Five quick and easy vegetarian meals

IMG_1539I’ve never been a huge fan of meat, but I’ve also never been a vegetarian. I could really take or leave chicken, and pork has never been my thing. So when my mom told me that for A blood types, it’s best to stick to a plant-based diet, I decided to give it a try.

There were a couple of other reasons for my meatless experiment. The girls over at PlantPure Nation told me about how great they feel since adopting an entirely vegan diet, and they seemed super passionate about spreading the word.

I’ve also been learning more about how meat production affects the environment and how animals are treated during the process. I’m just beginning to see now why so many people have adopted this diet.

I’m still in the early stages of this journey, so I decided to go easy on myself. I wouldn’t try to fling myself head-on into a strict vegan diet, but I would keep things like cream in my coffee, yogurt and a little butter here and there. I also don’t want to identify myself as “vegan” because the way I see it, this is an experiment, not set in stone (plus I don’t think I’m strong enough to steer clear of cheese for more than a couple of weeks!).

While the dairy has been a little harder to let go of, the meat has been no problem. I had a tiny bit of salmon in the beginning, but since then I’ve been totally happy without chicken or beef.

I think if I were to stick with this diet, I would continue to eat salmon and white fish for a little extra protein. Again, I don’t want to offend any vegans here — I’m not claiming to be vegan, I just want to minimize the amount of meat and dairy in my diet!

I really think that when it comes to nutrition, different things work for different people. Everyone should just eat what feels right for them and try to make healthy choices when they can. For me, I trusted my gut by getting rid of meat for a little bit, and I haven’t missed it at all!

If you feel like you want to take the meat out of your diet, here are a few of the things I’ve been eating to give you some ideas for meals:

1. Baked sweet potato with chives, salt and pepper and chilli flakes. Sweet potatoes are full of amazing vitamins, plus I think they’re more flavourful than regular potatoes. Instead of adding cheese and sour cream like I usually would have, I added tons of chives and spices. It actually tasted so good!

2. A burrito from Chipotle with rice, black beans, hot sauce, guacamole and lettuce. Chipotle is seriously my weakness. I know I probably shouldn’t eat it as much as I do, but it’s just SO delicious, I can’t resist. I usually get cheese with my burritos, but I recently realized that I was adding 100 extra calories to an already super caloric meal, and it really didn’t even add anything that spectacular. I realized that I was craving the spicy salsa, beans and guac more than anything, so I kicked that cheese to the curb.

3. Lentil soup and sunflower sprouts. Lentils are a great way to add a little substance to a vegetarian diet. Plus, they’re so warm and comforting on a chilly day! There are tons of ways to incorporate them into your diet from soup to patties. Also, sunflower sprouts make for a great base for salads, and they’re so small and cute!

4. Quinoa bread with coconut peanut butter and field greens. The great thing about this diet is that no veggies are off-limits. You can go crazy eating a massive salad full of any type of vegetable you want from carrots to cucumbers to mushrooms to spinach. It’s so freeing to just throw it all into a bowl and eat every bit of it. One of the things I’ve realized so far is that more often than not, I tend to overeat because I need that oral fixation. It’s more about the action of eating than anything else, so if I just replace those chips with tons of crunchy veggies, it’s totally okay. I’m also discovering that there are plenty of different kinds of bread that aren’t made with refined white flour. Quinoa bread and coconut peanut butter tastes just as good as a regular PB&J, if not better!

5. Granola with berries. For breakfast, I like to have a grain with some sort of veggie or fruit to keep my energy up throughout the day. Blueberries and strawberries are so filling and sweet — and you don’t even have to feel bad about eating them!

I’m so excited to have tweaked my diet. Even if this doesn’t last for long, (I can’t avoid pizza for the rest of my life, I just can’t) I still feel way more informed about food, and I feel like I’ll be making healthier choices from here on out.

Do you have a favourite meatless meal? Let me know in the comments!

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