Week seven is upon us! This week is going to be the toughest challenge of the month. We are going without one of the “big” items on our list of things to give up: MEAT.
We both eat meat every day. We eat chicken most frequently (it is Josh’s favorite), but we also enjoy bacon bits in our salad or morning eggs, ground turkey in our chili, the occasional burger, smoked kielbasa for a quick lunch or dinner, and a bit of deli ham or breakfast sausage every now and again.
This challenge does not mean we are giving up other animal products such as dairy and eggs. We love our cheese! Giving up dairy will be happening a different week so stay tuned. We thought we might die if we quit all animal products cold turkey.
This is going to be a challenge for a number of reasons. First of all, Josh has some serious fitness goals. They require him to consume a certain amount of protein every day. We know that there are plenty of vegetarian or vegan fit folk, but Josh prefers to get his protein via chicken and lean turkey, with an occasional protein shake every now and again for extra beefing up. (You see what we did there?) This week will take an extra amount of work and preparation in order to meat — I mean, meet — his goals.
Speaking of extra work and preparation, we are going to have to get creative with our lunches now. Dinners will not be as challenging as lunches, because Bethany can take her time working on a creative meatless meal. But we like our lunches to be quick and easy to prep in the morning. That allows us to assemble them quickly and head out to work.
For us over the past few weeks, that meant making chicken in one crock pot and black beans in another, along with a pot of rice. But now we are going to have to figure something else out. We are planning to take sweet potatoes some days, and we also purchased some vegan black bean/rice “burgers” that are delicious and filling. (Bless you, Aldi!) We also purchased some tofu. Who knows what we will do with that?
Joshua is planning to increase the number of beans he is eating. He is also increasing the amount of nuts and nut butters he will be eating. The issue with these protein sources is an increased amount of fiber and fats. Joshua tries to stick to a set amount of macro-nutrients per day. This type of diet change is going to make that fairly difficult, but we are hoping to find ways to make delicious food while still sticking to a macro-style eating plan.
Bethany is a little bit excited for this meatless week. She loves rice bowls, and often eats meatless meals throughout the week. She knows going without meat for the entire week will be a challenge, but she is excited to try out some new vegetarian meals recipes.
Giving up meat is one of the biggest challenges we came up with for the year. Going without meat removes a lot of convenience in our lives. It means we have to take a lot of extra time to prep and plan for meals if we want to eat healthy, filling, high-protein meals.
We are really excited to push ourselves outside of our comfort zone. If you want to join the #vegetarianchallenge definitely let us know. Also, an understanding head nod to either one of us during the week would let us know that you feel our pain. We look forward to eating some combination of chicken and bacon soon.
Follow our Instagram account to see some of the foods we eat this week.