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30 Days as a Vegetarian - Day 1

Today is the first day of a 30 day health experiment in which I will eat a vegetarian diet in an effort to rid myself of some extra pounds I put on during the xmas holidays. The last meat I will be having for 30 days is the pork chop I ate with vegetable pasta and corn last night.

Today so far I have had carrot sticks, mushroom soup, leftover vegetable pasta, grapes and later today I will be having vegetable soup, a strawberry smoothie and a caesar salad with artificial bacon flavoured bits of soy on the salad*.

* Seriously, the title of the product is "simulated bacon bits contains no meat". That is the official product name. When I read the ingredients they are soy flour, soybean oil, salt, colour, natural and artificial flavours and vitamins. They are basically bacon flavoured soy / salty vitamins. (The "natural flavours" is not a worry to me.)

Now if you are reading this and thinking "Wait, he cannot be a very good vegetarian if he is eating bacon bits on his salad!"

And you would be right.

I am not a vegetarian. Not even remotely close to being a "good vegetarian". Indeed some of vegan friends would be aghast at the amount of milk, eggs and other non-meat products I will be eating over the next 30 days, thus perhaps I should clarify what I will and will not be eating during this "30 Days as a Vegetarian" experiment.

#1. No meat. That includes no fish either, but I will be having eggs.

#2. No bread either, even though that is not a meat. I am cutting out bread in order to reduce carbs intake.

#3. I can have pasta, rice, couscous and cereal (eg. Shreddies or Vector cereal), but I will be trying to keep those at a lower amount of intake so I am not relying almost solely on them. So for example I can have croutons for my caesar salad.

#4. No sugary junk food or sugary treats, although "sea salt potato chips" ended up on the okay list.

#5. Chocolate is okay as a treat, but it has to be dark chocolate.

#6. Lots of berries.

#7. Lots of green vegetables.

#8. Lots of corn, peas, carrots.

#9. Potatoes, especially baked or mashed potatoes.

#10. Apples, tangerines and grapes as snacks.

#10. Yogurt, milk and ice cream are acceptable, and the yogurt / ice cream can be mixed with berries.

#11. I can have beer and wine as a treat or when hanging out socially. Yeah! (Although I do wish I had purchased low carb beer when I was last at the store.)

#12. Whey Protein (made from milk whey) will be added to my smoothies, as I will still be doing my weightlifting routine during this 30 day period.

In order to make sure I had enough vegetables I went to the grocery store and stocked up on lots of things. Everything from tangerines to potatoes to 2 different kinds of lettuce to broccoli to vegetable soup cans to apples to strawberries to chick peas to caesar salad croutons, etc.

The receipt on the left also includes my girlfriend's chicken and bagels, blue toilet pucks for the bathroom, dishwashing gloves, dishwashing soap and a few household items.

So minus those things, roughly $100 in vegetables, fruits, berries, cereal, pasta and so forth.

So I will have no shortage of things to eat over the next 30 days and I will not be starving.

For record keeping purposes it is now 3:40 PM on Thursday January 22nd. I finished a late lunch about an hour ago.

I have just weighed myself - 197.6 lbs.

And my waist circumference at its widest point is 42.5 inches. My hips at their widest point are 43 inches. My chest circumference (measured like a tailor would) is 44 inches. So my somewhat hourglass shape is 44-42.5-43.

With my height (6'2") my BMI (Body Mass Index) is 25.4. However BMI can be confusing as it ignores muscle mass and bone density, and as someone who exercises a lot, I don't consider myself to be overweight.

But I would like to have six pack abs. As a personal trainer people expect you to look to look like an Adonis. I do not. Yes, I exercise a lot, but I am a personal trainer and not a nutritionist. I may know more about nutrition than the average person, but I am in no way a specialist at it.

The measurements are on my side too, my waist is smaller than my hips and my chest, so most people would never think I have too many pounds around the middle. But it could be better in my opinion, especially since my long term goal is to have six pack abs.

So this will be 30 days of eating healthy vegetarian food and lots of exercise. I shall be posting my progress every 2-3 days. If you want to keep track of my progress just Subscribe using one of the various subscription options on the right.

If you have comments, have experience with "going vegetarian for 30 days" or something similar I welcome your comments in the comments section below.

If you want to subscribe to 30 Days as a Vegetarian these posts there are various subscription options on the above right.


  1. 1. I assume you also mean no poultry (some people don't think birds and fish count as "meat" because I guess they're not animals?).
    2. You can't say "no bread" and "low carb" and then decide croutons (twice baked bread), cereal, potatoes, corn, and other grains are "okay." Ditto with potato chips. Starches are just as bad as refined sugar, they just take a bit longer to break down into sugar, but they still, ultimately, break down into sugar.
    3. A lot of fruit and berries are very high in sugar and are not permitted on low-carb diets.
    4. Plain (unsweetened) yogurt can be okay, but ice cream should not unless it is sugar-free.
    5. Despite its carbohydrate content, alcohol is typically permitted in small quantities in low-carb diets, so that's okay.

    I've been vegetarian for a year and I've been low-carb. Low carb is an expensive way to go and requires beefing up on protein (meat, eggs, nuts, etc) and vegetables (some low carb diets do not allow dairy, but because osteoporosis runs in my family I permit it for myself in moderation). Vegetarian is a cheap way to go and requires beefing up on carbohydrates for energy. Going vegetarian for a year I actually gained weight, but that's not inevitable for everyone (I know a few vegetarians who maintained their weight). However, *everyone* I know who has been vegetarian was eventually told by their doctors to start eating meat because they weren't getting enough nutrients like protein, iron, etc.

    For your goals, I would recommend going low-carb instead of vegetarian. Look into the Paleo Diet for guidance, and check out for support and advice.

    1. Hey Kris!

      1. Yes, no poultry either, although I draw the line between meat poultry and eggs, as I am still eating eggs.

      2. I don't have a problem with croutons because I know there is only a few on the salad. It is the breads I take issue with because when a person has breads, they often have quite a bit.

      2b. Also low carb doesn't mean "no carbs", I am still having some carbs - mostly because the human body still needs them. Nobody can go zero carbs entirely and expect to be healthy.

      2c. Potatoes are a grain? I thought they grew in the ground as part of the potato plant (which incidentally is part of the same family of vegetables as tomatoes).

      3. Yes, fruits and berries are high in sugar. But I need variety in my diet. I cannot survive on celery alone and lettuce alone.

      4. I am seeing a trend here. My feelings are that I want to be a pragmatic vegetarian for 30 days and still enjoy the foods I eat. Yes, ice cream has sugar in it. But I am eating it as a treat only once in awhile so I am not gobbling it down like there is no tomorrow.

      5. Yeah beer! I find it funny you took issue with mashed potatoes and starch, but don't have a problem with beer.

      I have been on a low carb diet for years and then broke it back in September when I started eating bread again. (Mostly because my girlfriend wanted bread in the house, and once it is there then bread is too convenient to make in a hurry.) Thus I decided if I am going to try being vegetarian for 30 days I should cut out normal bread while I am at it so the focus is on vegetables.

      Thank you for your comments Kris. I hope to see you when you visit Toronto in the Spring!


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