I worry (a lot) about the impact we are having on our planet. I also worry about my health and staying active enough to keep up with our two kids, whose athletic abilities are catching up and surpassing mine. Because of this my wife and I decided to switch to a vegetarian diet a couple of years ago.
For a long time we had known this was the ‘right’ thing for us to do, from both an environmental and a health perspective. But we had never figured out how to make it work for us. Vegetarian meals take more time and creativity to prepare – two things we both lack in the kitchen.
This changed a couple years ago when we spent two weeks with a friend who was both vegetarian and an amazing cook. For two weeks, we ate the most flavorful, healthy vegetarian meals.
After the trip, we got copies of all of her recipes and started to collect our own. And we made the switch. It meant more time on Sundays preparing meals for the week and a bit more time in the kitchen during the week. We ate lots of beans, tons of Quinoi and a bunch of kale and other veggies I had never heard of.
I should say.. we were ‘at home vegetarians’. When we went to someone else’s house for dinner, trips home to family, even if we were at meat-specializing restaurants with friends… we ate what was served.
But is was great. We felt amazing and were definitely proud of our reduced impact on the planet.
But, about 6 months ago, we started to backslide. It didn’t start with meat. We (my wife, me and our kids) had activities three weeknights a week that started early and on Sundays. This meant less time to prepare good vegetarian meals. So we found ourselves eating lots of pizza, eggs, ‘breakfast for dinner’. It was still vegetarian, but from a health perspective, I knew it was not great. As time became scarce, I knew we could eat healthier if we had some lean meats in on the roster.
So, we started eating some meat. Initially we said only organic, but we slipped every once in a while when we saw an 8-pack of chicken breasts on sale for 10$ (instead of the 10$ each organic variety) or when we saw that it is nearly impossible to find organic pork loin (a favorite in our P90X diet rotation).
So, why am I writing this? Because a new day is dawning.
As of last week, we are back on the vegetarian bandwagon. Finding time will still be an issue, but we are going to try. And we will still be ‘at home vegetarians’ as before. But we are back. Looking forward to trying many of the great recipes that I see constantly cropping up on people’s blogs.