Friday, April 30, 2010

Best Fruit & Veggie Juicer

My husband and I have been using this juicer for over a year now.  It really works great! We will be using it even more now that we have adopted our no meat diet.  It is a wonderful way to get raw veggies into your diet without having to eat them.  The best part is the juice really tastes great.  This is something every vegetarian can use!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Our First Week of No Meat

Well, I have survived the first week as a vegetarian.  It was one week ago today that I decided to leave meat out of my diet.  In fact, it was Earth Day.  What better day to start a vegetarian diet?  Over the last seven days, I have experimented with foods that I normally make, such as, chili, lasagna, spaghetti and tacos.  But instead of using meat, I used a  vegetarian source.   I was surprised at how well the meat substitute worked in these dishes.  For the lasagna, I used a veggie substitute for ground sausage.  For the chili and tacos, I used a veggie substitute for ground beef called Smart Ground.  I was really surprised how well this worked as a meat substitute.  The texture is a little bit different than meat, but it worked great.  My husband loved the chili and said he could eat it all the time.  Even more surprising, the kids loved the tacos!  Wow, I think this might actually work.  I was prepared to hear complaining and requests for meat, but that hasn't happened yet.  My husband and kids seem to be embracing the meatless meals I am making, or at least not complaining so I can hear.  Well, let's just hope they are liking the meals.  I know that the flavor is not the same as meat, but I'm sure with time, we will get used to it as normal.

What wasn't so easy this week was getting the children to drink the soy milk.  My teenage daughter and I have always been big milk drinkers.  We could drink a glass of milk with every meal and then a few more in between meals.  I have started drinking soy milk and I really like the vanilla flavor.  My daughter, on the other hand, just refused to drink it.  She wants her regular milk and is not budging!  She has tried the regular and the vanilla soy milk and just doesn't like it.   My toddler also seems to share her lack of love for the soy milk.  One morning when my toddler was having breakfast, I put the soy vanilla milk in her cup and watched to see her reaction.  I thought maybe she would not even notice.  Well, I was so wrong!  She looked at me and shouted  "This is not milk; I don't want ice cream!"  Then she proceeded to give me back her cup.  So much for trying to fool a toddler.  How does she know what ice cream tastes like, she doesn't even eat it.  I suppose will keep looking until I find a milk substitute that they like.  So I guess I should be thankful that I am winning the battle of the meat and let them keep their milk, for now.

Veggie Chili with Smart Ground

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Why I'm Becoming a Vegetarian

Recently, after wondering about the practices of our meat industry, I decided to do some research online. What I found was disturbing, to say the least. I watched video footage of animals being mistreated and abused. I was shocked to see how these animals are housed and transported and even more shocked to see how they are killed. I guess as meat eaters, we don't like to think of our food as something that was living, walking, breathing and eating. We don't want to think about what it used to be. I think we tend to think that a piece of pork was always just a piece of pork. Well, after watching these videos, I can no longer see meat as just meat. Horrified at what I saw, I posted a link on my Facebook page and asked all my Facebook friends to please take a minute to watch. I felt everyone should at least be informed at what goes on before the meat hits your plate. I'm not sure if anyone even watched it. I had no responses and no comments to my post. I guess, for most people, it is easier just not knowing. I was so moved by the things I saw that I decided I would not eat anymore meat and I was going to try to get my family to join me.

After making my decision to become a vegetarian, I shared my thoughts with my husband and to my surprise, he was eager to try life without meat. My husband has always loved his meat. In fact, some of the best meals I made were meat dishes that I created just for his love of meat. I was shocked that he was willing to give that up. He told me that he wanted to eat healthier and he trusted that I would be able to create good tasting meatless meals. We are both approaching forty and we want to make sure that we stay healthy. Even more, I am concerned with the health of my children. I am concerned about the reports of antibiotics and hormones that are given to animals and how these are passed to the children in the meat. Eating healthy is already something we have been trying to do. We juice raw vegetables and eat whole grains. I guess giving up meat was just the next level in our goal to become as healthy as we can. Now all I have to do is convince the children!!