What did I tackle – I declared January a non meat eating month. I did however allow myself fish and dairy products so I canâ€™t strictly say I was vegetarian, sort of an inbetweener . I also left it up to the children if they wanted to eat meat whilst at school and at their Dads. They, and to last the month, were the only rules.
Did I last the whole month? – Yes and it was surprisingly easier than I thought it would be. Â There was only one close moment of temptation when the Chinese take away mucked my order up and gave me beef in my vegetable dish. I resisted and my cat was very happy and benefited from my resistance.
Why I tackled this- I think my main reason was to see if I could do it. A second reason was my love hate relationship with food. I love it, it hates me. Â I have finally learnt to listen to my body and respect it when it tells me that there are some days I cannot eat certain foods and just asking for trouble if I continue. I donâ€™t argue anymore. Now I donâ€™t want to go into details as were strangers, you may be eating and you probably have a fully functional imagination. But some of the symptoms I would get on the not so good days were sluggish, heavy, bloated and just plain yuk feelings even when I had eaten the same amount as normal.
What did I hope to achieve – I hoped I would feel better for not eating meat, eat healthier and save a few pennies.
Did I achieve what I set out to achieve â€“ I defiantly saved money. Even after I discovered the wonders of Quorn, the shopping bill was a lot less than meat eating weeks. One of the first things from day one was after a meal I didnâ€™t feel any of the sluggish or bloated feelings from before. I defiantly ate a lot healthier too.
Positives from the month – I have noticed several positives.
Costing less has to be a big bonus. That said some of the specialised named vegetarian brands are a bit pricey. Buying in season on the vegetables could have helped if it wasnâ€™t cabbage month.Â No matter how you dress it up, there has to be a limit to how much cabbage can be hidden or consumed.
Another benefit was that I had to think a bit and not just rely on the same old dishes each week. Even cook books were perused as bedtime reading. I had the chance to try different things to what I would normally eat and stretch my culinary imagination.
The biggest eye opener of the month has to be realising how much I would revolve meal times around meat. I was brought up in the meat and two â€˜boiled to a pulpâ€™ veg era and all meals had to have a form of meat in them. It was almost a breath of fresh air to realise you donâ€™t have to have meat ever meal time or every day.
I only have a month to report back the positives so it is a bit early to report back on the health effects.Â But I can report that, at the moment, I do feel better. I donâ€™t feel tired all the time, I donâ€™t feel bloated or heavy and I have lost a few pounds. Well 5 pounds to be exact. I havenâ€™t changed anything else in my lifestyle so I do believe itâ€™s down to a healthier eating lifestyle.
Negatives from the month? – I didnâ€™t have the perfect diet before, so a sudden deluge of vegetables on my system did have an effect. But once my body realised I was supposed to have vegetables it settled down and stopped complaining.
A big eye opener on how rubbish restaurants and fast food are at catering for the vegetarian. Although supermarkets have pulled their act together and now offer vegetarian choices in fresh and frozen, the restaurants (I tried) were a letdown. Now granted I havenâ€™t tried every restaurant in a 30 mile radius but the ones I have tried had a few things in common. They would only offer one vegetarian choice per meal. The hotel I stayed at for the wedding was the same and as I was there for two nights I was rather bored of the same pasta dish both nights. The other similarity found was the vegetarian dishes always centred on pasta.
My thoughts â€“ Once I realised itâ€™s not always about substitution but about creating with vegetables it did get more interesting and tasty. That said Quorn was a brilliant idea for the children.Â They were pretty good and tried whatever I put in front of them but there were days they wanted to eat something I didnâ€™t have to explain first.
The big question â€“ will I continue. A definite yes. Although if I fancy a meat dish I will have it but I donâ€™t think it will be very often.