Here is the long awaited post about our adventures into vegetarianism, a dietary choice which as it turns out is way harder as a family than it was as a teen when you did it to piss your mum off!!! Not long before the new year, I got home from work about 5.45pm with dinner plans in mind ready to whip up a quick, simple meal of steak and salad. Hubs greeted these plans with the news he had decided to go vegetarian. After the initial shock of this lifestyle update wore off and I messaged a girlfriend to come and pick up the meat I had purchased the day before, I embraced this new dietary choice with gusto…and a glass of wine. Afterall,
It rather quickly became apparent that vegetarianism and FODMAP aren’t a match made in heaven though. See last year hubby undertook the FODMAP elimination diet to work out which foods were causing tummy issues for him. Turns out that many of the staple foods for vegetarians are actually high in FODMAPs…think many legumes, sweet potato, onions. If you aren’t all over what FODMAPs are, here is a link to read more, but basically FODMAPs are short chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed by the gut causing irritable bowel syndrome and other similar gastrointestinal issues. Fructose and lactose are two of the more known of these chains. Many of us have slight sensitivities to these things but they are easy enough to deal with, ie.cutting back on the consumption of milky coffees, swapping them for black or plant based milk coffees instead. For others though, the continued consumption of foods high in FODMAPs leads to massive discomfort, cramps, bloating, gas and the like. Unpleasant for everyone really! Anywho, so by doing this dietary plan we discovered he is intolerant to onion and anything other than very minimal amounts of animal based dairy foods, apples, legumes and various other fruits. Hence the difficulty living a vegetarian life!
However we did it…for two whole weeks until the burger cravings kicked in 😉 by the time his birthday rolled around (Jan 15th) we had had discussions and decided to again change up our diet somewhat. We had discussions about where we would go from here with our diet (and whilst I’m using the word diet I don’t mean it in a weight loss sense, more of a way of eating)…and the Mediterranean style of eating was one we kept coming back to. A diet high in fresh, seasonal foods where red meat plays a minimal role. Plenty of vegetable based meals, some seafood and small amounts of red meat. Perfect! Our weekly dinner plans now include:
- 3 vegetarian meals
- 2 fish based meals
- 1 red meat based meal whereby we might share a high quality piece of steak between us
- 1 meal which is either takeaway or at a restaurant-hubs and the kiddies tend to go for chicken here which I don’t eat so I’ll choose either a fish option or red meat if I feel like my body needs it.
Of course, all this is subject to change depending what our plans for the week are and what meals we are craving!
Thankfully our kids are pretty good with food, they of course have a few dislikes but these are pretty much made up to be difficult because if I dish it up anyways and call it something else they will eat it! Like that time I grilled zucchini and Alex asked if it was zucchini or cucumber. I asked him which he would rather eat, apparently cucumber, so I said yep it’s cucumber and he ate it happily 😂 But they do eat a wide array of foods and enjoy 90% of what I make for them which is a good thing as I refuse to make separate meals.
I am someone who loves cooking and enjoy nothing more than sitting down with coffee in hand to plan out our weekly meals. Of course these well intentioned plans often go awry as is wont when kids and partners and summer days are involved! Now the kids are back at school, I’m hoping to be even more organised meal wise cutting out a lot of after school stress and chaos. There is nothing worse than making dodgy dinner choices simply because everyone is exhausted and you can’t be bothered making the amazing meal you had planned. Or you have nothing planned and can’t think of anything either!
So moving forward, I want to stick to this healthier way of eating. The Mediterranean diet is all about healthy choices, fresh foods not processed and lots of good fats versus unhealthy ones. I want to have a few meals in the freezer for those CBF days where nothing is going to plan. I want to take advantage of meal services such as Marley Spoon for weeks I know are going to be crazy full of activities. I want food to be an important part of our lives, not just a necessity. Lofty goals indeed but a healthy body (and gut especially) makes for a happy, healthy mind and a healthy mind will help us achieve all our goals.
one is interested in reading our weekly meal plans, or me posting more about food please let me know. I’m also thinking about doing a monthly cook off, whereby we gather together, make a few meals to freeze to see us through the tricky nights and have a glass of wine whilst we are at it. If that’s something you think would be fun, let me know as I’m happy to arrange it!
lt;lt;lt;lt;lt;lt;lt;lt;here you have it, our 2018 dietary adventures….and we are only 1 month in!! Hopefully this new dietary plan works for us all which is what, as a family, you aspire to is it not? Happy eating babes xxxxheader image credit: Pinterest< img src=”https://ad.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/show?id=A6LZFtbrj0E&bids=388683.1&type=10″ height=”1″ alt=”icon” width=”1″><<<<<<<<<