Sunday, September 11, 2016

Going Meat Free For A Week

Written By: Deanna

My husband is a meat eater through and through. I, on the other hand, have always had an interest in diets. Not "Lose 10 lbs in 2 days" kinda diets, but things like Raw foodism, veganism, etc. I find food to be a wonderful thing, and I also think it can be a wonderful challenge. For example,e to create healthy and tasty food on a budget, which is often a goal for me.

Back in March, I read an article about a body builder who went vegan. Two things stuck out on me. One, he was a body builder and that weight training is something both my husband and I are passionate about. Two, he had joint pain (My husband has horrid joint pain, along with bad ribs and... well, the whole list will take too long) and when he made this diet change his joint pain went away. Typically speaking, we don't eat much dairy - except some cheese here and there. But we do eat a lot of meat. It's something I always want to cut down, but not something my husband is super keen on.

After reading the article, I decided to just give it a shot. Er, without telling him.

I was interested in seeing how it would affect him, and I figured if he knew something was going on it wouldn't be as accurate as if he didn't (for example, he could decide that it wasn't going to work).

So, here's what our menu looked like for a week:
  • Monday: Tacos (Note: this is great. I just toss rice, beans, and veggies in a crock-pot with seasoning. Then it takes me 5 minutes to whip up a simple hummus and get cheese ready. And it serves a lot!)
  • Tuesday: Tacos
  • Wednesday: Soft boiled eggs
  • Thursday: Pizza
  • Friday: Stuffed Peppers
  • Saturday: Baked potatoes
  • Sunday: Pasta and asparagus
  • Monday: Potato salad, grilled cheese, pea soup (Note: Veggie soup is super simple to make! Will have a recipe on it soon.)
  • Tuesday: Leftovers
What I noticed first and foremost, is that he had more energy. Before we went meatless he was falling asleep at 7:00 - 7:30. But, that wasn't the biggest change. My husband has a few things wrong with him - and that's a big deal for someone like him. I think it had been years since he went an entire day without being in pain. I know for him it's been a huge struggle, being in doctors offices on and off since he was about 15 and being told there was nothing wrong with him. And most of all, nothing that could be done to help him.

My husband has grown to rely heavily on supplements like protein shakes to help get him through the day, otherwise his knees and ribs start to hurt. Sometimes so much that he can't walk.

One day, the day after I told him actually, he forgot those supplements that he takes and went to work without them. Doing manual labor, it's pretty easy to understand why he was worried come his first break at 9:30 am. He had no clue how he was going to make it. I try to be positive and suggested it was "meant to happen" to see just how well this diet change was working. Okay, maybe I didn't believe that, but it doesn't matter. It seemed to help him.

Maybe it was just me saying that, or maybe it was actually the change in diet, but he did just fine the entire day. Hell, he was more than fine. No pain at all!

After that, we figured maybe it was working, so we decided to stick to it - and so far it seems to be. Again, maybe it's not the change in diet. However many years, he's just getting better on his own, but we're happy with the way we eat (we have meat about 1-2 times a week) and that's what matters the most. Right? We're healthy, happy, and managing our food budget damn well!

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