Takeways from Vegetarian and No-Alcohol Experiments

Argh! I’ve had the worst writer’s block for the last two weeks. The reason: Megan and I broke up for real and it’s f’ed up my creative process. Much more to that story…I’ll try to cover in other posts.

To bust the writing slump, I thought I’d write an easy post about the conclusion of two recent personal projects, namely, how I went vegetarian for a month and how I stopped drinking for 2.5 months.

Lance’s Great Vegetarian Experiment

I attempted to go vegetarian for the entire month of March and let me tell, it was much harder than I thought it would be. I missed the mark badly. I also allowed myself to eat eggs, fish, and drink milk during the experiment, which is like a really puss version of going veg. Besides that, I lasted about 2.5 weeks before succumbing to my carnivorous urges in a BIG WAY. Here are several bullet points.

  • When eating out, I found the options really limiting and thoroughly tedious at almost every place I visited. The good news is this forced me to eat and cook for myself, which cleaned up my diet and saved me some cash.
  • When I traveled with the sports team I coach, we always had catered meals, so the options were even more limited. I dropped the ball almost every time on these trips.
  • When my roommates cooked for the house, I couldn’t partake.
  • I grilled and ate Tofurkey sausages daily. These are actually pretty good depending on how you cook them, so I’ve integrated them into my normal diet.
  • Combined with no drinking alcohol during the month of March, I lost five pounds.
  • Going veg made me much more aware of what I was buying and eating.
  • I ate a tons of fruits and vegetables.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was when I went to a wedding about three weeks in. They had prime rib and there was no fucking way I wasn’t going to eat it. And I did eat it. After that, I went back to regular

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meat eating. Interestingly, Megan, who accompanied me to the wedding, ALSO ate the prime rib, and she’s been a vegetarian for eight years. It was that good.

I’d definitely do this again, but I’d be more strategic about it and spend more time planning out meals. This best part was cooking and how I had much more control over my diet. This was a really interesting experiment and I would recommend it for anybody.

Riding the Wagon for 2.5 months

One of my new year’s resolutions was to go dry for a month and I had some good success there. Starting January 8, I went dry for 2.5 months, with only a couple of slip ups. During that span I had a total of 8 drinks and most of those came at a Superbowl party. Two of the drinks were glasses of wine at two different dinners.

I used to be a big partier, so going dry for a long stretch is a big deal. I will admit, though, that I’ve done the 1-month dry thing several times over the years, so I knew what I was in for.

  • When I go dry, I basically don’t go to parties or bars. My nightlife was lame.
  • Megan told me to my face that I had become boring during this stretch. This actually became a point of contention, as she likes to go out and have a good time. Imagine how lame those 2.5 months must have been for her…
  • I definitely lost a bit of weight and looked leaner.
  • Despite ditching the alcohol and cleaning up my diet, I didn’t notice any significant changes in fitness or energy level.

The most interesting part of the whole deal was I got to a point, about 3 weeks in, where I had zero craving for alcohol and in fact the thought of it sort of repulsed me. Not the being drunk part, but the fact that booze is basically a toxin and how it has such a negative effect on your body. Yuck.

I recommend trying this one also if you’re really serious about your diet

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and health in general. If you want to lose some weight, try cutting out all alcohol and meat for a month and see what it does for you. Both of these are good ways to feel clean, healthy, and lean.

  • http://hammer86blog.com Hammer

    Wow man, you’re getting into dangerous territory with some of those statements. Maybe I just have never drank as much as you, but I’ve never felt the NEED to have alcohol. I do it because it’s fun and would have no problem quitting cold turkey (but the incentive would have to be worth the decreased fun for that period of time).

    What really sound a little dangerous to me is how you said that when you’re dry you basically don’t go out. Is it really that difficult for you to be around alcohol without drinking? I guess it’s always good to know that you do in fact have the self control to go dry, but the thought of being forced to do anything, by my body or otherwise, alway scares me.

    Hammer´s last blog post…How Do You Get Her to Fuck Off?

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    Hammer, maybe all his friends suck, and it’s that hard to be around THEM without drinking.

    I definitely know folks like that.

    For people who stress easily and think too much like me, I definitely couldn’t cut alcohol out of my life entirely unless I replaced it with something else, like pot – which is actually the long-term plan, since it doesn’t make me eat more and doesn’t have any calories. It’s the only way to escape my brain.

    Honey´s last blog post…Can He Come Too Soon?

  • http://casualencounters.com/blog/ Janak

    I’m pretty sure it was Socrates who said that a life without bacon is not worth the living. And he was right.

    Janak´s last blog post…Weekly Roundup – Top 10 Casual Sex Links from Around the Web

  • http://www.thedateabledork.com The Dateable Dork

    Wait… I’m confused. If you don’t drink, how do you get to that swirly fuzzy place where nothing matters and everyone is insanely attractive? I don’t think I could ever give that up. : )

    The Dateable Dork´s last blog post…Such a productive weekend!

  • http://honeyandlance.com Lance

    Hammer, good comment. My friends are big partiers and a bit younger than me, so there’s a lot of social pressure to do shots, pound beers, and party it up big time. I can deflect that pressure when I go out, but it’s a pain. The easiest solution is to not go out or do alternative activities. For me, it’s about energy management, because going out and NOT drinking takes a lot more energy on my part than partaking. Sounds weird, but it’s true. I think if I completely changed my set of friends I could easily not drink at all, ever, and it wouldn’t be a problem. I’ve lived out of state a couple of times and this was the case with the social circles I kept in those cities, ie I drew from professional circles and they wouldn’t cross certain lines. Last year I went dry for nearly 4 months and it was the easiest thing in the world because my friends didn’t give me any crap about it.

    @Honey: I use exercise and training to de-stress vs. alcohol.

    Lance´s last blog post…Takeways from Vegetarian and No-Alcohol Experiments

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    Lance, I’ll have to think about that. Usually, since I don’t have to think too much while exercising, it is the time I am most likely to panic while thinking about the things going on in my life.

    Honey´s last blog post…Can He Come Too Soon?

  • Anonymous

    Eggs and milk are completely allowed for vegetarians, just fish is sort of off limits. A pescatarian (or something) is basically a vegetarian but eats fish. Only vegans go without all meat and animal products, includind milk and eggs.

  • http://polyanabrasil.blogspot.com polyana

    hi! i’m new here :-)

    your post caught my attention because i just went vegetarian for lent and i can relate to how hard it was for you! (i also kept eating fish and eggs, haha). to top it off – i live in Brazil and get a per diem for lunch at work which causes 2 problems – 1. brazilians <3 them some meat and 2. lunch time was troublesome for me. i DID also start cooking a little more and using my per diem on the weekends which saved me tons of cash and put together some creative veg dishes!!! one thing i also ended up doing though was eat more sweets – ergo, no weight loss for me – but i’m pretty thin already so it wasn’t bad, haha.

    needless to say, come lunch time yesterday i screamed “MEAT!”

    kudos on the going dry too!!!

    polyana´s last blog post…The DREAM Act, Cont. – I’m Famous!

  • http://openyourhearttothelove.blogspot.com searchingw;ithin

    Your right Lance, a lot has to do with the people you choose to associate with, and call your friends. Personally, I would hate to think that my so called friends don’t particularly care for my company if I don’t engage in drinking along with them. What the hell is that? I also find it hard to engage with people often who cannot seem to have a good time unless they are drunk or stoned to do it. They clearly have no value in themselves, their friends, or their life.

    Just sayin.

    searchingw;ithin´s last blog post…Writer’s Block

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    When I go out with friends, I rarely have more than one or two, although they are usually top shelf things. When I stay at home, I like beer, although again I only have one or two because if I drink more than that, it’s hell getting up the next day.

    I have never smoked pot in a large group…I do it at home sometimes before I go to bed so I don’t lie awake obsessing about PeopleSoft for three hours, but that’s pretty much it.

    I was a big partier when I was younger, drank A LOT (though I did not smoke at all then) and experimented with some other things. In the end, it just wasn’t my style.

  • http://dadshouseblog.com dadshouse

    I’m not a heavy drinker, but I do enjoy a cocktail or beer at the end of the day. When I’m training hard for a race or something, I’ll quit drinking for a week. Like Lance says, it leaches the toxins out of the body, and I suddenly find I don’t want any drink at all. Of course, one Manhattan later, and I’m fine with my cocktails again.

    dadshouse´s last blog post…Father Son Manfest – Peloton of Two

  • http://honeyandlance.com Lance

    Polyana, thanks for stopping by! I live with two meat eaters and I travel with a sports team where the catered meals are all meat dishes, so it was tough. Basically, everything is set up for meat eating and you have to go out of your way to NOT eat it.

    Lance´s last blog post…Takeways from Vegetarian and No-Alcohol Experiments

  • http://honeyandlance.com Lance

    I have a great set of friends, they bring me a lot of value, they love to party, so a night out with them involves multiple rounds of shots and many beers getting passed around. They also happen to be big trash talkers. It takes energy to deflect all that trash talking. I don’t want to give the impression that my pals are idiots who are holding me down, because they certainly aren’t.

    Lance´s last blog post…Takeways from Vegetarian and No-Alcohol Experiments

  • http://casualencounters.com/blog/ Janak

    Time for a new post, people!

    Janak´s last blog post…Weekly Roundup – Top 10 Casual Sex Links from Around the Web

  • http://tsbmag.com Bobby Rio

    While i’ve never given up alchohol for a long period of time completely… I can totally agree that now that I’ve limited my drinking to one or two times per month, I have much less desire for it… and am more aware of what a poison it really is.

    As for the vegetarianism.. i been a fish and egg eating vegetarian for almost 10 years and don’t really feel much of a difference with energy levels..

    And i can totally agree with all the points you made about eating out getting boring…

    but after several months i’ve just sort of forgot to even consider meat as an option.

    By the way…. i’m real interested in hearing the Megan story.. when is it coming?

    Bobby Rio´s last blog post…Five Steps to Growing a Beard

  • http://simonandcole.com simonandcole

    Nice work, it’s definitely not easy to go that long without alcohol if you are a big drinker. And “dangerous territory” is a dumb thing to say since you have no idea what Lance’s life is really like, Hammer. It’s not difficult to understand what it must be like to not be an alcoholic but really want to booze anyhow…..

    simonandcole´s last blog post…Who’s B.S. Now?? by Simon

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    I’m with you, simonandcole – I don’t think I’d ever stop drinking but I don’t think I have a problem, either. The BF doesn’t really drink so he’d tell me if I was going off the deep end!

    Honey´s last blog post…Social Artistry at Its Finest

  • http://www.used-tire.net Used Tires

    That’s pretty impressive that you went on as a vegetarian for 2.5 weeks, I know… I personally would not be able to do the vegetarian gig. Although… what I would say…. is when you eat at home… do the vegetarian deal… but if you are eating at a friends house… or you are at a special place…. be more flexible there, hehe.

    Till then,

    Jean

  • http://www.whirlypets.com. marge

    great post. I will pass this over to my husband to have a read. :)