It’s been exactly one month since I made the commitment to eat at least one meatless meal per week.  (Read the original post “Meaty Goodness”.)

I’ve been pretty successful in that I’ve substituted 7 meatless meals!  

I should back up a bit to say that breakfast is always meatless, and it’s pretty much always the same:  sprouted organic hemp bread (toasted) with almond or peanut butter, organic jelly, and ground flax seeds sprinkled on top.  If I’m feeling crazy, I’ll make a peanut butter chocolate chip pancake.  Through lots of experimentation and attention, I’ve learned there are only a few things I can eat for breakfast that will stick with me, give me good energy, and not leave me hungry again in a short amount of time.  Besides the two items listed above, I can also get by on a bagel with cream cheese or an omelette (with meat) and toast, which is often what I’ll have when I am on the road.  The secret to these working for me are that they are all low glycemic – they get broken down in to glucose and released in to the body more slowly over time, making me feel satisfied for a longer period of time.  (I’ll write more on this topic another day.)

Here are the meatless meals I’ve had so far:

  • The wonderful Bean Burger that started it all
  • Warm Mixed Bean Salad, a recipe sent to me by a reader which was very simple to make and delicious, accompanied by home made corn bread

veggie meal.jpg

  • Indian food three times
  • French bread with garlic, tomato, mozzarella cheese, and basil
  • And my personal favorite, queso, chips and 1 1/2 margaritas.

Yes, you just read that right.  One of my meals consisted primarily of melted cheese.  Warm, dreamy, gooey cheese.  Do I do it often?  NO.  But, a few times per year we go to Pepitos with the specific intention of eating nothing but cheese and chips, with a margarita (or two) to wash it down.  As you can tell from my normal choice of breakfast, I am very mindful of how and what I eat.  But I’m not obsessed.  

Surprisingly my body has been fine with no meat for these particular meals.  I was sure that after eating meals with no meat I would have the sensation that “something was still missing”.  But I didn’t.  It’s more so my brain that needs a little more time to adapt.  The first few meatless meals were accompanied by meat pity.  I was feeling cheated.  It felt like I was punishing myself.  (Except for the trip to Pepitos, of course.)  Change almost always results in discomfort, but it’s typically short lived.

The last 3 meatless meals I didn’t experience the meat pity.  In fact, last week I was in London for business and one of the meals with the client had the option of a dahl dish (Indian dish made from lentils, chickpeas, or beans) or two different types of meat.  I was excited to have the dahl.  Last night’s dinner was the bread/tomato/mozzarella and is one of my favorites as well.  

I’m keeping the commitment to cut down on my meat consumption.   It does work for my body and it’s better for the environment.  A reader sent me the following information:  Livestock account for 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and 8% of its water use, and a meatless diet is 50% more effective at cutting CO2 emissions than switching from a standard car to a hybrid.  (Source:  IdealBite)  I’ve also got more recipes to try that many of you sent me (thank you!).  I’ll soon be singing the praises of tofu and seitan.  Maybe…?