Adopting a plant-based lifestyle can be extremely rewarding, but there are times where it can also be challenging. I took the little kids to Washington and Oregon for two weeks this summer. Although we have traveled north before and brought all our own food and did lots of grocery shopping when we got to our destination(s), that was an added component I didn’t really want to take on this trip. Everyone in my family has eaten meat several times over the past (almost) two years, except me. I just haven’t been able to bring myself to do it. But the average American has every meal based around their meat dish. My family is no exception – and I say that without judgement. This plant-based journey is our journey. It’s what we want for our little family.
All that to say…I told myself I would eat everything offered to me on this trip. My darling grandfather had already gone shopping and put together a plant-based meal for our one dinner there, and I adore him for it! He grumbled while talking about it, grumbled while preparing it, grumbled while dishing it up (he’s in his 80’s – he has earned the right to grumble!), but when he sat down to eat it…guess what? Oh yes…he said, “Wow! This is really good! I would totally eat this again!”. Surprise!
We moved on to my parents and here is what I’ve eaten (today is day three…I’ll add to this post as I go):
Chicken hot dogs, grilled over an open fire on the end of a stick. And baked pork and beans from a can. (Yeah, I know. What a meal to start with! But, it was fun and easy and very much “home”, and I told myself I would go with the flow – not my M.O.)
How did I feel? Not too shabby. I didn’t really enjoy it. There wasn’t any “mmmmmm” sounds coming from me, but it wasn’t all that bad either. About an hour after I ate, I felt like I couldn’t really get up out of my chair. Like the fatty meat-ness had glued me down and turned me into a slug.
Terriyaki chicken (thighs), white/brown rice mixture, home-made garlic bread, green beans. FYI this was my FAVE meal before we started eating plant-based.
How did I feel? I’m not gonna lie…those green beans tasted sooooooooo good! Even the boys gobbled them up! The bread was good, but the flavor of the butter was kind of wacky in my mouth. The chicken was a bit much for my mouth too…very greasy and slimy*. The rice made my whole self very happy.
Breakfast included bacon that my darling boys saved for me.
How did I feel? TERRIBLE! I only ate half a slice and I felt like I was going to die. If I could have moved, I would have run five miles just to purge it from my system. Not doing that again!
Chicken Taco Soup. My mom makes the BEST!!!
How did I feel?
I was feeling so awful by then that the thought of eating meat again made me want to cry. She cooks the chicken breasts in the crockpot on top of all the yummy beans and veggies, so before she shredded it and mixed it in, I scooped a bowl of non-meat soup. The boys chowed down, but I was still feeling so awful from all the other animal products, I actually couldn’t even eat it. Later that night, I pulled it back out when I was hungry and it was delicious. That was the end of my meat eating.
What I appreciated about this little experiment was that it gave me an understanding that I don’t need meat in my life. There is nothing appealing about it, and that makes me thankful.
Peyton told me on day four, “My favorite meals so far were the hot dogs, the teriyaki chicken….oh yeah, and the soup.” So basically, he felt great! 🙂
*This honest review of how I felt eating animal products in no way changes the fact that my mom and dad are amazing cooks! If you aren’t plant-strong and have an opportunity to eat animal-based at their house, you will be instantly in love!