Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Going Veg

Over the past few weeks since coming back from my holidays I have made some changes to my diet. After living in Germany for 7 months I have started to dislike the traditional German food being very bland, too much cream sauces, everything dripping in fat and most meat being pork (a meat that is not eaten a lot in Australia) because of this I have made a conscious effort to change my diet and become vegetarian.
I do normally eat veg only dishes at least 3 times a week and was vegetarian for a time in my teen but never put a lot of effort into it. My Auntie Vera and Uncle Ted have been vegetarian for years and every time I have cooked for them at family events I have always checked labels for animal products or just made the whole meal vegetarian so I know how easy it is to make good food that is delicious. I have also been very interested in "WW2 ration diet" for years that is mostly a vegetarian diet with low animal fat intake being obsessed with WW2 history.I have always loved eating anything with spices in but unless I want to eat currywurst (tomato sauce with curry powder) I have to make it at home anyway with ingredients from the Middle Eastern or Asian supermarkets if I want any strong flavors. 

Some of the big reasons are:
- I no longer have to cook dinner for 2 people every night or eat dinner after 7pm when he gets home every night. 
- The cost of beef and lamb are extortionate and to buy it for only one person is wasteful  
- I have a yeast allergy that stops me from eating lots of bread, crackers, crisps and pre-packaged food (read the labels, you will be surprised) 
- I get bad stomach problems (IBS is what they all say) when I eat white pasta, white bread, fatty pastries (Germans love there bakeries and I live with 5 in about a 3min walking distance) 
- I don't like pork that much (never relay have ever, I once went for nearly 2 years without eating any pork product including bacon) and chicken that costs 2Euros a Kg is not the best for you

I am not going crazy and cutting out all animal products from my diet, I am still eating eggs and dairy products, but am trying to have 2 vegan meals a week and eat raw food as much as possible. I do not eat soy products and have not done so for years so (I have my reasons!!) so I do not just swap meat in recipes for tofu making cooking a very interesting experiences of forward planning to find other forms of protein and iron.

The good things about eating vegetarian:
- less processed foods that are high in fat and salt and less pre-packaged meals and sauces
- fresh, frozen and dried veggies are cheap and more nutritious and non wheat grains (polenta, couscous, quinoa, amaranth)   
- I can monitor the amount of fat that is added to my food and make them good fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts) and the amount of dairy I eat (eg. swapping cream for yogurt in recipes) 
- using alternative grains than just eating bread and pasta (eg. swapping rice noodles where I would normally use pasta)   
- finding new recipes to cook and trying veggies that I wouldn't normally eat (ether because they are not popular in Australia or my boyfriend would hate it) 

The benefits I have already found:
- feel better in general, things are "moving" better
- a lot more variety in diet and flavors  
- any problems with food can be easily identified and removed from my diet
- my skin is looking better with fewer breakouts and my moods are more even (no big PMS mood swings seen)
- much less money spent at the supermarket because of having fresh food and planing meals ahead of time

The problems/disadvantages I have found:
- going to restaurants and having a vegetarian meal normally consists of veggies dripping in mountains oil, cheese or cream (this includes salads), marked as vegetarian but made with chicken stock/containing bacon as a garnish or potatoes,potatoes,potatoes
- ate a vegetarian hot dog and had the worst food poisoning ever (nearly had to go to hospital)
- having to buy meat for my boyfriend if he decides to eat at home and always having to throw half of it out that doesn't get cooked or frozen making the freezer full of glad wrapped packs of meat  

At the moment I am not going militant vegetarian, I have had beef when I ate out with my boyfriend at a steak restaurant and kangaroo meat at a work function because I do love it, but having a little of what you like is not so bad and having lots of what is good for you is always a good thing. I hope that it all works. 

a good idea for carrying food and so cute too

No comments:

Post a Comment