Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Veg Experiment

When you have to recap your weekend on Tuesday, it means it was a good one. One of my friends and her boyfriend came down for the weekend and we had entirely too much fun eating, drinking, and staying up late.

However, we overindulged so much that AJ and I have decided that we need to get ourselves back on a track to healthiness. Alcohol and junk food are not what I need to be filling my body with if I want to try for another baby someday soon. We have been itching to dabble in vegetarianism since we watched Food, Inc. a few months ago (and after reading Jenn Lives Well), but we have been lacking in motivation and initiative. We finally have both!

We leave for Grand Cayman in 18 days. Between now and then we are cutting out almost all meat and alcohol. I say most meat because we have a few Healthy Choice frozen meals in our freezer that we need to eat so that we can free up space. I know frozen meals aren't the healthiest option out there, but they make bringing my lunch to work a million times easier. (Sidebar: Have you tried the Healthy Choice kind? My favorite are Chicken Parmigiana and Roast Turkey. They are so much better than Lean Cuisine or Weight Watchers frozen meals. They actually look and taste like real food. They are a tad more expensive then the other brands, but I have found that they are well worth the extra dollar or two.) We are planning to eat those for lunch this week and then it is onto a no meat meal plan. I think this will be good because it will allows us to wean ourselves off meat during the first week.

I have a few recipes I plan to use throughout our veg experiment:

Quinoa with Spinach and Tomatoes
http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=2001925

Rigatoni with Eggplant
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/trenette-with-eggplant-and-basil-pesto-recipe/index.html

Quinoa Stuffed Red Bell Peppers http://www.shape.com/healthy_eating/recipes/quinoa_stuffed_red_bell_peppers_recipe

Ratatouille
http://www.thedcladies.com/2010/03/ratatouille-from-moosewood.html

After vacation we plan to asses how we feel and at that point determine what kinds of meats (if any) we want to reintroduce into our diet. Have you tried something like this before? Any other recipes, thoughts, and/or tips for me??

13 comments:

  1. I did a cleanse for about 4 days where I only ate veggies, fruits, quinoa and brown rice. No sugar. No caffeine. No alcohol. Dinners were hard, but I found that I really like quinoa and that a big bowl of bell peppers and other sauteed veggies with brown rice is a delish veggie dinner that fills you up and is yummy! I did it primarily to reset my body after eating nonstop over the holidays, and indulging in whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Even though it was a short duration, it got me thinking more about eating less processed foods, and relying on veggies more. You can do it!!!!!

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  2. Yay! Let me know how it goes for you guys, and I would love to discuss it more with you. I can recommend some great books at this point, too. Good for you taking control of your health & seeing what makes you feel best. Also - so jealous of your upcoming vacation.

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  3. I've been meat-free for 12 years now... the "recipes" section of my blog has loads of meatless options if you are in need. Here are a few of my favorites...

    http://www.sugarscientist.com/2011/01/spicy-squash.html

    http://www.sugarscientist.com/2010/01/asparagus-and-walnut-pasta.html

    http://www.sugarscientist.com/2009/08/aromatic-noodles-with-lime-peanut-sauce.html

    http://www.sugarscientist.com/2009/04/baked-stuffed-eggplant.html

    http://www.sugarscientist.com/2009/01/chickpea-potato-curry.html

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  4. Good for you! I would love to but my husband is very pro meat and its just economical to make 2 different meal options. With that being said, I've made that Ratatouille and LOVED it! Good luck on your new adventure. We're both giving up alcohol for Lent this year so I'm curious to see how that goes!

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  5. Such a great idea! My husband and I both stick to smaller portions of meat (especially red meat), but I won't lie: I really (REALLY) enjoy my glass of red wine at night. One glass of (red) wine is, according to some studies, very good for your heart--so don't discount the booze entirely!

    Also: one thing that we do to keep from falling down the frozen meal path is to cook wayyy more quinoa than we'll need for the week. It keeps so well and is such a cinch to re-heat. We also like to keep frozen veggies (we get the organic ones from Costco) around all the time, so that, when we're in a pinch and don't have time to make a salad, we can have organic veggies instead of preservative-filled ones. Good luck--I can't wait to hear how it all goes (vegetarianism and Grand Cayman)!

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  6. What about a veggie chili? I don't know if I could do a vegetarian diet! Good luck!!! You will be able to reward yourselves on vacation!

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  7. Have you read Oh She Glows (http://ohsheglows.com/) ? She has some AWESOME Vegan/Veggie recipes. My favorite: Flu-Buster Clementine Smoothie!

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  8. Love this idea - my boyfriend & I have been talking about doing the same. Looking forward to hearing how it goes!

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  9. Please let me know how you like the Ratatouille! I've been meaning to ake it, but...you know...I never get around to it!! Story of my life!

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  10. Ooh, I love me some good old-fashioned vegetarian dinners! I really enjoy stuffed peppers with rice, black beans, peppers, onions, and some cheddar cheese with mojo marinade (in the Mexican section at Giant). Or pasta dishes! Given that its so cold outside lately, I've been craving casseroles, for a quick dinner, I like to take ravioli, sliced peppers, onions, and a jar of red sauce and combine it in a 9x13 pan and cover with cheese and bake it. You can add a ton of veggies in it or not many, it's super-adaptable, but very comforting and yummy! Not so much on the healthy side, though!

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  11. I've been a vegetarian for about seven years, but I'm a pretty unhealthy vegetarian. Veggies are super healthy, but I end up eating lots of tofu and carbs. If you stay vegetarian, you might want to check out Lean Cuisine; I think they have the best veggie options. Morning Star also has some delicious meals. I hope it works out for you guys!

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  12. I started my own vegexperiment January 1. It was supposed to be only for a month to see how important meat was. I realized I was a "flexitarian" already and decided to try no meat. I've been doing pretty well. I'm going for better success in February.

    Thanks, Leslie, for your suggestions for frozen meals. I've noticed that they are often not vegetarian-friendly, so I usually just get ones with large pieces of meat that I can pick out easily. My coworkers think I'm nuts!

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  13. Good for you two on the healthy steps, that is always great to see. We both do little meat, but still like something on the grill occasionally. :)

    Hopefully you are almost on your way to fun in the sun, I hope you have a *great* time, and can relax and rejuvenate a little bit.

    Sending you a smile,
    tp

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