Vegetarian: 1 Year! {Healthy Substitutes & Top 2 Tunes}

Happy Tuesday!

I can't believe I'm about to say this, but I've officially been a vegetarian {pescatarian to be exact..} for ONE YEAR.

This time last year, I was unsure how long I could stick to this lifestyle change, but I knew it was something I wanted to try. I feel as though I made the right move because here I am, one year later, not craving any meat and am really satisfied with how far I've come. In the past year, I've only "slipped" a handful of items. Once, while watching a football game, I really wanted a chicken wing my friends were eating, so I ate one! If I have a random craving here and there, I'm not super strict with myself and I will eat it. ...and No, I didn't get sick after. The handful of times I did accidentally eat meat, I noticed I didn't really miss it enough to continue wanting to eat it, or to add it back into my diet. I mentioned in previous posts about how I have more energy, skin has improved, weight hasn't fluctuated like it used to, and I just feel good. There are more positives that I've noticed, but without going into lengthly detail, those reasons are enough for me to continue on with it.

Read about my favorite vegetarian websites and meals: here
Read about my favorite foods that I eat on a day to day basis: here

If you are thinking about trying a vegetarian lifestyle, my biggest recommendation would be to plan. plan. plan. Plan your first month of meals (especially dinners) ahead of time, or make yourself a binder full of recipes you can turn to when you aren't sure what to cook. For the first couple months, I would make a few new recipes here and there, but I mainly stuck to what I knew to eat and enjoyed. I got used to it rather quickly and it wasn't as bad as some of you would imagine. If you've been wanting to push yourself to try a different diet/lifestyle, this might be for you!

When I made the switch to becoming a vegetarian, I also substituted many items I had been eating with healthier alternatives. Here are just a few of them. What healthy substitutes have you made in your diet?

-I only use regular milk (skim) when baking
-I rarely drink milk as it is, but I use almond milk for smoothies, the breakfast cookie, protein shakes, and with the occasional bowl of Kashi granola

-Greek yogurt = more protein
-I even use plain greek yogurt in place of sour cream
(this takes some getting used to, but I love it now)

(as you can see, I still eat dairy, for those of you who are wondering. I'm not a vegan and don't see myself giving it up anytime soon. HOWEVER, I have done a good job with limiting it and cutting back on eating cheese!)

-I used to eat cashews, peanuts, and other various nuts like it was my
j-o-b. The 100 calorie Emerald Walnuts and Almonds packs help me keep my intake of them under control, and they are 2 of the best nuts you can eat.

Do you still eat normal granola bars?
I don't remember the last time I had one like Quaker or Nature's Valley, but if you are still eating them, I'd say make the switch to a more organic, natural protein bar like Larabars. There are other yummy brands of protein bars, if you aren't a fan of Larabars, like Luna bars and Clif bars.

Other items I eat on a day to day basis include: spinach (say goodbye to the romaine lettuce), quinoa, beans (ALL types), hummus, sweet potatoes, and obviously an adundance of fruits and veggies.

Time for my Top 2 tunes this week!

1. International Love - Pitbull ft. Chris Brown
2.Turn Me On - David Guetta & Nick Minaj

*Last night was my first CROSSFIT class with Kelsey!
It went really well (..I didn't pass out, so that's good), and I'm excited to see how the next few classes go. Crossfit is NO JOKE, friends. It is so intense, unlike anything I've ever tried, and is a total body workout. I'm predicting to be sore many many mornings this next month. It's going to be a total change for me in regards to my workouts....
Running/lifting and Crossfit = completely different.

...and to scare us shitless top it all off, we already saw someone bust their chin
in one of the classes last night. Just great.

What have you changed in your diet or workouts lately?
Share with me!

*SPONSORING::I do have spots open for the month of April! I have loved sponsoring those of you who signed up so far. Email me if you're interested at whalenkat@gmail.com. I'd love to promote your blog or shop :)

**Lastly, voting ends soon! Will you take a moment to vote
for KC&CO in Columbus' "Best Local Blogger" contest?

vote here

((Just go to People, Best Local Blogger,
and type in http://www.mykeepcalmandcarryon.com/ or my name!))

thank ya friends!


  1. Congrats on being a vegetarian for a yea!! That is awesome and I definitely appreciate all the tips and alternative food choices! :)

  2. That's awesome. 1 year is real commitment. I Love Crossfit when I tried it too. :) So different. I find it similar to Bodyrock and Zuzana Light though and those I can do at home. Love Larabars and Lunabars. So yummy.

  3. Congrats! What an awesome accomplishment.

    Changes I have made that I can see results: I have been using the MyFitnessPal calorie counter for the last 45 days and have seen MAJOR changes!! Works like a charm.

  4. That is so great! I really love reading your insight on this subject. I have SERIOUSLY cut back on meat so thanks for the website reccomendation. My only question.... I have always been unsure about larabar, clif bars ect. I feel like they are somewhat of a gimick. It seems like its a candy bar with added protein with flavors like chocolate chip or cookie dough... What are your thoughts? Are they genuinely healthy? I would love to try them I have just been unsure if they are actually good for you.

  5. I've been toying with the idea of going Vegetarian for the month of May but haven't totally decided. Is your hubby one too? OR do you cook his meals separately, ish. I prepare all M's meals and he refuses to try it for even one month.

  6. I seriously am going to try for a week to be meat-free. I don't eat red meat, but I do love turkey deli meat and baked chicken. So it will be tough, but I think I can do it! I'll need majah support!!!

    Love the songs you selected for today - so good and good pump up music for the gym!!!

  7. Ugh, that unknown would be me, Aly ... Sorry! Was logged into my blog email versus my personal email. Whoops!

  8. I'm nowhere near switching full-on to vegetarian..but I did just recently switch from granola bars to Clif bars and Larabars...and I love them! So many flavors, and they're all so good.

  9. just voted for ya as best local blogger :)

  10. Good for you! I'm not sure that I could do it. I love me a medium rare steak. I do love that you posted healthier substitutions - I'm going to try almond milk one of these days!

  11. Congrats on being a veggie for a year! That's awesome! I just started in late December after visiting my mom who is a nutritionist. She had me sit down at watch the movie Forks Over Knives - have you seen it yet? Since then I haven't been able to eat meat or even think about eating meat. THANK YOU for the links to the recipes - I've been in a meal rotation rut and have been recently searching for some new ones!

  12. you go girl :-) that is amazing...so healthy and clean eating. I need to work on better eating. I mean, I dont eat meat often...Maybe like 5 times a month so I could see myself eating much better!! Substituitons totally help overall! :-)

    QUINOA Obsessed!!!

    so glad u liked crossfit! ive been reading up on it but am kind of scared hahah


  13. I loved this post! I just completely cut red meat from my diet and I'm trying to slowly reduce poultry too. It has been fairly easy so far!

    I just can't get myself to like greek yogurt - I've tried a few brands but that sour taste just gets to me. I'm curious about trying quinoa.. I'll be searching for a recipe via pinterest soon!

    Thanks so much!

  14. But...but...romaine is SO good for you. I understand what your saying though. I actually prefer Greek yogurt to sour cream. I'm so happy you tried crossfit! Sounds right up your alley!

  15. So I eat paleo, which is quite different from vegetarian, but I understand a lot of what you said in this post. I love almond milk and lara bars too. Congratulations on one year!

  16. New follower! Congrats on one year :) that's so exciting! I wish I could cut out meat..I keep telling myself to take baby steps and just cut out red meat but it's so much harder than I thought



  17. I've just switched over to greek yogurt and I've been wanting to move away from fiber bars before work outs. I'm going to buy a Larabar tomorrow!! Any recommended flavors?

    Also love your tunes - such good workout music!

    Keep Shining,

  18. Happy Vegetarian Anniversary♥

    XoXo, Jess

  19. Okay, so first of all, no clue how I came across your blog but I. AM. LOVING. IT!!! You my friend are a hoot, and so fun to read! This post really stuck out to me because in April I will be celebrating year #3 as a pescatarian myself! It was honestly one of the best lifestyle changes I could have ever made. I truly feel like a different person now. As for crossfit- YOU GO GIRL! I would probably die. I'll stick to my zumba :) But Happy Wednesday and thanks for your great posts!

  20. I have been creeping on your blog for a little while and totally needed to comment. I just posted recently about our journey to pescatarianism (real word?? hmm). We have been going strong for 16 months and I don't think I will go back! Happy to see other bloggies doing it too. Keep up the good work!

  21. Switching to greek yogurt was a great game changer as far as breakfast goes. Protein = feel fuller longer. Congrats on your vegetarian anniversary!

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