As you all know, I spent September embracing Vegetarian life in favour of a Veggie Month – and I dragged Russ along for the ride too! Admittedly my idea of blogging every week didn’t go to plan due to a crazily busy month. However, I can assure you Veggie Month was signed, sealed and delivered right up until Meat Day (aka the 1st of October). We powered through the Sunday mornings seemingly empty without bacon, the roast dinners without a hunk of chicken, and most difficult for myself – I got through a weekend away in Amsterdam with two of my best friends – who both eat meat.
Juicing in #amsterdam 🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺 #juice #juicing #smoothie #amsterdam2015 #europe #europe2015 #european #europetrip #dam #bridge #water #clean #cleaneating #cleanse #cleaneats #cleanfood #colourfulfood #veg #veggies #veggiefood #kale #spinach #blog #bloggers #laurendudleyphotography #photographer #travelphotography
And surprisingly to both of us – we absolutely loved it! I wouldn’t say that it wasn’t hard, I started craving meats that I’m not normally that fussed about. Being a vegetarian was incredibly hard, but Veggie Month was also so rewarding.
First of all, we both agree that the health benefits were clear. I spent quite a bit of September in and out of hospital (again) and during that time lost quite a bit of blood, meaning that I didn’t feel the benefits to the full extent that I’m sure I could’ve done. However, Russ continuously mentioned to me just how healthy he felt he’d become.
Instead of planning a meal based on flavour and food groups, we began considering the vitamins and nutrients our bodies were receiving. Did we have enough Iron yesterday? Was there enough Protein in that meal? What about Potassium? Veggie Month made us consider everything we were putting into our bodies, in a depth that I don’t think either of us have ever ventured into before. It also pushed to the front my Smoothie making – ‘Oh there wasn’t enough *insert basically any nutrient here* in that meal? Let’s whiz up some Kale in a Smoothie’
Needless to say, it’s taught us a lot about what nutrients are in what food, and which ones go well together in terms of helping us soak up as much vitamins as possible.
Another Veggie Month success was feeling so light. I know it sounds odd, but since eating meat again I honestly feel like there’s a rock in my stomach weighing me down after each meal. Naturally vegetarian meals are much more light in theory anyway, but it has shocked me just how noticeable the change is. Again, I’m no doctor but I do think a part of that is to do with our bodies readjusting to meat intake again, but I do wonder if we always feel that heavy and just don’t notice it?
Veggie Month success number 3 was definitely cooking fresher meals – and equally importantly, cooking them together. I think in honesty we’d got stuck in a little bit of a rut. We’d eat the same meals week in week out, which one of us would shove on quickly as the other one sat in front of the TV. I spend a lot of my time editing my photography photos as you know, so finding time to prepare truly fresh meals in the evening has never been a priority.
However, I’ve always liked to cook, for along as I can remember. Instead of coming home from work, editing for hours, shoving a quick meal down and getting back on the editing – I (we) now cook fresh meals together and it’s invigorating. For example last night I made a fresh lasagna whilst we researched and chatted about travelling the world – it’s become an important part of finding quality time together.
Can someone take me back to this pasta in #amsterdam please! First time I've eaten anchovies, first time I've liked olives. #anchovies #olives #pasta #pastaporn #pastalover #pastaaddict #pastasauce #freshpasta #anchoviesandolives #dam2015 #dam #netherlands #holland #spaghetti #spaghettisauce #bloggers #blogger #hbloggers #healthblogger #lbloggers #lifestyleblogger #food #foodporn #italianfood #vegetarian #veggielife #veggiemonth #veggie #courageisnotanoption
Another obvious success of Vegetarian life is the fact I tried anchovies, and liked them. And olives. And kale. And raw spinach. And chickpeas. And so many other countless foods that neither of us would normally have the option to try. When we had the slightly disastrous trip to The Oystercatcher, being Vegetarian forced us to try a Spinach, Ricotta and Red Pepper tart with our Sunday lunch – rather than the fairly standard roast chicken or hunk of lamb. You think I would’ve had that before?! God no! But now? I’d probably eat exactly that again. It was lush.
Day 20's desert - warm baked plums, with short bread crumbs and a dollop of double cream. Delicious! #fruit #bakedplums #plum #plums #sunday #sundaylove #sundayroast #sundaydesert #desert #healthy #comfortfood #blogging #bloggers #blogger #blog #bloggerstyle #lbloggers #hbloggers #oystercatcher #veggie #veggies #vegatarian #vegetables #vegetarian #vegetarianfood #courageisnotanoption #laurendudleyphotography
So as eating meat isn’t quite so fulfilling anymore, we’ve made the decision to follow a mainly vegetarian lifestyle. I’m not saying I won’t grab the odd bacon sarnie on the way to work, or indulge in the rare butter chicken curry, but I’d like a good 80% of our meals to follow the Veggie Month plan. Good for you – you’ll be getting much more Vegetarian recipes over on Food For Thought!
Are you thinking about doing Veggie Month?! Do it! Get in touch and ask the millions of questions running through your head! I’d love to hear from you.