Thursday, 28 February 2013

Guest Post

Do you have meat-free nights?

Many Australians grew up on meals of “Meat & Two Veg”. The idea of eating even one meat-free meal a week can be a bit daunting. Where to start? How do you ensure you’re getting the proper nutrients? But probably most importantly, why bother?

Eating just one meat-free meal a week can make a big difference. Since adding meat-free meals to our weekly meal plans I’ve noticed a reduction in our grocery costs – meat is expensive! It has also forced us to be more creative in sourcing recipes and we are trying meals that we’ve never tried before and learning new cooking techniques.

There are also the health aspects. A recent BBC study* found that adding an extra portion of unprocessed red meat to someone's daily diet would increase the risk of death by 13%, of fatal cardiovascular disease by 18% and of cancer mortality by 10%. That’s a little scary! By simply reducing the amount of meat you eat by one portion a week you can make a big difference to these statistics.

And then of course, there are the ethical considerations – with the affects on animal welfare and the environment. For many, these are important considerations yet the idea of going completely vegetarian is too daunting. By simply reducing the amount of meat eaten each week can help to ease these considerations. By buying ethical and sustainable meat during the rest of the week can also help.

A big deterrent for many people is actually knowing what to cook. Luckily, the internet is full of great vegetarian recipes and ideas. There are many fanastic vegetarian blogs (The Veggie Mama is one of my favourites) and a lot of the big recipe websites have great vegetarian sections. Most of the recipe magazines that can be found in supermarkets and newsagents are including vegetarian recipes now and of course there are fantastic cookbooks on the market, catering for simple, every day vegetarian recipes or something more fancy.

In a few weeks I’m going to be taking part in the Meat Free Week Challenge, a chance to raise some money for animal welfare and practice my vegetarian cooking at the same time. I encourage you to check it out.

If a whole week of meat-free meals seems a little too much for you, check out Meat Free Mondays, an inititave started by Paul, Stella and Mary McCartney (yes that Paul McCartney). There’s a cookbook plus lots of great recipes and support on the website.

* statistics from here

Cassie blogs at The Flying Drunken Monkey about her constant struggles with housework, her attempts to be more organised and her little monkey, Lily. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter

Friday, 8 February 2013

FFS Friday 8 Feb

So, two weeks have gone by since my last FFS Friday. Was that because last week had no FFS moments? Nah! Of course not. But I just figured I'd give you a break.

Went out for tea Monday night for Darling Husband (DH) and my mum's birthdays. Not FFS

Got one drink the entire time we were there. FFS (First world problem, I know)

Left feeling like the Sahara Desert. FFS

Went to the gym nice and early Tuesday morning but could only do half a class FFS

I have a dodgy foot and it still hurts, over a week after first doing something to it. FFS

Woke up Wednesday morning with a cold. FFS

Thursday was date day with DH while Darling Daughter (DD) was at daycare. Not FFS

I was sick for date day. FFS

I ate nothing but crap yesterday - starting with Maccas for breakfast and cinema popcorn for lunch FFS

Made me feel even worse with my cold FFS

But my goodness it tasted bloody amazing.

Only a short one this week. My head is too congested to even think of anything else.

It's Friday peeps, so it's the usual link up with Dear Baby G for FFS Friday!

Dear Baby G

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Daycare Blues

Darling Daughter (DD) had her first day at daycare last week. When Darling Husband (DH) and I dropped her off, she got straight down on the floor and started playing with all the toys. We stayed for about 10 minutes and when we left, we picked her up for a kiss and cuddle and she wanted to squirm out of our arms.

I'm lucky that we are in a position where she only goes one day a week and we can ease her into the hours. So the plan was to only leave her there for four hours.

We dropped her off at 8 and I have to admit that I really struggled to leave. I was all brave until I got to the car and I started getting teary. DH just doesn't seem to understand why I felt so bad though. 

So I drove home in the pouring rain and parked in my driveway and sobbed. The weather suited my mood perfectly. Why was it so hard? Why did I feel like I was leaving her? Why did my heart feel like it had shattered?

I came inside for about five minutes and decided that it was too hard to hang around all her toys. So what did I do? I went to the shops. I got birthday presents sorted, I had a coffee (which was free due to a voucher), and just wandered aimlessly. Then I decided to hit the other shopping centre for a while. 

Finally at midday, I went back to pick her up. Only to find that she was asleep. Deflated, I came home, again. Wrapped the presents I bought, went to the toilet in peace and then drove the long way to the daycare centre. At 1pm she was awake and had just done her very first painting. 

The smile I got when I walked into the room cleared all the rain clouds and I felt whole again, with my little girl with me. 

I'm still emotional over it and we've only got 2 more days before she goes again.

Please tell me it gets easier?!

Today I'm linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT (I Blog On Tuesday)