Re-posted from NapturalNicole.com

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Curlies!!!

You have all been SO supportive of my healthy changes and I thank you!!!

Some of you have expressed wanting to give Weekday Veg a try and I am SO excited about it! However, many of you couldn’t imagine giving up meat for 5 days- “What would I eat? Salads everyday?!”

Well, here are 6 examples of dishes that not only have NO MEAT but were delicious enough to fool meat eaters, AND KIDS! (can’t use the ‘family wouldn’t go for it’ excuse either! Haha!). I’ve also listed some responses to frequently asked questions I’ve received about the food I eat.

Pictured clockwise: 1. Veggie Fried Quinoa/Rice, 2. Tacos, 3. Flatbread ‘Sausage’ Pizza, 4. Dairy Free Broccoli Mac and Cheese, 5. Shepherds Pie 6. Spicy ‘Beef’ & Mixed Veggies.

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Each meal takes about 30 mins or less to prep (not including oven time) For more details check out my ‘unofficial’ recipe, foods, and healthy journey blog:

Napturally Thin, a NapturalNicole.com site

1. Do you have meal plans, where do you come up with ideas?

I make them up or I Google a favorite meat dish, but put the word ‘vegetarian’ in front of it. I find a vegetarian or meat recipe that’s easy and change it to suit my tastes. Sometimes I just take a dish I always make, and remove the meat. And there’s always just chopping up any veggie, adding salt, pepper, and olive oil and stir frying it. Throw it over veggies or brown rice and you have dinner. I grew up in an African household where we ate elaborate African dishes for EVERY meal. So this style of cooking is 100% new to me. If I can do it you can too.

2. Are you Vegan (no milk, animal anything)?

I am NOT vegan (not that I’m anti). I eat milk, carbs, cheese, yogurt, honey, and other animal byproducts during the week — in moderation. I also eat meat on the weekends.

3. Are you worried about eating too many soy products?

A little. That’s why most of the dishes above are made using ‘seitan’ which is a wheat based grain meat replacement or textured vegetable protein (Quorn style products). I buy them prepackaged from Whole Foods or my local grocery store. Also, this is easier than real cooking! No thawing, no worries of ‘food poisoning or ecoli’ and everything is just chop, slice, layer and cook/sauté/stir-fry. SOOOO EASY!

4. Do you eat carbs (bread, grains, rice)?

Every single meal, in moderation.

5. Do you eat gluten?

Yup. I don’t even worry about if something is gluten free or not.

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6. Do you count calories?

I did in the beginning (like two weeks) mostly because I was worried that I wasn’t eating ENOUGH calories! I could eat a whole mixing bowl of lettuce and veggies, feel totally stuffed, and it would only be like 100 calories! Lol I tried to get smarter about balancing out my foods to make sure I was getting the right nutrients and vitamins with my calories. Since the first day I never eat more than 1700 calories a day (unless I was particularly active, or it’s a holiday or special occasion) and never less than 1200 calories a day. Each portion of each meal I eat is between 400 to 500 calories. I don’t count my snacks (they are always fresh veggies or fruit). Ultimately the weekday veg lifestyle is nothing more than eating healthy food in the right portions, and trying not to be too lazy with exercise — basically what your doctor always said. Putting some structure around it, and eliminating excess meat intake just accelerates the results and has additional health benefits for me.

7. Do you exercise or go to a gym?

No. I do try to get out on the weekends and walk around (even if it’s just the mall! Ha!). I also know that I need to exercise so I can get my booty nice and high, and carve myself some Michelle Obama arms! Hahaha! But before I am ready for that, I gotta take this fat suit off! Haha!

8. Do you follow a meal plan?

No.

9. Are there foods you do not eat?

I almost never eat fast food (McDonald’s kids size fries once a month maybe?). I rarely (twice a month) drink soda (including diet soda), and almost never drink juices. It’s water ALLL the time. My fro thanks me for it! ;) I also don’t really eat candy, ice cream, pastries, or processed/insta food (Kraft Mac, microwave dinners, pastas in cans etc).

10. Are you worried about not enough protein?

No. I eat more complex, healthy, easily digestable protein than most meat eaters. Vegetables have moderate amounts of protein. Vital Wheat, Quorn, and Soy Meat replacement products are all pure healthy protein. And of course, I eat meat on the weekend. So with weekday vegetarian, I’m right on track!

11. What’s your weight, how much have you lost? What’s your goal? When are you going back to eating meat everyday?

I haven’t (and won’t) share my specific weight number at this point- a girl’s gotta keep some stuff to herself! But I have posted a TON of pics from when I started living weekday veg (March 2013) to now. All together, as of today (July 2 2013) I have lost 49lbs. I am not sharing my goal weight specifically, but let’s just say I still have some work to do. As for ‘returning’ to regular meat eating, that will never happen. This is a LIFESTYLE (permanent) change — not a temporary diet. I chose this life so I can be healthy forever and raise healthy children, not to look good for summer. While some may start to get quick results ultimately you’ll gain it all back and then some when you return to bad habits. I equate my new lifestyle with going natural. I never plan on putting a relaxer in my hair, it’s not even an option for my life. It’s damaging and toxic for my body. I feel the same way about eating saturated fats, frequent fast food, and excess quantities of low quality meat. I especially don’t plan on feeding my children this way — it’s as important as providing education and shelter. Returning to the ‘ignoring the fat facts’ lifestyle is not an option anymore.

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If there are any other questions that I’ve missed- leave them below, and I’ll try to answer them ASAP!

Hope this helps, curlies!!!

-N.

Do you have a favorite veggie recipe to share? Share them below!

Nicole is the creator of NapturalNicole.com where she tracks her natural hair and fitness journey.