I'm sick this week. I've missed two days of work.
Why am I beginning a 'going vegetarian' blog with this information you might ask? Those of you who are vegetarian (or even more so, if you are vegan!) might already have twigged the connection. I feel pressure (even if it just pressure I put on myself) to be the constant picture of health. At the gym, and I know my boyfriend will roll his eyes when he reads this, I push myself extra hard to lift that extra weight or do the 50th (oh yeh, it's definitely 50 I do every time...) sit up, even when I'm at breaking point. As a vegetarian you are up against the constant question of....WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR NUTRIENTS FROM?? As if the fact that I'm not chomping into a bloody steak every night means that I'm fainting as I sloth my way from chair to couch.
I was the first one in my workplace to fall ill since returning after the summer. I work in a school. It killed me to take the days! The thought of people at work thinking I was sick because my body is weak drove me crazy! Even though they probably didn't give it a second thought!
So, let's talk about my diet.
I am not a vegan, although I really would love to be. I don't however, eat eggs unless they're in something (like cake maybe...). I'll have no problem whacking a whole block of cheese on my spag bol but I'm trying to ween myself off that and if you read my Kefir blog you'll know that I drink the fermented milk that comes out of that. I think the dairy industry is quite cruel and it upsets me to picture baby calves been taken away from their mothers so we can drink their milk. I think most people (myself included) don't realise that cows don't just produce milk naturally. They must give birth each year to continue lactating.
QUORN - this product changed my life. When I found it in a supermarket in Kuwait (where I lived for 2 years), I nearly wet myself in the aisle. As must as I like vegetables, I would much rather unleash myself into a chicken fajita than a stuffed pepper. Quorn is a meat substitute that comes in various forms i.e. mince, chicken pieces and so on. I will usually have Quorn once or twice a week.
Vegetables. I like vegetables. They're grand like. I make myself eat them because I know they're good for me and I want to be strong and healthy and YOUNG FOREVVVVVVER. I try to have at least 2 types with my dinner each night. The green ones are important for me as they're the ones with all the iron. I read once that pak choi is the highest yielding green veg for iron so if I find that I stock up.
Smoothies. I try to whizz a smoothie up every morning. If the sound of my geriatric blender doesn't wake me up I don't know what will. Even my cat heads in the other direction when she sees the container being filled. Smoothies are great but 1. There can be a lot of prep work involved. 2 They often all taste the same. 3. I have read various reports on the nutrients being damaged/lost/lessened when blended. I'll keep at them as they're handy. I bring it to work, drink it on my way in and it keeps me going for a few hours. I usually add seeds, nuts, some kind of powder (wheatgrass, spirulina) and a scoop of protein powder to them.
Pulses. I love throwing a tin of beans into a lot of my dishes. It bulks them up and helps me get a good dose of protein. Lentils are great for curries but I do find, I have to be prepared the morning before that evening and soak them as it means they cook much faster.
Avocados. WHAT. MORE. CAN. I. SAY. Full of fats we're told. Slimming World is not keen on them at all at all. But they're good fats aren't they?! I don't care. I'm keeping them.
There's a little snapshot of the main ingredients in my diet. Judge away.
So as you can see; with all the smoothies, kefir, vitamins, wheatgrass, seeds, nuts, protein, gym etc. that I have when I get sick it frustrates me and I wonder why do I bother?!
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go blow my nose.