I know that this blog is taking a turn quickly- but this week I made a life decision and I want to talk about it!
I want to talk about diet. This has been a struggle for me lately, and the pandemic definitely hasn’t helped. When my husband and I first met, I was eating chicken every single day. I worked out a lot and thought I needed to eat meat every day in order to get enough protein. When he told me he was a vegetarian, I was concerned at first because I had no intentions of giving up meat. I have pretty bad IBS, so I had already cut out red meat to help with that situation. But to me, being vegetarian meant eating lots of nuts and beans, neither of which agree with my sensitive stomach. I needed to decide for myself that I wanted to cut out meat, and a while later I took the plunge. I was surprised how much better I felt, and I’m proud to not be supporting meat production. It is the most sustainable thing you can do, because meat production is the cause of 51% of greenhouse gas emissions. I want there to be an earth for our great grandchildren, and this is a way we can help that happen.
Some of my favorite things I discovered while not eating meat were my love for tofu, how great chickpea protein pasta is, and that my new favorite meals are BBQ pulled jackfruit sandwiches and cactus tacos. I grew up eating a lot if Italian dishes that were traditional with meatballs and meat sauce. My husband and I are also both huge fans of Mexican food. These dishes were really easy to swap out the meat parts of for other things, and we eat really well all the time. We marinate tofu to make tacos and enchiladas, we make sweet potato and black bean burrito bowls, and we learned how to cut up and cook prickly pear cactus to make fajitas and tostadas with some guac- yum! We also buy protein pastas and cook them with veggies mixed in. The first meal I made for our first Christmas together was a zucchini lasagna, and we have been making that once every other month or so ever since. We discovered that jackfruit cooks into something that closely resembles pulled pork, and we make pulled Korean BBQ jackfruit sandwiches that are so delicious and so easy to make. You can make a pot-pie without the chicken, or shepherd’s pie just with veggies or get some Beyond meat for a treat. We also love to cook stuffed…everything. Stuffed peppers (with rice, beans, tomato, corn, salsa, and cheese), stuffed tomatoes (with rice or couscous, garlic, zucchini and onion), stuffed sweet potatoes and stuffed zucchini. The list goes on- there are so many easy yet fun and creative meals you can make.
I’ve been really into documentaries lately, and we recently watched Cowspiracy. I always liked to imagine that eating eggs and putting milk on my cereal was harmless because it wasn’t killing any animals. I had no idea that cows that stop producing milk end up being sent to slaughter for meat anyway. That completely changed my perspective, and inspired me to take yet another plunge and become vegan. I don’t want to support an industry that grows crops to feed cows to feed us, when those crops could just feed us. I can’t believe that we waste so many resources and are polluting our planet and destroying the atmosphere and the ocean all so we can eat some steak.
So now I’m going vegan. We made a list of the foods we have to swap out, and the list wasn’t even that long. We have already switched to oat milk, so it’s really just finding alternatives to cheeses. I want to learn to make fake ricotta out of soy, and make our own mayonnaise and cream cheese. It’s going to be fun! The only part that isn’t fun is the fact that I have a really bad chocolate addiction. I mean a SERIOUS addiction. I eat chocolate every single day. What am I going to do without candy? I do like to bake so I’m going to try to have fun with this and see how it goes! I will keep you posted!