April 17, 2016
This month’s challenge was to go vegetarian for the entire month. I usually am not a heavy meat eater except for chicken and bacon. I think that for dinner, it would be easy to substitute meat for vegetarian options, but there is something about bacon and eggs in the morning that I am going to miss. I can already feel that.
The first week was easier than I thought it would be. We knew it was going to be hard and way too easy to just eat pizza and some bread every day. For breakfast, I stuck with a smoothie and a protein bar.
The first thing that I noticed was that I was sleeping better. I felt a lot more refreshed each morning. Waking up was a little easier and I felt like there was no grogginess or anything like that.
Picking meals was challenging. I think most people have a few staples in their household and have that one meal that they can whip up in a few minutes. But, for me, those meals all had meat in them. So this was a big change for me. I had to think out of the box and get creative with cooking and shopping.
This is where I started to notice that I was actually craving meat. It wasn’t anything major, just in small moments. The thing I noticed that was the most interesting about this experiment was that it was making me think about my meals.
I would always stop and take a moment. It might be 15 seconds or it might be 15 minutes. But, I would have that moment of pause that would make me think about what I was eating, something that I never really have done prior to this experiment.
With the final week, we wanted to mix things up a bit and found a few recipes that were quick and easy. We wanted to make something that was a little bit more polished that didn’t take us about two hours to make.
We decided to get a subscription to Green Chef for the month. Green Chef sends you ingredients for recipes that are all prepared and sized out. It makes the cooking process slightly less of painful but doesn’t make it completely painless. I want something that ships in a bag, I put it in a pan, and magically I have a dinner. Green Chef helped get some new tastes into the mix. A few of the recipes were amazing and some were a little bit more on the average side.
I think this whole process was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. There are many meatless options at restaurants that I never really thought about it. You are limited, but it is something that was easier to navigate than I thought. I thought that I would crack about two days in.
It is officially a week after the deadline ended and the only meat that I have had so far, believe it or not, was bacon. I have had bacon in a few meals. I have had little desire to go for red meat or even chicken. I developed some tastes and some habits that I did find myself liking.
I don’t know that I would go full on vegetarian. It seemed like I ate a ton of carbs during the process and I did find myself eating more. What I had to do toward the end of the process was supplement some of my meals with some mini protein shakes. There were some days where I felt consistently hungry.
Written by John Siwicki who lives and works building interesting things. You should follow him on Twitter