Well my vegetarian week is coming to an end...I started last Sunday so today is my last day. Ya know what though? I really didn't miss meat at all! I loved the dishes I created (especially my feta egg scramble, veggie burgers, and veggie quesadillas!) and I really had no desire to eat chicken, pork or beef at all.
I did let myself slip slightly on Thursday and shared some mussels with friends in Little Italy but really I don't consider that meat :) Along with the mussels we shared some caprese salad (fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil) and caesar salad so overall a good night of veggies, healthy protein and of course a nice glass of white wine!
One thing I did want to expand on is healthy fats. I know I've mentioned this in past posts but sometimes when people decide to go vegetarian they think they can eat all other foods that aren't meat and be "healthy". I personally don't consider deep fried foods (like chips, french fries, doughnuts, etc.), tons of high fat cheese, pasta loaded with high fat sauces, processed foods, etc. to be a part of a healthy vegetarian diet. If you are going to do this you need to do it right and include the most important part...fruits and VEGGIES! Make sure to get your healthy proteins (LOW fat cheeses, skim milk, fat free yogurt, peanut butter, tofu/soy beans, light soy milk, beans, etc.) and whole grains. And don't forget about healthy fat (yes, there is such a thing).
Healthy fats include olive oil, canola oil, nuts, and avocado...these all contain high amounts of mono or polyunsaturated fats, are low in saturated fat, contain no cholesterol and can actually help to LOWER your bad cholesterol and help raise your GOOD cholesterol. Animal fat, butter, trans fats, etc are all examples of fat that is going to clog the arteries, raise your cholesterol and contribute to any future cardiac issues we all want to avoid. You don't want to go overboard on fats but you definitely don't want to skip out on the good ones!
Bottom line, going vegetarian is possible...even if you just want to try out a few vegetarian meals! I really do feel better...it's made me re-think my entire diet and really caused my entire lifestyle to become a bit...healthier this week! I went to the gym 3 times (taking 2 new classes!), drank a ton of water and really watched my sweet intake. But I still was able to eat great tasting healthy meals!