Clean(er) Eating

clean eating

This week I am going for a week of vegetarianism again.  If it works, we might go pretty much entirely vegetarian. Excluding non-veggie cheese and when we eat out.  I can’t live without cheeseburgers, or chicken wings, or parmesan.  Or at Christmas.  Not really vegetarian at all then.  Maybe what I should have said is that, we might go vegetarian at home, barring special occasions.  

There are three reasons for this:

1) Because we are poor as church mice at the moment.  It’s totally not cool.  I’ve actually had to say goodbye to my beloved Sky subscription.  No longer will I have Friends and House on tap.  

OH GOD! No more Hugh Laurie*.  I didn’t think this through at all well, did I?

Anyway, surviving solely on plant based foods cuts down a lot of our grocery bill.  We don’t eat a huge amount of meat anyway, but what we do eat is decent.  I pride myself on the fact that I can happily make a roasted chicken last all week in various dishes, but when that chicken costs at least a fiver to begin with, suddenly lentils are looking like a mighty fine alternative at roughly £1 a bag.  If I can feed us all on around £35 for the week, I’ll be happy (and so will my sorry-looking bank balance).  That way, by saving money, when we do eat out, that cheeseburger will taste all the sweeter. 

2) Neither of my kids are massive meat eaters anyway.  Roo likes chicken, but not much else.  She’ll eat fish, but she’s not keen on red meat.  Elliot would rather bury his face in a bowl of lentil bolognaise than actual ragu (no Italian in him whatsoever) and I can take it or leave it, really.  Ross is probably the biggest carnivore in the house, but he sees food as fuel more than as something to be savoured and enjoyed, so it doesn’t matter to him if we have beans on toast or steak and chips for dinner.  So my point is, if none of us are really going to miss it, why bother? 

3) I’m fussy about processed foods.  I won’t have ready meals in my fridge, and if something has ingredients in it that I can’t pronounce, then I’m not eating it.  And neither are my kids.  I’m that mean mum who doesn’t buy squash for her children and will not ever let them drink Fruit Shoots.  That’s something I won’t need to even worry about with a veggie diet, as fresh produce only contains fresh produce (I don’t do fake meat or tofu).  Hooray. 

And I’ve been reading up on clean eating, basically eating what nature intended for us to eat to keep our bodies running the way they should, and eating that food in such a way that it’s as close to its natural state as possible.  So that is what we are going to do.  Am I naive in thinking that it won’t be too much of a challenge?  I am looking at it more as a mindset I’m pretty much already in, than as a diet to follow.  

That being said, unless there is a cake tree I don’t know about (please let there be a cake tree), I am not sure the banana or apple cake I am going to make to go in Roo’s packed lunches next week are particularly close to nature.  Oh well. 

I shall keep you all informed.  Oh, and if you are a clean eater, vegetarian, or vegan (though I will say now, I can’t give up dairy) please share your tips and advice. 

*Yes, I have a thing for Hugh Laurie, especially as limpy, grumpy, pain-killer addicted House.  I don’t care what you say, he’s a Hot Old Man.  Also, how can you not have a thing for Hugh Laurie?  He’s a Hot Old Man.  Giggity. 

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    1. I did my food shop today and spent £40. I am hoping that will last us the week, but it’s trial and error at the mo I guess.

      1. That’s really good. We vary somewhere between £50 and £80. We also tend to have two meals out a week – Friday lunch and one over the weekend. We do do Quorn on at least one meal a week and that adds up. I’m also a bit of a slave to things that make life easier at work – disposable coffee filters and just add hot water porridge.

        Good luck!

  1. We consider ourselves vegetarians who cheat :) it’s not that we are against eating meat, just that we choose not to most of the time! Partly because of cost but mostly because I struggle to digest meat so I prefer lighter veggie meals. Plus they are quicker to prepare and cook I find! Some of our favs are stuffed mushrooms, roasted veg with feta, veggie enchiladas and stir fry… So quick and easy.

  2. Unfortunately I can’t eat most salads as lettuce makes me sick (literally my body struggles to break dowb fibre in raw veg, esp leafy greens and apples!) But Tim takes salads to work instead of sandwiches and we make them extra nice by throwing in raw brocolli, asparagus, baby corn etc when we have it in the fridge :) that’s something we picked up on a trip to Glastonbury where many restaurants and cafes are vegetarian, vegan or raw food friendly so hope it helps xx

  3. I love lentils. I make all of my Mexican foods with lentils. Tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. I simmer them with stock and spices. I can no longer buy ground beef. I haven’t in almost two months. We eat very minimal meat as well. But I’m not a big meat eater anyways. Husband is but I’ve converted him quite nicely over the last couple of years. I finally moved him away from thinking that it’s not a meal unless there is a meat protein.

  4. Will be watching with interest my husband is South African and therefore a huge carnivore, he is always telling me that dinner would be better with chorizo in.

  5. Let me know how you get on £60 seems the lowest I can get our food bill to weekly and that leaves no room for alcohol and probably has one bit of meat in there. Oh yeah and that’s usually at Aldi too. Bloody money eh! Does your head in!

  6. You’ve got much higher will power than me. I love meat – not always, but there are days when I HAVE to have meat for dinner or I get really grumpy. I do know what you mean though. Meat is ridiculously expensive in the UK. I almost fainted when I moved over here and did my first grocery shop. It’s at least half the price in Germany. Lidl is quite good for meat, I find.

  7. This is something we are trying to do too and although let my son drink squash we don’t have any ready meals or processed foods. I like to add some raw veg to a cooked meal as the difference in textures and the extra ‘crunch’ somehow make me feel more full up. I’d love to see some of your recipes x

  8. £40 is fantastic! We spent £120 on a smallish shop today (though I’m cooking for friends this week , which pushed up the fancyness, and had some toiletries chucked in too). Would be really interested in knowing what you come up with – I’ve been pescatarian for about twenty years. It’s amazing what you can find to do with chickpeas :)

  9. I’m going to follow your journey with interest… I’ve gone to mid-week vegetarianism to save money (except for meat that’s already in the freezer) and haven’t really noticed missing meat. I quickly run out of recipe inspiration though! xxxxx

  10. Good luck – we do this a lot. We eat much less meat than we did a year ago. Mainly because I think I really should be vegetarian because I could never kill an animal and eat it – but I do like a nice juicy steak every now and then!! So, we buy only organic meat from the supermarket or buy from The Ginger Pig which is our local butcher and we know the animals are well looked after. This of course has major cost implications, so we eat less of it! Which I think is a much better way of doing things anyway, better for health, better for the environment… anyway, will be checking back to see how you get on… x

  11. I gave up all meat except chicken & all dairy almost two years ago & i haven’t felt better. I’m considering giving chicken the boot too, but not fish – i LOVE seafood!

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