'Why would you give up eating meat?"

It's a question I've been asked a fair amount lately.

I've always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with meat. There's lots of meats I love, but also some that I'm really not such a fan of, and have found myself eating for the sake of eating over the last year or so. I've toyed with the idea of becoming a vegetarian for a number of months but I've never really felt able to make the change. One, because of the amount I love fish and seafood and certain types of meat, but also two, because Harvey is a real lover of meat, and unsurprisingly, we eat the same meals.

A couple of weeks ago, I met Laura and Shelley for a coffee and catch up at Laura's. We were discussing diet and bloating, and Laura mentioned that she and her husband had given up eating meat and she had been feeling much less bloated as a result. I'd been struggling with bloating for several weeks before that, so naturally my ears pricked up.

So now I had a genuine reason to want to give up eating meat, but I still couldn't bring myself to commit to it. Serious FOMO going on, I think.

Anyway, Harv and I had a chat and decided that the best way to decide whether it would be worthwhile was to do a test. Nothing too major or too difficult was the requirement, so we decided to give up eating meat Monday to Friday, to see if that helped with the bloating and to see how difficult we found it.

The Quick Roasting Tin: Rukmini Iyer

I don't think either of us were expecting it to be as successful as it was. Meal planning was fun again, and we had some great vegetarian meals. My bloating seemed to be much improved, and actually it was much easier than I thought to avoid meat during the week. By the time the weekend came and we ate meat again, we both appreciated and enjoyed it so much more.

This test was a couple of weeks ago now, and we've pretty much fully adopted a pescetarian diet Monday to Friday, ever since. It's not 100% strict, so if we go out for a meal midweek or spend time with friends/family, there's no restrictions. The change in diet isn't brought about by ethical reasons, or a health requirement, just a preference.

There a couple of things that have surprised me, however, that I thought I'd share.

  1. I take lunch to work with me most days. On the rare occasions that I've forgotten, there's not a great deal of choice for vegetarians and pescetarians in the meal deal section in the Tesco Express closest to where I work. It actually takes a bit of getting used to in this regard, as you just have to think twice about what you're picking up when you're eating on-the-go. 
  2. Quorn products have been an absolute revelation. I already loved the "Southern Fried Chicken" burgers and the Quorn mince, but I've been testing out a few more products since making this change, and I've been pleasantly surprised by all of them. Special shout out goes to the nuggets, as recommended by Laura, which are even better than McDonalds nuggets... 
  3. I've often chosen to pass on meat at the weekends too, but I'm still absolutely resolute that I couldn't give up meat and fish full time. 

So there's a pretty long-winded answer to the question above. I wanted to write an explanatory post, as I'm hoping to start sharing a few more vegetarian meals on here, and may even film a what I eat in a week video. That's not to say there won't be meat and fish on the blog still - I'm having chicken this evening and want to shoot and share that recipe because I'm v. v. excited and I think I'll want to make it again in the future - but if you're thinking about reducing your meat intake, I thought it might be useful to hear how we've found it. 

If you're considering it and you have any questions, feel free to get in touch. 

Laura x 

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