Sunday, November 3, 2013

Experimenting with Vegetarianism

Hello blog friends!

My most recent hiatus (I know, I know; they happen a lot) can be attributed partially to laziness and partially to my frustration with my Macbook that I bought this summer. I’m having a hard time getting used to it and I’m actually thinking about selling it (!!) and buying another PC. Sounds insane, but it’s worth it to me to actually know how to use my computer and to make blogging easier and more convenient. I’m currently writing this post from my old laptop because blogging without my beloved Windows Live Writer is just not possible for me.

As predicted, every time I quit blogging for a period of time I am reminded of how much I miss spending my free time taking pictures of my food and writing about my life. Yesterday I attended a baby shower for a friend of mine and I was amazed at all of the homemade gifts that she received. A couple of her guests made beautiful quilts and her sister painted the cutest artwork to hang in the nursery. Knowing that all I had done was run into Target and grab a couple items on her registry, I couldn’t help but think “Man, I need a hobby!” I told this story to my parents last night and my dad just looked at me and said, “Um, you did have a hobby. Blogging was your thing, until you stopped.” And ya know what? He’s right. Blogging is my thing. So here I sit, doing my thing and drafting up a post.

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In case you forgot what I look like (HA), here’s a recent photo of me. This was taken a couple weeks ago right after I got my hair cut and colored.

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Not a whole lot has happened with me in the past couple months – but today I did want to talk about my latest approach to nutrition.

While weight loss is always a goal of mine, lately I have been concerned about eating healthier to FEEL better. I also really just want my pants to fit me again! Lol. I have a closet full of clothes that I love that used to fit, but now they are all too small/tight/unflattering and I can’t currently wear them. I was talking about this with a new friend a few weeks ago, and he asked if I had ever considered going vegetarian. Now, he’s a vegetarian himself so this didn’t just come out of the blue, but he brought up some points regarding health benefits and weight loss that encouraged me to do a little more research myself. I actually just bought these two books and am looking forward to diving into them:

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Since that conversation, I have been making a conscious effort to reduce my meat intake. It really has not been that difficult for me since there are so many foods that I love that are already vegetarian or vegan. I rarely eat meat with breakfast, and for my packed lunches that I take to work I’ve been making some sort of pasta or rice dish to take with a salad and some fruit. One of the dishes I made a couple weeks ago was an adaptation of Anne’s Mediterranean Pasta Salad:

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It’s basically whole wheat pasta mixed with whatever vegetables you want and tossed with balsamic and olive oil. I included spinach, black olives, chick peas, cucumber, artichokes and feta in this version. I ate it cold and it was quite tasty!

For lunch this past week I made this wild rice salad; only I cooked the rice in water (instead of chicken broth) and I also added some chick peas to amp up the protein content.

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If I don’t have anything prepared, hummus and crackers is always my fallback option. (I love Blue Diamond Nut Thins in the sea salt flavor)

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For dinner, I usually eat something simple like tacos with refried beans, eggs with toast and salad, soup, an Amy’s frozen meal, or I eat leftovers or go out.

For those who are curious, yes: I have lost some weight since switching to a mostly vegetarian diet (about eight pounds as of Friday). However, I don’t attribute that to the lack of meat but to the fact that I’ve been eating less junk food and sugar and more fruits and vegetables. I’ve also been running three or four times a week. Obviously it’s totally possible to lose weight while eating meat (not only have I done it before, but meat is a staple in most weight loss diets), but for now cutting back on it has lead me to make healthier choices and I’ve been feeling so much better as a result. I’m also discovering that most restaurants offer some pretty delicious vegetarian options, like this mushroom ravioli I had at Food Dance last weekend in Kalamazoo:

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And this salad I had today at Om Café in downtown Traverse City:

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(Romaine, quinoa, chickpeas, avocado, and goat cheese. Mind = blown.)

I don’t know if I could ever give up meat completely (I’ve been eating it about once a week on average for the past month) because there are many dishes that contain meat that I really, really love and would not want to give up. However, right now I am enjoying this little experiment and I’m looking forward to learning more about vegetarianism. Who knows, maybe this is just a phase and I’ll resume my old meat-eating ways at some point, or maybe someday I’ll give up meat entirely. I’m not giving myself “rules” and I’m not doing anything because I feel like I have to. I’m simply doing what I can to make myself feel happier and healthier, and hopefully my clothes will start fitting again too Winking smile.


How many of you are vegetarians/vegans? Have you ever tried a vegetarian diet before?

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