Good morning and happy March!

As some of you may remember, back in October I challenged myself to eat a vegetarian diet for seven days and unfortunately, I failed.

Since I was so close to finishing the challenge, and really enjoyed going out my comfort zone and trying new recipes, I have decided to declare this month Meatless March.

meat free

Beginning today, I will not eat meat for the next 31 days. This includes fish!

Below are three benefits of  following a vegetarian diet, that really stand out to me:

  1. It’s much better for the environment — The way that we breed animals for food is a threat to the planet. It pollutes our environment while consuming huge amounts of water, grain, petroleum, pesticides and drugs.
  2. You’ll save money – Replacing meat, chicken and fish with vegetables and fruits is estimated to cut food bills by an average of $4,000 a year.
  3. It’s better for your health — To name just a few health benefits: reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, control your weight, live longer, and build stronger bones.

I’m excited about the challenge and have some great recipes planned!

Anyone else care to join me?

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Knowing that I was not going to be eating meat for a month, I was sure to get my fill in last night.

We made the decision to cook last night after I remembered that I received two new Bertolli sauces to try out as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker’s Program.IMG_9322 I wasn’t in the mood to be creative, so I used one of the suggested recipes for Arrabbiata that came on the box .IMG_9325PORK MILANESE ARRABBIATA

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch slices and pounded thin (we cut the port into chunks)
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 jar Bertolli® Arrabbiata Sauce
  • 1 jar (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained and halved
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon peel

Instructions:

  • Combine bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon parsley and cheese in shallow dish. Add flour to another dish. Season pork, if desired, with salt and pepper. Lightly coat pork with flour, shaking off excess. Dip pork in eggs, then bread crumb mixture; coating well.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook 1/2 of the pork, turning once, 4 minutes or until pork is done. Wipe pan with paper towels and repeat with remaining oil and pork.
  • Meanwhile, cook Sauce with artichokes in 2-1/2-quart saucepan over medium heat until heated through. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon parsley with lemon peel in small bowl; set aside. To serve, spoon sauce mixture onto serving platter. Top with pork, then sprinkle with parsley mixture.

Serves 4

IMG_9333 We added broccoli to the sauce as well for additional nutrition benefits.

And rather than sprinkle the parsley mixture on top, we shredded parmesan cheese.IMG_9338 Overall I give the sauce a two thumbs up. However, it was not spicy AT ALL. And you know we love spicy :)  IMG_9332 I definitely recommend this recipe as well.

*****

Breakfast this morning was a big bowl of scrumptious cereal!IMG_9231Nature’s Path Flax Plus.IMG_9233 With dried cherries and almonds.IMG_9234 And a spoonful of delicious almond butter.

Scrumptious I tell ya.

I happy to say that before breakfast I had a kick as$ workout!

My cardio was 4 miles of intervals on the treadmill.

Minute Speed
1-5 (warm up) 6.5
5- 5:30 8
5:30-7:30 6.6
7:30-8:00 8.1
8:00-10:00 6.7
10:00-10:30 8.2
10:30-12:30 6.8
12:30-13:00 8.3
13:00-15:00 6.9
15:00-15:30 8.4
15:30-17:30 7
17:30-18:00 8.5
18:00-20:00 6.5
20:00-20:30 8.6
20:30-22:30 6.6
22:30-23:00 8.7
23:00-25:00 6.7
25:00-25:30 8.8
25:30-27:30 6.8
27:30-28:00 8.9
28:00-30:00 6.9
30:00-30:30 9
30:30-32:30 7
32:30-35:00 6.5

 

Do you see the pattern? I did 30 second sprints follow by 2 minutes of recovery.

Strength training:

  • 3 sets of 16 walking lunges with 10lb weights in each hand
  • 3 sets of 20 side leg lifts laying down
  • 3 sets of 12 side bends with 15lb weight
  • 3 sets of 20 bridges on stability ball
  • 3 sets of 10 stability ball roll outs

My body is beginning to get used to morning workouts again, and I’m so happy I made the change. I feel like I get in a lot more strength training when I workout in the morning.

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So who’s going to celebrate National Pig Day today?

Kind of ironic that National Pig Day falls on the same day I decide to go vegetarian for a month :)

Enjoy your day!