My children and I challenged each other to a no meat challenge some weeks back. I admit, it seriously was a challenge and I actually missed meat….a lot! I’ve done cleanses and even went vegan before (with failed consistency). I can’t remember why we came up with the idea or the conversation that lead to us starting this but I’m so glad we did. I learned a lot about my children and I’m so happy that they were able to complete this with me.
I’m extremely proud that my children were able to set such a challenging goal and complete it. My almost 12 year old, a self proclaimed carnivore, wasn’t too happy with this challenge. She complained about how difficult it was going to be and even said she would starve. (She can be quite the drama queen at times) However, it was extremely important to me to complete this as a family, which meant having to listen to a little complaining and fake tears. In the end, she was extremely proud of herself and even discovered fruits and veggies aren’t so bad.
One of the challenges we faced was planning. I guess we didn’t realized how much planning and meal prepping we would need to do. Sometimes, we find ourselves getting a little busy with the day. Those are typically our “fast food” or “quick food” days. Unfortunately, because most of the things we enjoy involves meat, we really had to sit and plan our meals. This also led to a lot of cooking for me. It was quite overwhelming at times, especially when we have others in our living space eating meat, lots of meat.
We also had to overcome the whole price difference between “healthier” foods. We choose some “meatless” meat options for a few meals. “Beyond the meat” was our favorite brand of meatless chicken and beef. Ironically, these options were actually more expensive than actual meat. We also tried some tofu recipes(the kids actually preferred this previously) but because of articles and previous research about the high levels of estrogen in soy, I decided to limit our intake. Which left veggies, fruit, grains, and beans.
My only regret is I wish I would have planned a little better before because there were a few days that we simply settled for ramen noodles and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. Of course the kids were happy with these but I definitely had some mom guilt. Despite the bad, I’m happy that I was able to introduce some new foods to my children and show them that they can accomplish anything they set their mind to. In the words of my 8 year old, “It’s just a mind thing……we can do whatever as long as we believe we can…so what’s next?!”