It started for us a few years ago when we started making a conscious choice to eat meatless meals – basically if meat didn’t make the dish, then it was omitted. For example, meatless lasagne is just as delicious, so we stopped making meat lasagne. Same goes for most pastas, Thai curries, stir-frys, etc.
But for the past three weeks we’ve basically eliminated meat all-together (we’ve had it twice as guests in other people’s kitchens and that’s it). As it stands we’re veggie at breakfast, the grown-ups are vegan at lunch and then we’re sometimes vegan and sometimes veggie at dinner. We’re still eating eggs and some dairy, but in vastly reduced quantities.
Why the shift?
Values have played a big part in this decision. We all know that factory farming is disgusting and while we have been making an effort to purchase more ethical meat options, it’s still something that weighs on me especially.
We’re also concerned about our environmental footprint. As much as we love bacon on a Saturday morning, reducing animal consumption is a fairly easy way to reduce our negative impact on our planet and use fewer resources. While this may simply be balanced out by others elsewhere who are increasing their meat consumption we still feel that it’s the responsible choice.
We’ve not been feeling great. After the birth of our second son last year, I stopped baking bread and started taking more shortcuts in the kitchen. This means that we’ve been eating more ‘somewhat processed’ foods. My husband and I have both put on weight – not aided by an ice cream addiction that became part of my everyday evening routine (a reward for making it through the long days with two little ones on very little sleep). The result was that I was feeling sluggish in the morning, heavy during the day and generally just not great.
Something has to change. Either we change our diet. Or we exercise more. Or both. Realistically, exercise is a challenge with our busy family schedule. Food on the other hand can be changed fairly easily (yes it requires a bit more work on my part in the kitchen, but it’s manageable).
So, for some motivation, we watched some docs on Netflix including one we had seen years ago and found fascinating – Forks Over Knives (watch the trailer – I promise you’ll be intrigued!) The doc features two doctors who have spent decades studying the connections between animal proteins and our most common health problems including cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Both are in their 70s and way more fit than me!
So there you have it. We’re not ruling out the occasional consumption of meat. But so far we’re really enjoying this new diet! We’re trying new recipes, eating delicious food and starting to feel better too! Most noticeable for me has been my energy level which, as a lovely spinoff impact, is making me a more patient and present parent.
For the blog, I’ll leave the existing meat focused recipes here, but moving forward you can expect to see mostly veggie and sometimes vegan meals to try!