This week I’ve got something a little different for you… I figured I’ve gone on enough about my own reasons and experiences in being vegetarian so far, and what would be interesting is hearing someone else’s thoughts. As I’ve only been vegetarian since February, it’s definitely interesting to hear from people who have been there for longer – like Heather’s 11 years! So, read on!
A Vegetarian Lifestyle
I have been a vegetarian for the past eleven years so I started when I was a child, it wasn’t a choice I really thought about to be honest but I knew I just didn’t want to eat meat anymore – I didn’t need meat/fish to live and to be healthy. Also I became a vegetarian for moral reasons, I think that eating meat/fish is morally wrong but that is just my personal opinion!
As I said, I was basically a child when I decided and naturally my parents and family thought it was a phase and that I was being fussy…after eleven years, I don’t think it is a phase and I don’t think I will ever eat meat/fish again and that is my personal choice. I am so glad that I live in a country where I’m able to choose what I want to eat and that there are so many alternatives on the UK market for vegetarians such as Quorn.
Initially when I first became a vegetarian I just ate pasta and fatty foods which isn’t too bad as a child and teenager (although it isn’t a diet that should be encouraged by any means) but I did struggle finding new things to eat for the first five years or so. When I started cooking properly for myself, I found new uses for quorn and new sources of vitamins such as healthy leafy greens which I adore with pasta and on pizza!
There are so many healthy, yummy vegetarian recipes out there, although to be honest I haven’t found one vegetarian cookbook that I like so maybe just stick with the internet for your recipe ideas! My personal faves include: homemade veggie pizza, lemon meringue pie, creamy pasta with lots of green, leafy vegetables then sweet potato fries with a rocket salad and fried egg *drools*, oh and egg fried rice with crunchy veggies.
Up until a few weeks ago I was a vegetarian and now I am a vegan (well 95% of the time) as I wanted to have a healthier, more varied and less fatty diet. I bought the cookbook Isa Does It which is the best cookbook I’ve ever bought – it is packed with super tasty vegan recipes that have made me step out of my comfort zone in terms of techniques and ingredients and I’m SO glad I bought it as I don’t think I could have become vegan without it.
This ‘vegan experiment’ was only supposed to be for one week or two at the most but I can now see myself sticking with it in the long term (with the occasional non-vegan, but still vegetarian, foods on certain occasions). I have made vegan meals for friends and they have loved them and my dad has loved the vegan recipes I’ve made too – my parents have both said how much healthier and varied my diet has become so instead of the restricted and minimal view of veganism, it’s gone the other way for me as my diet is far more plant based and there is much more variety compared to my not so super healthy vegetarian diet of the past few years.
If you are thinking about becoming a vegetarian, I would say that you should do it in stages as it is a massive change and your body might not adjust well if you just cut out meat/fish all together in one instance – the same goes for being vegan as it was a big change for me as dairy was a large portion of my diet but thankfully the change of diet was easy and quick for me.
Vegetarian and vegan food/diets do have a bad reputation of being strict, minimal and boring but it is the opposite – there are so many meat alternatives out there as well as lots of dairy free products too. Tesco even make a range of dairy free products now. Yes, some vegan products are a little harder to find and only available online (there seems to be so much more choice and products in america and also in the store Whole Foods) but it is worth it for a better diet, in my opinion.
I’ve got to agree with a lot of what Heather has said. Being vegetarian makes you more aware of the foods you’re eating, and I’m definitely benefiting from the different meals I’m having. My dad has since said that my food now looks so much more varied, healthier and better, and this is from someone who lived on chips and beans until he met my mum, and still isn’t adventurous with food… Trying it in stages is a good move – maybe even just doing a meat-free Monday for a while!
So yeah, thanks to Heather for sharing her thoughts! Hope you all enjoyed a little different insight.