Well, fellow omnivores, herbivores and friends, it's April now which means that my experiment known as "Meatless March" is now officially over.
I held off from ingesting animal protein for a few April days, until Monday night when I whipped up a batch of Lighter Beef Chili and I'm not going to lie: it was tasty.
Here's what I learned in March:
1. I adore vegetarian cooking. From the handful of new recipes I tried throughout the month, I found a few that I will be coming back to again and again. I love how my kitchen smelled of garlic and peanut oil almost daily. I loved discovering new things to cook with (quinoa…who knew?). I love the idea of using plants and grains to create a nourishing, delicious meal.
2. Meat isn't required to make an awesome meal. My family has never been super heavy on the protein as the center of the nightly plate, and luckily I have a hubby who also agrees. (Or at least he knows where the nearest White Castle is for a six-pack of sliders for a pre-meal nosh.)
3. I thought by not eating meat I would magically lose more weight. I didn't. In fact I gained, but I can't blame that on vegetarian cuisine. No. That would be from numerous bowls of Honey Nut Cheerios, for starters. And Honey Nut Cheerios are loved by meat-eaters and veggies alike!
4. I will change where and how often I buy meat. While I am still an omnivore, I'm pledging to only buy meat from stores who buy from farms supporting healthy animal welfare standards, including no hormones and antibiotics. This will mean either my local co-ops, Whole Foods or local farms.
5. I will commit to two nights of meatless main meals for my family. Of course, this doesn't guarantee that everyone will eat them and be happy, but that is what Cinnamon Toast Crunch is for.
6. I love oatmeal. I realize this doesn't flow with the list. I just really wanted to tell you that.
I have been eyeing the Project Life concept by the lovely Miss Becky Higgins since its original launch. I've been watching what my friend Ali's been doing with hers as well, and I finally decided I wanted to jump in and play with this weekly concept.
I've got The Monthly, which is my own approach to documenting my family's memories each month, but I have fallen off the upkeep, and presently find myself 5 months behind (gasp! say it's not so!).
So when my box arrived last week, I jumped in feet first and got down to the business that is Project Life.
Here's a peek at my first week.
I added in one extra page protector from We R Memory Keepers, and simply cut it in half to be able to add a few more birthday photos of my girl.
My favorite save of the week? Capturing Facebook Status updates from my various family members. I used the Mac app "Grab" to do screen captures, then compile them into one Photoshop doc to print. I think this is a cool idea for saving a bit of everyday life from our online worlds. (Okay, so maybe I'm more prolific than the rest of the family when it comes to Facebook. Still, fun idea.)
So far, so good. I ended up printing all of my photos at home on my trusty HP Photosmart 8750. However, I decided to place an order for some Ilford Gallerie Smooth Pearl 4 x 6 photo paper. I can't deal with printing all of my photos on 8.5 x 11 and trimming. I'm needing to simplify the process and 4 x 6 home printing sounds good to me.
I will keep you posted on my thoughts with this project. I like the idea that already, it's keeping me a little more aware of what's going on in our lives, especially how I can incorporate more of the daily ephemera of life.
And I'm remembering to take more pictures. Ain't no complaints on that one.