No meat may.
At the end of April, I decided I wanted to do a month of not eating meat. For health, for ethical reasons, for a change, as an experiment.
I thought, I’ll do it in May, what could I call it? Meat free may? No meat in may? Lara goes vege in may? I had a look on Instagram, turns out, #nomeatmay was already a thing. Great timing, lets do this.
I have 3 other people to feed in my house, I had no chance of changing their habits, yet, so I decided this meat free may was just a personal project. My kids are quite fussy eaters, changing their diet would need more than a month.
My tastes are quite different to my family, but over the years I have found recipes that suit everyone. I like mushrooms, creamy sauces, cheese, spinach, risotto, curry……things like that. My husband likes pasta, potatoes, pasta, bread, pasta, meat, pasta, raw carrots.
So what happened next is not what I expected. I got to cook, WHATEVER I WANTED. Just whatever I felt like. I didn’t have to question if anyone else would eat it.
First I did my research to make sure I knew what I needed to eat for protein. I knew alot but I just thought I’d google it for ideas too.
I found this helpful google image:
Seeing images like this sparked meal ideas. I haven’t followed one single recipe but more just made it up as I go. The crock pot has been very handy, I can throw a whole bunch of stuff in there, put it in a wrap with raw spinach and that’s lunch. I rediscovered risotto, quinoa, vegetarian curry, tofu, just more, more interesting flavors and combinations.
I felt like this was a real treat for me and I felt good for it. I didn’t feel overly different but had no less energy or changes in mood. I was generally chuffed at how easy I found it and that meals times could be quite selfish.
Did I miss meat? Not a bit. I think meat is just a habit we have, do meat eaters (yes, me when it’s not May) feel they need meat or is it a habit of how we prepare food? Meat is the center of attention and we find something to go with it. I found without eating meat I had to rethink how to prepare a meal, there was no main ingredient to base my meal around. I found things to eat and once I had a couple of ingredients at hand the rest just flowed.
What challenged me? Thinking of what to cook for the family. I did find my groove though, I made chicken stir fry for them, served it, threw my veges in the wok and while I set the kids up, mine was cooking. Easy.
For my final night of May I did cannelloni, mine had tofu, feta and spinach, topped with mashed purple kumara and a little cheese to crisp up the top. What a way to end the month.
Did I eat vegan? Yes, where I could, or knew how to, but cheese was a hard one to get away from. I want to research more vegan recipes and if I was to do this again, I would be more prepared. I made vegan soups, stir-frys, bread and crackers.
I recommend giving this a go, test yourself, it makes you think outside the box and explore new food. It also makes you realise how much meat there is around us, you cant escape it.
Will I continue? yes and no. I have decided to eat less meat in general. The main reason I will eat it sometimes is convenience because I cook it for my family already.
Will this change anything? Yes, it changes how I see meat, the obsession we have with it and it’s made me look deep into the production and farming of our food. The more you learn…..the less you want to know about it. It’s opened my eyes.
Would you eat less meat? I challenge you.