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  • Taking the "me" out of the meat!

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    31 posts, 18 voices, 1130 views, started Nov 19, 2009

    Posted on Thursday, November 19, 2009

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      Hi all...my Friday blog is being replaced with this group post today.  This a precursor to next week’s blog, which will surely include some drama over my personal 21 day challenge—going meat free for 21 days. I am strting the day after Thanksgiving. The lovely and talented Ms Vikki Hall was kind enough to offer to join me in this, and that was all the motivation I needed.  I’d love some others to join us (in this or your own version therof)so I figured a good way to encourage that is to tell you a little bit about why I am doing it.  

      It starts here for me; I desperately need to feel in control of something in my life.  I eat without even thinking when things are not going well and things are not going well. As a result, I am losing control over what goes in my body.  I figured a challenge like this would make me stop and think about what I prepare and put in my body.  Unlike a diet, I don’t have to starve or deprive myself completely, I just have to plan and be more thoughtful about what, how and where I eat.  There are so many things going on now that I cannot control, my hope is that this will cause me to consider myself and what is good for me for a change.  

      I also need something to do.  Something that isn’t work or family related. I am determined not to exist on pasta and potatoes or side dishes.  My version of meat free means I will be including seafood, but this is farily “out there” for me and it is another good motivator because I do like it but no one else at home does.  I really want to take time to plan my own meals and try new recipes and shop and eat in new places.  I am hoping to keep it all on the healthy and sensible side and that the habit sticks. I want to emerge on the other side with a permanently meat reduced diet and arsenal of new go-to recipes.

      While there are a lot of good and humane reasons to give up meat, my motives are fairly selfish.  Chicken, pork and beef are easy for me.  I prefer fish and veggies but the family does not and I have never really learned how to cook fish properly.  I only really have it when I out. I don’t spend money and fresh veggies or fruit because they are “just for me” anyway.  I want to end this with a taste for a new healthier cooking style and the inspiration to continue working at it.  I also want to to teach myself what I already know in my heart...the world not end if I stop serving everyone long enough to make (or do) something I would like like to make (or do) even if I am the only one who wants it.

      I hope you will all help me get started with vegetarian and seafood recipes!  I am trying to limit the fish to just 3 or 4 meals a week. Remember it is winter here in NJ...so think of things that will make these costly out of season items (like fish and lettuce, etc) stretch a little and keep in the fridge because I will need to make them ahead and eat them alone. Cynthia has already convinced me I need to join a Costco because their selection is good and we do have a reputable high end fish market by my office—at least I have heard it is great but I have never set foot in there.  

      Thanks to all, for listening and in advance for your support!

      MelissaBelle

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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Cynthia Schmidt wrote Nov 19, 2009
        • Give me an idea of what types of fish you have available and I’ll supply you with recipes.

          And, what the heck, I’ll do the challange with you! I’m not the meat eater that my husband is. I love fish. I’m at an advantage because I can find really nice fish at my Costco all year round - is that cheating?

          Seriously, I’ll do this with you.



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Vikki Hall wrote Nov 19, 2009
        • I am so happy that you posted this.... now I will be doing completely meat free since I don’t like seafood or fish. I might could choke down some canned tuna if forced. I will be looking for other sources of protien. So if anyone has any suggestions (my hubz did suggest a few sources) and recipes I would love to have them.



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Denise Richardson wrote Nov 19, 2009
        • Have you checked out the food group here there are some great recipes also look in the fruit group.



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Frannie1964 wrote Nov 19, 2009
        • Man, this Is a time I wish my hubby actually would go fishing alot now. He use to go on those fishing boats for 3 days and bring home good fish, Tuna, yellowfin, marlin, etc..

          You sound like your determined and I know you’ll do great Mellissaestatic



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          UK Girl wrote Nov 20, 2009
        • I’ve cut meat out of my diet and it has made a massive difference. I’m actually cutting back on all animal products like dairy etc;



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Mzd3 wrote Nov 20, 2009
        • Good Luck with this MellissaBelle, I think its a great idea, Im not a big meat eater myself, I may have to give it a try after I see how it works for you :)



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Max0125 wrote Nov 20, 2009
        • Good luck MellisaBelle. I have been vegetararian for years now, but I am thinking about going vegan on starting on Sun. For recipe ideas, check out allrecipes.com, but I will try to think of a few ideas for you.  

          You may also want to get some veggie crumbles. It has the consistencey of ground meat. I like the brands Quorn and Morningstar farms. You can use this as a subsitute for any recipe you use ground beef.

          If you like steak, try marinading a portabello mushroom in red wine, garlic and rosemary and grilling it. You can also just sprinkle them with your favorite steak seasoning and grill or broil.

          As for the fish, I always get frozen at Costco. I agree with Cynthia. Costco has these awesome premarinaded salmon, it is in a box. The also have frozen ahi (tuna) that is way better than the can.  

          Again, good luck! Let us know how it goes!



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Samib wrote Nov 20, 2009
        • Wow.  I’m not sure I’ll ever have the nerve to try this.  I don’t really eat a huge amount of meat, but I eat it.  Not sure I could be strong enough to elimate it.  You are awesome.



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Lori Daniell wrote Nov 20, 2009
        • What an inspiration you are and continue to be, Melissa!

          I applaud you!  Do you like beans and legumes like lentils?  They are fabulous, I think. Fiber seems to be what it is all about!  I am an east coast girl at heart, myself, so I truly understand the value of hearty and yummy one pot things..you can just add and stir and have a ball.  You can even incorporate fish or shellfish right into the same pot:

          All measurements are to your liking:

          Brown garlic in olive oil,

          Add some onion and saute,

          Grate some carrot in there, celery, whatever you wish.

          Add Vegetable stock (great ones lately, low sodium and NO MSG!)

          Add lentils (I buy them precooked at Trader Joe’s)

          Drop some whole grain pasta (or normal people pasta) ahaa in the pot,

          Simmer for a bit and season with salt and pepper to taste.  

          A little bit of a dry white wine can be added if you incorporate alcohol into your lifestyle.

          You can take raw shrimp or any sort of fish, drop it in the soup and poach it until tender.  Delicious!!!

          Enjoy-Jersey Girl :)



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Joanne Root wrote Nov 20, 2009
        • Talapia, Red Fish and Grouper! Strip of foil (eliminates fish smell)...a tad of butter/oil, seasoning (cajun is my favorite) or lemon juice. Wrap foil around fish and Bake in oven at 400 for about 20 minutes depending on thickness...rather under cook and test than overcooking and drying out.



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Kyah wrote Nov 20, 2009
        • I eat meat and chicken but I love sushi. It may sound gross but sometimes I’d rather eat something raw than cooked to death. Steaming can be a good way to go, and salmon is a versatile fish and has those omega-3 nutrients we need.

          I like tofu as well, it picks up the flavor of whatever’s in the pan next to it.

          Good luck to you all taking up the challenge!



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Marya1961 wrote Nov 21, 2009
        • Sounds great..I will give you some ideas that work for me since we are living in the tri-state area..estatic



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Kyah wrote Nov 21, 2009
        • I know AOL.com has a Food section where you type in the food you want to cook and up pops recipes, usually pages of recipes. I just checked in there for crab cakes and they have several mouth watering varieties.  

          I sort of cheat with lentils. I cook them for about 4 hours on really low heat, then I let it cool and throw it in the blender to smooth it out.



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Max0125 wrote Nov 22, 2009
        • Melissabelle,

          What kind of foods are you craving right now? That may help us in giving recipes. Good luck.



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Lazylola wrote Nov 22, 2009
        • good luckestatic



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Vikki Hall wrote Nov 24, 2009
        • Good to know Melissa!



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Ellebough wrote Nov 24, 2009
        • UK girl, what differences are you noticing from being meat-free? I’d like to try it with one additonal challenge. Eating foods that do not come from China.



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Vikki Hall wrote Nov 24, 2009
        • Dear Ellebough (elbow?)

          Why don’t you start a 21 day challenge here for the no food from China? I don’t know that others on here don’t/won’t eat food from China but I do know a lot do support locally grown. You should have lots of supporthappy



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Cynthia Schmidt wrote Nov 26, 2009
        • Melissabelle, try the meatless products made by Yves Gourmet. And you really can’t beat the flavor and texture of a Boca burger. I sometimes cook one and then top it with an over medium egg when I’m going to be out all day and need something that will carry me through lunch. I love Boca Burgers.

          Look in your veggie freezer section for Edamame. Those are pre cooked soy beans still in the pod. They are delicious and very good for you.

          If you find them, get a pot of water boiling on the stove with a good portion of salt in their. Add about 1/2 cup of edamame and just boil for about 3 minutes. Drain them and eat them by just popping them out of the pods into your mouth. Loaded with protein and fiber.



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