During the month of January, I partnered up with The Fry Family Food Co. to do a plant-based challenge. I was a little sceptical at first, and wondered whether I would be able to last a month without meat. However, I am happy to say that it wasn’t as difficult as I expected it to be; and in the end I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I even decided I would continue to follow a more plant-based lifestyle!

The first week wasn’t really that much of a challenge. It was more about getting used to what I could and couldn’t eat. There was one day, after a hard day’s work, when I went to the store to get a snack and automatically reached for a bag of biltong. Luckily, my dear friend reminded me that I was supposed to be eating vegetarian. Feeling a little bit guilty about forgetting what I had committed to, I placed the bag of biltong back on the shelf and opted for a bag of nuts instead.

My first week was also filled with dread, when I realised how expensive it is to follow a plant-based diet. Especially when it comes to buying nuts. However, with a little bit of a savvy-smart-shopper attitude, I managed to buy my groceries without spending more than what I usually would. The amount of vegetables in my grocery basket also grew substantially, which I was surprised about, since I’m not a big fan of vegetables. Today, I’m an avid veggie-eater and I actually miss it when I don’t have some form of fresh produce on my plate (my body and skin is pretty thankful too!).

The second week came with its own set of challenges. My friends, family and colleagues seemed as apprehensive about this challenge as I was during my first week going plant-based. I was bombarded with questions about why I was doing this, and how would I survive this, and was I not craving meat? There were a few instances where people would try to convince me to have a bite of meat, often saying, “who would know?” But I stuck to my guns and said “no” every time. I was kind of surprised and proud of myself for saying no. But, I was even more surprised at how easy it was, since I really didn’t feel like eating meat.

9Lives-9Lives-My journey going plant-based for a month with Fry's

During the third week, I realised just how few restaurants there are in Stellenbosch that have an abundance of vegetarian options on their menu. I also ended up having to check restaurant menus online to make sure that they actually have vegetarian options. There were a few nights when my colleagues and I visited our favourite post-work beer spot and I was unsure whether I would be able to eat anything on their menu. Luckily, we usually order a big platter with a selection of tapas, and I was able to at least eat three out of the ten items.

The last week was a little bit rough, as I had an intense craving for a juicy ,meaty burger. I also really wanted to eat a Big Mac again, since the vegetarian burger at Mcdonalds is, in my opinion, subpar. With much pride I can say that I did not give in to my cravings and opted for one of my Fry’s recipes instead.

I also had an amazing lunch at Greenhouse restaurant with a colleague of mine during the last week and chose their vegetarian menu, and let me tell you, it was delicious! I must admit, I had a few bites of her non-vegetarian meals, but it didn’t stop me from enjoying my meat-free option.

Overall, this experience was amazing. Not only did I absolutely love creating new recipes to go with my Fry’s products, but I feel great too. I usually suffer from stomach aches which have completely disappeared. My cholesterol, which used to be quite high, has improved, my skin looks much healthier and I feel much more energised. These are the reasons why I am choosing to continue living a more plant-based lifestyle. I also enjoy the idea that by not eating as much meat as I used to is better for the earth as well, and that makes me even happier.

GIVEAWAY

Keen to go meat-free? I’m giving away a hamper from The Fry Family Food Co. worth R500! To enter, tell me about your favourite plant-based recipe using Fry’s. Drop a comment below or email sayhello@9Lives.co.za and be sure to tell your friends (because sharing is caring)! Entries close 8 February 2019.

Author

Part of the Self Love Club, avid believer in Girl Power and always late, mostly because of my liquid eyeliner.

6 Comments

  1. A few years ago I gave up meat for lent, and ended up carrying on for another 8 months. During this time I fell in love with Fry’s, especially their chicken style strips! Those strips with sweet chilli sauce were the best and even though I do eat meat now, I lead a more plant based diet and there is always a box of Fry’s in my freezer 🙂

  2. The Fry’s butternut balls, falafels and rice and chia nuggets. Nothing delights me more than being able to shave some time off meal-prep on a busy day, and I LOVED that these in-and-out-the-oven (or airfryer) foods fed both me and my family – no making separate food for anybody. Quick and healthy! I pop my falafels into a salad with all the trimmings – some cheese and toasted seeds – we love it!

  3. I would make some delicious wraps including Fry’s falalafels, tahini sauce, loads of veggies and a sprinkle of chia seeds – my favourite superfood!

  4. We eat vegetarian dishes 4 days in a week and Fry’s is very popular..whether its making a curry with soya mince and cabbage, veg lasagne with soya mince, aubergines and spicy tomato sauce or a sweet/sour noodle dish with the soya prawns! But my go to dish is a quick and simple pasta dish..I set my favorite pasta to boil while I open a can of whole peeled tomatoes. Fry up some onions, thinly sliced with a diced chili, thyme and cracked blk pepper.. drop in tomatoes and season. Leave to simmer while you slice up Fry’s spicy hotdogs. Add to the pan, cook for 5 minutes then stir into drained pasta, top with cheese and serve.

  5. Carla M VD Westhuizen Reply

    We are going meat free Monday to Fridays now! (although my husband doesn’t exactly know this hahaha – somethings I am able to trick him with!) We love a good Spag Bol! So I cut up an onion, add some italian spices, paprika, chopped up spring onions, chives and basil from garden. I fry this all up in some coconut oil. Add the Frys meat free mince and some chopped tomatoes. Let it simmer and serve it up with some wheat free spaghetti! YUM YUM!

  6. Fry’s chicken strips chutney
    Fry strips in little oil,and remove
    Add more oil in pot
    Fry onion
    Add 4 grated tomatoes
    2 green chillies
    1/4 tsp turmeric powder
    Curry leaves
    Salt
    1/2 tsp Ginger garlic
    Salt
    Simmer for 10 minutes
    Garnish with coriander after placing in fried chicken strips

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