Goal #4: Eat Less Meat
A couple of years ago I decided to give a vegetarian lifestyle a shot. It worked for a little bit, but I slipped and fell right into a Taco Bell. What a delicious Taco that was. For someone with a background of addictive behavior, that ended my love affair with a plant-based diet.
Last week I was talking about food with my girlfriend. We talk about food a lot. She made the observation that the food I buy is basically just for the kids on the weekend and that’s what I eat for the rest of the week. When I run out at home, I eat out until Friday comes along. Or I will cook more pasta and rice to hold me over. This means I eat corn dogs because my oldest loves them and I buy them. I hate corn dogs. But they are easy, cheap, and always right there for the taking.
On Sunday I did the thing that any good guide to starting a vegetarian or other sort of diet change recommends: stocking the pantry. I need food-on-hand to make a diet change work. I used to tell myself that I love to cook. The truth is I don’t. If I have time, sure, I will try a new recipe of something. But I hate doing the cleanup afterwards and since I started running, I tend to need to eat right away. I don’t want to wait forever just to load my body with calories – which is all food has become to me.
The answer is to prepare ahead of time and stock the pantry and freezer. So I went to Trader Joe’s to stock up on a few sauces to mix up the flavors, grabbed a few packs of frozen vegetables, and loaded up on all sorts of beans and nuts. I then cooked four cups of rice which made enough rice to last the week. It’s like I have instant food all around me now. And it’s so cheap.
Now after a run, I can load up on that 600 calories of instant food my body craves and do it with all the food the body loves to eat when it is healing. natural sugars and lots of antioxidants are right there. No more corndogs and Spaghetti-O’s.
So here’s to saving money, eating more healthily, and having a body that can do the things I want it to.
But I am going to get bored at some point. So if you have any cool ideas to boost a vegetarian diet, let me know.