The Going-Meatless Challenge

...for a week.

But let me back up. When I left you last, I had just arrived in Atlanta for a quick work trip. Shaun joined me and we had a great weekend! We had an uh-mazing(!!!) dinner at the Buckhead Diner and then nabbed last minute tickets to the Falcons-Packers game (which sadly did not turn out to be a good game at all, but was still fun to be there!).

We changed our flight to arrive early yesterday and make it in time to see the Jetties crush the Patriots, so everyone is happy in the Humiston house. I also have a fun roundup of the Buckhead Diner coming at you this week, but first I wanted to make a quick announcement.

Shaun and I have decided to go meatless for one week. A couple of weeks ago, I brought up the notion of going vegan. You know, just to think about it. Could I do it? Is it something that I’ve always balked at, but perhaps might be a good thing for sustaining my life? Shaun was not necessarily pleased. I was talking to a master meat griller after all.

Not that I was seriously considering this as a life change (or even know that much about it, as a matter of fact), but I have become interested in the topic and have been questioning its merits. The next day, Shaun came around a little. He might be a master griller, but he’s also been reading Omnivore’s Dilemma (I’ve tried but I just can’t get ‘er done). He suggested that perhaps we should try going vegetarian for a week and see how it goes. At a minimum, we’ve both been questioning where the meat we eat comes from. The more we think about it and talk about it, the more apparent it is that we seem to have our very own omnivore’s dilemma. So here’s the thought process behind this week’s challenge:

First and foremost, I actually want to give up meat for a week in order to force the issue of a more plant-based diet. We don’t eat nearly enough fruits and veggies. In fact, for a long time, I couldn’t even envision a lunch or dinner feeling fulfilling without some sort of chicken (at least) as the star of the dish. This really needs to change. Regardless of meat quality, the reality is that we need to be eating way more vegetables - that whole 50-25-25 thing on your plate and eating less of this:

...and more of this:

Secondly, I need to find something to hold myself accountable to. I’ve gotten into some bad habits over the last few months of eating things that I shouldn’t be eating more often than not. As I try to get myself back on track, I’m ready and excited to tackle this first challenge! (Note: I know that cutting out meat is not necessarily a healthy way to lose weight without counting calories, etc, but my hope is that by forcing more fruits and veggies, this will happen naturally without feeling like dieting).

Thirdly, that whole where is my meat coming from? issue that we all know and love.

The plan:
We’re giving up meat for 1 week, starting today.
There’s no limitation on dairy, eggs or fish. Though we don’t particularly eat a ton of fish anyway, so I don’t foresee this being a big issue.
We’re going to be eating lots and lots of fruits and vegetables.

We'll reevaluate how we move forward at the end of the week. That all being said, I don’t foresee myself ever completely giving up a great cheeseburger or pastrami sandwich in the long run.

Because part of my love for food is eating all of it (and I have a brand new 10 lbs to prove it). But at the very least, I could potentially see myself limiting my meat intake to locally sustained farming or for specific occasions that do not include a ham and cheese sandwich from the local bodega (ack).

And to keep it fresh and fun for both Shaun and me and for all of you as I track this week’s eatings, I’m working on a full-blown menu plan which I hope will keep us on track and excited about food this week! I can’t wait to share it!

So I’m guessing you guys are going to have lots of opinions on this and I cannot wait to hear them! Are you all for going veg? Do you think it’s a wasted effort? This isn’t something that I’m completely swayed on one way or the other for the long term, so I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter!

Psst...tomorrow I've got another fun announcement - The Avid Appetite turns 1!