Meat-Free Month: Wrap-up!

When I came back from the UK in February, I said I’d be going meat-free for a month as a trial to see how I got on.  I’ve been thinking about it for a while for both health and feed-the-world-ethical reasons. I also promised not to bang on about it and I won’t, I’m hardly ground-breaking, but I did want to write a little about it now that month is over. I have eaten some fish – once or twice per week which I know means that any veggie purists may dismiss my efforts but I’ll live with that!

Last steak
My last steak!

What was good

1) I didn’t miss meat AT ALL.

To be completely honest, there were two occasions when I thought it might be nice. One was at my favourite restaurant, Alice’s, where I always have the chili con carne but the portobello mushroom sandwich was fantastic and I forgot about the chili in a heartbeat. The other was at a friends’ for dinner where she made a mean looking lasagne. I had a sniff of the Husband’s portion and thought ‘that smells amazing’ and piled into my aubergine/eggplant Parmigiano and forgot all about it as well.

2) I do feel healthier. I’ve eaten carefully and well to ensure I get protein, and I do feel healthier. It may be psychological, but whatever!!

3) My bowels. They’re good!!! You’re welcome.

4) My grocery bills have gone down. 30% maybe?

5) I’ve tried loads of new recipes and new-to-us foods. We are more adventurous as a result.

Farro…my current obsession

The Husband eats meat at work every day so was utterly brilliant about having more veggie dinners at home. I also ensured that the Dude got fish or meat five times per week and eggs on the other days. I’m not confident about raising a vegetarian child, nor is it my choice for him.

What was harder

1) Eating at friends’ houses. We ate at friends’ houses three times during this month. My friends were all so supportive but two of them made meat-free alternatives for me and I felt a little guilty about that.

2) A lot of vegetarian resources are VERY ‘hairy-armpit’. I bravely bought a Veggie cookery magazine only to stare in horror at adverts for vegan shoes and herbal deodorant. I get that many vegetarians are vegetarians for ethical reasons and I suspect I will turn a little more hippy with time, but I am not ready to grow a beard, wear hemp and never fly in an aeroplane again. It was a little intimidating and off-putting.

But that’s honestly about it.

So what’s the plan going on?

I’m going to stay meat-free. I have no desire to go back to it, I’m really happy with how things are. However I’m going to happily and gratefully eat meat when I go to friends’ houses – I am uncomfortable with them having to cook something else for me.

A few great resources I’ve found useful this month which may be useful for you if you want to eat a little less meat.

1) This book…The Complete Cookbook Vegetarian by Helen Aitken And it’s SO cheap!!

2) This website –  (I am in love with this website)

3) This website (thanks Jen)…Post Punk Kitchen

5) This book, which reassured me and taught me a lot….Vegetarian Living for Dummies

And no more, I promise!!

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Jen says:

    Your con #2 is hilarious. The whole “hairy armpit” thing…it’s a slippery slope. Especially the longer you live in California. 🙂 Glad your month went so well and that you’ll be continuing on your meat-free journey!

    1. Cathryn says:

      I know what you mean about a slippery slope locally…I would never have thought I’d become even remotely vegetarian when we moved here!!! But no hairy armpits here 🙂

  2. Bean says:

    Sounds like you have conquered the meatless eating. I am also not a fan of the hairy armpit, herbal deodorant side of things. My husband and I are mostly vegan- but I have leather shoes and will eat meat while eating at someone’s house. I am a big fan of not imposing on others and picking my battles, or maybe I am just lazy. I do like that it forces me to eat more veggies and try new things which is a win.

    1. Cathryn says:

      Totally agree. I had the most amazing butternut squash tacos tonight in a veggie restaurant, I can’t wait to try and recreate them. I’m really enjoying trying different things!!

  3. Angela says:

    Hahahaha, hairy-armpit!!

    1. Cathryn says:

      You know exactly what I mean 🙂

  4. Just found your blog! I tried vegetarianism as a sacrifice for Lent four years ago and have not gone back, nor do I ever want to! I frequently post veggie recipes on my blog and actually just wrote a post about my experience thus far. Good for you! I also feel guilty when others go out of their way to accommodate me (unless it’s my mother), so I usually bring something along to make sure that there is something I will eat!

    Here’s my post on vegetarianism, if you’re interested!!/2013/02/a-four-year-veggieversary.html

    1. Cathryn says:

      Hey, thanks for your comment – I’ll check out your blog later, especially the recipes. yes, it’s been really fun so far, I’ve been amazed at how little I’ve missed meat!!!

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