In May it will be two years I have been a vegetarian. I won’t lie, it’s been a hard transition. At the beginning I pretty much ate rice and pasta all the time. It’s only been in the last six months that I’ve really begun to get a handle on how to eat.
I confess, I love the taste of a nicely cooked rare steak. But, the though of where it came from and what the animal went through for me to have that steak on my plate, is too much for me to bare. My conversion to a vegetarian diet is an ethical choice, so it is difficult for me to break away from the flavor I loved so much.
Luckily, there are fake meats. I can only stand so much Tofu, and really, I don’t have a real knack for cooking it and making it really tasty. So, I began searching for alternatives. Morningstar Farms makes some very good meatless burgers. The two I particularly love and find that taste the most authentic are the Grillers Original and the Grillers Prime. They have the flavor of a bar-b-que burger. Also, the Boca Burger All American Flame Grilled is also good. I don’t care much though for the other Boca flavors.
Recently, I found a company called Gardein. Here’s the website: http://www.gardein.com/products.php?t=fresh
The food is amazing. The taste is very close to authentic, VERY close. And I love that they make it so easy. Last week, I made the Tuscan breast. It’s fast in the microwave, comes seasoned, with sauce, and all I had to add was some veggies as my side dish. I’m getting my protein and veggies with the Tuscan breast, plus adding some veggies as my side gives me a bit more veggies. Yesterday was Chik’n Scallopini with a little bit of pasta. Today for lunch, I’m having a wonderful little thing called Burgundy Trio. It comes in a small package, but it includes rice, sauce and meatless beef tips.
These products aren’t hugely expensive. The Chik’n Scallopini brings 4 to a package, but the package I bought had 5. It cost me $3.99. A package of chicken can cost anywhere from $5 to $8! And that will just bring say two small breasts or thighs.
When I get home, there are days when I just don’t feel like making anything, and that happens more often than not. So what happens? I wind up boiling a huge pot of pasta, or I buy a small pizza, or get a veggie burger at BK, with onion rings.
But, what I really love about the Gardein is, it’s pretty fast to make. I get home, change and go walking, come back either stick something in the microwave, or put something in the toaster oven and go shower. By the time I’m done showering, my protein is done and all I have to do is either make a salad or microwave some frozen veggies. I’ve scaled back on my soda intake considerably. While I still allow myself sweets, I have cut back on those as well. I’m drinking more water also.
I’m going to be 43 this year. I’m in the worst shape I’ve ever been in. I wasn’t in great shape when I was younger, but I was thinner, and I felt better about myself, plus, since I was younger it was easier for me to lose any weight I put on. Not so now. I’ve come to a point in my life when I have to actually work at it!
My only goal at the moment is to get to a point where I can actually look at myself in the mirror and my gag reflex doesn’t kick in. For now, I’ll be happy if I lose 10 pounds.