

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  • Ashley @ eatrunlivehappy November 5, 2013, 6:18 am

    I eat a lot of chicken but there are days when I go without meat. Not on purpose, but maybe I’m just too lazy to cook any and just opt for rice and vegetables. I went vegetarian a couple years ago and I actually gained weight. I was always hungry. I try not to focus on cutting anything out anymore and thinking any food group is bad. My latest kick was to cut out dairy and gluten because everyone said how bad it was… but that was mentally bad for me. I guess everyone needs to find what works for them!

  • IHeartVegetables November 5, 2013, 7:30 am

    I’ve definitely hit some plateaus, and I feel like I’m constantly changing up what I eat! Since I’m a vegetarian, my big sources of protein are greek yogurt (I’m eating some right now!) whole grains, and beans!

  • Her Happy Balance November 5, 2013, 11:42 am

    The new pic Monkey image is very cute 🙂 Is it just me, or does it take a while to create quality Pic Monkey images? Sometimes I spend more time than I’d like to admit making graphics for the blog; wish there was a technology fairy to do it for me!

    • WordPress.com Support November 5, 2013, 11:59 am

      I hate technology but I am slowly getting better at PicMonkey lol. It can take a long time but sometimes I am able to get things done up pretty quick. I do love Pic Monkey though, even if it takes a bit of time to get things made.

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  • Patricia July 2, 2015, 11:04 am

    Some people just don’t understand that it always hard to work-on your days of your period. Mood swings, sudden irritation and even depression eats you up. I tried doing a vegetarian meal for the entire 2 months but dairy products has been in our breakfast plate for a long time. What I did is maintain l-theanine supplement to at least ease my PMS and survive the entire day motivating myself.
    Patricia recently posted…What Causes Stress?My Profile