I've come to the end of my vegetarian week and must admit I'm glad I don't have to keep it up. I've actually missed fish more than meat, but still can't wait to have some roast chicken!
Food fantasies aside.. what did I learn?
A vegetarian diet is cheaper as meat and fish are relatively expensive. Lunchtime trips to EAT and pret were much less punishing than usual!
I discovered some tasty new foods. I particularly enjoyed tesco mushroom burgers, heinz lentil and tomato soup, pret health and hummous salad and had a delicious aubergine curry I wouldn't have chosen normally.
I ate more pulses than usual. This was as an addition to my lunchtime salads to increase the protein content. Pulses are a good source of fibre, a very low GI carbohydrate and also contain b vitamins and I enjoyed having them in my lunch so will keep them in even when I add back meat/fish.
One unexpected upside was that I slept better which I attribute to the fact I usually eat dinner quite late and that my vegetarian meals are quicker and easier to digest than meat would be. So I'm going to try and have more vegetarian dinners especially when eating close to bedtime.
Most vegetarian food in restaurants contains either wheat or diary or both so although I'm going to consider vegetarian options more than before when eating out I probably won't want to eat most of them. If you're not gluten and dairy intolerant then a veggie diet would certainly be much easier.
My appetite went up. I definitely feel that I've eaten more this week in volume (possibly not in calories), and particularly eaten more carbohydrates. I think this is a double effect of eating less protein. Firstly protein helps you feel full so you will eat a smaller portion and secondly eating protein helps regulate your blood sugar levels so they take longer to drop so you are not tempted to snack so soon. I'm definitely going back to adding some chicken or fish to my lunches ... can't wait for tomorrow's tuna/pasta salad!