Monday, April 21, 2014

One Month Vegiversay

Last Friday, the 11th, was my one month vegiversary! (And this post has been waiting for me to edit ever since then.  Sorry.  Sometimes life has other plans for me than the ones I have made.)  Yup, I've been vegetarian for a month.  Well, pescetarian really. I am still eating fish.  I like to leave the fish option open so I have more protein sources for quick dinners for my children.  I am, however, careful about amounts and mercury levels.  Not eating meat was something I have wanted and attempted to do for a long time.

Ever since I was in second grade I have wanted to be vegetarian. My reason then was as simple as I don't want to eat an animal. I loved animals. Eating them was akin to eating Prince, my dog. It was unimaginable. I went veggie for a week. Then my mom said 'enough, [she wasn't] going to keep making me special meals each night'. I gave in because well, in second grade, that's what you do: listen to your mom. It didn't stop me, however, from announcing my vegetarianism a few more times, only for it to last equally as long. 

When I was in high school I went vegetarian and it lasted maybe a little longer, I had a bit more independence, but I didn't cook, didn't do a lot of research, and didn't grocery shop. So it still came to a point where, if I wanted to eat, I had to eat what was in front of me. You know you've said it to your kids: you get what you get and you don't get upset. My parents didn't have our catchy little saying at the time, but if they did, I'm pretty sure those words would accompany the end of my vegetarian stints. 

But I'm at a place in my life where I feel good. Things are coming together and is time to do things for me (and in this particular case, mistreated animals and everyone who can benefit from less pollution also known as everyone). 

I've been doing a lot of reading and research. I've read about the mistreatment of farm animals, the amount of protein adults and kids need, alternate ways to achieve optimal levels of protein and nutrient, family friendly recipes, environmental reasons for going, and even though I don't want to use much fake meat or soy, lists of the best fake meat alternatives. I've also been watching food documentaries on Netflix.  Some I take with a grain of salt because people always have their motives for making documentaries, but you have to admit the scenes of animal treatment are pretty convincing in and of themselves.

To strengthen your conviction:
Food Inc, on Netflix
Vegucated, on Netflix
This article comparing the environmental impact of switching to a veggie lifestyle to switching to a hybrid car.
I also have been meaning to watch Forks over Knives (but I have not yet, so I can't give a whole hearted endorsement, but I did hear it's awesome)

For recipes:
Moko Brown Vegan, on YouTube or her blog HERE - My first dinner since pronouncing my vegetarianism was adapted from her YouTube channel for "CheeseSteaks" or as we call them....sandwiches :)
The vegan zombie, on YouTube (so I've never actually made any of his meals yet, but gosh he makes veganism look so fun!)
Pinterest, of course
This recipe I adapted from YouTube for a quick chickpea salad sandwich was awesome 
The Hungry Channel has some amazing vegetarian and vegan recipes as well

For mock meat:
I don't really do mock meat, but for things like hot dog day, when the kids and I don't want to be left out fake hot dogs seems like a good idea. A lot of mock meats are soy based which I hesitate to give much to my son, but every once in a while it is ok.  Plus I'm also noticing more and more that there are non-soy based alternatives.  I don't want to belittle the great things that Peta stands for, but I feel the need to point out that I don't condone extremism, throwing paint, or causing controversy over a swatted fly.   So anyways all that being said they have this list of favorite vegan/veggie substitutes
.To find restaurants: - I love this website. It is awesome. It definitely helped me plan a couple trips and dinners. I gave shared it with some non-veggies at my work and they love it too and have shared it with others.  In fact today one of my coworkers told me today that she used it on her Spring Break trip last week and the restaurant they found using Happy Cow was probably the best meal that they had on their whole trip.  And they aren't even vegetarian!

So are you vegetarian/vegan or just thinking about incorporating a Meatless Monday into your routine?  What resources do you use or what tips can you share with the rest of us newbies?


  1. I can relate so much! I have always wanted to try this option. but am concerned about the need to find a new "menu cruise control" for the family. The adaptation period is a little scary, but you present some angles that are really motivating. I should take the leap and try this. I love your enthusiasm!

    1. Thank you! Yes, it can be quite a transition. I did taste test some of the meatless recipes on my family before really making the leap. The portabello sandwiches (aka "Cheesesteaks") are a great one. No one even realized it didn't have meat the first few times I made it. Breakfast for dinner is another of my children's absolute favorite. Maybe start with one day a week or so and try new meatless options until you find some that are accepted and easy enough that they can become regulars. :) Thanks for your comment!

  2. I'd not heard of the term pescetarian before reading your post. Although I'm not vegetarian or pescetarian, I've gradually began a more gluten free eating habit for my son. Finding the right alternatives has taken a little time but it is so worth it when your kids are eating healthy and you start to see that they are in a happier state of mind. Best of luck to you and your family during the transition.

    1. It is so true! I can definitely tell a difference in my son's behavior and attitude when we have our "healthier" weeks vs our less healthy (or Mom-is-so-swamped-at work-what-kind-of-food-substance-can-we-shove-in-our-faces) days. Thank you for your comment and your well wishes! Always appreciated :)