written by Serah Roer, May 17, 2011
Well it has happened! It took a while. As my mother would say, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’! After much vacillating and back tracking; justifying; trials and errors; testing and reading of numerous books; by George I think we are vegetarians! After reading The China Study and doing the online Nutrition Course with ecornell University, my mind was full of reasons why I shouldn’t eat meat and dairy ever again. Reasons had nothing to do with my stomach and habits in the kitchen. What is the third ingredient? ………? and two veg. Nothing seemed to fit the menu for the longest time. A lazy cook, I had the old menus down pat and spent a maximum of 40 minutes cooking before dinner. The recipes in the vegetarian books had endless ingredients, processes and unfamiliar language. Organic I can understand. Pulses and strange sounding and looking grains I didn’t grok yet. The fact that my freezer had a supply of meat from the two for one sales in the local grocery store didn’t help! The last meat I bought was liver from the local organic farm up the road here. Tyhson balked at eating it last time I got it out, so I soldiered on and had the other half for lunch the next day. Can’t say I enjoyed the texture or the taste any more. Now we have made the conscious shift, it is easier. The garden is helping by providing fresh lettuce and kale, asparagus and chives already. Looking forward to harvesting a good crop of veggies all summer and storing root vegetables and freezing excess produce. As my old ways in the kitchen involved very little referring to recipe books, I am feeling more confident with new methods of cooking and use of herbs, spices and fat free braising. The combination of food is usually governed by what is in the fridge or garden that day. To resort to a written recipe for basic cooking to me is a waste of time and a source of frustration. When I need to know how to handle a specific ingredient, google is my standby support team.
Lunch is the meal that hasn’t changed much. We eat much less cheese and not the soft sort any more. I make nut butters with the blender and combine those with tasty things like marmite, marmalade, lemon curd, home- made jams etc. Left over salad, a raw carrot, a glass of juice and our favourite crackers or a bagel fills the bill.
Breakfast can be a smoothie with fruit, greens, last night’s steamed veg. water, some powdered protein, some sprouted seeds, frozen berries or whatever is available. Other days we have cereal with almond or rice milk, or hot porridge oats. The old standby of a soft boiled egg and toast happens a couple of times a week. A scrambled egg with mushrooms or last night’s left over potatoes makes a change.
Just catering to the two of us makes life easier. If there were others to consider who had not taken the vegetarian challenge, we certainly wouldn’t be at the stage we are now. Tyhson has found his digestion is much improved and his weight is gently reducing. Energy levels fluctuate, but so does our activity day by day. Snacking on mixed nuts, we justify by counting them as good protein. Using no dairy except cream- that contains no milk- casein. Sugar intake is in the form of maple syrup, agave syrup, palm sugar or stevia powder- for his tea and coffee. Eating out, that we do maybe once a week is interesting. We find that the mushroom burgers, vegetarian entrees at the Chinese Restaurants and super duper salads with good bread, a vegetable soup and/or an appetiser can fill you up well!
First thing in the morning we have fresh fruit and a glass of water. A couple of hours after dinner is time for some really good yoghurt and stewed apple, cherry, rhubarb, etc and a small piece of very dark chocolate. We like to have a glass of water before each meal, tea at breakfast and one beer or scotch before dinner.
Didn’t think it would happen, but it did and we like it! It is just a start, and I look forward to expanding our repertoire and cooking skills.