Sunday, July 25, 2010

Veggin Out

Time to update!

Well.. I hate to say it buttttttt I failed. Haha, after all that determination in my last post & here I am again. I made it a full week after my last update with no meat. All together I took meat off the table for two weeks. I felt like that was enough for me. I was craving meat, but the temptation wasn't too much to bear. What I was unhappy with was that I felt like I wound up eating a lot of carbs to replace the usual meat at meals. I was getting protein from other sources like cottage cheese, peanut butter, milk, nuts, eggs, beans, etc. but it simply didn't FEEL the same to me. I went into this little experiment expecting to feel much healthier, but the opposite was true really. It made me preoccupied with food, always thinking about it, being slightly annoyed that I couldn't eat meat. I felt like I was eating too many carbs, and was even craving sweets more than usual! That, coupled with the fact that I did not plan on continuing to exclude meat from my diet after the 30 days was up, made me stop early. It simply wasn't working out for me in the way I hoped and I was unhappy with it so why prolong it? I already eat a very healthy/balanced diet usually.

I am a little disappointed that I didn't go the full month, but it simply wasn't for me. I tried. I did get some great recipes though, which I'll post below. (Thanks Liz!!)

1 cup garbanzo beans (about 1/4 cup dry will make this 1 cup after you soak it over night) - if they are dry before use..cook them until soft.

2 cups spinach
1/4 purple onion
1 red pepper
1/4 c. olive oil
1 clove garlic
red pepper flakes
balsalmic vinegar

cook chick peas, set aside. roast red pepper. peel. cut into strips.
saute onion and garlic together in olive oil. (doesnt count in the 1/4 cup listed..thats for later). when almost done sautee-ing throw in chick peas and red pepper strips, stir around until its all hot, pour mixture over cold spinach. this melts the spinach kind of..makes it delicious.
pour the 1/4 c. olive oil and a VERY SMALL DASH of balsalmic, add red pepper flakes. eat. enjoy. be full and still be healthy.

fun snack- take cooked chick peas, roll in olive oil, roll in chili powder, put on baking pan and cook until crunchy.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Watermelon Salad

With cook out after cook out all summer long, the usual potato & macaroni salad get to be rather old (not to mention unhealthy) by mid July. Why not spice things up and bring a new dish that I bet many of the guests have never tried? Summer can be a great time to try new recipes since so many fresh fruits & veggies are in season.  A friend of mine took her boyfriend to a cooking class as a gift (what an original gift!), they had a great time & learned a few new recipes, which she passed on to me with high recomendations! :)

Watermelon Salad

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon harissa or other hot sauce
Salt & freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds seedless watermelon, rind removed, fruit sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup pitted black olives coarsely chopped
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)

In a small bowl, whisk olive oil with the lemon juice and harissa and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the watermelon slices on a plate and sprinkle with the onion, parsley, olives, and feta. Drizzle dressing on top and serve! :)

Serves 4

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Progress? Eh....

So almost a week ago now, I declared myself a vegetarian for a month. I didn't think it would be easy, but I wasn't too worried that it would be really hard for me. Substituting meat for something else isn't hard and I like that it really makes me even more aware of what I'm eating.
Welllllll. The first day went really well, minus some potato salad that had bacon in it that I wasn't aware of! Haha
Next day was fine. No meat! :)
Friday I'm at my twin sister's apartment, getting ready to go out for the evening. I had gone for a run before so I hopped in the shower while she went & grabbed dinner. I was in going-out mode, & we were hanging out with our best friend from high school who I hadn't seen in a while, so I was excited & happily chatting away & getting ready.  Half way through my usual from Buffalo Wild Wings (Honey BBQ grilled chicken salad) I slammed down my fork & said "OSHUN!!!! YOU LET ME EAT MEAT!!!!!!" hahahaha she looked perplexed then remembered too. I had just completely forgotten that I wasn't eating meat!
Then on Saturday my boyfriend and I were at a family cookout. This one in particular hosted plenty of down home favorites. In fact, there was hardly a dish that didn't have meat. So I gave in. I shouldn't have, butttt I did.
Today has gone much better.

Yogurt with grapes & watermelon
Whole wheat toast with natural pb
1/2 cup cottage cheese
Cauliflower, green peppers, asparagus, carrot & tomato medley with light italian
terakyi noodles with fresh veggies
Corn on the cob
Some chips & pretzels
more watermelon & grapes
anddddd a S'more :) (what's a cookout w/o a s'more?!)

Plus 3 20 oz bottles of water, I'll probably finish off another before bed.

So I declare a do-over. I grocery shopped today and am prepared. I'll wear a white silly band to remind myself that I'm a vegetarian for the next 30 days, and stick to it.

This is proof that I'm human, just like everyone else. I could have just pretended that this week went perfectly without one little bite of meat. But I want to give you the real deal. So, I'll do better tomorrow :)

I've had a couple recipes given to me that I'll try out & will post later. If you have any that you like email them to me @ & I'll post them up! :)

WISH ME LUCK!!!! (&& a better memory, & more self restraint ;) )

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

30 days & 30 nights.... of being a Vegetarian

Perhaps the result of a zillion cookouts over the lovely fourth of July weekend (which were all delicious), and the piles of hamburgers, hotdogs, brats, & chicken, I've found myself wondering what it would be like to be a vegetarian. Just stop eating meat, cold turkey (haha).
It seems like many vegetarians have solid reason for their lifestyle. Animal rights and/or health lead the pack. Of course I am for animal rights, but I've never been put off eating meat from the cruelties that some animals face (that sounds sort of horrible of me, maybe I'm saying it wrong but I hope you understand what I mean there..) and have never viewed meat as a threat to my health. I've just always been vege-curious. This does NOT mean that I will be attempting to survive the next 30 days on all vegetables. I love my veggies, but a diet consisting of only them? No, thank you.
I'll have to be careful to get protein into my diet throught other sources like eggs, beans, milk, fortified cereals... etc etc. I'm still training for another 5k and am curious to see how taking meat off the table will affect me while trainig.
A coworker (and fellow vegetarian) has kindly offered to lend me some of her vegetarian cookbooks, so hopefully I will have some recipes to share. I'll keep you all posted on how things are going, how I'm feeling, if I break down and eat a whole cow within the week ;)

Check back & leave your feedback! Recipes, tips, any and all are welcome! :)