Day 18: What I Ate Today Instead of Animals

Today started out like most days.  I woke up.  From there it got strange.  Normally, I would shower, throw on work clothes, and drive to work stopping for a giant sausage and diet Pepsi and cream filled coffee from my convenience store.  They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day which is why I bought the most important sausage available: the Bahama Mama.  I would then spend the rest of my day eating every 2 hours: cheese stick, beef jerky, deviled eggs, deli meat rolled around cheese sticks, Atkins bars/shakes, and chicken wings from the local deli.  I could eat like that, staying under 20 carbs a day and drop about 10 pounds a month without exercising or ever getting off of my rapidly shrinking butt.

Today, however, was weird! For breakfast I had an apple, an orange, and a banana.  This might sound like the most boring fruit trio ever, but when you spend months and years avoiding the *ah hem* dangerously high levels of carbohydrate laden fructose, you get to learn to love fruit all over again.  I will have years for pomegranates and pitahaya but for now I am enjoying the equally alien fruit called tangerine.  You must try these things- I could spend hours describing their smell…  ah, another time perhaps.

Throughout the day, I grazed from several small containers and baggies.  I had raisins, almonds, dry edamame, and carrots: a vegetable that my body needed so badly that I had a pregnant woman primal moment and ate four of the huge vitamins without taking a breath.

For dinner, I had two organic bean tacos with lots of avocado, onion and hot sauce.  These were dwarfed by a huge salad with yellow squash, carrots, walnuts, balsamic vinegar and more hot sauce.  I ate it all.  I relished it.  You must try to shove half of an avocado into a toasted organic, single ingredient, corn shell.  It is the butter of the produce department.  I suggest covering it in hot sauce.

That’s a pretty standard day for me now.  I prefer the single ingredient foods- grown as close to home as possible.  I drink black coffee, water and unsweetened tea.  I aim for more than 50% raw food and usually have about 75% or more.  The corn shells were a little more factory than I would usually have, but I am able to limit and minimize those types of creature comforts for now.  At least until I learn to make my own.

Know where I am coming from:  I bought pork rinds by the barrel.  Did you know they came in a barrel?  I collaborated on a book idea about grilling ribs with a recipe for every holiday of the year.  I have helped design 2 giant mobile smoker/cookers that were built and are still in use.  I am a celebrated grill master with golden tongs and a feel for the coals- like a Pinball Wizard, but with barnyard animals and fire.

In many ways, I am still that guy, but I am also this new guy as well.  I find this simplicity so easy to work with.  I feel great because of eating this food AND while eating this food.  Environmentally, it feels like I traded in my SUV for a Prius.  Socially, it feels like I am saving energy that can be used on other people.  Emotionally, it feels like I don’t have to turn off the part of my mind that knows where all my food was coming from.  There is no way you can jump into this lifestyle without effort and some cold sweat from time to time.  Even so, there is very little that you can do that will have this much immediate positive impact on so many facets of your life.  Plus you can eat all the tangerines you want!


About jasongillett

I'm Jason Gillett, 2 year VEGAN, and a 41 year old family man. My wife & I teach in a FL school. I am using a blog to chronicle our family's new life. View all posts by jasongillett

5 responses to “Day 18: What I Ate Today Instead of Animals

  • Diane Cockerham

    What a fascinating journey you are taking…..I have never been on the atkins diet which I know is an emphasis and protiens and not carbs…but have learned to eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegtables on WW…I’m looking forward to hearing about your new food discoveries and possible trying them myself. Always open to healthy eating!! Best wishes with this new phase of your life!!

    • jasongillett

      Thank you so much Diane! I have a lot of friends that found success with WW- the new WW rules of fruits and vegetables allow you to go crazy with the produce. My sister made her goal years ago and returns from time to time for maintenance. It’s a great program. I think this is a larger version of WW for me- and your encouragement is enough to fight off the thought of ribs. Thank you very much!

      • Jennifer

        WW is a great program. They have special forms in the meeting room to help you go meatless if you want to give it a try Diane. I love following along with my brothers lifestyle change. It has made me rethink many of my food choices, but I think it will take an act of congress to get me to stop drinking diet soda!

      • Diane Cockerham

        I have tried many a WW meatless meal as well as recipes from my WW cookbook……and eat meat here and there….but go many days without it substituing nuts and beans and greek yogurt for my proteins. I’ll have to check out the meeting room. Giving up coffee would be a big deal for me tho….especially cause I love the taste of it so much.

  • Jennifer

    🙂 this weeks handout at WW has a great lentil soup recipe. I was so happy when they showed how to substitute shiitake mushrooms and veggie broth for ham & chicken broth. I think it is great that WW is showing folks that with a small substitution they can go meatless. I am really with you on the coffee!

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