Skip to main content
1 week meat free - All Woman - Jamaica Observer
All Woman

1 week meat free

FEELING sluggish, the numbers on the scale climbing, I realised a few weeks ago that I had to take action to get my body back. I needed to lose some weight — goal 15 pounds — but exercise alone wasn't cutting it. In fact I felt bloated, tired, irritable and annoyed all the time, and I decided to make a change.

I love meat — beef, pork, chicken — especially pork, which I suspect was the culprit behind me feeling tired all the time. I couldn't pass up a good pork chop, so would I survive?

For week one, I decided to cut meat from my diet completely, and see if it made a difference. Here's my journey.

Weight check:

Height: 5'6”

Starting weight: 145 pounds

Ending weight: 143 pounds

Goal weight: 130 pounds

Day 1

I planned lunch and dinner, since I don't usually have much for breakfast. For breakfast I had a cup of tea and a banana, then proceeded at lunch time to my office cafeteria to see what was on offer. That day I chose chicken soup without the meat. For dinner, I opened a can of chick peas I'd had in my cupboard, and did a coconut curry chick peas meal, with a side of jasmine rice, and a salad. That filled me up quite fine.

Day 2

I'd stopped at the supermarket the day before to stock up on some vegetarian options, so that was in my dinner plans. For lunch I brought pasta to work, served with just marinara sauce. I had that with a bottle of coconut water.

Dinner was an experiment – I wanted to try jerked mushrooms with brown rice. I prepped the mushrooms as I would chicken, and sautéed them with onions, adding some jerk sauce. This was pretty good, served with the brown rice and some fried ripe plantains and a slice of avocado pear to take the edge off.

Note that breakfast, like the day before, was just a cup of tea and a fruit — a Jimbilin. I snack throughout the day, when I'm peckish, on trail mix or raisins.

Day 3

Lunch today was sweet and sour tofu from the canteen — I couldn't believe it wasn't meat! I didn't take rice today, but instead got a couple pieces of pumpkin and sweet potato.

Dinner was spaghetti and veggie meatballs. I found the meatballs quite dense, and difficult to cook, and just a couple filled me up. Prepared like regular meatballs and spaghetti, you can't really tell the difference in taste.

Breakfast was a cereal bar, and coffee.

Day 4

By day four I was craving real meat, but I didn't bow to the pressure. Pork and beans was on the lunch menu at work and I almost cried, but just got rice and peas with some pork gravy, and a generous helping of raw vegetables. That helped a lot, as I didn't miss the meat at all, in retrospect.

Dinner today was interesting — cauliflower delight. I prepped the cauliflower florets like I would chicken wings, soaking them in egg wash and then coating with a flower and cornflakes batter, frying lightly, then it was into the oven for 15 minutes, doused in barbeque sauce. For the second time in a week, I couldn't believe I wasn't eating meat. That was served with brown rice, and was absolutely delicious.

Breakfast, by the way, was a boiled egg and a slice of toasted brown bread.

Day 5

Two more days to go, and I'm thinking that I could get used to this.

Breakfast was another egg — scrambled this time — with brown bread, and coffee. Lunch would be leftovers from my cauliflower success story, and dinner — some veggie strips I'd bought at the store.

This one wasn't so good — I sautéed the veggie strips with a vegetable stir fry mix, but it made me nauseous after eating, so I threw out the rest.

Day 6

Still slightly nauseous from the veggie strips struggle the night before, breakfast was just coffee and an orange. Lunch was soup from the canteen — red peas meatless soup — but I got a healthy serving of ground provisions and dumplings. Dinner today would be another stir-fry with just vegetables this time.

Day 7

The last day of my diet was bittersweet — I didn't want to stop the diet, but I also wanted to try something new. Breakfast today was a cup of tea, toast and butter. Lunch was some pasta shells with butter, and dinner, a veggie burger.

The burger was quite good, and I topped it with a fried egg and some coleslaw and sweet potato fries.

I weighed myself the morning of day eight, and I noticed a two-pound difference on the scale. I had done no exercise the entire week, so imagine how remarkable my loss would have been, had I incorporated exercise too!

Next project: cutting out white rice, flour and white bread for a week.

Debbi Spence, a mother of two with a community natural juicing business, is currently studying for a master's degree in Nutrition & Dietetics.



1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper · your email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus
Sorry, no question available