Sunday, 15 January 2012

The meat-free month

Well the temperature really has dropped this week and it's starting to feel more like January usually does ... cold, dark and somewhat depressing.

Everyone's saving money post Christmas and are just not in a party mood so my social calendar is way more empty than usual. In addition a lot of people are subjecting themselves to calorie restrictive diets, which is clearly enough to put anyone in a bad mood.

As I've said before I'm totally anti-calorie controlling when it comes to dieting and eating healthily, mainly because food just isn't that simple and calories don't truly represent what happens in your body. As an example, a guy friend of mine eats a whole 500 calories less than me a day and whilst he's a healthy weight he's taller and is certainly not slimmer than me.

The fact is if I ate 1000 calories of junk food a day I'd gain weight, but instead I eat approx 1800-1900 calories of healthy food which keeps me a healthy size 6.

The key is to eat healthily rather than spend your day adding up meaningless units, and the good news is that whilst everyone's in social hibernation it means less eating out and more time to cook up healthy meals at home. For me this includes cooking mainly vegan food, so no eggs, cheese, dairy or meat, although I do have the odd piece of fish and take iron supplements daily to compensate for the lack of meat.

Whilst quite a few friends of mine have a booze free January, which I applaud and encourage, a meat free January is also something I think most people would benefit from health and waist band wise and it's not as daunting as you think.

I use tofu in my stir fry instead of prawns or chicken, make bologneise or lasagna with lentils instead of beef and just up the kidney beans and leave out the meat to make chilli con carne or healthy burritos. For something super comforting I'll have Sainsbury's soya sausages with new potato and mustard mash, peas and gravy but minus the saturated fats and salt content of pork sausages.

If this still sounds a step to far, then at least try having 'meat-free Mondays' to give your body a break whilst diversifying your repertoire in the kitchen.

As I've time to cook I also try and make up a double portion of my vegan dinner and take the second lot to work for lunch - saving money and making sure I have a healthy lunch. By the time everyone emerges from their January blues I'll have lost weight and ready to don my party dresses once again!

No comments:

Post a Comment