Meatless March

I’m doing it! I’ve been toying with the idea of cutting out meat from my diet and I figured that I might as well take the plunge. I already eat very little meat on a weekly basis, perhaps cutting it out all together will have positive advantages (yes, I’m secretly hoping to drop five pounds). If you have any fantastic vegetarian recipes, I’d love for you to send them my way. I’ll need to spice up my cooking this next month (rather than just eating TJ’s pre-made foods) to keep me satisfied.

My only real concern with the idea is my upcoming trip to Chile. I was told that Chileans enjoy more meat than Americans and that it is very difficult to go without meat while there. I’m not sure how I’ll tackle this. I want the chance to try Chilean food and get a better understanding of the culture (since that is why I’ll be there), but I want to see how I feel about vegetarianism. Any ideas on how to tackle this?

Another slight issue is fish. I really can’t see my life without sushi. I think I could make it a month without sushi, but I don’t know if I could sustain a life without it. I’ve been considering going to an All You Can Eat sushi restaurant before the big day, but I really have no time these next few days. Oh well! Perhaps I’ll take on sustained pescatarianism as my next challenge.

So who is with me? Who wants to see how our lives would be different with less meat in our diets?

I should note that I heard a lecture from a nutritionist this week and he mentioned that most individuals get more than their daily value of protein. Removing meat from your diet shouldn’t change that drastically.

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About Michelle

I'm an engineer living (and running) in Palo Alto, CA.

Posted on February 25, 2012, in Life and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Love this post – you will pretty much always miss certain meat items like sushi no matter how long you go without. It gets easier and there’s a point when you don’t want to go back. I’ve also been abroad while vegetarian and it was better than I expected (I ate delicious vegan food in Scotland… who knew?). Good luck and have fun in Chile!

    • Thanks Vanessa! I don’t think it will be too tough, and I’ll definitely explore the veggie options in Chile. They are bound to have vegetarian food somewhere. :)

  2. I don’t eat much meat either… I’m not sure if I could go entirely meatless, though. But that’s largely a personal issue- I just don’t have the discipline at this point in my life. I do think that, in health terms, going vegetarian is awesome, and if you can do it, no reason not to!

    (I also think that if you “slip up” and eat a few “meat meals”- for example, while you’re vacationing in Chile- so be it. You’re still going to get health benefits if only 90% of your meals are vegetarian, or if all your meals are vegetarian for one week/month.)

    • Ha! I don’t have the discipline in my life either. :) I’m just hoping that I can do this for the next few weeks and hopefully see positive results (we’ll see how that goes).

  3. What a great adventure! I’m so glad to hear that someone else is going to give vegetarianism a shot (even going meat-free one day a week is awesome). I have been some form of vegetarian/vegan for about 25 years now …I’m not too old, I just started young =)…and I’ve never had an issue with getting enough protein/iron/B12/calcium even when training for a marathon, tough mudder or boxing 2 times a week.

    There are some great blogs out there for plant-based meals. One of my favorites is http://peasandthankyou.com/. I also like http://engine2diet.com/ , http://www.nomeatathlete.com/vegetarian-recipes-for-athletes/ and http://theveganasana.com/. And I’m sure you’ll find links to many others. Another great source is Vegweb.com…General Toas Tofu is the best!!

    Good luck and enjoy…

    • Thanks for all the blog suggestions Lynn! I’ll definitely be checking those out this month as I start to incorporate more cooking into my life (or at least I hope I am able to).

  4. strawberryjamntoast

    As a long-time vegetarian this makes me go yay! Good luck with your meat-free month – ‘real’ vegetarian food is gorgeous so I’m sure you’ll enjoy it :-)

    • I think you are right, real vegetarian food is fantastic (like the phenomenal vegan fare I had in Italy). Hopefully I can start learning how to cook proper veggie food and then I’ll be set.

  5. I actually used to be a vegan, but my hair fell out, so I had to give it up. Good luck with your challenge!

  6. I’m definitely on board for Meatless March. I was eating almost strictly vegetarian about a year ago, but more and more meat has been creeping back in to my diet on a weekly basis. I still don’t eat a lot of meet, but I definitely want to cut it back down. I think a meatless month will be a great way to sort of “reset” myself.

    I told the boyfriend last night I was going meatless March and his response was “you’re doing meatless March or we’re doing meatless March…” Ha!

  7. Okay – I have resisted from commenting on this, but I just feel like I have to put the disclaimer out there, just in case.

    Yes – most people eat more than their daily value for protein. But if you take the standard american diet, and cut out the meat – some people might actually not be getting enough protein. It’s all based on weight and your activity level.

    So just please make sure you are eating your whole grains, nuts, beans, eggs, soy, yogurt, cheese, milk – what have you, to make sure you ARE getting enough protein. And lots of variety on the plant sources to make sure you’re getting all your amino acids.

    This is especially necessary for someone, like you, who runs so much. You don’t want your body breaking down your muscles if you’re not getting enough.

    Do I anticipate you’ll have a problem? No, but I also want people to understand where vegetarian protein comes from and to make sure it’s in their diets.

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