A Meatlover’s Journey to a Plant-Based Diet

jake-meat Happy with my plate of BBQ Pulled Pork & Chicken Wings. Oh, how I’ll miss you so.

I love meat.  I love everything about it from the sizzle of bacon in a frying pan to the aroma that wafts through the house, lingering just long enough to remind me of the great meat-filled meal I just had.  However, I recently became aware of the increasingly overwhelming evidence that eating a plant-based diet may be one of the best ways to prevent disease; specifically, heart, lung, and brain diseases and different forms of cancer.  In his book How Not To Die, Michael Greger discusses the benefits of a diet that is strictly plant-based and cites enough sources to intrigue even the biggest meat eater.

While I’m not completely sold on the idea of a strict, plant-based diet, I’ve decided to take a leap of faith and try this whole plant-based thing out for myself. Starting June 17, 2016 (the day after my birthday and a day after a big filet at a local steakhouse) I cut meat out of my diet completely and am now focusing on adding more plant-based foods into my diet.

During the next 30 days, I plan to follow a vegetarian diet (ideally, a strict plant-based diet). Considering I only plan to do this for 30 days, it really is more of a “baby step” than a “leap” just to see if there are any noticeable improvements  in my health over the next month.

First, I need to clarify that I am choosing to follow a vegetarian diet and not a vegan diet. Vegetarian diets cut the meat but still contain foods like dairy, honey, and eggs.  I will still eat food containing animal byproducts, but I will not have any meat in my diet.

Along the way, I plan to document various measures of health, such as my weight, resting heart rate, blood pressure, and body fat percentage as well as how I am feeling in general.  I will document the results of these measures in weekly blog posts, beginning with my starting measurements.

Starting Healthy Measurements on June 17, 2016
Height:  5’11”
Weight: 165
Body Fat %:  15.7
Resting Heart Rate: 68
Resting Blood Pressure: 122/80

So, how hard can it be to transition from eating meat daily to cutting it completely?  I’ll finding out now and will share with you in next Monday’s post.


Jake is a graduate of the Kinesiology Department at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and is currently pursuing his master’s within the same department.  He coaches track and field at Old Mission Middle School and enjoys taking weekend hiking or backpacking trips to Montana de Oro or Big Sur.  Running the San Luis Obispo Marathon, backpacking in Salt Lake City, Utah, and participating in the local Tri-Tip challenge are some of his most recent adventures.  He has worked at GH Sports since June 2014 and most appreciates helping customers get fitted in the right running shoe.


Jeff Rollo


First off – nice start! It’s gratifying to see so many people shifting to a plant based diet. As a long time vegan and athlete, I can maybe lend you a little advice 😉

Many people who go vegetarian from a meat based diet tend to up their intake of cheese and eggs. Dairy products are notorious for creating inflammation in the body and are often called “liquid meat” by the “holier than thou” vegan community of which, as aforementioned, I belong. Next, 30 days doesn’t adequately allow your body to adjust to a new diet. When I first gave up meat and dairy, I didn’t feel so hot for the next 4 to 6 weeks. My body was used to the chemicals, hormones, etc. that animal products contain. It’s really tantamount to a drug detox but now I’m much healthier than pre-vegan me. Finally, and I already feel like I’m bordering on lecturing, eat a whole foods diet. I know plenty of fat vegans. Lots of awesome processed foods out there that are vegan as hell and unhealthy as crap. Start your day with a fruit smoothie with a scoop of Sun Warrior Raw Protein. I won’t even go into the animal cruelty and humungous eco benefits of this lifestyle.

BTW, I spent a few days in your neck of the woods a couple of weeks ago and hiked and biked all over your ‘hood. SLO and Morro Bay are awesome! And, I’m a GH customer.

Take care and let me know if you need a “sponsor” to help you out on your dietary journey 🙂

GH Sports


Thank you for the comment! Having never done anything this extreme to my diet, I’ll take all the advice I can get. The book I read that inspired me to pursue this diet also warns of high intakes of dairy and eggs, so I’ve been cautious about that. I’m also doing my best to avoid any processed foods; I’m pretty much living off of fruits, veggies, nuts, grains, and beans. I have caved to the occasional cheese pizza here and there, but hey, it’s a work in progress!

I appreciate the support and will take your advice to heart. Also glad to hear of your local visits and hope to see you in the store some time!



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