By Kerri-Ann Jennings , May 24, 2011 - 4:04pm
Several staffers have signed up for the Meatless May Challenge. This week, I'd like to introduce you to Sophia!
Where do you live? Burlington, Vermont
Role at EatingWell? Business Development & Web Marketing Coordinator
How long have you been at EatingWell? I started out at EatingWell as an intern in the spring of 2010, after graduating from Mount Holyoke College, and joined the team full-time in January.
How do you normally eat? I normally eat a variety of different things with my all-time favorites being Mexican, homemade maki rolls and trail mix. I love my fruits and veggies along with a serious (almost) obsession with Greek yogurt. Peanut butter also makes its way into my diet very regularly. I have a very busy schedule working two jobs so it varies on how often I have time to cook at home and prepare full meals. I truly enjoy times when I have a night off to stay home and cook for friends. On those nights I like to try out various curry dishes or throwing together an “everything but the…” salad.
Why are you doing the Meatless Challenge? I am participating in the Meatless Challenge because I wanted to see if I could really go an entire 30 days without meat and deal with my gluten intolerance at the same time. So far it has been alright but since it is the beginning of spring and everyone is firing up their grills, I have been sorely tempted to hop a fence and invite myself to an evening BBQ. The challenge has really made me get creative with ways to get my protein and to be healthy about it. To stay meatless and be mindful of avoiding wheat I have made many Mexican-inspired dishes while relying on yogurt, fruit and rice cakes with peanut butter to get a nice breakfast.
Random fun fact related to you going meatless: I was nervous about committing to the meatless challenge for May because it coincided with my plans for training for long-distance races this summer. I was worried about not having enough energy and feeling hungry 30 minutes after eating. However, those fears are buried as I did some research about vegetarian runners and found that what I thought was quite the opposite of what was true.
I also think it is fun to have a different mentality about this challenge. It’s not a ‘what CAN’T I have today’ thought pattern but more of a ‘what can I try that is different/new?’ If I am having a tough moment deciding what to eat then I go on a recipe hunt. I’ve spent a lot of time skimming through EatingWell cookbooks for fresh ideas for my meals. It’s been a great support tool to have along the way. The Vegetarian Taco Salad  has become my default favorite recipe for this challenge thus far.