Meatless Monday, week 1

2 Feb

Well… it was a success.  The fact that I stuck to my guns and we actually had a meat-free Monday = successful.  To be honest, I couldn’t tell you the last time I went without meat.  Really.  We are big meat eaters — not to say that we stock up on protein all the time or anything, but there is usually at least 3 oz. of some type of fish/meat with lunch and dinner every night.

Why Meatless Monday? 

I know it’s a big national movement ( http://www.meatlessmonday.com/).  Anyone who knows me knows that I have a love/hate relationship with movements in general. The website can tell you all about how eating less meat will reduce your carbon footprint and also aid in your general health and well being.  Whatever.  My main concern is that we are spending a ridiculous amount of money at the grocery store.  Yes, I like to buy nice produce, and yes, I am picky about what I spend my money on.  No, I do not want to skimp on my food quality.  My good friend is a vegetarian and her grocery bill is a lot smaller than mine, so I figured, if we could just be meatless for 1 day out of 7, we could reduce some of our costs.

My secondary reason is that I enjoy a challenge. 

(Some other challenges I am contemplating at the moment are: finding a nice hotel by Central Park in NYC that doesn’t cost $$$$, attempting to hold a legitimate conversation before having a cup of coffee in the morning, and trying not to buy all the shoes on sale whenever I peak into DSW.)

Yes, eating vegetarian for one day is a monumental challenge.  Given our meat consumption, my disdain for diets that do not include delicious bacon, and my tendency to give into what is easy (beef jerky left over from a business trip) when I am hungry, this one day vegetarian adventure was very challenging.

Immediately I sent a cry for help (very undramatically, of course), emailing my friends who cook to see if they have any healthy veggie recipes.  I knew I didn’t want to just carb-load on pasta… I definitely do not want to blow all of my anytime Weight Watchers points on a veggie dish.

I made a rice casserole with refried beans and lots of veggies for lunch (6 portions = 3 days of lunch for us!) and spicy bean burritos for dinner on Monday night.  By the time Monday night rolled around, the man and I were STARVING.  We could barely function.  But we succeeded.

Upon further reflection, I realized that we needed to include more snacks with protein (aka not only two pieces of fruit, which is my usual M.O.).  Hummus, nuts, rice cakes, edamame… these would all be tasty snacking ideas.  I also came to the startling realization yesterday, after consuming the rice casserole for three consecutive lunches, that I was LESS hungry mid-afternoon than previously.  Does my body just need time to adjust to less food?  Hmmm.

We will be attempting Meatless Monday week 2 this Monday!  If there are any tasty and filling recipes, I will post them.

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