Happy New Year

See you on the other side.


30 Day Vegetarian Challenge

After much deliberating I've decided to try a vegetarian lifestyle, well pescatarian actually, only eating fish. Fortunately, this is not much of a stretch for us as we already rarely eat red meat and cook mostly chicken and fish. There are many reasons for this challenge, there are some ethical reasons, thanks to some in your face reading, but mostly it is for health reasons. I suffer from what can only be described as "stomach pain with no identifiable cause" more commonly called "nonulcer dyspepsia" and I've read that not eating animal protein may minimize the amount of acid produced in the stomach. Not to mention the colon cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol that runs in my family. Anyway, I decided to give myself a 30 day window in an effort to minimize any guilt should I return to my meat eating ways. I've already posted my vegetarian meal plan and continually post new vegetarian recipes. Every week I will write an update documenting how I'm feeling, any new found recipes and anything else pertaining to this topic that I come across in my internet travels.

Here are some veggie links




Weekly Meal Plan

About every two weeks or so, I get a "menu" ready for the upcoming two weeks. I search the internet for recipes, checking what's in season, and compile my grocery list in a word document (yep, I actually type out my grocery list, although I don't print it anymore, I just use my handy dropbox ap on the ole' iphone) So, list in hand, we make our trip grocery shopping. When we get home I write down the list of meals on a dry erase board in the kitchen and we can choose which meal we want to make each day. There is always room for leftovers, the occasional take-out or maybe a trip to a restaurant. Here is this weeks menu:

Tuna and Green Bean Salad

Greek Pizza


Halibut in Artichoke and Tomato Broth

Spinach, Red Pepper Feta Quiche

Veggie Burgers with Sauteed Broccoli

Salmon Picatta


Wordless Wednesday

Here are some of my favorite photos of Olive our little Boston Pup, taken throughout last year and this year.


15 Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet

Image via
 So, after contemplating it for a few months, I've decided to try a vegetarian diet. Here is a great list of 15 health benefits of eating a vegetarian diet.

1. Prevention of Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is becoming more common with the rise of obesity around the world, and vegetarian diets may even can prevent it by including complex carbs and fiber that help the body manage insulin more efficiently. (My Paternal Grandfather has Type II diabetes)

2. Healthy skin. Diets rich in water-based and plant foods are a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins-ideal for healthier skin every season.

3. Chemical-free food. Meat-based diets take in animal cells and fats, along with chemicals and by products used on the animals during processing. This can include chmicals sprayed on the dead animal, preservatives, and other unnatural ingredients used for packaging and mass distribution.

4. Hormone-free eating. Fruits, vegetables, and soy products are never injected with growth hormones and other chemicals that may harm the human body.

5. Increased energy. With the body spending less time digesting animal protein, an energy boost is a nice side effect.

6. Lower blood pressure. Vegan and vegetarian diets can be naturally low in fat and sodium, helping reduce blood pressure and improve circulation instead.

7. Improved digestion. Plant-based foods and fresh fruita are rich in fiber, improving the digestion and elimination process. High fiber diets have also been linked to preventing certain types of cancer.

8. Lowered risk of diabetes. Steady blood sugar is easily achieved with a nutritions vegatarian diet, and the cycle of blood sugar peaks and crashes is almost eliminated without the meat and unhealthy carb combinations. (I often suffer from drops in blood sugar)

9. Lower grocery shopping bills. By shopping the perimeter of the grocery store and stocking up on high-fiber, highly nutritious food, vegetarians can eliminate almost 25% of their food budgets without pounds of meat on the bill. In some cases this balances out if the vegetarian shopper chooses to buy premium veg brands and gourmet ingredients, but average costs do tend to be much lower per trip.

10. Healthy amino acids. Plant-based proteins (e.g. soy) can be an excellent source of amino acids that help with protein assimilation and metabolism.

11. Low or no saturated fat. Vegetarian menus typically use all-natural oils and cooking methods to enhance flavor. This is free of unhealthy saturated fat which can lead to a variety of heart problems and cardiovascular disease.

12. Increased life span. With the body in harmony and free of harmful toxins and chemical buildup, vegetarians may live longer than their fellow meat eaters. According to William Cstelli, MD, director f or the Farmingham Heart Study, vegetarians can live up to 3-6 years longer than those who eat meat.

13. Appreciation for simple flavors. After eliminating meat from the diet, it becomes much easier to differentiate flavors and get a real taste for fruits and vegetables. Palettes can become much more sensitive to different flavors, textures, and combinations.

14. Healthy cholesterol levels. Without unhealthy meat and fat sources in the diet, cholesterol levels of vegetarians can be considerably lower and easily fall into a healthy range. (I currently have borderline high cholesterol)

15. Lower risk of cancer, especially lung and colorectal cancer. With a diet rich in antioxidants, phytochemical, and vitamins, vegetarians naturally lower their risk of cancer and other diseases. (My Maternal Great-Grandmother died from colon cancer)

Adapted from Associated Content

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