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!

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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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