Friday, May 31, 2013

Meatless.

Being a vegetarian has been one of the easiest decisions I ever made. I had tried it in college, but gave up after only three months because I missed chicken so much and found it really difficult to be a vegetarian on a college campus (though I think a ton of my fellow students were vegan, which is even more difficult). 
In college, my motivation for being a vegetarian was to lose weight - I gained ~20 pounds eating and drinking my weight in terrible-for-you foods, and thought it would be a quick fix to getting the pounds to drop off. It wasn't, and because my head wasn't right or fully in it, I couldn't commit to it. I lasted maybe 2 months, and then was back eating meat again, which is totally fine. Even now, I've told myself that if my body is craving meat for a good 2-3 days, I'll eat it again. Since I mentally prepared myself though, I haven't felt it necessary and haven't had a lasting craving.

Two years ago, after seeing documentaries like Food, Inc., and just really thinking about how I felt about how I felt morally about eating meat, I decided to just see how long I could go without eating meat (I do eat fish, so technically I'm pescetarian, though I only have it once a month - if that.. plus no one knows what a pescetarian is and they think I make that word up).

There are things that I miss a lot - there is NO good soy substitute for bacon, and I miss chicken Caesar wraps, but overall, I haven't had that struggle where I've been craving it for a long time.


Honestly, since switching and eliminating meat from my diet, I'm constantly baffled by how much of, "But where do you get your protein from?" comments are made to me. I'm sorry, were people judging my protein intake beforehand?
The thing is, with any lifestyle choice concerning diet, you can not eat certain things, but still be falling apart on the inside. Lately, I've been really concerned with the lack of vegetable servings in my diet and how I was filling myself with fried or super processed ingredients, so I've been making a super conscious effort to have a ton of fruits and veggies, minimally processed foods, enough protein, and more of an effort to bake instead of fry/saute with oil. 
I know a lot of people are getting into Meatless Mondays, just to cut down on their carbon footprint or have a little less meat in their diet, so I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite, veggie laden recipes with absolutely no meat products (and very minimal processed ingredients). These are iPhone pictures, so I apologize if they're a little out of focus/blurry, but they get the point across!

The fake meat products from Trader Joe's are phenomenal, and MorningStar is one of my standard go-to's for fake meat products. I also eat a ton of seitan because I'm not the hugest tofu fan.

Meatless Mediterranean burger, toasted whole wheat pita, asparagus with organic Parmesan cheese, and cooked spinach.

Organic mac and cheese with broccoli tossed in and roasted asparagus (and of course, red wine!).

I'm also a little bit of a whore for anything with avocado. Yummmm.
 

Different meals throughout the week.


Yummy breakfast (on the rare occasion that I eat  it - very often I go with breakfast foods for lunch or dinner).

Breakfasts often include whole wheat pita, organic Maine blueberries, meatless sausage patties, oatmeal, whole wheat waffles, and coffee - though sometimes I splurge and buy sweet potato tots from Trader Joe's.



Having a Puerto Rican boyfriend = the most amazing rice and beans when he offers to cook dinner. I'm a lucky girl.


I found a recipe on Pinterest for "healthy cookies," which to me, sounds like total and complete bullshit. When I saw the ingredients, there are only three - bananas, oats, and chocolate chips. Boom, done. They've turned into one of my favorite treats, especially before I go running. They are seriously the simplest things to make, and you know exactly what is going into them!

What are your favorite healthy meals to cook?
Do you ever follow the "Meatless Mondays," routine?

Enjoy your weekends, loves! xox

9 comments:

amy b.s. said...

good for you! it sounds like you're taking a very pracital, and positive, approach to the change. i too am a total whore for avocado. but i'm also a whore for bacon!

HiFashion said...

This is great. While I don't think I could go meatless altogether, a few days of eliminating meat might do me some good. I'm already planning on making my diet a lot healthier, so this might help.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Love the post...I have been juicing for 5 months and now eat a meal a day....but make most of them meatless....Feel so much better

Kathy said...

while i can't go meatless, i don't eat red meat too often; i stick to lean white meats.

The Dainty Dolls House said...

Super food :)) Yummy, could eat it all!! I don't eat much meat really. I try and limit myself to a little bit. I was a vegetarian when I was a teenager, but started eating meat again when I had my first daughter. Now, I eat very little of it and have days of eating none. It's much easier. I love vegetables and fruits, so I don't feel like I'm missing much when I don't have it. I just try to eat healthier and take good care of myself. Good for you, it's great!! Have a wonderful week ahead doll xx

Elle Sees said...

i totally tried being a vegetarian like 16 years ago. back then the options weren't as good, and i don't eat eggs, so that ended that. i do go meatless occasionally, but man does my blood sugar drop! i'm not the healthiest chick, but i am really picky about my beef when i eat it, which is usually around my period, hehe.

Sara Louise said...

I admire your commitment!
We do meatless Mondays in my house. I actually aim for two meatless days a week :)

Nicole Linette said...

Chinese food is really delicious and all, but...

I miss cooking for myself and gorging on vegetables and fruits SO MUCH.

So of course the same veggies are here, and I could buy Western food (i.e. oats, chocolate), but the quality standards and food safety issues (wrote a paper on it for my Issues in Chinese Society class) and generally dwindling student's budget is just workin' against me. Thanks for sharing these photos! My stomach is grumbling; it's going to be a looong summer..

:) nicole.

Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

Yum yum! All your meals look so beautiful and healthy! And I LOVE avocados too! I probably eat about half an avocado a day!