Adventures in Semi-Vegetarianism

To answer Erin’s question about what program I am using to move towards a more vegetarian (or pescatarian at least) nutrition model, at the moment I am just attempting to replace one of my usual two servings of meat per day with a vegetarian or seafood option. I normally have some kind of lean meat at lunch and dinner, with breakfast and snacks leaning more towards eggs, soy, nuts, and protein powder for my protein sources, so cutting out the red meat and chicken without using dairy as a crutch will be the major change.

Since I am still eating fish and eggs, this isn’t as big a transition as, say, going full-on vegan or even just strict vegetarian. In fact, I just gobbled down some innocent pre-cooked shrimp as a snack. 😉

What I’m having a difficulty with is making time to try out new vegetarian recipes that really feel like full meals instead of side dishes, especially those using beans. Beans are not really a staple of the Taiwanese diet and don’t feature prominently in most of my staple recipes like Beef Noodle Soup, stir fries of any kind, and Korean BBQ burgers. I think I need to give veggie chili a try (I WILL miss my ground meat in this…sigh) as well as some soups and stews. I also need to learn some better ways to prep tofu. Don’t get me wrong–I love pan-fried firm tofu with a blog of hot sauce, but some veggies would be nice in there, too. I’ve been too busy with other projects and social commitments to just buckle down, crack open Vegan with a Vengeance, and get cooking, except for my recipe-less Pingtung eggplant, scallions, jalapenos, and tofu in oyster sauce last night, which totally rocked my socks off. Quinoa and brown rice will have to make a come back, too, because I am sick of sweet potatoes, and I cannot have just fruit as my carb portion with lunch.

This is Day 4 of the experiment for me, and it has not been an unqualified success.

  • Monday, I developed a headache by 7 PM that I couldn’t shake off. I think I didn’t quite eat enough that day or was sensitive to something I ate–possibly a banana or a Nature Valley Fruit and Nut bar. Worked out anyway and felt better after chugging more water.
  • Tuesday, I stupidly consumed a boiled egg that I could tell wasn’t quite right in texture (too soft/mealy) as a snack, and then proceeded to reap the rewards of food poisoning for the rest of the day, including a major migraine and some really unproductive nausea. Didn’t work out as even turning my head too quickly made me want to boot. On the plus side, did no evening snacking. 😛
  • Wednesday, I had to rejoin the ranks of the actively eating, but I stuck with bland foods and lots of water. My stomach no longer rebelled. Still had a residual headache.
  • Thursday, my head felt fine in the morning, and I am so far feeling pretty good. I don’t think I drink enough water when I’m eating meatless meals, though. CLX Burn Intervals and Abs should be on for tonight.

So that is my semi-vegetarian week so far. I went into it not quite prepared, but I’m muddling through as best as I can until I have the time to really plan out a good menu for myself.

4 thoughts on “Adventures in Semi-Vegetarianism

  1. Have you tried TVP? I wondered if that would help you not miss the ground meat so much in a veggie chili.

  2. Hi there! Trader Joe’s has a WONDERFUL soy chorizo that comes in a sausage like casing. We break it up and use it like beef. It does have a kick to it. I’m a “lessatarian” and my SO is a vegetarian.

  3. Speaking of veggie chili, if you don’t want to put any soy protein or tempeh in it, the foolproof way of making it taste rich and (almost) meaty is to put a few squares of pure dark chocolate, 75% and up, while you’re simmering it. It works like a charm every time for me, and as someone who cannot BEAR to part with her red meat or chicken, that says a lot!

  4. It is so hard to eliminate animal products….I mean, gelatin is in everything and that contains cow and other animal bones….its in gummy bears and all.

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