Going Veggie

A few weeks ago I became a vegetarian.

I wrote a long, long post about vegetarianism and veganism this time last year. In a nutshell, I think meat farming is bad for the environment and morally wrong. I also think that western humans eat too much meat and, whilst we may have been meant to eat some meat, we no longer need to. 

I guess I just wasn't ready to make the change at that point. So even though I promised to make an effort, nothing really happened. I guess I kept lying to myself, thinking that I would buy only ethical meat... start cutting down on meat in general... Realistically I was eating just as much meat, and since the vast majority of my food purchases were last minute at Tesco I wasn't purchasing with any nod to ethics either. Eventually this August the discrepancy between how I feel and the food choices I was actually making became too much. So now I'm a vegetarian. Maybe a little a pescatarian. I haven't quite labelled myself yet (though I haven't yet had any fish). 

The first week I just ate a ton of cheese. Which obviously for both moral and health reasons isn't exactly ideal. I also made an early veggie error- pesto isn't vegetarian! Luckily, we buy cheap pesto, and it turns out that our jar had no real parmesan in it and was therefore vegetarian-appropriate. Crisis averted. There were some things that really made me sad- one day I was completely craving marshmallows... but most mallows aren't vegetarian?! Nor are Haribo.

The following weeks have been much better. I've been eating a lot of vegetables with complex grains. Both lunch and breakfast have been exceptionally easy- I was hardly mainlining the bacon before anyway. I have also been using mostly nut milks in coffee, as even though I'm currently not cutting out dairy or eggs I'm aware that both industries have their major faults. I am struggling a bit to get in protein (I've been tracking my intakes). Don't get me wrong, vegetarians in general don't struggle for proteins, but I currently am and I'd like to keep an eye on it. So if anyone has any advice about protein-rich meals, I'd love to hear it!

Avocado and hummus roll, with a Friday brownie!

The number one thing I was most afraid of was social judgement. The first people I consulted were Jemma (@jemmasaid, thank you for your help!) and my friend who is vegetarian- people I knew would be on board. I was very, very worried about my S.O. He's a committed carnivore, who has always seemed slightly suspicious of people that don't eat meat. However, since the moment I tentatively broached the subject he has been brilliant. Our dinners were getting a bit stale before (having too much of, 'a meat plus sweet potato and veg'). Now we have tried a range of other things, and meat is almost added as the side dish for him. He has even agreed to try vegetarian chilli! 

As for my mum, she didn't bat an eyelid. Again, I was expecting a little more resistance given the potential for complicating family dinners, and vegetarianism's slightly 'hippy' reputation. She actually said she's been trying to eat more veggie food herself! There will be more people to talk to over time, and I do feel bad that I may be inconveniencing people. I get especially worried about the SO's family events- I don't want to be the pain-in-the-ass girlfriend! 

But for now I'm really happy in the decision I made. I just wanted to document that feeling.

------------------------------------------------

Are you veggie? Or do you know any?

Any advice, recipes, comments?

12 Comments:

  1. Well done on being so strict! I started doing this at the beginning of last year but stuff like marshmallows (which I hardly eat at all, maybe in rocky road) I don't bother about, i.e. I would never read the label to check for "suitable for vegetarians". Also, I give myself one day a month for meat or fish - cannot resist a good fish supper :) Or a nice burger from a local farmer which also helps regional economy. (e.g. at Gosford Bothy Farm in East Lothian they have wild boar burgers!)
    This rule also comes in handy for family occasions where it really isn't feasible to insist on being vegetarian since that concept is far less developed in Germany and many of my older relatives don't even know what that means.
    Anyway, my main reason is environmental (CO2, food security etc) and so I am not really bothered about whether parmesan is vegetarian.
    As for protein: I like to integrate stuff like quinoa, pearl barley or couscous into risottos or just fry with veg. This in combination with getting a veg box has made vegetarianism a lot easier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally understand the day off, some hardliners will think thats bad but realistically if you are dramatically reducing animal products in general then Go You!

      Thanks for the recommendations!

      Delete
  2. Read this with interest as I've recently decided to stop eating meat for similar reasons. I've also thought about it for ages but between pregnancy, breastfeeding and sleep deprivation actually making the change has been slow to happen. Even now I wouldn't describe myself as vegetarian as I'm making changes slowly so sinply no meat first of all. It's only been a couple of weeks so can't provide much advice as yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely slow changes are awesome- different people respond to different methods, so I found just stopping maybe a little easier than cutting back. If you find cutting back easier, that's awesome :)

      Delete
  3. Brill! I'm loving the namecheck too ;)

    I've found that going vegan has helped with the protein thing. You know how your natural reaction is to stay away from nuts and avocado because of the high fat content? Chuck that idea out the window. Avocado on everything! Nuts in every meal! Seeds through your bread! Spinach straight from the bag (or like, wilted into your normal concoctions). Tofu is good but I also eat a lot of beans. And apparently overnight porridge with chia seeds and peanut butter has like 15 grams of protein. And is delicious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the support Jemma :)

      LOVE an avocado on top of things, but yes nuts all over town! I will have to try that porridge, sounds amazing :)

      Delete
  4. I am a die-hard meat-eater but I fully respect vegans and vegetarians in their choice. I will honestly say that I do feel bad eating meat because I know it's not great for the environment and animal welfare in this country is terrible. That said I try and make ethical choices where I can. I think what you're doing is very commendable. I only wish I was as strong! I just love ribs and chicken too much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To be fair I am 1005% sure I will miss steak a whole ton!

      Delete
  5. Looking forward to following your journey. I've been veggie for 10+ years and vegan for last five, so give me a shout anytime if you have any questions or need any advice. My fave protein sources are beans/lentils, nuts, seeds, hemp protein, nut butters, even grains, leafy greens. I add seeds/nuts to porridge, or make smoothies with hemp protein/seeds. I like salads with beans/lentils/homemade hummus, for dinners I make stir fries, currys, chilli, veggie burgers. I really like tempeh too although I don't eat it that often.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tips Lauren, those all sound great :-)!!!

      Delete
  6. Will be reading your updates with interest! Especially as so many of the top athletes have been going veggie / vegan. Will be interested to hear whether it affects your sports in a positive way ... I might be tempted!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Sarah, I will be doing updates posts for sure :). I didn't know until yesterday that Serena Williams is vegan?! Quite surprised!

      Delete

 
Strava