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Guest post: Kim’s meatless year

Hello friends! While I am still gathering my thoughts and photos on what to post next for myself, please welcome my friend Kim! Kim is a foodie and blogger who has recently decided to go meat free for an entire year and document her journey in a new blog: Meatless 365

I know many of you who read my blog are vegetarian or vegan, but I just ask that you keep an open mind and respect another opinion that may be differing from yours. I know you will 🙂 Thanks!

Hi!  My name is Kim Davidson.  Sarah and I have been friends for about 2 years now and she has been such an encouragement to me.  I am a writer, cook, and photographer in Raleigh, NC. In addition to Meatless 365, I also post recipes, writings, and photos at my regular website, Kd316 and you can also follow my Tweets @kd316.

Sarah sent me a few questions to answer in this post, so here it goes!

1. What made you decide to go meatless?

Honestly, I woke up one day and said, “what would make people go meatless for a year?” and posed that question on social media forums.  Got a bunch of answers, but mostly: “for real? You gotta be kidding me!”  So, that really challenged me.  I said, “I can do this!”  And after that initial moment of pure will power, I knew it would be a challenge for me, a chance to spice up my kitchen, and get me excited about cooking and eating again.  Sometimes, you just get bored – even someone like me, who loves being in the kitchen!

2. What are you hoping to gain from going meatless for a year?

A new love for my kitchen and things that grow in the ground.  A new love for my kitchen: sometimes, even though I love meat, I get bored with the same things.  So, I want to try new healthy things and healthy foods in different ways.  And, things that grow in the ground: I don’t want to survive on processed foods for a year either (granola bars, etc).  I want to get natural foods in my body to help me feel and move better!  I know there are so many vitamins and minerals and other good “things” in foods that grow in the ground, so cool how God made things that would help us live better lives!  I also want to strengthen my food photography skills.  I would love to write for food magazines and use my photos to bring out the brilliant colors in vegetables and food.  There is beauty in food.  As Emerson said; “Beauty is God’s handwriting.”

3. Do you think at the end of 365 days, you will continue to abstain from meat?

I have already considered that; and I probably won’t.  But, I will eat meat a lot less than I do now (or did), but I don’t feel any food is BAD for you, but just eaten in moderation.  I will hopefully have found wonderful recipes to keep eating and trying new recipes in the years to come.  I like bbq, steak, and bacon too much to cut it out entirely for the rest of my life, and I don’t want to be kicked out of my family (my family loves meat!)

4. Has anyone asked you “but where will you get your protein?” yet?

One of the first questions I got.  Amazing, isn’t it?  Like there isn’t any protein other than meat.  I told this person, “why yes, I am!”  I love raw nuts, greens, legumes, cheese, dairy, nut butters, seafood, eggs.  So many ways to get healthy sources of real protein without going to meat or “fake meat”.

5. What do you think will be your biggest challenge in this experiment?

I love to cook for other people.  I think I will have to be creative when doing that and maybe even cook meat meals for them, which isn’t a problem.  Also, eating with my family.  My brother grills a good steak and we love bbq.  But, for this year, I’ll have to be prepared and have salmon when they have steak.  All those healthy fats and vitamins! 🙂

Any last words?

Happy food journey – whatever you eat.

Thanks, Kim! I look forward to following you on your journey and can’t wait to see what all you experience throughout. I hope you will do a follow-up for us at the end of the year!

Is anyone else out there going meat free this year? Want to write about it?

Challenges, changes, etc.

All of my challenges are still going strong!

No calorie counting, mucho meal (well, dinner) planning, moderate and steady caffeine reduction and best of all NO WEIGHING! Thanks everyone who responded both on my post about no longer weighing myself and the Melissa Joan Hart story. I appreciate all of your responses 🙂

I love giving myself a new thing to focus on each week. I find that taking things one small step at a time is the best way to make them permanent changes. If I had in that first week, at the beginning of May, said to myself “Starting today, I’m going to not count calories, plan every meal, stop drinking caffeine and not weigh myself” all at once, I would’ve freaked out and been very unsuccessful at most of those things.

On the caffeine front, I have been alternating coffee with tea (both caffeinated) in the mornings. Yesterday morning, I had coffee with milk and this morning, I had Earl Grey tea. Then the rest of the day is caffeine free tea like peppermint or chamomile (my favorites). I have a lot of new brands and flavors to try so the possibilities are endless. I haven’t had any dark chocolate and have had exactly two sodas (ew, I know!) since the caffeine challenge began 10 days ago.

I have still cut back quite a bit from my original intake and I’m not having any weird withdrawal symptoms. I will continue the every other day approach for a while, then gradually switch to every 2 days and then gradually make my way into half caff or decaf coffee land. Because I really do love the TASTE of coffee and couldn’t give it up completely, no way.

Here’s another interesting development…I know I have touched on this once or twice before. But, I have not had a single bite of meat since last Thursday?! That’s a whole week! I have just found myself not wanting it at all. I haven’t avoided it or chosen junky foods in order to not eat it. I’ve just been eating lots of veggies, fruits, grains, nuts, beans, etc. and haven’t had the need for it. I’ve often called myself “The Accidental Vegetarian” and I believe I have become her again for a while. But you know what’s funny, I feel great! I might have to keep this up.

Since I’m still in Beatles mode, here is a random pic of Paul McCartney related to the subject…

Here’s the neat thing about blogs. It was almost exactly this same time last year (it was June 14th) that I wasn’t eating meat and noticed. Hmm…

My husband hates it when I do that because meat to him is like peanut butter to me, can’t live without it. But I’ve noticed that I can live without it, plus it saves money because meat by far is the most expensive thing we buy at the grocery store. And, even though I don’t do it for ethical reasons alone, there’s always that to think about too. So, why not? We’ll see.

I’m also trying to get out of that “I have to have this with that” mentality which is how I end up eating meat in the first place. I thought for a long time that you had to have meat with dinner. Well, heck, if I’m in the mood for it, I could have cereal for dinner! Its all about balance and every day does not have to be perfect.

This morning, I had a green monster and then packed my lunch which contained no vegetables. Oh well, I thought, at least I’ll get them in at dinner, totally forgetting I’d already had some with breakfast. Its important to get the appropriate number of servings for each food group but not necessary to force yourself to add something to a meal that you really don’t want to eat. So my lunch remained veggie free!

Hope you all are enjoying this short week! I still have lots to share with you (I’m so behind) so stick with me 😉