Week 12 of the #HealthyHabits2017 challenge has been to eat veggie/vegan all week. I was super happy to start this challenge, as while I am a meat eater I think I fall under the category of 'flexitarian' and I actually prefer not to eat meat most of the time: I eat a mostly vegetarian diet and on the odd occasion I will eat meaty things that my boyfriend cooks.
A few of the benefits were covered in the no dairy week a few weeks back, and on the Harvard website there's a really interesting article about keeping healthy by being vegetarian. To quote: 'Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognised as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses.' There is growing research to indicate that red meat consumption increases risks of developing heart disease so at least to eliminate or cut down on that is a wise move.
Twice in the last week I've seen articles about the rise of lab grown meat, and my reaction has been where can I sign up? I do enjoy the taste of some meat which is why I eat it, but as said in the dairy free week, animal agriculture has some pretty hardcore effects on the planet. A company called Impossible Foods is looking to scale up their production of lab grown burgers. Which I really want to try. And a startup in San Francisco called Memphis Meats has been producing lab grown chicken and duck from animal cells that reproduce without an actual animal. Mental. It might sound a bit Frankenstein-y but these are such incredible innovations for the food industry, as the demand for meat is ever growing, which means there is an increase in need to think about the environment. The simplest solution for now though, while these companies are making magic happen is to cut down or cut out meat. Hence the interest in this weeks challenge.
HOW DID IT GO - WERE THERE ANY PROBLEMS?
I decided on a balance of veggie and vegan. Sticking with vegan meals for lunch and breakfast, with veggie as dinner. Luckily I had to do our food shop just as the week began and planned a bunch of meals I was very excited to eat, and this will extend into the following couple of weeks. I went with some of the standard things I know I like like vegan 3 bean chilli in the slow cooker or quinoa enchilada bake (highly recommend this to anyone, I could eat it 24/7) and also some things I wanted to learn to make. Like falafel and ravioli. We've eaten out once and sticking to a veggie meal was super easy. I could very easily do this all the time. Not sure about being vegan all the time, after coming across those problems in the dairy free week, but there are a lot of dishes which are so easy to cut everything out of it's very easy to do half of the time.
Part of the reason why I eat meat is because I live with my boyfriend who is extremely good with food and makes a lot of Filipino dishes which are a good mix of meat and veg but are always meaty and frequently contain fish sauce. We usually batch cook our food so we save time cooking during the week. As a one off week, this week has been okay as we don't eat it all the time but I can imagine it being a bit tough when he wants to make some comfort food, as it'll cost us both more money to sustain different diets... Also I try to encourage us both to eat together as I believe it's good for our relationship. And it's just easier when we don't have to have two different dinners going on... So if I were to continue this would be my main problem, and I still don't quite know how to find a good solution here. If anyone has suggestions please chuck them this way.
Next up, daily acts of kindness! I've put a plan in place so I know what I'm doing each day but come back next week to find out what happened!
Image by Julie Lee