My meat free week…day 1: #VeggieWeek

Photo credit: Sura Nualpradid, freedigitalphoto.net

Today is day one, so far so good. I had planned on having a big steak this weekend to celebrate meat, but it never happened and honestly, I don’t feel like I missed out on anything. I have put together a plan of what I will eat each day. Thank you to everyone that sent me recipes. I really appreciate it.

Why am I doing this?  There are a few reasons.

  1. I want to.
  2. Continuous meat scandals have me a bit worried: and I mean a bit, nothing I am losing sleep over.
  3. To support my clients that are vegetarian by knowing exactly what their lifestyle is actually like.
  4. Oh, and I said I was going to, didn’t I.

So many of you asked the other night what am I going to eat. A number of people asked if I was just going to eat beans.  No way, that would make for a long week!

I’m not eating tofu either!  I don’t care what you say about it taking on whatever flavour.  “For.get.it  Not happenin’”…said the narrow-minded newbie vegetarian.

The big question is protein.  Where am I going to get my protein. When I was going over my plan with Sheri (fellow boot camper-amazing cook) we talked about how meat is pretty much the base for how meals are planned. You first decide on what meat you are having and then you build the rest of the meal around that, right??!!  I think most of us have the mindset it’s not a meal without meat.

This challenge will also get me out of my self-induced veggie rut. I think we all just go with “the usual” I need to step up my game and try new things.   New veggies, new ways to prepare them and how to make them into a filling meal. This week will be a mental challenge.

As the numbers of vegetarian people grows, the requirement for vegan products and options has grown as well.  There are lots of highly nutritious foods with a good, to excellent protein amounts in them. Looks like it’s a great time to go veggie.  Here are some vegetarian sources of protein:

1. Vegetables – the proper foundation for all diets.
• 1 avocado – 10 grams
• 1 cup broccoli – 5 grams
• 1 cup spinach – 5 grams
• 2 cups cooked kale – 5 grams
• 1 cup boiled peas – 9 grams
• 1 cup cooked sweet potato – 5 grams

2. Legumes, also vegetables, get their own mention. Specifically lentils and beans, the foundation of many diets for centuries.
• 1 cup soybeans – 28 grams (1 cup tofu – 22 grams, 1 cup tempeh – 30 grams)
• 1 cup lentils – 18 grams
• 1 cup refried beans – 15.5 grams
• 1 cup garbanzo beans (and hummus) – 14.5 grams
• 1 cup pinto, kidney, black beans – 13-15 grams
• 1 oz peanuts – 6.5 grams

3. Nuts and seeds –
• 1 oz. cashews – 4.4 grams
• 1 oz. sesame seeds 6.5 grams, 3 tablespoons of tahini – 8 grams
• 1/4 cup (2 oz.) walnuts – 5 grams
• 1 oz. pistachios – 5.8 grams
• 2 tbsp almonds – 4 grams
• Nut butters – peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter – 2 tablespoons has about 8 grams of protein

4. Non-dairy milk – Soy, almond, ancient grain. 1 cup gets you 7-9 grams of protein

5. Grains – Ancient grains, sprouted grains, multi-grains – a major part of the diet.
• Quinoa is versatile and delicious. 1 cup – 9 grams.
• Amaranth, bulgur, brown rice, wheat germ, oat bran are other grains with a high protein content.
• Oatmeal – 1 cup = 6 grams.
• Sprouted grain bread products – buns, tortillas, bread. Pack a sandwich or a wrap and you’ll get 7-10 grams from the bread alone.

6. Convenience foods: Hemp – 30 grams of hemp powder in your smoothie gives you 11 grams of protein.

7. Supplements (boot camp) protein powder

Stay with me all week.

I would love to hear more suggestions, or feedback. I will be blogging everyday about it and adding information to the newsletter, Twitter and Facebook so make sure you subscribing to get the full blow-by-blow details.

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