#12experiments: April Showers Bring May... Sobriety?


New month. New challenge. But first, let’s look back at Vegetarian April. The name says it all. I went vegetarian (not vegan, not pescetarian, just vegetarian)… and it was awesome.

[One of my veggie lunches posted to Instagram. People seemed to dig it.]

While many people who “go veggie” suddenly feel amazing, I did not suddenly feel “so much better,” largely because I already eat pretty healthy. But I certainly realized that I don’t need to find a way to include meat in every meal, and overall I did feel lighter and a bit more alert (hard to go into food coma after eating tofu).

What I loved about this experiment, was the perspective of being a vegetarian. With that lens, you look at menus differently. Your options while traveling dwindle. Your ability to ‘participate’ in a feast is lessened. I particularly felt this in Amsterdam last week. While out for a traditional Dutch meal with friends eating meatballs and wurst and I was stuck with a plate of mashed potatoes and sauer kraut. But I’ve been a black sheep most of my life, so it was nothing new.

Will I stay vegetarian forever? Not likely. I love my dad’s pan-blackened scallops too much and I do like to try new foods in new places… but will I reconsider getting meat with my lunch everyday? Absolutely.  What I’ve learned is that I can sustain myself without meat and I’m happy about the environmental savings that means for the planet as well as the health implications for my body.

Finally, unlike previous months, April was the first month where I completed my experiment to 100%. I didn’t break once and I’m super proud about that.

So what’s next? Sober May.

That’s right. No alcohol in May. I honestly don’t think this will be that challenging. I didn’t drink my entire freshmen year of college (will explain later), so if I can do that, I think I can go one month. And to be clear, I don’t have any issues with alcohol, I just feel like recalibrating to 0 will be a good thing and help me stay clear-headed during a month in which I want to further focus.

But to up the ante, I’ve decided to ditch coffee/espresso and my beloved 5 Hour Energy, too! Not that I really have a caffeine problem either, but lately I’ve been abusing it more than usual and I want to curb that habit ASAP. While I’m yet to drink any tea this month, I may keep it around once in a while. Maybe not.

Point is, no liquid stimulants or depressants this month. Game on!