I stopped eating meat and fish at the age of 13 so it’s rather clear that people around me, no matter what their opinion was, had plenty of time to get used to it. My friends and family never make any fuss over me being a vegetarian, it’s just natural to them and nobody really pays any attention to it anymore.
However, when I meet new people who find out about my meat-free diet, they often ask ‘so, what do you eat ?’. A moment later, when they realise that I avoid also soy, eggs and dairy, there’s usually a long pause interrupted by comments like ‘that’s why you’re so thin’ or ‘you must be hungry all the time’.
It all made me come up with this idea of posting a food diary in here from time to time- not to prove somebody wrong (as I don’t really feel I need to prove anything to anyone), but rather to give the others some inspiration on great meals which are not only healthy and well-balanced but also very tasty and incredibly easy to make.
Before I start sharing my meals here though, I think it will be good to give you a general insight on what, how and why. There we go!
What? How much? How often?
I eat pretty much anything I like, really- mostly healthy, but sometimes I treat myself with something naughty, too- it’s all about finding the reasonable balance. I eat 5 meals a day (approximately every 3 hours) and they are not celery sticks- I promise 😉 I always have a big breakfast full of carbs (eating them mainly in the first half of the day), then I eat a small snack like a piece of fruit or coctail to keep me going until lunch. For lunch I have plenty of veggies and something to eat them with- I’m a huge fan of grains like buckwheat, quinoa, millet or amaranth so probably one of those. After lunch I have another snack like fresh veggies with some dip or spread and then, for supper it’s usually soup for me. I don’t take any supplements or vitamins, but I absolutely love overdosing seeds- flax, sesame, chia, pumpkin, sunflower… anything works for me. I often spread them over my soup, salad, dip or vegetable stew.
I don’t like this term as I believe it doesn’t really apply to me. I don’t eat meat, fish, animal fat, gelatine and so on, but I don’t feel it’s enough to call somebody a vegetarian. It’s more like the way of life, the whole philosophy related to it.. and me… I just don’t eat meat. However, although it’s a huge simplification, I’ll stick to the word in here- I just can’t think of any better term right now.
I have to say I’ve never liked meat so quitting it 14 years ago wasn’t a challenge at all. It wasn’t all about why to stop, I just couldn’t find the reason why not. It wasn’t tasty, it wasn’t beneficial to my health, it was expensive, it caused a lot of suffering to other beings so… seriously, why not to abandon it? Couldn’t find a single reason, so I ditched meat completely. Ever since I’ve been healthy, I feel good and my body gets the high quality nutrition every day- yay 🙂
3 Years ago when I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, my doctor told me not to eat soy or any soy products. Although I did like tofu, giving up soy wasn’t a big deal. I also decided to avoid cow milk and all dairy products because my body didn’t react well to any of those. On the top of it, I don’t eat eggs, because… I just can’t stand their taste- in my opinion, the worst medicine has better flavour.
Although I drastically reduced amount of animal products, my diet is not vegan and, probably, it will never be. The main reason is simple- I love coffee too much. Although making it at home is easy with a huge selection of milk replacements available nowadays, drinking coffee out is not quite the same. The only non-dairy milk substitute that every chain coffee shop offers is soy drink, so for obvious reasons I always go for traditional lattes.
Another excuse why I can’t see myself ever becoming vegan is my love for Indian cuisine- not the healthiest option in the world, but life without paneer and buttery garlic naan would be sooo miserable!
Like I said, it’s all about keeping things balanced- I know my everyday home-made meals are light and healthy so I don’t feel bad after having my favourite curry in some nice Indian place from time to time. At the end of the day a serving of spicy sauce once in a while never killed anyone, right?
I have to admit, I drink a lot of water. Consuming ridiculous amounts of caffeine I sort of feel like I should give my body something in return, it this makes sense. When we feel thirsty that’s the sign that our body is already dehydrated, so I drink water basically all the time to make it at least recommended 2.5 L daily. I also add a glass for each cup of coffee and every 30min of work out, which in practice, sums up to around 15-18 glasses a day. Seems a lot? Make it a habit and you won’t even realise it.
I’m not a very tall person and I don’t think there’s anything extraordinary about my relatively small size. I’m comfortable with it and I strongly believe you have the body you want to have- it simply shows how you treat it.
What makes mine reasonably slim is not a weight- loss diet- loving food so much, I would be hopeless trying to keep up with it. But, let’s face the truth- it’s not eating Häagen Dazs in front of the telly either (which would be technically impossible anyway- I don’t even have a telly!).
In order to stay quite fit I move my lazy bottom out of bed almost every morning to do a 60-minute workout before heading off to work. No, I’m not a fitness fanatic, I don’t get enthusiastic over my workouts like other people on the Internet do, however, I’m also aware of the fact that good things often happen out of our comfort zone. So if I can spend 1/24 of my day doing something which helps me stay healthy, fit, full of energy and generally- to feel better about myself, I’m up for it. Plus, if you put on a nice outfit and play your favourite music it’s not really that bad!
Although I do care about nutrition, food is so much more than just a fuel to me- it is made to be enjoyed! There are some things on my menu which aren’t exactly what you consider ‘healthy’, but still- I can’t imagine quitting them completely. So, if I had to choose 5 foods I could eat all the time without gaining an extra pound, they would be:
1)Indian- pretty much anything! Paneer makhani, garlic naan, veggie samosa, byriani rice, vegetable pakora, palak paneer, onion bhaji… are just a few of my all time favourites!
2) Apple crumble! On a cold, winter’s evening, in some decent pub, with a bunch of friends… and a generous touch of custard, of course!
3) Pumpkin loaf- the only (in my opinion) edible thing in Starbucks that does actually have some taste. And this taste is great! Accompanied with a cup of pumpkin spice latte is what I call seventh heaven 🙂 Good they have it on only for such short time of the year!
4) Macadamia nut brittle Häagen Dazs- that’s where your taste buds go mental, seriously- a thing to die for (not necessarily in front of the telly though). It’s just impossible not to love it! Probably the most overpriced product on the list but… if you make yourself fat, do it with something luxurious at least! 😉
5) I’m trying to figure out what number 5 is but really, I can’t think of anything at the moment! Looks like I’m not as naughty as I appear to be 😛 ß oh, that one was actually naughty enough to make it up for this point 😉
Right, I guess that would be it for now. Hope I answered some of the questions here. Will post the very first food diary soon 🙂