Two years! In February 2015 I thought I’d challenge myself and try two weeks vegetarian. Two weeks just to see what it would be like. It was easy… And here I am, two years later without having touched a piece of meat since!
It was weird because once those two weeks were up, I just couldn’t bring myself to buy any meat. I’d been craving chicken during the first week (so my timehop twitter updates told me) but I guess I got over that. So basically a little mini resolution changed my life, and I’d say for the better. Not just because I’m not eating meat any more (I won’t start preaching, don’t worry) but because my diet had a complete revamp. I had to look for more foods, find new recipes and try new things.
I was never adventurous with my food. I mean, I wouldn’t even eat any cooked vegetables until I went to college/university… That was probably one of the things stopping me from turning vegetarian sooner (that, and people) because I just wasn’t sure what I would eat! Turns out vegetarians can eat a lot of foods, and it’s really not as difficult as you’d imagine.
So what have I learnt after being vegetarian for the past two years?
+ Eating out at restaurants/pubs really isn’t that difficult.
There’s always something to eat. Yes there may not always be great choices, but it’s not as difficult as everyone seems to think it is. It seems to be coming more and more normal for a place to have a good few vegetarian/vegan friendly meals.
+ People will still ask you about protein.
It’s true, no one cares about macros or what you’re eating unless you say you’re vegetarian or vegan. Then they’re all of a sudden interested in your protein intake. I do still get this, I don’t imagine it’ll ever stop.
+ It’s getting more widely accepted.
And by that, I mean that there’s just more acknowledgement and less judgement. I come across way may people who are vegetarian now and those that aren’t don’t really care about me being vegetarian. Mention the word vegan though and well, that’s a completely different matter. I don’t know why but people love to hate vegans. (This is of course just my experience with both things… I guess others will come into more criticism and vice versa)
+ I like a lot of foods that I never thought I would.
Beans, lentils, houmous, chickpeas, broccoli, courgette, quinoa and almond milk – to name a few. I wouldn’t have tried beans or lentils (I really hate baked beans) before turning vegetarian, but a girl has got to get protein from somewhere and these are perfect solutions. I’ve also tried like a million veggie burgers made from a variety of ingredients including beans, lentils, sweet potato and other veg. The list is endless with burgers – there are so many combinations.
+ Despite what people seem to think, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.
“Do you never crave…” “Do you not miss…” Nope. I don’t miss chicken. I can’t really remember completely what it tastes like to be perfectly honest. I never liked bacon so I’ve been able to easily live without it for 24 years. People seem to think vegetarian diets are super restrictive, but I mean, I just don’t eat meat. There are SO many other foods out there. Of course there are certain things like sweets, gravy, crisps etc that have ingredients from meat/animals in there that I don’t eat but basically the point is – there is always an alternative to everything.