Rabbit Food

For a few years in my early twenties I was a full-on VEGETARIAN. Working in a chicken processing plant for a summer will do unexpected things to you. I was also almost killed that same summer by a truck transporting poultry in what I’m convinced was some strange, karmic revenge plot by the chickens of the world. I was thoroughly disgusted by the sheer number (sometimes up to 90,000 PER DAY, and likely more now 8 years later) of chickens that were slaughtered and processed every day in that factory. The chickens were killed “humanely” but I questioned and continue to question the validity of that claim. But I digress.

I dabbled in veganism for awhile, but my youthful laziness in meal preparation meant I was not getting enough in my diet nutritionally. Unfortunately, I often ate those processed soy “hot dogs” and the like, which are quite bad for you — GMO soybeans are pretty scary. Although these days I do eat meat and dairy, I limit my intake and whenever it’s my turn to make dinner I usually choose a vegetarian or vegan dish. Fortunately, these dishes can cost much less than most meat-based options.

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Vegetarianism seems to trip many people up when it comes to one aspect: protein. Yes, you can get enough protein eating a meatless meal (or even an entire meatless diet). Plant-based proteins are mostly incomplete proteins with the exception of quinoa and soy. This means that they do not contain all of the essential amino acids your body needs to use the protein for various functions. Combining different plant foods together such as whole grains and beans, will provide you with all of the amino acids needed as long as they are both consumed during the same 24 hour period.

If you’re not interested or ready to make a complete lifestyle change, you can still enjoy some of the benefits of a vegan or vegetarian diet.

There are many blogs out there that support “Meatless Mondays”, where you prepare a vegetarian dish for dinner every Monday. You can even take it a step further and go meat/animal product free on Monday if you’re feeling extra motivated. After trying out a few different dishes and finding what works you may even begin to expand it to multiple nights a week.

Vegetarianism does not mean you need to eat green salads all day, er’ry day. You can make delicious rice bowls, curries, hearty chilis, bean burgers, etc. The list goes on and on. A vegetarian diet can be really satisfying if you choose the right things.

My small family of two can keep our grocery budget very low at around $300 per month or less. We purchase a ton of fresh produce and goods so it’s not for lack of nutrition with cheap fillers. I attribute a lot of the savings to eating vegetarian meals 2-3 nights a week. Although saving money isn’t the only reason why we choose to eat this way, it is a huge bonus!

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Comments

  1. I’m currently eating mostly a vegetarian Mediterranean diet here in Italy. My body LOVES it. Zero digestive issues (which is amazing for me). The only downside? Am constantly hungry. Need to eat every couple of hours.

    That’s the problem I generally have. Back home I eat a lot of carbs (bread, pasta, potatoes) in an effort to keep going because I have an insanely high metabolism and a pretty big appetite despite being small.

    • I agree with you on the constant hunger, but it’s a good hunger and you just get used to having some good snacks handy.

  2. Aside from veggies are less expensive, they’re good for the body for they are nutritious.

  3. I spent a couple of minutes watching that funny GIF before I read your post. Haha. And I love vegetables but don’t get to eat often.

    • haha he has some priceless expresssions for sure! That’s too bad you don’t get to eat them often, hopefully you can find a way to get more of what you love.

  4. C The Writer says:

    I’ve been a vegetarian for 11 years. One of the better decisions I made in my life.

  5. As long as you don’t deep fry your veggies, being a vegetarian is a good thing. Or even a mostly vegetarian..

  6. I try to have meatless dinners every week, and limit the intake of meat in general.

  7. I have really been wanting to make the switch. Lately I have been eating more meatless meals and I love it.

  8. I’ve been a pescatarian (though I eat fish only once a week if that) for two years. Like you, I tried veganism, but I missed fish too much and happily became a pescatarian. I save a lot of money as a vegetarian on groceries and I never have trouble getting protein.

    • It really does save a lot on groceries. And has opened up so many veggie options that I probably wouldn’t have bothered to eat otherwise.

  9. That’s great! A healthy and frugal way to go.

  10. I don’t think I could ever cut meat form my diet. But I do limit my intake to 6 ounces of cooked protein a day.

  11. I am mostly pescetarian but flexible. It feels like the right decision for me and I love it!

  12. I grew up in a small town that earned about 90% of it’s revenue from agriculture/animal processing and have several family members who are still in the business. However, I’d never actually studied what really happens to the animal and most definitely had no idea what happened after they left the farms. After doing an inventory observation on several hog, turkey and chicken farms, I was sufficiently disgusted and began reading up and watching documentaries on the subject. Needless to say, I am now vegetarian and I don’t feel deprived. My only concern is that I don’t get the proper variety of nutrients that I need because I haven’t branched much into different types of veggies, but I take a multi-vitamin daily so I hope this works until I learn better meal preparation!

    I have also been pleasantly surprised at how much cheaper this diet change has been! This has helped so much while I am paying off my student loans!

    • Wow. It’s interesting to hear from someone who grew up in the farming business. Things were very clean at the plant I worked and “safety measures” followed, but the whole process was disgusting and the number of chickens that were processed was astronomical. It really opened up my eyes. There are some great documentaries out there!

      Good for you for switching over! I’m sure that was not easy with a family full of livestock farmers! I do feel like I am leaning that way again and going full-on vegetarian or vegan. I practically eat that way already! And look online for some more adventurous vegan/veggie dishes, there are some great websites out there! http://www.eatingbirdfood.com is one I use quite a bit and it’s made me try preparing some veggies I never had before.

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