An Uncomplicated Life Blog: A Day In The Life Of A Semi Vegetarian

Thursday, January 11, 2018

A Day In The Life Of A Semi Vegetarian

What eating "mostly" vegetarian food means and looks like on a day to basis

I can't remember if I've said it on here before (probably so) or just my social media channels (definitely so) but I consider myself a 'semi-vegetarian.' There were a few years in my late teens/early 20's that I was fully committed to it, and when I was pregnant with Henry the smell of meat literally made me heave and gag. I have yet to meet a vegetable I don't like and am floored (no really, FLOORED) when I see people post their food pics to social media accounts and an entire meal has not a single vegetable in it. Not one. And then they wonder why they're overweight... But I digress! Back to what a day in the life of a semi-vegetarian looks like, and why I think it's important to eat a plant-based diet.

Fish tacos at our favorite Mexican restaurant
Veggie-friendly snack with a massive protein punch!

But first! Why I think eating (mostly) veggies is so important. I went through yoga teacher training in the spring/summer of 2013. Part of that training involved keeping a journal of what you ate, and how it made you feel. We did this for no other reason than to getting connected to how what you put in your body directly impacts how you feel, and this journal made us take note of that and gave us a written record of it. I know anyone with any decent amount of science education will tell me that you can't prove cause/effect from one person's journal, but I noticed a strong correlation trend between eating crappy processed foods and being bloated, gassy and fatigued. By the end of yoga teacher training and the end of my four and a half months of journal entries, I began shopping at Whole Foods and organic coops - my attitude towards food had completely changed.

A month after I completed yoga teacher training, I was surprised to learn I was pregnant with Henry. I downloaded a pregnancy app I can't even remember the name of and would play around in it several times a week. I was flabbergasted at the photos women would post of the junk food they "craved" and would binge eat. We're talking Cheetos, Doritos, endless fast food runs. You name something that isn't real food but instead just a pile of chemical compounds mixed together in a factory, these women were eating it en masse and feeding it to their unborn children. I was horrified. Then, of course, my pregnancy with Henry forced me to become a vegetarian, as anything with meat made me gag at the sight of the muscle-y meat fibers.

Growing our own veggies to consume

On a philosophical level, the third and final nail in the semi-vegetarian coffin was a handful of environmental documentaries on Netflix. What The Health, the Inconvenient Truth series and a number of others went into detail the havoc eating excessive meat does on the environment. From feed to animal waste, meat consumption is more catastrophic then emissions from cars, jet fuel and daily energy consumption like lights, heat, air conditioning, etc by as much as 10 FOLD. The fact of the matter is, if you're a heavy meat eater, you're a massive detriment to the health of the globe. And I don't know about you, but I'd like my grand kids to play in clean lakes, see glaciers and not suffer from massive, consistent environmental events like Hurricane Harvey.

All that said, what the heck does semi-vegetarian mean? Am I just half-a$$ing it? Yes and no. For me, it means eating MOSTLY vegetarian food, but allowing myself to listen to my body and consume meat if I'm feeling that I need it. I eat legumes, eggs, quinoa, fish, cheese, yogurt, and nuts regularly. Chicken and beef twice to three times a week. That means one meal twice to three times a week, not days with multiple meals full of it, making it rare. Pork is a couple of times a year event. We had a ham for Christmas, which is the only time I have ham, and I have bacon 2-3 times throughout the year beyond that. The reality is that the pork quality in Texas is sub-par to the upper Midwest so I don't miss it at all! The beef here, on the other hand, is delicious and a strong reason why I continue to eat it. It's all local and grass fed and holy yum. Even out of town guests comment on how good beef is here!

I think semi-vegetarianism works because it's flexible. There isn't a hard rule that I have to order a veggie burger when we go out (even though I love those and often prefer them!) I can revert to the things I learned in yoga teacher training and listen to what my body is asking for. The bulk of the time, it's asking for veggies.You'll notice in my daily schedule that I'm not a breakfast eater and I know that's "bad" to some nutritionists. To that I say, "meh." My husband wakes up hungry and it's all I can do to be awake and stomach my coffee! #notamorningperson.

Because I regularly work out, most the time my body is asking for protein. You might be surprised to learn that getting your protein in vegetarian sources is really easy! One of my favorite snack/"brunch" (I call it brunch because it's my first meal but many people are already on a morning snack by now) options is Oikos Protein Crunch yogurt. It's an amazing source of protein for us veggie lovers because it has 17g of protein and 6g of fiber per 5oz cup! It also doesn't contain any artificial sweeteners so I feel good about the protein I'm putting in my body. Here's the schedule of what a day in the life of this semi vegetarian looks like:

7:30am - coffee, with half a stevia packet and a tablespoon or so of half and half
10:30am - (after yoga) Ningxia Red drink, Oikos Protein Crunch yogurt
1:30pm - avocado, muenster cheese, tomato, bib lettuce, salt and pepper on flax bread; pickles and water
5:30pm - dinner ranging from fish tacos to homemade minestrone soup to veggie pizza or tofu curry if we get take out
8pm - carrots and pretzels dipped in hummus

High protein snacks are key for athletic semi vegetarians like me. I love Oikos Protein Crunch after a good yoga class to fuel my muscles. Dinner is really where I have the biggest variance for meat consumption. I love making quinoa salads with various veggies and herbs but I also make my toddlers casseroles with ground beef in it occasionally, and I'm not making two different suppers so I'll eat that too. That's the glory of semi-vegetarianism. It's flexible to work with different diets in the household but still errs strongly on the side of mostly vegetables so that I feel good in my body, about my body, and about what impact my body is making on the environment. 


  1. I love your garden; I have a black thumb. I started to eat vegan and man I longing for my vegatarian days:)


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  2. It's funny how different research brings different ideas to people. I recently listened to a podcast with Diana Rodgers, a registered dietitian, who is currently making a documentary called Kale vs Cow: The Case for Better Meat. It explores our current food system and especially focuses on cows, and makes a case for better meat, not less meat (because I'm all about getting rid of those factory farms). It was actually really interesting to hear how our planet needs animals, including cows, because not all our land is conducive to raising crops. They also talk about "What the Health" in the podcast and how well done and convincing it is. You should check it out. It's the Paleo Solution Podcast, episode 380. It will be interesting to see this new film when it comes out. :)

  3. Yes, yes, yes!!! I have gone semi-vegetarian as well and I feel so much better. I don't like the idea of boxing myself into vegan or vegetarianism, but I love following a lot of the principles. Great post!

  4. I eat a lot of vegetables. I'm not so much a meat eater as I once was and my fiance teases me with how little meat I actually eat saying I'm half a vegetarian. I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks this way!

  5. I have considered going semi-vegetarian. Something to think about:)

  6. So I have two of those yogurts in my fridge and have yet to try them. When I went shopping the other day they were on my ibotta app. I will defiantly be cracking one of these open this weekend.

  7. You know I'm definitely not a semi-veg, BUT yogurt is one of my favorite treats. You can have it so many different ways.

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