A Diet Change and WIAW

If you follow me on Instagram then you might have noticed that I have been cooking and eating more vegetarian/meatless meals lately. There is a reason for this. Ryan and I have decided that we want to start having less meat in our diets. This has nothing to do with wanting to lose weight, wanting to follow a fad, or wanting to label ourselves as vegetarian or vegan. I am not one for labels when it comes to my diet, but we are changing what we are eating quite a bit.

I have been wondering for a while now how healthy meat is for everyone, especially how much meat most people in America eat every day. I feel like for the majority of people, and I know it was this way for us, most of our meals involved meat, and meat was the main course of the meal. Now most of the meat we ate was chicken or turkey products, which I think is much better than too much red meat, but I still wasn’t convinced that we needed meat for every meal.

A few weeks ago Ryan and I watched the documentary “Forks Over Knives”, after my brother and SIL told us we needed to watch it. I won’t give too much away because I think a lot of y’all would enjoy watching this, but the documentary discussed the benefits of a plant based diet. I am a huge believer that fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients that most of us don’t get enough of, and it’s not that I think meat is bad for us, but I don’t know if we need as much of it as most people eat. I also definitely don’t think the way animals are treated and fed is healthy or natural, and I think humans suffer negative consequences from these unnatural ways. This makes all natural, grass-fed meat healthier, but this is a very expensive option.

With that being said, the majority of meals we eat are now meatless and we are finding different ways to get our protein. I am married to a man who loves meat and cheese (the documentary, “Forks Over Knives” says you should go all plant based, which of course would be no dairy either, we haven’t gone that far yet. We are changing our diets gradually), and he has tried more foods and meals in these last three weeks than he probably ever has, and he is realizing that he can like meals without meat, and there are more vegetables that he actually likes than he thought!

If you are anything like me, you won’t have a clue on how to start to make delicious, meatless meals that meat loving people will still enjoy and make sure they are still nutritious. I did some research and looked through multiple recipes, and I thought I would share some of the meals we have eaten with y’all. So what a perfect day to take part in WIAW: Veggie Style! Head on over to Peas and Crayons if you want to see more delicious food people are eating!

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I made some black bean sweet potato chili, and I loved this meal! Make some healthy cornbread muffins, and this meal is perfect!

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Tofu frittatas from Peas and Thank You. The Hubs wasn’t a fan of this one, but I thought they were really good! They were perfect for breakfast, or a snack, or as an add on to another meal. I really enjoyed putting a couple of them over salads for lunch. I loved to eat mine topped with salsa!. The picture above to the right was a snack for me one day, and I ended up putting a little salsa on the frittata after I took the picture.

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Black bean veggie burger from Peas and Thank You.Β As you can tell, I ate mine on a bed of spinach instead of with a bun, and then I topped it with avocado, tomatoes and bell peppers. And obviously load up on the vegetables for sides! And if you have a veggie burger, home made sweet potato fries are a must, in case you didn’t know.

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Spaghetti and lentil “meat balls”, that are made without any meat. Again, this recipe is from Peas and Thank You.

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Jambalaya made with quinoa, seasonings, veggies, and some type of veggie sausage. We wouldn’t eat the sausage by itself, but when it was mixed in with all of the seasonings, quinoa, and vegetables, it tasted fantastic! Oh and I bet you can’t guess where I got this recipe. Well maybe you can, Peas and Thank You again.

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Tortilla soup from Oh She Glows. I ate mine with some homemade plantain bread from purely twins. Ryan said this meal was “phenomenal”. This was an incredibly good soup, and I can’t wait to make more of Angela’s recipes.

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Homemade pizza on sweet potato crust from Tina. We loaded it up with veggies and then put some mozzarella cheese on top, followed by some pineapple.

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Eggplant parmesan from Ashlee. I loved this meal! I ate mine on a bed of quinoa, and Ryan ate his on noodles. Ryan thought it was delicious!

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Tempeh “sloppy joes”, which I ended up just calling barbecue sandwiches because that’s what they were. They weren’t like sloppy joes at all. Ryan ate his, and had leftovers for lunch the next day, but he said this wasn’t his favorite, and this meal shouldn’t be on of our regular meals.

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A sweet potato topped with scrambled eggs cooked with veggies and avocado for breakfast .

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Blueberry spinach pancaked topped with 1/2 of a banana, some peanut butter, and a drizzle of pure maple syrup.

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Leftover barbecue tempeh on a bed of quinoa with a salad and green beans.

 

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Carrot cake waffles that are amazing! I topped mine with half of a banana and a little pure maple syrup.

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Quinoa, black bean, and corn tacos. Mine are too loaded with toppings for you to see the quinoa mixture, but it was amazing. My plate is on the left, and Ryan’s is on the right.

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The quinoa, black bean, and corn mixture made a ton, so earlier this week for breakfast I sautΓ©ed some of the leftovers with spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, and bell pepper, and then cooked two eggs with it. This was one of my favorite breakfasts! I topped it with avocado and salsa and had a lentil banana muffin from Lindsay on the side.

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Last night Ryan and I went to a hockey game, and we didn’t want to pay to eat out or eat at the game, so I packed a dinner that we ate in the car before going into the stadium. Not only was this cheaper, but it was healthier too. I wanted to show this picture so you can see that you can pack vegetarian meals too! I had a salad with some of the quinoa, black bean, and corn mixture in it, with some Greek yogurt and nuts afterwards. Ryan had a peanut butter banana sandwich with Ritz chips and an apple.

So there are a bunch of our vegetarian eats lately! Now we are not going totally meatless, right now, we are having mainly vegetarian meals during the week, and some meat on the weekend if we want it. This is working out great so far because it’s on the weekends when we normally go out with friends or family, and that’s when eating meatless might be a harder option, or might not even be an option.

I am also a huge fish lover, and I think fish has many benefits. I still want us to have fish about once a week or so, and that’s why we are having shrimp this Friday night. Meat and fish give people Vitamin B12, which is one reason I wouldn’t want to get rid of it completely. We are just having much less than we used to. πŸ™‚

Now I do not judge anyone who eats a lot of meat; we are all different and we all need different diets. But for Ryan and I, this diet is working great for us. Ryan even admits that he feels better having less meat; he has more energy and is less tired. Sometimes you just have to explore your food options to see what works best for your body.

Questions:

1. What have you been eating lately?

2. Do you think you would like to watch the documentary, “Forks Over Knives?”

3. Do you like vegetarian recipes?

27 comments

  1. I really enjoyed reading this post – esp. since Joshua is a huge meat eater. However, he has almost eliminated red meat from his dinner.. will not give up chicken, which is perfectly okay w/ me. I’ll have to look at the recipes that Ryan enjoyed, and see if they’d be something I could serve Joshua for dinner. Thanks, girl!

  2. I honestly can never eat meat (except at Thanksgiving) and be completely ok with it. I was a vegetarian for a little over two years and loved it. However, I had some health issues, and my doctor told me that my body actually did need meat. I still eat two of my meals without meat, but I try to incorporate meat into one meal a day (usually chicken, turkey or fish…occasionally red meat). I try to be more conscious of the meat that I do buy now.

    It’s all about finding what works for your body!

    Your meatless recipes look so delicious. Keep ’em coming, please!

    1. I totally agree that all bodies are different, and I think it’s great that you figured out that you need meat once a day. When we do eat meat we definitely try for it to be fish, chicken, or turkey.

  3. I really love that you two are taking this on together, I think it will certainly be easier with the two of you. that being said, I have started to eat way less meat because it wasn’t making me feel all that good. I have noticed a huge difference which is great.

  4. Carrot cake waffles!? Bookmarked. That is awesome you guys found a diet that makes you feel good and gives you energy. Funny, for most of my adult life I rarely ever ate meat. Mostly because it was expensive and I didn’t really know how to cook it. I know eat chicken breast A LOT and have somehow convinced my husband to make it for me… I think I only made it for myself once. πŸ˜‰ (Don’t worry, I cook things for him, too!)

  5. Woohoo on the decision to cut back on the meat! I will never forget how awesome I felt only after a couple of weeks of switching to a plant based diet. All ofyour meals look great and gave me lots of dinner ideas! Hope you had fun at the Stars game last night πŸ™‚

  6. I was a vegetarian for 9 years, and crossed over to “the dark side” a few years ago. I have actually noticed a difference, but mainly because I wasn’t eating properly as a vegetarian. Before I started eating meat again, I got sick a lot. Now, I just try to eat a nice, balanced diet rich in protein, carbs, and veggies. All stuff I need to stay fueled for running!

  7. Oooo that chili looks great!! I do my best to serve the hubby and I at least one meatless dinner per week. He’s a meaty kind of guy. I go meatless more often than he does – I’ll make paninis and put chicken on his and roasted veggies on mine. I know very well that we could never give up cheese though. I’ve watched a few food documentaries, not the one you mentioned in particular though. I agree that I think we all eat too much meat, but I don’t think we need to cut it out completely. Moderation is key. πŸ˜€

  8. I tend to struggle with anemia easily (I’ve had really REALLY low ferritin twice in my life) so I can’t really cut meat out of my diet. Besides I love it too much to give it up. I do eat “vegetarian meals” quite often for lunch because I’m a fan of lighter lunches, but we definitely eat meat 1-2 times per day. My main focus to ensure my diet is healthy is making sure I get a good balance of nutrients from a wide variety of foods and I generally stay away from processed foods.

    1. I think everyone’s body is different, so I think it’s great that you have found what works good for you! I think staying away from processed foods is so important! I was actually very anemic about 3 years ago too, so I will have to make sure I still get plenty of iron through other foods, such as spinach.

  9. I watched that documentary on Netflix, and although it did provide a lot of benefits, I am someone who loves their meat. I do however eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. I love them, but I tried being a vegetarian (which worked out for two years), but the craving for meat overcame me. I actually was feeling better after getting in more protein than I was. The chili looks delicious alongside the rest of the pictures. Even if I do love my meat, I will try out some of these recipes when I get the chance. I’m a sucker for sweet potato, so having them as fries is a must. πŸ˜‰ I hope all goes well with going primarily nonmeatless. πŸ™‚

  10. That is a really interesting documentary! I think that as I’ve learned more, I think eating locally, eating healthfully raised food, and eating whole foods are the most important points I’ve learned!

  11. I love everything you’ve said in this post! When my boyfriend first moved in, he ate some kind of meat, multiple times a day. I don’t tell him he can’t have it, but I refuse to cook it (and he refuses to cook, ha), so he’s gone down a similar path of only eating meat on weekends when we go out. We both LOVE cheese, but try to do a few vegan days a week, just because I know dairy isn’t the best thing in the world for our bodies either. But as a vegetarian, dairy is a great source of B12, too (and Nutritional yeast, which I use to make vegan cheese sauces, is fortified with B12, as well).

    1. I have been wanting to try nutritional yeast! I need to find a store that sells it. We want to eventually cut back on our dairy too, but right now I think we are doing good with where we are. πŸ™‚ My husband is a big cheese lover so I couldn’t take that and meat away from him at one time!

  12. Becky, love this! I know you have been talking about going a bit more meat-free and looks like you are doing an amazing job. I also love what you talked about at the beginning of the post — you know my thoughts on this πŸ™‚ I haven’t gotten a chance to watch the documentary but it is on my list.

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