I haven’t eaten meat for six months now. I told myself one day, yep, that’s it. I’m going vegetarian. And, surprisingly, I haven’t looked back.
It’s hasn’t always been super easy, but it actually hasn’t been anywhere near as difficult as I thought it would be either. Nonetheless, there have definitely been a few things to learn along the way…
Transitioning made the whole thing possible.
It started with leaving meat off our weekly shopping list to cut costs. Then we decided to only eat meat on weekends or when we went out. Then my boyfriend went vegetarian and I set myself some 30 day challenges to see if I could consistently go without too. And then, eventually, I felt confident and comfortable to stop eating meat altogether.
Not feeling forced or rushed into making any sudden decisions is the reason I was happy to make the choices I have, and it’s also how I’ve been able to stick to it since the day I made up my mind.
Online menus are a must.
Although most restaurants do offer veggie options these days, there’s no guarantee they’ll actually be good. You might find yourself stuck with yet another bean burger or vegetable lasagne – both great, sure, but it gets a bit boring after the millionth time.
Researching menus online before going somewhere is an absolute must these days. If I can’t find one, we ain’t going!
Cheese > everything.
People ask if I feel healthier since giving up meat and the honest answer is: no.
Partly because not eating meat has nothing to do with how healthy your diet is, but also mainly because, since becoming veggie, cheese has pretty much become my answer to everything. Pepperoni pizza becomes four cheese pizza; chicken pie becomes cheese and veg pie; spaghetti bolognese becomes cheese and tomato pasta; a BLT becomes a cheese toastie… You get the idea.
It’s the easy option, and it’s also bloody delicious, so I’m not really complaining.
Mealtimes do take some imagination.
When you’ve grown up in a “meat and two veg” environment at the dinner table, it can take a little imagination to keep mealtimes interesting once you start leaving meat off your plate.
Because I love being in the kitchen I quite enjoyed having a new challenge but, over time, it’s become much easier to adjust. It’s all about making smart swaps and thinking outside the box to create food that you and your family will continue to love.
Looking for some inspiration? Check out some of my favourite veggie meals to make at home.
I haven’t once gone hungry.
“Vegetarian? What do you even eat, rabbit food?! lolololol.” Well, no, obviously not.
Look at me. Look at my blog. Look at the NAME OF MY BLOG! Of course I’m not going to follow a diet of lettuce leaves and quinoa. Just because I don’t eat meat anymore, don’t doubt for a second I haven’t found new ways to stuff my face whenever I feel like it.
There are so, so many options available now that cater to meat-free and plant-based diets; burgers, sausages, bacon, chicken, steaks, you name it and there’s a veggie alternative out there. I don’t miss out on BBQs, roast dinners, takeaways, meals out or any of that good stuff (thanks Linda McCartney 😉).
With the right mindset, I can achieve things I never thought possible.
This is something I definitely learnt about myself when I decided to become a vegetarian.
If you told me just a few years ago that I’d make a free, conscious choice to no longer eat meat, I would never have believed it. I would’ve said I don’t have the willpower, I’d miss out on too many foods I love, I’d never be able to stick with it, bla bla bla.
But I’ve proven to myself that I can stick with it and I do have power over my food choices. I am able to resist things, I can turn certain food down, and I can set myself a goal and see it through.
Now it’s time to take that new revelation about myself and apply it to other parts of my life, because I know that I can.