As you can tell from the title this will be a play by play of my week without meat. I wanted to try doing something like this to not only see if I could do it but also to push myself out of my comfort zone and try new recipes. I’m a meat eater with almost every meal so this may be a challenge for me. I do not plan on becoming a vegetarian but I do want to try to cut out meat at some meals. I did still eat fish and seafood but didn’t go overboard, only a couple of times this week. One step at a time. My husband is giving up meat along with me so I will add in his thoughts too. Follow along with me through my week with no meat! Some links are affiliate links.
Day 1 Monday February 12th
Breakfast – I picked up a citrus cranberry muffin from the grocery store visit on Sunday and had pre-made iced coffee. The perfect breakfast for me. The iced coffee I get is from International Delight in the flavor vanilla. It is so good. Not too sweet either.
Lunch – I pre-made egg cups with lots of veggies in it on Sunday night. I took two with me for lunch and added taco sauce, mmm! My husband ate these for breakfast. They’re so easy to make and re-heat great. I add tater tots on the bottom, cut up onions, green peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes and add those in next. Last comes the eggs. I use one less egg than muffin cup. I made 9 so I only used 8 eggs. I add milk to fluff them up and add cheese too. I pour the mixture over the tots and veggies and bake for 20 minutes at 350. In addition to the eggs, I had an apple and apple sauce… I like apples.
Dinner – Fish tacos. My husband and I are suckers for tacos so by taking out meat we chose fish. I have a really yummy recipe for fish tacos that I put below. So refreshing with the lime creme and takes no time at all. Be sure to bake the fish on a grate so the liquid can drain down. Otherwise you will have soggy tacos and nobody wants that. My husband likes this recipe but prefers fried fish. Both preparations are good!
Day 2 Tuesday February 13th
Breakfast – Belvita blueberry breakfast biscuits and iced coffee. I had an apple in the early afternoon too. My husband and I love honey crisp apples because they’re a harder, crisp and not too tart.
Lunch – Bringing it WAY back with the PB&J on wheat bread. I also had parmesan and garlic pita chips with humus and a half an avocado. I topped it all off with a raspberry Klarbrunn.
Dinner – Broccoli cheese soup and salads with garlic bread. I’ve had a problem with romaine lately so I’ve switched to spinach and kale which are some of the healthiest greens you can eat.
How I’m feeling – I feel good. I was able to get a workout in for the first time in months. My workload has leveled off thanks to Chinese New Year! All the vendors I correspond with are out of the office so I had some free time. The soup I made was not very good so that was a let down. I made a really big salad and it was awesome but before bed I was hungry. The struggle so far is finding recipes to make that don’t involve meat. So far this has been easy to cut out meat but I almost put bacon bits on my salad last night! Whoops!
Day 3 Wednesday February 14th (Valentine’s Day)
Breakfast – Oatmeal and iced coffee. I’m seriously obsessed with iced coffee. Even in the dead of Winter I have iced coffee. An apples was my late afternoon snack; honeycrisp per usual.
Lunch – I found a great premixed salad shake up bowl at the grocery store and it was delicious. I got the avocado ranch one and left out the bacon. These bowls come with a fork so they’re great on the go. I also had applesauce and a few almond nut thin cheddar crackers.
Dinner – Homemade pizzas, salads and brussels sprouts with garlic aioli. I cut out the bacon in the recipe below. SOO GOOD! If you haven’t tried roasted brussels sprouts you are missing out. We made one pizza with tomatoes, garlic and basil and the other with mushrooms and green peppers. My husband and I stayed in since we celebrated Vday last week. We exchanged gifts and sat on the couch with pizza, our puppies and popcorn. We watched CSI all night and ate the truffles my husband brought home for me.
Day 4 Thursday February 15th
Breakfast – Frozen tropical fruit and greens smoothie. I added protein powder from Orgain in the flavor vanilla and added flax seeds. I had another Belvita blueberry breakfast biscuit as well.
Lunch – I had another avocado ranch shake up bowl and left out the bacon. Applesauce again and at work there was a chili cookoff so I went and got me a bowl of some excellent vegetarian chili with black beans, kidney beans, I added avocado, cheese and sour cream. So delicious.
Dinner – Margherita pasta with garlic bread. I’ve made a lot of spaghetti squash lately so we went with traditional pasta this time. I cut up everything before I started and that made this process a lot easier. I subbed the chicken stock for vegetable stock in the recipe. It was very creamy and would have been amazing with shrimp. I liked the pasta on its own though. I even went back for seconds. This was my husbands favorite meal so far this week although he LOVED the brussels sprouts I made on Wednesday night.
Day 5 Friday February 16th
Breakfast – Iced coffee and an apple. I had a light breakfast today because my workload was so crazy in the morning.
Lunch – Spinach salad with tomatoes and onions with ranch dressing. I also had a small helping of Stacey’s parmesan and garlic pita chips.
Dinner – Stuffed bell peppers. I made these without the quinoa and subbed in brown rice. We melted cheese on top and added sour cream. They were so good. They were also super filling. I can’t wait to make these again, they were a huge hit!
Day 6 Saturday February 17th
Breakfast – Cereal and a fruit smoothie. I add protein powder, flax-seed and passionfruit juice to my smoothies and they are so good! I buy the tropical fruit blend from Costco and it lasts me a while.
Lunch – I had humus and pita chips with a Klarbrunn. I was really busy cleaning and didn’t want to prepare anything crazy.
Dinner – Honey garlic shrimp with asparagus. I added lemon to the recipe and served it with rice. So good.
Day 7 Sunday February 18th
Breakfast – I went out to brunch with my parents and had eggs, hash browns, marble rye toast and a cup of clam chowder.
Lunch – See above.
Dinner – Loaded baked potatoes. I made a few with broccoli and cheese and the other with your traditional toppings like cheese, sour cream and green onions. I also had leftover shrimp and rice.
How I’m feeling – So the last couple days have been hard and I’ve been really hungry. I felt good today but I’m hungry writing this at 9:15; we ate dinner at 7. I feel really good that I made it a whole week without eating meat. I’m snacking a lot more which I like.
Breakfast was easy by sticking with cereal, eggs or oatmeal. Lunch was pretty easy too. I stuck with mostly salads and felt great after eating them. I have had a hard time with romaine lately and ever since I switched to spinach, I’ve felt much better. Avocados are also super filling for me so anything Mexican with beans and corn, make for a great lunch too.
Dinners were a real struggle for me. Not only because I typically base my sides around a meat choice and I had to be much more creative but my husband is an avid meat eater. Cutting this out in our household was hard. It’s so much easier to change a diet when you have someone there to motivate you. My husband was very supportive and appreciated my efforts in helping him to eat healthier and to also try new things along with me even though he slipped up. I’ve been snacking much more by eating apples, humus and crackers and veggies.
I am still planning to incorporate meat back into my diet but much more limited this time. I enjoyed the meal planning process and trying new recipes without beef or chicken. My husband really wants to try to cut out dairy so that may be our next trial. We both know how hard that week will be but I think it would be great to try.
By the end of the week I felt like I hit a wall, as you have read. I felt like I was unprepared to just cut out meat without researching adequite protein substitues. If there is anything I’ve learned it’s to do the research and know your body. I know I have a high metabolism so cutting out my main source of protein can potentially be dangerous if not prepared. That’s why by the end of the week I was feeling sluggish and hungry. My body was not getting what it needed to function at an optimal level. This is always case by case but that is my situation. I urge you to research and be safe when changing your diet. Talk to a nutritionist or your doctor if you have any concerns.
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Thank you all so much for reading. Until next time,