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Sunday, 7 April 2013

Mostly Plants, Part Two

Last week, I went vegetarian, mainly to see what would happen and to see what I'd eat when I couldn't just go to the store at lunch on autopilot. I envisioned trying out meat substitutes like Quorn (which I did), and using beans or lentils as the main block of my meals (which I didn't entirely do).

The first thing that struck me last week, when I went to one of my favorite cheapie Japanese places in the center of London, was how I usually go to restaurants for a certain dish. During this week, I had to check out different dishes than my usual, so that, at least was a positive. My big discovery in this area was the vegetarian burritos from Tortilla - they load them up with rice and beans and guacamole, and they're just as tasty and filling as the ones with meat. I also experimented with the veggie patty sandwich from Subway, which was fine, but not exactly something I'll be adding to my usual repertoire, I think.

In addition to trying new things at my usual lunch places, I also got the chance to try a couple of new places, including a pita place near my office. Overall, though, it's fair to say my lunches weren't too different from the usual, at least in terms of range of sandwiches and burritos and stuff like that.

My dinners were also maybe a little less successful than I'd have liked. On a couple of nights I ended up getting a pizza, which was technically allowed, but not entirely in the spirit of the thing. I also got an order of chips (ie, fish and chips without the fish) one evening, after I'd been out at the pub. Pasta also made up a large part of my diet during the week, which is probably why my diet tracker app shows that  carbs made up an even larger part of my diet than usual.

That wasn't entirely surprising, of course, nor was the fact that protein was kind of lacking. That said, the first couple of days were actually strangely light on carbs (if perhaps a little heavy on fat). The next time I try this I'll have to balance my diet a little better, clearly.

As for things like Quorn, I can see why vegetarians steer clear. If you're used to eating meat, the texture is all off, and it doesn't taste that great anyway. I was also a little annoyed that it didn't signpost more clearly that it contains egg, which I was trying to avoid during the week. I'll know to stay away from it in future, anyway.

And with regard to effects on my body, I wouldn't say there were many. The increased bean intake didn't make me fart a lot, and I'd say my energy levels were about normal, including when I went to the gym on Wednesday.

So overall, I think it was a successful experiment, at least in terms of making me think about what I ate - even if I ended up eating things that were pretty similar to what I usually have.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go get a burger. With bacon on it.