It’s cookout season which for the non-mea eaters in a family can get uncomfortable. I always get the side-eye from family when I tell them I don’t eat meat. They don’t trust my ham hock-less greens or my bacon-less baked beans. Even if nobody is touching my side dishes, I’m all about clean eating. With a history of diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension in my family, I will gladly eat my black bean veggie burger and plantain fries at the Fourth of July barbeque.
Frozen pizza, big macs, and diet coke shouldn’t be staples in anyone’s diets unless the goal is to look like Donald Trump who is built like the love child of an ‘89 Cutlass and Mr. Potato head. Don’t be like him. Your great granddaddy may have had a T-bone steak wrapped in bacon for dinner every day, but that doesn’t have to be your diet. You don’t have to eat based on others expectations. Plenty of guys are already living the post spare-rib life. Ruben Studdard dropped a bunch of weight eating vegan soul food. Comedian Country Wayne admitted in an interview that he was vegan.
You don’t have to want to save a chicken to be vegetarian or vegan either. You can go meatless to:
Up your grill master game: Imagine how impressed Uncle will be when you tell him that steak he just ate wasn’t made of meat. Anybody can flip some burgers and hotdogs, but only a boss can make a vegetable taste as good as some ribs.
Sweat hard and stay fresh: Cutting meat, dairy, and processed food from your diet while upping your fruit and veggie intake can change your breath and body’s natural funk. You can have a natural “you” smell that someone wouldn’t mind lingering on their pillow.
Clear that skin up: Still waiting for that glow up? With more water in your diet, you can leave those awkward high school years behind with clearer, brighter skin.
Even if you don’t want to give up meat completely, cutting down on how much of it you eat can still do your body some good. Just small changes can keep you from looking like 45.
T. Jones is an Atlanta-based freelance writer with a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing. Keep up with this scribe who loves good cup of tea and watching Bobby Flay throw down in a kitchen on Instagram.