Thursday, 12 August 2010

To Meat or Not To Meat??

I am a MAJOR carnivore - I cannot go a day without eating meat. It is the BEST food out there; fried/roast/jerk chicken, stewed beef, Christmas turkey, curry goat, roast lamb, oxtail stew, cowfoot....oh my goody goody gosh, I LOVE meat.

YUM - nuff said

Which is why I can't understand how I've become a vegetarian for the last 12 days...?

If I'm honest, I know some meat can be a bit fattening, and I've been trying to lose a couple of stone for the last 18 months now. But I can't resist coming home from work and taking a piece of chicken/beef/whatever from the pot of stew my mum's made, and chowing down on it like a rabid beast. However, a trip to my mechanic who I've known for about 5 years, got me thinking. When i went to see him earlier this year, he was looking a lot slimmer than usual. 'Dude, what you been doing?' I asked. 'I gave up meat babe, I watched this documentary about meat and all the crap they put in it put me off for life...I get my protein from other foods now, no more jerk for me babes.' At the time I thought to myself 'rather than you than me mate, meat is the best thing in the world.' The thought of not eating meat was alien to me. 'What are these 'vegetarians' you speak of??' I thought. My boss is a vegetarian and I always looked at her wondering if she knew what she was missing out on when she told me she didn't like the taste of meat - strange chick.

But despite all of that, the amount of weight my mechanic lost got me thinking it was meat I needed to cut out of my diet - maybe I needed to get my protein sources from elsewhere.

At the end of last month, I had a day off from work. I met up with a friend for a pub lunch and got a fish finger sandwich. Later, I carried out some errands, met up with more friends and got home around midnight. As I went to bed, I realised that I didn't have that bloated feeling I normally get in my stomach towards the end of the day - it dawned on me that meat had not passed my lips in 24 hours! This, my friends, was the first day of my month long meat ban. 

On day 2 I forgot I was on a meat ban. 

I went to a friends house and she made me a sausage sandwich - let's take a moment and pause as I remember how good that sandwich was....mmmmm..... Five minutes after eating it, I remembered what I had told myself the night before, 'No meat for a month, you idiot!!' But then my friend reassured me that I could continue with the ban and didn't need to punish myself. We went to Croydon and got a pizza - vegetarian of course. It was okay I guess, but pizza without pepperoni is an abomination to me. Anyway, I got through the day, and 12 days later, I have survived a meat free diet.

There are many advantages to this: I have lost weight, my shopping is cheaper, I don't feel so gassy and bloated anymore (attractive, I know). Of course, I have to plan my meals in advance, which means my shopping takes longer, but it's so worth it. In place of meat I've been eating beans, lentils and lots of fish. I'm satisfied after every meal, comfortably full in fact, and there's no need to undo my belt and sprawl out on the sofa anymore.

I have to admit though, meat substitutes are not cutting it for me. I can't fathom the idea of fake meat or tofu. But I'm so pleased with the results that I'm thinking of continuing the ban for another month. I'll let you know how I get on.

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