The Vegetarian Experiment – The Happy Rock Goes Veggie In January

by The Happy Rock on January 11, 2008

That’s right, the whole Happy Rock Garden is going vegetarian for the rest of January. I mentioned that I am not fond of resolutions, so here is an example of one way to spark change without resolutions. Experiment! I will track being vegetarian for the month and the associated costs. Updates when appropriate.

I got the idea from Steve Pavlina’s 30 day raw food experiment. Even though his experiment is quite off the beaten path, I am finding his raw food chronicles extremely interesting. Like most things in life there is a path that has gotten me to the point were I am willing to give up meat. I personally love meats of all kind, even Scrapple! I not even ‘doing it for the animals’.

Why am I doing it then? Here is why:

veggie-meal.jpgFirst and foremost I have seen the benefits of eating healthy. In the college cafeteria I must have had 2-3 plates of French Fries and multiple deserts each day. Since I met my wife, I have eaten more and more healthy with each passing year. With each passing year my energy level, mental clarity, and emotional states have seen equally positive results. We already eat vegetarian dinners 1-2 nights a week, so the change won’t be as extreme as you might think.

I have experience a body of evidence that has piqued my interest as to the positive health benefits as eating very healthy. Things like the potential for less colds, injuries, cancers, and weight along with positive benefits like more energy, vitality, sex drive, mental faculties, and a positive emotional disposition. Interesting science data like this chart that compares human anatomy to that of carnivore, omnivore, and herbivore that seems to support that humans are designed to be mostly if not all herbivores. Books like The China Study and Eat to Live are also very intriguing. We even have friends of ours who tried the Eat to Live diet for a while and reported feeling better than they ever had.

Lastly, why not? I am grateful to live in a country that affords me the ability to try out better ways of living. If I miss meat or don’t see the benefits, it is only a couple weeks. The process and the learning will be quite valuable.

fruit-platter-meal.jpgWe started on Monday the 7th, and so far I do feel really good despite not getting my normal amount of sleep. I haven’t experienced any detox symptoms, which can occur as your body adjusts and purges any unwanted materials.

I have quickly adjusted to eating, and I don’t feel hungry all day. In the past when I have eaten vegetarian meals, they just wouldn’t hold me over for long. I am probably eating less food(calorically) than before and my snacking has changed to fruit.

I will do my best to track the financial side of eating vegetarian, but I am not sure 3 weeks or so will provide enough data for accurate comparison. I suspect the cost won’t be too different, because quality meat is often quite expensive. I will also track my weight, which started at 200 pounds(my highest weight ever). I have lost 3 pounds in 4 days, but I suspect that might equalize in the next week. If people are interested in recipes, leave a comment and I will get the recipes from the Happy Rockette. I will say that having an awesome wife who enjoys cooking is a huge blessing and greatly appreciated. The meals have been extremely interesting and pleasurable, and the meal I ate for lunch yesterday at work was getting lots of attention just from the scrumptious smell.

If you have any questions of comments, feel free to ask away.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Will January 12, 2008 at 4:19 pm

Good for you Frank.

I tried going vegetarian yesterday between lunch and dinner….it just didn’t work out.

Seriously though. Good luck, I know I couldn’t even make it a week even with Kelly’s great cooking.


Pete January 13, 2008 at 1:49 am

Good luck with the veggie experiment! I know I will never be able to accomplish something like that. My exercise routine simply needs meat.


The Happy Rock January 13, 2008 at 2:18 am


Thanks for the support. I haven’t researched it a ton, but there might be more merit to the fact that the need for animal protein is more overblown than we think. There are vegan and raw food bodybuilders.

Gorillas also just came to mind. They are huge and more muscular than humans, and yet the eat predominantly raw fruits and plants. It don’t know if that means anything for us, but it might be food for thought.


Carrie January 16, 2008 at 3:47 pm

One really filling vegetarian meal is polenta with tomato sauce. I take a canned tomato sauce and put spinach and tvp in it, and olive oil and spices, to make it fancier. Polenta really sticks to your ribs and is very cheap to make.
This is a helpful video about polenta:

One cooking tip: soaking rice and beans before boiling either has been key for me. Also, veggie chili is another dish that is really filling and cheap.

I’ve been vegetarian since the spring and have saved a lot of money, but it does require learning to cook staples and not getting suckered into fancy prepared foods. Good luck!


The Happy Rock January 19, 2008 at 2:59 am

Thanks for the tips Carrie. We have eaten polenta in the past and it has been enjoyable, although I haven’t found it really filing like you. With the Rockette cooking, it has been quite interesting trying all the news great meals! I have enjoyed my vegetarian experiment, but I will have to reevaluate after the end of the month.


Strict Vegetarian May 17, 2009 at 8:11 pm

Any updates on your vegetarian adventure?
When do you start with your vegan adventure :)


The Happy Rock May 18, 2009 at 1:51 am

@Strict – We made it the whole month and my wife hasn’t looked back. I still ate meat, but a lot less frequently than before since my wife is now a vegetarian. The Rockette tried a Vegan experiment for a few weeks and didn’t like it and wasn’t convinced on the nutritional side either(she is a Registered Dietician). Hope that helps.


Ksenia April 18, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I just wanted to ask, are you still vegetarian? 😉


TheHappyRock June 23, 2013 at 2:16 am

My wife still is, so I am most days by association since she does the cooking! I get meat once or twice a week and still splurge every so often on something like a cheesesteak.


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