Have you ever thought about ending your relationship with meat?
Until I came home from an out of town trip two weekends ago and discovered J was already two days into a meatless diet. I was very surprised at this because meat is generally a staple in our meals. He didn’t demand that I stop eating meat too, but since I prepare most of our meals I knew it would be more time consuming for me to have to prepare separate meals so I decided to give it a try.
I’m not giving up meat entirely though. I’ll still probably eat it for lunch through the work week, when I’m not eating leftovers. But this basically means that meat will be eliminated from the majority of my diet and I’m okay with that. I just wrapped up my first week being semi-meatless and I can honestly say I don’t miss it.
One reason is because I haven’t had a lot of practice cooking it. So most quick meals consisted of something prepackaged or something made with hamburger meat. I have never grilled out. I leave that up to J, but even then we probably only grill out once or twice a year. I’m not a big steak eater anyway. I prefer chicken or fish. Eating out usually means a hamburger, chicken, or pasta meal. I could go on and on, but the more I think about it, I know that my meat tastes have been limited my whole life. Now I do love me some chicken which is probably why I won’t give up meat entirely. But given a choice, chicken is much healthier than beef anyway.
By now many of you are probably shaking your heads with dismay at me and thinking this is ridiculous. You could never give up meat! And you are probably wondering why anyone would want to, right? Remember what I have been saying for several months now: you have to change your relationship with food. For a long time, I’ve said I could probably go meatless if I lived on my own and didn’t have to prepare meals for someone else who does eat meat. So my decision isn’t political. It’s just another step in changing my relationship with food and the fact that the person I live with is doing it too makes it all that much easier.
The hardest part, but also the funnest, has been trying to find new things to eat. I like to try new recipes but meatless recipes can be a challenge. You meat lovers out there are probably thinking I’m not going to eat anything but salad, but believe it or not, I haven’t had a salad all week. I do like salads though. I recently started making a Mexican lasagna that had meat in it. Last week I made it without meat and I added a few other ingredients and it tasted just fine. Tonight we are having stuffed bell peppers, another dish that I previously made with meat but whose recipe I’m now perfecting without it.
This past weekend we made a trip to the farmer’s market for fresh fruit and veggies. We also have a small garden in our back yard. So there’s no shortage of good healthy ingredients in our house. Like I said, the challenge is just learning new ways to utilize them.
And that’s kind of the theme here overall that I’ve been experiencing since late March when I first decided to give up coffee. You have to break bad habits one at a time and replace them with better habits. It’s a slow process, but overall, you just have to change your relationship with food!
In the next few posts, I hope to share some of my new meatless recipes! Are you meatless? Or semi-meatless? If so, share your thoughts or ideas or recipes in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.
It’s hard to cook meals that meet the needs of middle-aged parents while also meeting the needs of active teen boys, but left on our own, my husband and I could happily eat veggies and salads every night.
Semi vegetarian here… I make chicken nachos once a week and that is about it – occasionally we may have chicken sausage links. Really dont miss the meat those other meals at all. Due to food allergies we can’t have soy which means tofu is out so I make almondbutter or pecanbutter once a week. Both are delicious, escecially the pecanbutter.
We started out with meatless Mondays and we are now raw vegan 4 days per week. We only eat meat on the weekends now. It’s nice to give the body a break. A fasting day is good too once or twice a month. 16-18 hours if you can. I just made this great veggie lasagna hack with kale veggie burgers. It was quick and delish.