Reducing the meats

Something that I’ve known for a long time is that in general, American’s eat more meat than they need to, and not enough veggies. For the past few months I’ve been trying to drop a few pounds and it just won’t budge. At the same time I’ve come across a few different books and videos that have talked about eating a more plant focused diet to be healthier. Therefore, I’ve decided to try and drastically reduce my meat consumption, while increasing my plant intake.

For the past couple weeks I’ve been consciously avoiding meat based foods. I’m not experimenting with veganism, as I just love cheese too much, but I’m trying to not go crazy with replacing meet with cheese. I’m not a big dairy guy (I don’t drink milk straight), but I do enjoy cheese, sour cream, and ice cream. In two weeks I’m down 6 pounds in weight, and I haven’t felt hungry, or that I’m starving myself in any way. I’m enjoying many of the same foods I’ve eaten before, just without meat content. This means I’m eating a lot of Mexican and asian dishes, as it’s very easy to make those without meat, and with extra veggies.

I’ve also been doing some basic stir-fry dishes at home which consist of just rice, or rice noodles, and some frozen stir-fry veggies from Target. Toss in a bunch of asian sauces and you have a good meal, pretty darn quick, without much work. We’re also trying out a few different dishes from some meatless cookbooks that we have around the house. I believe tonight is spring roll night.

This isn’t to say I never eat meat at all. Maybe 2-3 times over the past two weeks I’ve had something with meat in it. But it’s a fun challenge to try and avoid it as much as possible, and see how creative I can get with my eating. I’m not big on “mock” foods such as fake chicken and veggie patties, so I’m trying to avoid just replacing meat based foods with knock-offs. However, it is nice that most places will do a veggie burger as a fall-back.

I much prefer what the restaurant Happy Gnome (down on Selby in Saint Paul) does. They have a veggie Jucy-Lucy, but it’s nothing like a traditional meat Jucy-Lucy. It’s a bunch of stacked veggies with a slab of mozzarella in the middle. They then bread it all and deep fry it. Holy crap was that tasty. Or the always tasty wild rice burger from Great Water’s Brewing in Downtown Saint Paul. It doesn’t pretend to be meat, but it’s delicious in it’s own right.

I’m curious to see what the next few months will hold for me as I continue on this diet. It’s feeling very natural and easy to do, and I’m liking the results, both in my weight and general feeling of health. I’ll make sure to post some periodic updates on how things are going, and what type of progress I see overall.

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