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Thinking of reducing the amount of meat that you eat this year? Well apparently you’re in good company as around 1 in 3 Brits are cutting down on the amount of meat they eat (Source: NatCen 2016) and some of the biggest food stores are now even creating special sections that help make the ‘flexitarian’ lifestyle even easier.

I have always been a meat eater. It’s not something I really ever thought about growing up, I just ate what was put in front of me.

When I started living by myself and having to cook I got into the habit of eating mainly chicken or mince beef, just out of habit, and not really being the greatest cook. I tended to stick to the normal staples of Roast Chicken, Curries, Fajitas, Spag Bolognese or Chillies…over time I started experimenting with more fish too.

I do get sick of eating meat sometimes though, just the chore of having to find different ways of cooking it and also I always feel bad if I buy it and then it goes past its sell by date and it has to be thrown away.

Plus I am getting more and more concerned about the food industry, so have been reading more and more about how we don’t need to eat as much meat as we think.

I also stopped drinking milk about a year ago after watching a horrific documentary…it just really put me off, so now I stick to nut or coconut milk in my tea.

Recently I have been giving what I eat a lot more attention. Not in a “oh I’m on a diet way” but more of a…I am training really hard and I need to fuel my body properly to help it perform to its best ability. So I am much more aware of its need for protein when doing CrossFit 3 times a week…but more protein must mean more meat right?

Well thats what I thought.

But I was keen to explore a different way and when GoodLife foods contacted me and asked if I would like to test some of their vegetarian products…I was like “Great, perfect timing”

And so from their range they sent me…

  • French bean and spinach in Wensleydale cheese sausages
  • Mushroom and spinach kievs
  • Spicy Veg Bean Burgers

What I loved about these is they just sit in the freezer until you are ready for them, so very convenient.

Tuesday I had the sausages with a massive salad.

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The Kievs were dinner on Wednesday and Thursday (they are great reheated)

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And the spicy bean burgers I had last night and again today for lunch.

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I was seriously surprised at how tasty they were and also how I didn’t feel like I was missing out from having no meat.

I had a great meat free week, and it taught me some really interesting things about the habits I have. Buying sandwiches for example…I think I must have been eating chicken and avocado sandwiches for the last 20 years as my sandwich of choice.

And also my general avoidance of cheese.

Having to choose from the non meat options added variety and never disappointed in terms of taste. I was also able to train just as effectively as when I ate meat…although this one I will be paying closer attention to over time.

This week has really made me question if I need to eat meat at all and I reckon more and more people are asking themselves this question these days.

Did you know that almost half of mums (48 per cent) have reduced the amount of meat in their family’s diet or are planning to do so? GoodLife did a survey to find out why this might be…

  1. Health (53 per cent)
  2. Saving money (47 per cent)
  3. Animal welfare concerns (28 per cent)
  4. Environmental concerns (23 per cent)

As of today I am still not eating meat…we are on day 8 and I have a fridge full of veggie options to see me through the week…Ive just discovered roasted chickpeas.

Don’t get me wrong I think I am going to have to drastically increase my cooking repertoire so I don’t get bored. But it does feel like a bit of an adventure.

I would like to thank GoodLife foods for helping me out with this challenge…you have a new fan. You can find out more about their products here, and find out where they are stocked local to you here

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