A look back at Week#1 of the Vegetarian Experiment

Why have I decided to try a vegetarian lifestyle?  The most important reason is my health.  In the past few years I’ve suffered from a number of odd ailments and I really don’t want to be on medications for the rest of my life.  My second reason is the fact that I’m turning 40 later this year and I want to make some major life changes.  I’ve just drifted the past 20 years of my adult life and I have a very strong desire to have a purpose other than work, eat, sleep, etc…

A friend of mine suggested I read The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone and I did.  I was deeply moved by much of what she said.  She wrote in a way that touched me. I’ve read Skinny Bitch and just wasn’t moved by someone bullying me into becoming a vegetarian.  I’m sure it has inspired some, but not me.  Alicia’s book was truthful and shocking, but in a softer way.  If that makes sense.  So Monday I headed to the grocer and started building by vegan pantry.  The great thing about Alicia’s book is that she gives you some great recipes and some very flexible options.

Let me be completely honest.  I ended up having meat 3 times this week and had cheese on several occasions, but for the most part I stuck to my guns. The situations where I ate meat and cheese were restaurant settings and my defenses were low.  I want to do this, but I need to make sure I don’t feel deprived or it just won’t stick.  My favorite dish so far was the Sweet Potato and Lentil Stew.  If you want the recipe buy the book.  I did find a link to a very similar recipe, just replace the butter with Earth Balance for a true vegan version.

Tonight I got back in the kitchen and made myself a nice Hot Tamale Pie with a side of Summertime Succotash. (Don’t freak out. That’s Sour Supreme by Tofutti)

Both were delicious and easy. 

Summertime Succotash (the kind diet)

Serves 6

1 TBLS Earth Balance Butter
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup diced red onion
1 garlic clove minced
10 oz baby lima beans at room temp
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (halved)
2 TBLS chopped fresh parsley
2 TBLS chopped fresh basil
1 TBLS white or red balsamic vinegar

Heat butter and oil together in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and saute for 5 – 7 minutes until the onion begins to brown.  Add the garlic and cook 1 minute.

Stir in the lima beans and saute for 5 minutes.  Add the corn and tomatoes and saute 1 minute longer, just until heated through  Remove from heat and add the parsley, basil and vinegar.  Serve warm chilled.  ENJOY!



  1. Jen said,

    April 26, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    This looks delicious! I am going to try it. Thanks for the recommendations.

    Two weeks ago, I did a cleanse–it did include some chicken, turkey and fish, but everything was organic and I was amazed at how delicious the food was and how much better I felt after! I am planning to repeat the 3 day cleanse each year–maybe each season. Good luck going vegan!

    • April 26, 2010 at 3:45 pm

      Thanks Jen. The food had been really good so far and I’m amazed at the selection of products at Giant Eagle. I love whole foods, but it’s quite a drive and always so crowded. I’m doing a liver detox at the moment. It is supposed to cleanse your liver of parasites that build up from everyday living.

      • Jen said,

        April 26, 2010 at 9:28 pm

        You are really lucky to have such a great selection of foods–we have very little here in York, PA-just 2 aisles of organic products and one section of produce, but I find if I try hard enough, I can make it work.

        How long is the detox? I was amazed at how much better I felt…truly! And now, I don’t really want as much junk food. Good, too. Take care and hooray for you for doing this for yourself!! I am off to the grocery store!

      • Jen said,

        April 26, 2010 at 9:56 pm

        did you ever look @ Gaiam’s site? they make a lot of yoga stuff, and have a healthy living site you might enjoy: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/id/CAT00003

  2. Ami said,

    April 26, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Looking forward to trying these recipes. I’m reading The Kind Diet now and love it so far. While in the beginning, she was mostly “preaching to the choir” in my case, I’m still learning (or being reminded of) a lot of great information.

    I’ve been living without meat for almost a year now, but I still eat some seafood and haven’t given up dairy or eggs yet. I’m the type of person who has to take the gradual approach to life changes. Tell me I can’t ever have anything again and it’s all I’ll want. That said, I definitely see myself heading in the direction of veganism. It just won’t happen all at once and I won’t ever be able to say, “I’ll never eat cheese again.” 🙂

    • April 26, 2010 at 3:43 pm

      I agree about the reaction to being told you can’t have something ever again. I didn’t really crave meat last week, but I wanted me some cheese. All in good time. If I take baby steps in the right direction then that is progress.

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