In January, a coworker decided to stop eating meat and become a vegetarian. She did it to be healthier and try to lose weight. She was making these amazing soups (hello winter) and I started making the soups she did. Then, I made my own and we traded recipes.
I have always had a weird relationship with meat. When I was younger my mother told me I couldn’t be a vegetarian because I was such a picky eater and wouldn't be able to eat anything. Then about 8 years ago, I decided to stop eating meat, but my diet consisted of a lot of boca burgers and the preservatives in them will make you gain weight.
I am also allergic to a lot of things. Some mild and some a little more, but not putting them into my system helps keep everything running a little more smoothly. So in the past when I have tried cutting meat out, but it was hard because alternatives were all highly allergic foods - nuts, eggs, sesame. Now you can make eggs from chia seeds, ground flax seed, chick pea flour, chickpea
juice called aquafaba; there are so many different flours and the list goes on.
At the beginning of June, I decided to get a steak at one of my favorite restaurants. I hadn’t eat steak in months and wanted to give myself a treat. I didn’t know that this would cause havoc on my system and I was sick for 4 nights (only at night which is so weird). This is when I decided to stop eating meat all together.
I haven’t cooked meat in the house for years and on a very rare occasion would ground beef (for tacos obviously).
There are a few reasons for this.
1) I can’t stand touching meat
2) Cooking smells stick in my apartment and meat sticks for days
3) Any meat I would cook, is nothing compared to a restaurant.
(Meatless tacos with Gardein Beefless Ground)
When I made the shift, I was so good the first week and made sure I had enough food. And just like in life, it cycles, so some weeks I’m really good and some weeks I don’t know what to eat. I have gotten creative changing recipes, finding replaces, getting interesting veggies pastas. I have the same amount of energy if not more, my body feels great, and I make sure that I get enough of everything. I am a meal prep queen cooking lunch and dinner most week. I have also decreased my eating out habits significantly.
My advice if you are interested in exploring this is to try it if you want and make your own rules - I am calling myself a vegetarian, but I will eat salmon if I can’t eat anything else on the menu. Working with a nutritionist can definitely help or working with a trainer with food knowledge as it is all intertwined.
I hope that wherever you are in your food journey, that it is on your own terms and you are having fun.
Stay tuned for some delicious recipes from my kitchen.