a peek inside the fishbowl

22 Jun, 2015

21-day Vegetarian challenge: day 14

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Challenge me, challenge you|Recipes and Food

Someone asked me if this veg challenge has been hard. The short answer is no: it hasn’t been hard. To be perfectly honest, there’s only been two times I’ve missed meat. (But more on that in a moment.)

One person called me out on eating too much processed food recently. I guess you can say that my All-bran buds, veggie burgers, chips, and PC mini-naan breads are processed, but overall I think I’ve been eating ok over the last two weeks. (I’m tracking it right here.)

Related: one thing that I will never understand is my true weight. Perhaps this is an issue that comes with having a digital scale. When I weigh myself it’s at the same time of day, but I seem to fluctuate five pounds within the span of a day or two: between 140 and 145. I don’t know if it’s me, my scale, or what.

A note about those veggie burgers. I picked up Boca brand burgers recently and I think they’re my new favourite. Someone on twitter asked me where I bought them. I assumed Rainbow Foods – and said so – but then Rainbow Foods replied to say they don’t actually carry Boca burgers. I am having a total brain fail. Where in Ottawa did I buy them?? (Help!) I could have sworn I got them at Rainbow!

June 21 #dailylunches - veggie burger

It was Father’s Day this weekend and it included two meaty meals. One was on Saturday and it featured BBQ ribs (by special request), the other was breakfast sausages on Sunday. These are both meats that I enjoy.

So on Saturday I made my own veggie kebab in lieu of the ribs: halloumi cheese with red onion and red pepper. I doubled up on the cheese in an effort to overshadow the ribs and it worked. Eating is such a communal activity, isn’t it? One passes heaping plates of food that are thoughtfully prepared: here, take some. Let me feed you. It is a loving act, and to remove yourself from the ritual can be a little sad. (Lesson: it is depressing to feel like you are missing out. So prep something that will make you happy.)

On Sunday we had homemade waffles with sausages, so I just loaded my waffles up with a double helping of fresh fruit salad. The fruit salad was so lovely that it distracted me from the breakfast sausages.

You know what meats I’d miss if I was a strict vegetarian?

  • bacon in all forms
  • butter chicken
  • BBQ’d ribs
  • chicken wings
  • excellent salami
  • turkey, in sandwich format (e.g. post-Thanksgiving)
  • saucy meatballs
  • pulled pork

The rest I could probably do without. What about you?

5 Responses to "21-day Vegetarian challenge: day 14"

1 | Misty Pratt

June 22nd, 2015 at 1:17 pm


I would miss ALL OF THE MEAT. Which is weird, because I’ve always tended to eat more vegetarian…until I had kids and became anemic, and now red meat is my saviour :) But I could do without factor-farmed meat, that’s for sure!! (p.s. reading over your list and seeing your daily pics, I think you eat better than 95% of our population…processed or not!)

2 | Claudette

June 22nd, 2015 at 2:39 pm


I’d miss meat too, red meat in particular. When I choose pasture fed red meat I enjoy the taste, like meat balls in my spaghetti sauce, they gotta be beef. I have been in both a meat-producing and egg-producing chicken factory farms and would drop that type of meat first if I went vegetarian. No chicken, but red meat and fish. lol

Having said that, I commend you for doing so well. Especially during a bbq event with meat!! Congratulations.

You know, while you were doing this veg thing I did a “no sugar no wheat” thing…and lasted a day here, a day there…sigh. It all comes down to planning, doesn’t it. If I planned better and had things ready in the fridge, I would manage to last through these types of challenges better (I type this as I eat a cookie. BAD ME.) :)

Looking forward to more of your anecdotes, and keep going, you can do it! You’ve inspired me to maybe look at posting about my daughter’s ‘no dairy for two weeks’ challenge to test for dairy sensitivity at her naturopath’s request. No ice cream in the summer for a 7 year old…that’s gonna be fun. :)

3 | KL

June 22nd, 2015 at 5:47 pm


I LOVE Boca Burgers. When I lived in the States I bought them at Whole Foods. I was thrilled to see them in the past few months at both Loblaws and the SuperStore. :)

4 | andrea tomkins

June 23rd, 2015 at 9:15 am


Ah! Thank you KL! That’s probably where I picked them up!

5 | Dee

June 30th, 2015 at 3:45 pm


If you do this again, you can get veggie sausages for your breakfast. Give me a heads up and I’ll get them for you – my pusher lives in MTL :)

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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