Vegetarian challenge

note: the original post which was published on Wed April 23 has forever disappeared into cyberspace. The first comment, by Dan White, followed the post into oblivion. (Thank you Dan for your words of encouragement.) So here is another attempt at reciting my lost post from memory.

Yesterday, as I was chopping bacon for my baked bean dish, I considered becoming a vegetarian for a few days. I actually don’t have any intentions of becoming a permanent vegetarian, mainly because I enjoy a variety of food, including meat. My family’s focus is to eat whole foods, local, and organic when possible. We also strive to purchase our meat from a local butcher who obtains his meat from trusted sources where animals are humanely treated, grass and pasture fed, and free range in the true sense of the word.

Great reads that enforce, explain and detail this type of food choice can be read by authors like Michael Pollan here and here, and by Barbara Kingsolver here

I have a variety of reasons for wanting to challenge myself to go meatless for a few days. This idea however has to take place when DH is out of town, aptly happening this coming Sunday for several days. Although he, and the rest of the family, like vegetables of all kinds, he meets my suggestions to forgo meat for a few days with an eyeroll.

So  Sunday I begin my challenge. Here are my reasons why:

1) The neverending basement renovations have taken their toll on our eating budget. Since we spend a good portion of our income on food, and because we buy whole foods coming from trusted sources (for the most part), our food budget is higher than I would guess the national average. We buy meat from the butcher, wine to supplement the home cooking, and sometimes organic produce. By eliminating meat for a few days, perhaps this will take the pressure off the budget for a bit.

2) I want to feel better. Not that I actually feel sick, but increasing plant-based food into my system may help to reduce some of the fatigue that comes naturally when parenting small children. I’m not sure how I will combat the craving for meat, especially red meat, which I love, but then there are many other sources of iron that I can find in plant-based foods (like dark greens, and lentils).

3) I want to see if I can do it. Perhaps, if I am truly successful, I can implement some meat-free days into the week that even DH won’t mind participating in. And with spring underway, and several saladstuffs already coming up in my own patch of urban veggie garden, I don’t think that it will be too difficult.

So in anticipation of my vegetarian challenge, I will now compose a list of ingredients and start planning (and maybe even cooking). I’m not lacking ideas, I have plenty of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks, and can frequent some great websites like this one or this one for inspiration.

 Stay tuned for further posts on this subject. Wish me luck!

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