Meat Dodging Week 4 – a minor slip

Sunday –

img_4298Awoke in Marrakesh to find breakfast waiting on the balcony again. I could get used to this. Set yogurts, fruit, OJ and a sort of potato pancake. Then scrambled eggs to follow.

Took a bus tour to the ancient olive groves (bus tour is rubbish, just get a cab) and sipped on freshly squeezed OJ.

Then headed to the main market which was like something out of a film. Monkeys on chains (sadly), snake charmers, fruit sellers, dodgy handbags, local handicrafts and beggars everywhere. Kept expecting Indiana Jones or 007 to run through in pursuit of a villain.

We haggled a bit and drank some freshly pressed pomegranate juice and bought a massive bag of nuts to munch on.

img_4277The main cafes in this area are on the roofs of the shops up narrow staircases and easily missed. We stopped at one of the few that had meat free options and I had falafel and an abundance of veg, pickles and stuff I could barely recognise and what should have been a salad but was more like cous cous with veg mixed in.

For dinner we picked the cabaret show at the Buddha Bar. Same owners as the London venue, with dancers and oriental food. I picked vegetable dim sum to start, decent enough and proved that with enough soy sauce you have no idea what’s in a dumpling or gyoza.

Main course was tricky. Nothing on menu appealed and language barrier made getting anything special request a push. In the end I went for prawn noodles and let the wife eat the prawns. Her beef in black bean looked good and I grudgingly tried a few bites when she couldn’t finish it. My first meat in three weeks. 😱 It tasted fine but didn’t make me want to transgress further. I’ve sort of gone off meat which is not something I thought I’d ever say. Be like admitting to going off breathing. Also realising that most meals are about the spices, sauces and seasoning so whether that’s stuck on a bit of meat of a bit of veg makes little difference. Except asparagus. That can still fuck off.

No running today, but maybe 8 mile of walking.

Monday –

Hotel breakfast again with scrambled egg.

moroccan-lamb-tagine-2-500x484After a wander around the palace we popped to the market for lunch options. Again most were very meat based, or vegetable couscous again. Wary of a further Satan’s testicle I gave into the easy option and ordered olive pizza whilst wife tucked into a lamb tagine. Definitely finding meat free options are a bit carb heavy without forward planning. I may turn into a potato of pizza base.

cf3b6579-b084-4e11-b322-dc88d6c82ae7We spend the afternoon at a roof top bar drinking beer in the shade and thinking how much better than a normal Monday this was.

Back at the airport for the flight home, veggie options again were poor so went for cheese roll. It worked out better value to get with chips, to add carbs to the carbs….

No running but about 7 miles of walking.

Tuesday –

Back home and it’s cold. 5k with dog before leaving for a site meeting in Glastonbury (the town not the festival sadly). Traffic poor so just a cereal bar I found in the boot for breakfast.


Gave in on way home to a late lunch. Nothing in M&S, Greggs is closed. Went to McDonalds for the veggie burger, feeling a failure as I ordered but beyond the point of hunger where you can make sensible choices. It was either that or eat a passing chaffinch.

4 mile tempo run with the Redway Runners. 4 miles at just under 7min/mile pace but hard work. Got back intending not to eat dinner to make up for poor lunch but was kids leftover Mac’N’cheese that looked too good and I inhaled it.

Wednesday –

Working from home due to a poorly son. 9 mile run in the pre-dawn morning and gradually getting some half decent pace back.

Breakfast granola with yoghurt.

Lunch was a Quorn chicken slice sandwich. Tasted much like chicken to be honest. The dog liked it too.

Dinner of spinach, tomato and feta pasta salad

Thursday –

Morning 5k with dog. She jumped up and bit through the poo bags I had on the lead to use. Then did a massive poo. Whilst I attempted to clear it with a shredded bag she rolled in fox poo. So now we’re both stuck by the river with excrement on us. Great. Dogs are really awesome and not the least bit annoying. I nearly drowned her.

Breakfast granola, and then a dentist visit 

Lunch of Quorn chicken sandwich again, and then accidentally inhaled a packed of Percy Pig sweets I found in cupboard. Not the best balanced diet.

img_4351Made the kids a quick noodle dinner before dropping at Guides. Joined the Lakeside Runners for a 10 mile run. Started slowly then after some dropped off at 3 miles to take a route back I spent next 7 hanging onto Chris at a pace that was a bit more effort than it should be.

Back home the wife and I had vegetable gratin.  Like a fishcake but veg in place of the fish. Tasted ok with some sauce.

Friday –

Morning 10k in woods with the dogs. Apple & banana breakfast. Lunch of cheese and onion sandwich and banana. Dinner was toasted cheese balls and arancini rice balls with beer. Double cheese was not intentional.

Saturday –

img_4364Should have been up early for footie dad duties but boy was poorly so stayed in bed. Nipped out for parkrun with dog with peanut butter bagel on route. Lunch of scrambled eggs. Dinner was Quorn chicken with extra protein noodles made by wife, hunger pangs later on so had crisp snack in front of telly under excuse of carb loading for the next day race.

Sunday –

haretortMarathon day. Normally would have McD breakfast before a marathon. First two as a veggie I skipped this and suffered from lack of energy (and a hangover I admit) so called in and had Egg McMuffin, hash brown and coffee.

Marathon went OK for first 5 mile lap (apart from mud so thick I couldn’t stay up). Lap 2 I changed shoes and ran well, catching those that had passed me during wardrobe change. Lap 3 was OK but started to flag with heavy legs. Fuelling with coke, water, Jaffa cakes, banana and mars bar sections. Final two laps were hard work, unsure how much the mud was a factor.

Managed 3h54. Last year I narrowly missed 3h30. Still it’s marathon 138ish done and dusted and I think my 97th sub4hr.

For dinner we had a full Sunday roast. I ignored the beef and had parsnips, peas, cheese cauliflower, sage and onion stuffing, Yorkshire pudding and roast spuds. Didn’t really mind ignoring the meat. Post run hunger kicked in an hour later and cheese and biscuits were called for.

So that is 4 weeks of trying to be a veggie, with one transgression whilst abroad.  That’s likely more days than I’ve been meat free cumulatively the last decade or more.

Things I’ve learnt – 

  • The range of veg I eat is limited but grows each week. Desperation will do this. I expect cannibals start the same way. Run out of cows and eat the neighbour’s pet. When they complain eat them too.
  • Most veggies aren’t that bad. But seriously some have no reason to exist and are an affront to big bang/Darwinism/god etc.
  • It’s hard travelling with work and being rubbish at planning meals and prepping ahead.
  • I like stuff in carbs. Breaded stuff. Sandwich. Stuff in pasty. I don’t much care what the stuff is so meat substitutes have featured fairly heavily. Most taste as good as the real thing.
  • Veggie options are all too often just pasta or pizza. Even more carbs than even I want.
  • Sauces, pickles, spices, flavourings all help hide the vegetables. 
  • A veggie diet does seem to be helping me lose weight (was down to 82kg before the excesses of holiday).
  • My running is definitely on a lull currently. I’ve covered over 3000 miles this year, and some hard ultras so how much is tiredness, how much is diet is hard to judge. 



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