Going Meat Free

Last week I popped up a “ask me anything” on Instagram. I got quite a few messages asking how I’ve been getting on since going ‘meat free’ – well ‘Pescatarian’ to be exact.

“pescetarians often eat eggs, dairy products and packaged foods in addition to fruits, vegetables and grains. Pescetarians are sometimes described as vegetarian or pesco-vegetarian, but vegetarians commonly do not consider the pescetarian diet to be vegetarian”

Source :Wikapedia

Majority of questions asked me for meal ideas, and if I had noticed any changes in myself with my new diet. A few questions asked if Ellie is following suit with my new diet also. I figured it would be easier to cover all the above in a short blog post for those interested in how I’ve been getting on thus far.

I’ll firstly by saying that I never had any intention of giving up meat. I got caught off guard back in March while heading to a wedding in Galway which led to my rash decision to exclude meat from my diet. I was scrolling through Facebook during the car journey when I came across the most vile video about meat production (compliments of Nikki from @littlebowpip who is vegetarian – thanks Nikki!).

I won’t link the video here as it means that I’d probably have to see it again! But to say that it turned my stomach was an understatement. The video was horrendous and such an eye opener , so, from that day forward I still can’t bring myself to “unsee” it. This is even surprising for me given that I am not in the slightest bit squeamish.

So in a nutshell the above is all that caused me make the change. I’m amazed something so small could make such an impact but I feel like I was supposed to see that clip as it has opened my eyes up to a lot of things about meat processing and animal cruelty that I had been ignorant to beforehand.

It hasn’t been a difficult transition as I was never a massive meat eater to begin with, I have always loved my carbs, veggies and fish so thankfully I don’t feel deprived, and I haven’t looked back.

What changes have I noticed?

I was expecting some side effects (both good & bad) from switching up my diet, however there hasn’t been anything too crazy. I hadn’t realized initially that it is recommended to start a B-Complex once you go meat free, so for the first month or two I felt so tired and lacked energy. That has thankfully settled since I started supplementing with a B- Complex from @gnc.ireland . I also take a probiotic, brain health supplement (both the GNC brand) and an iron supplement – all of which I get from The Health Store

(discount code BBB for 20% off anything excluding baby formula – *this is not an affiliated link, purely just sharing the love!*)

My weight has actually gone up by a few pounds (*bawls crying*) which I wasn’t expecting as many people told me to anticipate weight loss (which was never an aim of mine, but it was typical Murphy’s Law for me to go in the opposite direction and gain a few unwanted pounds).This has defo been frustrating to deal with, but I’m hoping I’ll get myself back to where I was beforehand (as I always say, there’s bigger problems in the world than a number on the scales!)

With regards to my skin, it has remained the same. I have always suffered with hormonal breakouts and nothing has changed there. I haven’t noticed any benefits from changing my diet, but in the same breath, it hasn’t gotten any worse.

I wonder if my weight fluctuation and skin is owed to me introducing meat substitutes such as Quorn into my diet as they are highly processed; who knows? Perhaps they don’t agree with me.

Meal Ideas

With regards to meal ideas, I still eat fish, a small amount of dairy and eggs. These are great protein sources of protein that I always include day to day. I also include things like Chickpeas, beans and pulses into dishes to add protein.

I still make dishes as I did beforehand; and I either exclude meat from the recipe, or I substitute with Quorn, fish, or keep it I keep it a purely vegetable based dish.

Breakfast Ideas:

  • Boiled egg, toast, avocado/tomato
  • Porridge and fruit
  • Fruit and yogurt
  • Protein and fruit smoothie made with Vegan protein (I got mine from @wholefoodsireland )
  • Overnight cous cous (thanks @jensjourney89 for the idea!)
  • Omelette with veggies
  • Lunches/ Dinner Ideas:

  • (Chickpea and Veg Stir Fry with Brown Rice and Quinoa)
    • Homemade soup
      Tuna salad / Egg salad / Salmon Salad
      Omlette
      Falafel (homemade or the Beetroot/ Mediterranean baked Falafel from @Aldi) with salad
      Baked Potato
      Scrambled egg and crackers/toast
      Veg/ Chickpea cous cous
      Sweet Potato Burgers (Aldi)
    • Baked or poached Salmon/ Cod with veg/potatoes or rice etc
    • Veg curry
    • Quorn or Veg stir fry
    • Sweet Potato Crust Quiche (recipe posted back on my IG)
  • (Sweet Potato Crustless Quiche)
    • Vegan Shepherds Pie (recipe from @momfitnessdiary – I ADORE her Instagram and page, she posts fab meat free recipes!)
  • (Vegan Shepherds Pie)
    • Strong Roots Kale and Quinoa burger @strongroots
    • Homemade Fish Pie
    • Prawn Stir Fry
    • Quorn or Veggie Spaghetti Bolognese
  • I snack on fruit, fat free Greek yogurt or Dairy free KoKo yogurt, almonds, rice cakes etc .
  • I’m not a lover of cheese etc hence it’s not included above, but that could be another snack option for those who do enjoy it.
  • Does Ellie follow all of this?

  • As I am with Ellie the most, she eats what I eat (excluding Quorn – I don’t want her having it as it’s very processed, so in that case I would actually prefer to give her fish or meat such as chicken)
  • By making us the same meals it obviously saves on time, but it’s mainly because I know what is going into what I’m feeding her, therefore I know there are no hidden surprises and it is healthy.
  • Bakes Falafel, Hummus and Cucumber Crudités
  • (Baby Potato, Avocado, Cherry Tomato, Scrambled Egg)
  • If Ellie is with any other family member during meal times she will most likely have meat over fish – which is totally fine by me.
  • She’s too young to have anything excluded from her diet without a valid reason. She enjoys her grub and has a fab appetite so I love that she doesn’t turn her nose up to much.
  • (Italian Flat Bread with a fairly smashed up Spinach Omelette)
  • Both myself and Ellie don’t drink cows milk, but that is due to Eczema flare ups, so she has her own substitute and I use Almond or Hazelnut milk.
  • I hope that has answered a few questions for those who were interested in this topic. At the moment I don’t ever see myself going back to meat. The most difficult aspect of it for me has been eating out and finding restaurants that cater to a meat free diet, but I suppose as time goes on I’ll figure out places to avoid.
  • I often post recipes on my Instastories and try my best to pop them up on a post with the recipe included, so if this post gets good feedback I will try my best to post more of that.
  • Any questions, pop them over to me!
  • Jessica x .
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