I Gave Up Meat for 21 Days, and My Body Went Through Some Stuff

Maya Allen


If you asked me a year ago if I’d ever give up meat, I’d have had a crazed look in my eyes and given you a solid “nah.” Meat and me have been in a loving, tight-knit relationship since I came out the womb. Our true love started with my mother’s buttermilk fried chicken, and it’s been flourishing ever since. I have fond memories sketched in my head of my family’s colourful dinner table filled with various iterations of delicious meats—we did not discriminate. My mother passed down our generational family recipes, so I’ve learned how to skillfully whip up meat-filled comfort meals, which I’ve relied on my whole life.

However, this past year has been the most health-conscious year of my life, hands down. I decided to confront my long-term body insecurities last January. I came to terms with the fact that I did not like the way my body looked and that I had every single right to change it. For me, fully loving myself, meant taking care of myself. This realisation sparked a serious lifestyle change that has transformed my way of thinking about health.

I’ve fallen in love with working out—it’s my idea of self-care and the ultimate stress reliever. Working out has made me even more in tune with my body and its responses to what I put inside of it. After an invigorating workout, I started to feel sick after eating something unhealthy. Since then, it’s like my entire food palette has transformed along with my taste buds. My fridge is stocked with fruits and vegetables galore, and I don’t even allow myself to buy sweets and treats anymore, let alone cook anything unhealthy.

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