Monday, March 30

MEAT FREE MARCH / VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN FOOD POST

This month I've been trying to be a bit more thoughtful with my food.

After reading the blogs of people like Essena O'Niell and Fully Raw Kristina I decided to give a vegetarian lifestyle a go. I've been having a bit of aversion to dairy for a while now after reading some truly grotesque facts about pus content (??) and so I've been avoiding dairy products for a few months now anyway, but it was pushing away meat and fish that was the next step for me.

^ Ratatoille Flatbread 
One of the main problems I had starting out was that I found it difficult to think of ideas. I wanted to approach this lifestyle as not only meat-free but also plant-based. It would have been easy to just have peanut butter on toast every day, a ready made soup for lunch and chips for dinner but I wanted to really make sure I was getting in the nutrition. 

One thing I learned from other Veggie/Vegan blogs is that when it comes to cutting out the crap you have to really make sure you're eating a lot. A bacon sandwich could be 350 calories, which is the equivalent to around seventeen carrots. Can you imagine sitting down to eat that many carrots? It's a lot. One of my go to lunches at this month has been what I have christened my 'Ratatouille Flatbread'. I chop up a courgette, sweet potato, red onion and a Carrot and roast in the oven at 200 degrees for half an hour with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. I then smudge two pittas with a good smear of red pepper hummus (the best) and fill with veggies. I usually filled a tupperware container with half the veg as a portion for the next day as then I could stick the veg in the microwave to give them back some life.

Another thing I found is that one of the easiest ways to go Veggie and eat healthy was plan my meals in advance, and this was made easier by bulk-cooking food. One of my fave recipes this month was Lily Pebbles' quinoa recipe, which made enough for eight people (!) or a week's worth of lunches.

^Leon Gobi and dairy-free shake

Another thing that I worried about without due cause was eating Veggie when I was out and about. Being 2015, almost every food outlet I visited in the month had at least one vegetarian option even if they had no vegan ones. I have spent a lot of time at the Victoria branch of Leon this month, and they had tons of delicious Vegan options like their Leon Gobi which I made ages ago on the blog {here} and their Sweet Potato Falafel (so good). Even on date night I found that Prezzo had more than enough veggie options for me to have a good selection to pick from, and even my monthly Nandos trip went uninterrupted as I opted for the Veggie Pitta qualm-free (although I did opt for halloumi... Cheese is scientifically proven to be addictive, I can't help it).

When it came to cooking at home, I found one of the easiest switches to make was just to cook 'normal' dinners and substitute in veg where the meat would usually be.

Personally, I always stuffed my stir fries full of veg anyway, so it was no skin off my back to just add in some more in place of chicken or beef.

Equally, when it came to cooking some pasta one evening when inspiration was seriously lacking wasn't that tenuous a task. I mean really, plain tomato pasta sauce is usually vegetarian regardless, but it only took throwing in some spare stir fry veg to bulk up the health content.

Generally speaking, I am still a newbie to this lifestyle and for all I know this time next month I could be eating BBQ ribs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but personally I feel like I can say that I feel so much better within myself-- less bloated, less sluggish, more 'healthy' (despite a godawful month in general) and so it's something that I hope I can stick to.  Here's hoping!

Until next time,
Steph

xxx

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