Monday, November 11, 2013

Going Veg: The First 60 Days

This month was a little weird, because all of a sudden I was hungry ALL THE TIME. Like, waking up at 3 a.m. starving on more than one occasion. I had been doing better about not eating when I wasn't hungry! But I spent quite a few days being irritable and downright HANGRY at Matt before I realized that ... um, maybe I need to eat more often.

What am I eating?
Truth: I'm eating way more cheese than I ever have before. I am tolerating it. Matt practically beams with pride every time I willingly pick up a piece of cheese.

  • Easy Pad Thai. This was deeeelish. If my stomach had been like, a lot bigger, I would have eaten the whole pot. But it made an awful lot of food, so I let Matt have some. He said that he wouldn't mind if I made this more often. P.S. It totally isn't the same if you use regular pasta noodles instead of the rice noodles. I tried.
  • Quinoa Mexi Lime Salad. Surprisingly filling for a salad. I served this as a main dish.
  • BBQ Black Bean Pizzas. I'd made these once before, and really liked them, so I made 'em again. Matt ate a ton. I literally got mad the next day because I thought he was going to eat all the leftovers before I got a chance at them. We are very territorial and competitive about our food.
  • Quinoa Chili. I originally bookmarked this recipe because it looked just like the chili my dad made when we were kids. And suprisingly, it tasted really similar too! Except that this one had quinoa instead of ground beef. It was very good, though next time I'll use the smaller recommended amount of broth regardless of cook time, as it was a tiny bit soupier than I would have liked.

Do I miss meat?
I was hanging out with some friends from church a few days ago when they decided to pick up lunch from Wings 'N More. I ordered onion rings and fried mushrooms since they were the only meatless things on the menu. There was totally a chicken nugget fried into the same piece as one of my mushrooms. As soon as I bit into it, I spat it back out. So there's your answer. I still don't want to eat meat.

Have I tried any meat substitutes? (Question from Jess!)
I had a coupon, so I bought some Boca veggie patties and "sausage links" to try out. I'll be honest, I was kind of iffy about trying meat substitutes, because if I'm going to cook, I prefer to use fresh ingredients and keep everything as natural as possible. But I have read a few things that said these products are good if you're transitioning away from meat, because they can help you to feel like your meals are more well-rounded (which is something I was struggling with last month).

I microwaved some of the breakfast links for Matt and I to try. He took one bite and said "It's not sausage." Yesssss ... but it kind of did have the smoky, spicy flavor of sausage. Not bad at all. I offered to finish Matt's link for him, but he wanted it for himself, and since then I've made them a few times. We haven't tried the veggie patties yet.

What have I learned?
I need snacks. Apparently my snack schedule was doing me some good, because I wasn't hungry every second when I was snacking more. I think I just need to do better about the kind of snacks I'm getting, since popcorn really doesn't have much nutritional value. Since I realized I need to snack better, I've been munching on honey-roasted nuts, strawberry yogurt, peanut butter crackers, and even roasted broccoli once!

How am I feeling?
Surprisingly great, as far as my stomach issues go. I like eating in ways that make me feel not terrible.

On the other hand, I've been feeling dizzy a bit more than usual. (I've had dizzy spells here and there over the last few years, but not as often as I have this month.) I went to the doctor a few days ago and they said my blood pressure was fine, and also I take a multivitamin everyday for iron, so I don't know what's up with that.

How is Matt taking it?
He says he likes that I make him food. The end.

I talked to my sister-in-law about this right after my last post went up, because Matt and I will be celebrating with his family. (My parents are coming too, and I'm excited to see everyone at the same time! This whole alternating-families thing is a pain. Dang you, marriage.) Neither of us are big turkey fans, and she thought that it shouldn't be that hard to avoid meat. So I'll do the same as I always do and just load my plate up with green bean casserole and baked sweet potatoes and sweet rolls and a variety of salads (including Waldorf and spinach and marshmallow [oooooh I forgot about marshmallow salad until I was writing this post!]).

What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?


  1. I was a pescetarian for awhile (and still don't eat much meat), and everyone told me Thanksgiving was going to be awful, but I actually think it is even easier than normal meals! There are so many sides to choose from that you're really not missing out at all.

    1. I'm fairly certain that will be the case. At least I hope so!

  2. Wow I don't know how I missed that you went vegetarian! I did it briefly after a semester abroad in Thailand--I rarely ate meat then (didn't trust all of it) and so I had a hard time processing it after I got back. I really did feel healthy! I was still in college though, so I couldn't hack it. Good luck!
    Last year, we hosted thanksgiving and my dad was on a doctor-ordered vegan diet (which he nixed soon afterwards because it didn't have the intended effect, thank goodness! Vegan is hard to cook!). Oh and our oven went out like three days before everyone arrived, so that was fun. Vegan crock pot everything! I made a turkey (because my husband would DIE WITHOUT IT on thanksgiving) but everything else was just eggless and vegetarian and dairy free. Ugh so weird! Try making gravy with vegetable stock--its SO not the same.
    This was an incredibly long comment, sorry haha. I just caught up on your blog (because life just has been WAY too busy lately) and felt like I needed to say hello.

  3. I think turkey on Thanksgiving is so overrated, and I'm totally fine with just the sides!

  4. That Pad Thai recipe looks awesome! Making it next week--it's settled. I'm not a huge fan of Boca burgers, but I absolutely love Gardenburgers! The Black Bean Chipotle is my favorite, but I honestly don't think they make a bad one. They don't taste like traditional burgers at all really, so the trick is to just enjoy them on their own without comparing them to meat.

    1. I did have a black bean burger the other day! Some of Matt's friends went to Freddy's, and their veggie burger was pretty tasty. I'll have to try the Gardenburgers next time.

  5. That's fantastic!! Great job :)

    I've been vegetarian on and off for 7 years and STILL eat "fake" meat once in awhile. I guess it satisfies that "chewiness" that I sometimes miss. If you haven't already, you should try the Chik'n Sliders by Gardein.

    I tried them last week for the first time and they are DELICIOUS!!

  6. I love how many new things your are trying, very cool! I love all the Thanksgiving sides, until I see the ham my family adds to vegetables (seriously?!).