Life Without Meat

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Me give up me meat never!

If someone had  asked me six months ago if I would give up meat and become pescatarian, I would have laughed in their face, but I have! So this is how it happened. One Sunday afternoon Chris and I found ourselves having nothing to do. The weather was awful, we were shattered and for once no jobs were calling. So we decided to have a pyjama day in front of the TV.

We wiled away the morning watching Murder, Heartbeat and Frankie and Grace on Netflix our usual stuff, till I searched on documentaries and there was one called ‘ What the Health’. The programme was introduced by self confessed hypochondriac Kip Anderson. Kip was interviewing experts who were for the Vegan Lifestyle and had the research to back it. They were basically selling the Vegan lifestyle and were sensationalising the effect of eating meat and dairy on your body.

Now I have been in the world long enough to know that there are some very dodgy scientific studies and that you can always find data to prove your point but that was not what swayed me or my partner.

Changing my View 

What changed my point of view was;

  • Seeing the animals being kept in appalling conditions and being pumped full of chemicals. I  used to try and buy organic meat but it is very expensive. I am not on a low income but when my kids were small I would buy the best I could afford. For many families organic is not on their radar
  • The case studies. There were two ladies who had severe health issues and gave the Vegan diet a go and the change in them was miraculous
  • The environmental impact I can have by just cutting out meat once a week. I will reduce the carbon footprint and save water by reducing agricultural water consumption, helping to save the planet for my grandchildren
  • The unethical support that is accepted by so called charities in the US such as the National Diabetic Society are given by companies such as McDonalds.

Food for thought

My partner Chris was appalled , ‘ That’s it he said I am becoming Vegan’. Now here is a man who loves his Full English Breakfasts and meat. In fact he said when he had throat cancer , when he got to the point in his treatment where he could not eat his Full English he said ‘whats the point of living’. He loves his food! I agreed with him but  I am the cook of the house and am an old fashioned meat and two veg cook, with little experience of vegetarian let alone vegan cooking!

Taking my Time to Change

So how was I going to move forward, I want to do it but need to learn some new skills. So here is where we are, we have generally given up meat, still eat fish, have reduced our dairy consumption and I am learning new ways of cooking. I have been ordering food from Hello Fresh and Gousto. I love it, all the ingredients turn up in a box with the recipe cards and all I have to do is cook them. I am making some gorgeous food and Chris is loving it.

How am I feeling?

I feel really good so far. I am eating food that is satisfying and quick to cook. Within half an hour I am dishing up delicious food. I have also found that I am craving sugar less which is odd and not sure why. I feel less bloated and have more energy. When I have eaten meat if we have gone to friends for dinner and I have been a bit embarrassed to say we have given up meat or just can’t resist a sausage at a BBQ, I feel like the food just sits in my stomach and takes hours to digest. I feel heavier and bloated.

So where do I go from here?

I think I will keep fish in my diet this year, as it does increase my choices but my plan is to go vegetarian fully next year! I am trying dairy free and some of the vegan alternatives. I only have meat if I have been invited to dinner and have not said I am pescatarian. I am missing meat less and less because I have new tasty alternatives to cook. One of the surprising benefits has been that cooking fish and vegetarian dishes takes less time which is great for me.

We have converted to Goats milk as the first step to dairy free. I am a great tea drinker and am really struggling to find an alternative that I like in my tea. The only one I really like is Soya and that’s not a great option in terms of the environment my homeopathist tells me. My mantra with my food is to Eat Well and Feel Good.

Eat Well and Feel Good