Going Meatless Starter Kit - What You Need to Know

April 9, 2018

Easter Sunday was the last day I had meat the next day I decided I would go meatless for the entire month of April.  Read all about why here. I promised I would check in and document the process.

How I feel

One of the reasons for trying this out was simple, I was having a lot of stomach problems starting with my digestive system; bloating, constipation, gas (not pretty, I know, but these are the facts).  In the last few weeks it became unbearable and hard to ignore.  So now that I have a week under my belt, have these issues been addressed?
  • Bloating - YES!  I mean I still have some bloating but it is hardly noticeable, as uncomfortable or requires any meds to resolve.  I consider that a win.  I do think that I was still cycling out the pork I ate for Easter dinner at least for two days last week so I am hoping this next week will get a lot better. 
  •  Constipation - YES, YES, YES. Ok sorry this may be TMI but the truth is we all move our bowls, all of us!  I know we hate talking about it but its important for overall health and happiness to have regular bowl movements. I did not.  Last week, I did. ALOT actually. 
  • Gas - A concern I had was, "would eating more veggies make me gassy?" Ok, I actually feel uncomfortable writing this, lol #prude. Honestly, veggies make you gassy but better out then in. Ok bye. 
So now that I have addressed the burning issues let's talk about how I feel overall.  I do feel lighter especially after meals.  I don't have the 2pm crash where I would need a cup of coffee to get me through the rest of the work day.  There is a noticeable glow in my skin, I mean people actually said to me today that my skin looks great! How often do people say that to one another?  It could be a number of things but I have to believe diet is key.  Also, I am not sure if I can fully attribute this to not having meat in my system, but I felt especially clear minded and creative this weekend.  I had a lot of ideas for content and the will (not the time) to get it done.  I will keep an eye on this spark of creativity and see if if grows over the next three weeks.  So allow me to walk you through what my first week looked like in terms of my shopping list and meal preps.  Keep scrolling.

What Does a Shopping List Look Like?

If you watch me on Instagram Stories then you know I live in the supermarket on the weekends.  I thought it might be helpful to provide what a typical shopping list looks like for me.

  • Veggies - boxed salads like mixed spring or baby spinach are my favorite go-tos. Tomatoes, avocados, green or red peppers, cucumbers, red onions, scallions - salad starters
  • Fruit- apples, grapes, bananas, strawberries, blueberries and pears are a few of my favs.  Apples will last you a long time in the fridge and I love to slice them up and eat them throughout my day or dip them in peanut butter...soo good! Lemons (its a fruit right?) I like to add lemon slices to my seltzer water for a kick 
  • Nuts - I like to eat raw, unsalted nuts like almonds, walnuts or pecans.  You can nuts to a lot of meals for a fun, unexpected twist.  Think oatmeal, cereal, salads etc. 
  • Beans - I go for black beans or chickpeas they are delcious and a great source of protein that I add to my salads.  One can of black beans can last me three salads.
  • Oatmeal- I like the steel oats variety.  It is the best to use for overnight oats which is delicious, build able and a quick meal that leaves you feeling full for hours.  
  • Frozen Aisle section - I love the frozen fruit for my shakes, typically I reach for mango slices and the mixed berries.  Shakes are a quick treat to hold you in between meals or as a meal substitute.  I also LOVE Birdesye SteamFresh products.  These can be GREAT stand alone meals or sides.  I can't tell you how many times they have saved my life.  Somedays we are busy and don't plan ahead, coming home late and tired its so easy to think about ordering which isn't always our best dietary choices.  These steam fresh products cook in the bag and take 5 - 8 minutes to cook in the microwave.  My favorite are their protein bowls and their couscous couscous and spinach, OMG soo good!  I always catch them on sale for about $2.50 a bag, lifesavers.  Just grab a few to try, I promise you will love it! 
  • Dairy - Almond Milk, its a must for my shakes.  I don't care for milk and haven't for some time now.  Almond Milk is gentle on my stomach and tastes great!  I ALWAYS stock up on my Chobani specifically their flips. It is low fat and really satisfies my sweet tooth.  This is a great snack to have after lunch or at that 3pm snack attack hour.  My fav!  Cheese.  I love it, specifically the Laughing Cow brand, such a yummy, quick snack option spread over some crackers, DONE!
  • Bread - Whole wheat all the way.  Aside from the slice bread, I do treat myself to some bakery fresh bagels, like poppy seed or an everything bagel.  For a Sunday treat I will toast these babies, spread some low fat cream cheese and some fresh lox. SO GOOD (have I said that a million times already?? )Ok my mouth is watering.  
If you can visualize this and are familiar with what a typical supermarket layout looks like, I have pretty much made a u-shaped tour of a supermarket.  You start in your veggie section, stop in the canned beans and nuts, then over to dairy and right out to check out.  All of the aisles in the middle of this U, I question their food value.  I realize this is a side bar but why do we have so many cracker varieties? Am I the only one that is kind of freaked out about that?  But I digress, allow me to put together some meal ideas for you.  


Breakfast Ideas
  • Half a toasted bagel with mashed avocado and tomatoes, a little bit of salt and pepper. Done.,or
  • Hard boiled egg, a slice of whole wheat toast,or 
  • Yogurt and two prunes (I didn't mention prunes on my list but you should be getting these anyway, they help with digestion and bowl movement.  These have saved me while on vacation, just saying'. or  
            • Overnight Oats Recipe
1 glass 16 oz mason jar
3/4 cup of steel oats
1 cup of almond milk
Tablespoon of peanut butter
a teaspoon of chia seeds
Mix it up. Cover it up and refrigerate overnight.  In the morning add your fixins'.  I like honey, bananas, berries, almond slices and coconut flakes. DONE! 


I pretty much build a salad for lunch.  You can check out what that looks like in my Instagram Highlight titled "Going Veggie".   A typical salad includes the base, spinach or mixed greens or both, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, artichokes, beans, carrots, walnuts, shredded cabbage..etc.  Its a salad, put what you would like to eat in there and top it with some chia seeds (I hear its good for you).  I also shared link in my first going meatless post with some great salad ideas.  For your convenience I will share the link again here

Snack Ideas- It is important to keep stuff handy so if you are hungry after lunch or between meals you are prepared with some healthy options.  Here are a few that you will always find in my lunch bag:

  • sliced apples (make it fun by slicing up some cheese to pair with the apple or peanut butter is always a win win for me.)  
  • laughing cow spreadable cheese and a few crackers
  • raw nuts or granola
  • yogurt
  • slice of whole wheat toast with peanut butter, sliced bananas and a drizzle of raw honey. (this can work for breakfast too!)
  • Shakes - frozen mango slices, a banana, almond milk, peanut butter and a handful of spinach. Blend. DONE.  Quick, easy and delicious. 


I have to say that I am not a huge dinner person. I workout after work so I tend to just not have an appetite for anything heavy at night, I prefer a bigger breakfast the next morning.   I can do a salad or a steam fresh package and be satisfied during the week.  If I am craving something warm, I opt for tikka masala by Tasty Bite, it is vegetarian and ALL natural. Seriously.  There are five to seven ingredients and you can read all of them like potatoes, chick peas...all natural.  It cooks in the bag (are you seeing a pattern?) and I like to eat this on its own with maybe some avocado or over rice if I am really hungry.  Highly recommend you give them a try.  It is really tasty and keeps my tummy full all night or sometimes I will have this for lunch.  Tikka Masala is a favorite but Tasty Bite has a few other options, punjab eggplant, vegetable korma and madras lentils to name a few vegetarian options.  On the weekends we might make fish, so like salmon or tilapia are my go-tos.  Salmon is huge and I don't eat a lot per meal so a piece of salmon can last me for up to three meals.  

So there you have it, my first week wrap up.  As I mentioned in my first post, I didn't decide this overnight and I have been working on weening myself off of meat for a few months now.  I think moderation is key for success when considering a lifestyle change.   Full disclaimer, I am not a nutritionist.  I am a woman who has lived in her body for quite some time and is finally ready to really listen to it.  Meal prep is important, healthy options are important and self denial doesn't help anyone in the long run.  My point is health isn't a race you have got to win in two months, it takes time to understand your body's needs and how to meet them with the food you eat. Be patient with yourself.  No one is perfect.  No one is your ideal.  You, as you are, are beautiful.  This is a path to feeling even more beautiful in your skin knowing that you are taking care of yourself from the inside out.  Good luck!  I plan to update you on this journey next week.  

What are your health goals?  What are you doing to work towards them? Share your tips with me!

Thanks for reading, as always, its appreciated. 


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