If you know anything about me, you know about my love for animals, my concerns for the environment and my goal to run a sustainable household. I am extremely conscious of the decisions that we make at home, on a daily basis, to reduce our footprint. But our diet has always been my Achilles' heel. Becoming a vegetarian has always been one of my goals. It requires commitment, and I have tried countless times, just to find myself devouring a steak or a pork chop. I know there are plenty of people out there that are fully capable of doing so, and I commend them for that, but I have realized that if I want to achieve that goal, it's going to require baby steps.
I started a few years ago participating in Meatless Mondays. Every Monday, my husband and I, would make the conscious effort to opt for meals filled with vegetables and fruits, grains and plenty of protein substitutes. We kept it fun by trying new recipes from different places around the world (middle eastern are our favorites) and it worked great for us.
As time went by, I decided to take it a step further, and I started extending our meatless mondays to two or three days a week. It worked really well for me, as long as I didn't put too much thought into it. If I wasn't focusing on what I wasn't eating, and more into what new dish I was trying, I made it through the day without thinking about my "cravings" for meat. It wasn't until last year, when I was diagnosed with Graves Disease, that I decided to make a bigger effort to drastically modify my diet. To make better choices with what I was putting into my body. Very unbalanced meals, drinking a huge amount of carbonated drinks (specifically diet coke) and snacking on unhealthy foods were some of the most difficult things to attack.
This new year I decided, as so many other people do, to revamp my diet. I didn't really know how to go about it, but then while participating in a Bible study, someone introduced the concept of adding a new good habit to your life during lent. I don't participate in lent but I loved the idea. I knew this could be the that catalyst I was looking for, having that accountability. I also made the commitment to myself to take it further than lent.
My new "good habit" is going to be a plant-based diet for a week, every month. I know this might sound extremely hard for some people and extremely lame for others, but for me it's exciting, as I see it as one of those baby steps that is going to take me closer to achieving that life long goal.
This is going to be my first month, and it took me a long time to do the research, put together a list of foods that were important to me and come up with a list of recipes that were going to make it easier for me to stick with it. Some of these recipes I have tried before and some of them are brand new to me. Every single recipe I am sharing in this blog has a balanced combination of protein, good carbs and healthy fats, that are going to keep me full and nourished. I want to make the disclaimer that I am allowing myself to have dairy products and eggs during this week, not only to keep me satisfied but also to be able to reach my daily requirements of nutrients and calories.
Also, I have to make the clarification that due to my medical diagnosis, I was put on a low carb/ high protein / healthy fats diet (a modified South Beach Diet), so some of my recipes are variations of recipes found in their books. These recipes are going to be the main meal of every day, either lunches or dinners, depending on how the day goes (after all I stay home with my toddler, and some days can be rough). The days that I am having a salad, they are going to be accompanied by Cauliflower patties or almond flour biscuits/tortillas (I desperately need that "crunch" element in my meals). Hope you give this idea a go or at least try one of these recipes. If you do so, let me know in the comments how it works out for you.
1. Vegetable and Bean Soup
2. Spinach Salad with Mushrooms
3. Brown Rice, Tomato and Cucumber Salad.
4. Canellini Bean Salad
5. Orzo Salad
6. Thai Vegetable Stir Fry
7. Chickpea Basil Saute
8. Almond Flour Tortillas
9. Cauliflower Bread