Week 2: A Meatlover’s Journey to a Plant-Based Diet

I was faced with two major challenges this week:  a family gathering and, of course, the fourth of July.  The food at the family gathering consisted of lasagna (with beef), turkey and ham sandwiches, and small shrimp. I founding myself hogging the veggie tray and potato salad, giving anyone the stink eye if they tried to steal one of my carrots.  My family teased me quite a bit about ditching meat, but mostly it was in good fun and everyone was very supportive.

The real challenge though came during the fourth of July.  I mean, it’s just downright un-american to skip out on a hot dog the day our country was founded, right?  I might have caved if my boss hadn’t shared with me one of her favorite vegetarian pasta salad dishes.  Pasta, kalamata olives, feta cheese, walnuts, you get the idea.  I brought the dish to the BBQ, and I’m glad I snagged the first serving because that sucker was gone in no time.

Resized_20160705_183511 Fourth of July Pasta Salad

Week 2 came and went in a flash, and I’m still standing –  taller than ever.  I was challenged multiple times to consume meat. My self control reigned supreme, adding “discipline” to the list of positive outcomes from this diet.  Overall, I’m feeling pretty good!  I have lost a couple pounds (though that wasn’t my goal initially) and I feel like I’m getting a lot of nutrition that was previously lacking from my diet.  Just two more weeks until I get to decide whether I want to stick to this diet or go back to my omnivorous ways.

Current Health Measurements as of July 5, 2016
Height:  5’11”
Weight: 162
Body Fat %:  15.5
Resting Heart Rate: 56
Resting Blood Pressure: 120/80

Here is the recipe for the Fourth of July Pasta Salad – for all those interested!

1/2 Pound feta cheese
1 Pound rigatoni, shell, or bow-tie pasta (dry)
2 Medium garlic cloves finely chopped
4 Firm ripe tomatoes chopped
1/2 Cup chopped fresh basil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3/4 Cup olive oil
1/4 Cup chopped kalamata or nicoise olives
1/4 Cup walnuts chopped

Mix garlic, tomatoes, basil, and olive oil. Cook pasta and drain. Add vinegar to tomato mixture and toss with pasta. Add feta, olives, and walnuts. Toss and enjoy! Serves 4 generously.

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