Monday, September 10, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - September 10

It's been exactly 1 WEEK since starting my plant-based diet of trying to eliminate, or at least reduce, meat and dairy!

The results have been wonderful!  I have not eaten any meat and my dairy has been very limited to possibly two little creamers I used in my coffee.  I did have some Kashi crackers on Saturday, but pretty much everything else I ate included only fruits and vegetables or something I made from scratch at home, so I knew what was going into it, like bread and muffins.  :)

Friday through Sunday were challenging and I had lots of opportunities to eat bad...and believe it or not, there were several family members encouraging me to as well.  :/  I got through it though!

The question I am getting from just about everyone, is "How will Funny Bunny get calcium if she is not drinking milk."  Please leave a comment if I am leaving something out, but here is a short list of foods that provide calcium:

Daily vitamin
Calcium fortified OJ
Varieties of Tofu
Fortified cereals and breads
Green leafy vegetables
Soy milk
Beans, Nuts, Grains 
Some fruits

Remember this is a child who could live on PB&J, macaroni & cheese, hot dogs, hamburgers, and steak.  How is cutting out milk and eating tons of fruits and veggies not better?  Let's not worry about just calcium and look at the big picture though.  I am really trying to do my best researching this and think we are all getting a much more balanced menu than what we were eating before {Greasy Tacos, Pepperoni Pizza, Burgers, etc}.  Don't you think?    

If you'd like to read more about a plant-based diet and the problems associated with dairy and meat, you can visit The Free McDougall Program.  About the 5th page he starts talking about calcium specifically, but the whole document is worth reading.  It's a nice and quick summary of everything I have been learning about. 

Here are some of the meals we ate last week and our thoughts:

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili - We all LOVED this!!  Definitely making it again!

Rainbow Stirfry - We thought it was kinda bland. I'll be looking for another one.

Pizza crust - This was very good and easy to make and of course you can put anything you like on it.

Here are our dinners for this week:

Spinach and Artichoke Pie
Vegetable Crock-Pot Pot Pie
Easy Crockpot Lentil Soup
Burritos with Spanish Rice and Black Beans
Vegetable Pizza with this Pizza Crust

Here are some snacks we are going to try:

Ridiculously Easy Pineapple Sorbet
Banana Date Walnut Muffins

If you have any easy plant-based recipes I would love to hear them!


Amy Nelson

We are dairy free, gluten free, and nut free at our house. (By choice, not necessity). My daughter is 2 and has never had dairy. We get calcium from the things you listed, but mostly rice cheese and coconut milk. She loves both! I am actually going to be eliminating all animal products from our diet this week so I hope you post more! :)

Our Homeschool Reviews

I don't think I have ever heard of rice cheese. Would a normal grocery store carry that or do you think I would need to go to a whole food type store? You'll have to keep me posted about eliminating meat. So far it has not been hard when we are at home because I am not buying it and cooking it, but hubby and dd will still eat it if given the chance when we are out. Baby!

Growing In God's Wisdom
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Growing In God's Wisdom

Whole Foods is pretty much where I've bought all our rice cheeses at. I'm not sure where else you could get it. Are you going to increase different types of vitamins like B and such? I've heard people say they needed to up their vitamins when eating plant based because some have gotten sick, loss hair etc. do to lack of certain things. I find it exciting to hear other peoples journey to eating healthier. Wish you all the best! (Btw...I had to delete the first comment to edit it)

Our Homeschool Reviews

I was just reading about B12. Here is what McDougall says on his site {the link is in my post} I am not following his plan, but thought it would apply to anyone who is eating plant-based.

There are 13 essential vitamins. Eleven are made in abundance by plants. The two that are not produced by plants are vitamins D and B12. You should get all the vitamin D you need from sunlight – and B12 can be gotten from a supplement. (I tell pregnant and nursing women, and people following my diet strictly for more than 3 years, to take five micrograms of vitamin B12 each day to ensure that they are getting an adequate supply of the vitamin.) Both vitamins are stored in your tissues for long periods of time.

Amy Nelson

It depends on what part of the country you live...but if you have a Kroger near by, they have a fantastic natural foods section. That is where we get our rice cheese. :)

I am interested in the vitamins...I am hoping to be pregnant soon and want to make sure we are both getting what we need! :)


Spinach! Those leafy greens are high in calcium, as you listed, but also in iron. This is something I carefully watch for myself, especially when cutting out meat.

Just a thought....The idea is to get healthy, naturally right? By what you eat, and don't eat. Unless you have a family history of calcium-deficiency (osteoporsis or the like), then you and dd should get enough calcium naturally. My personal research on this found that generally, we can eat foods that are naturally high in calcium, together with light strength training, and our bones should stay in good shape. The same goes for the growing kiddos.

HOWEVER, our pediatrician said no way, kids need milk, (but he's old school). Talking with doctors who take a more holistic approach seem to agree with the former. Again, just something to think over :)

Also, I think the same goes for any essential nutrient, vitamins included. Keeping a balanced plate, rotating your fruits and veggies, should give you a wide variety of those vitamins. Or if you find something you're lacking, research it to see where its naturally found.

Good Luck! I know how hard it is to get the family on board! I'm going to try our your spanish rice and bean burritos!

Our Homeschool Reviews

Donna, I agree! And we had the spanish rice and bean burritos last night and they were really good!!

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