Life: Eating Vegetarian #1

For the past six months or so I had been toying with the idea of eating vegetarian, and I finally took the plunge just over three weeks ago. I wasn’t sure whether to post about it but I thought it would be good to share my experience so far, and I’m actually thinking of making it a series sort of thing to show how I’m doing and what I’ve tried!

To start with, a bit of background about me: I’ve never been a huge meat-eater. My meals consisted of chicken, chicken, and more chicken. Occasionally I would eat a burger, or sausages, but most of the time I ate chicken. Or tuna, I guess. I’ve been eating quorn/meat-free mince since before I started university, because I hated cooking actual mince. So really, it hasn’t been difficult to cut out meat. I’ve had a couple of cravings (nandos, sausage rolls…) but it wasn’t enough for me to go buy them.

+ So I ate my last bit of meat on the Monday before Shrove Tuesday. I decided to cut out meat as lent began, because I thought the idea of a ‘challenge’ would help me stick to it for the first month or so, and make it easier to convert. In high school I cut out cookies for lent – didn’t eat them again for 3 years. Not sure why, but you see why I thought this would work… After a few days I decided to aim for two weeks and then maybe buy meat. When two weeks had passed, I just couldn’t bring myself to buy any meat, and well, I still haven’t eaten any!

+ The hardest thing for me actually has to be stock cubes. I cook my bolognese with beef stock, and my quinoa with chicken stock, and changing those to vegetable stock just hasn’t been as good. You can really tell the difference! I will admit that three weeks in, I have gone back to my regular stock cubes. I had lots left in my cupboard, and as a poor student, I don’t want to waste them. Once they’re gone, I’ll only be buying vegetarian friendly stock!

+ Something I’m also struggling with a little is soy ‘meat’ things. I’ve had soy ‘beef’ strips and burgers, tried a few sausages and I didn’t really enjoy them. They just had a weird taste. I did buy the supermarket own brands though and I can definitely say that the Quorn sausages were a lot nicer! I could live with those.

+ I’ve been watching some videos on youtube, and I’ve bought myself a new vegetarian recipe book so I’m looking forward to trying out some new things! Cooking has never been something that I’ve really enjoyed, so I’m hoping this will get me to have more fun with it. Two things that I’ve been really loving are the Quinoa veggie ‘fried rice’ that I found on Damn Delicious, and spinach and mushroom quesadillas that I found on The Pioneer Woman Cooks. I don’t really stick to these recipes, but just add whatever veggies I have.

Bit of a text heavy post, but I’d love to hear some of your stories/tips! I’m definitely hoping to keep writing about my experience – eating out will be a challenge because I can be quite picky anyway! I’m also on the lookout for some lifestyle blogs with vegetarian/vegan owners… Just for some every day inspiration! If you are one/know any, link me! (:

  • Saoirse T. E. Sterling

    I would love to be a vegan. Personally I find the vegetarian/vegan distinction really annoying: either go all the way or don’t, but then again that’s slightly hypocritical of me so I’ve been trying to see reason behind it.

    Sadly though, I am the pickiest eater ever and if I did not eat meat I would not eat at all. I have so much other crap to deal with that even trying to expand my diet or change it has come to nothing. One day, when my life is not so full of crap, I may try this out, but for now I shall have to remain a carnivore.

    I did, however, buy some Quorn burgers to try out. I had a burger for the first time in YEARS at a really posh hotel and loved it so much, but I don’t like burgers: couldn’t tell you why. Hopefully these will be nice :)

    Having said all of that: bacon and egg sandwiches. Oh goodness, bacon and egg sandwiches.

    Sterling, XLeptodactylous

    • admin

      Yeah, I can totally see that point of view and it is something I think about. For me right now however, going straight to vegan is too big of a step. It’s a huge change, and even just being vegetarian brings a load of things to think about when eating! Being a little picky myself, I would struggle at this moment in time to be vegan and eat well. And I’ve never been a bacon lover! :3

  • Beka

    Hi :) I went veggie last year and about 6 months ago I went vegan. Since my reasons were ethical, it was actually quite easy to transition to vegan. The downsides: can’t order a cheese pizza, have to read every label ever, and it is difficult to eat out. Upsides: order a Papa Johns pizza without cheese and you can eat more without being as full xD, I am eating way more vegetables, and when you find a vegan/veggie restaurant they always have a super atmosphere :) I would definitely recommend going to VegFest (UK) to find different foods and to experience the atmosphere :D Good luck in the cooking ^.^ xox

    • admin

      I’ve definitely been eating more veg! I have been trying to cut down on cheese because I do eat a lot… Eating out is hard, and I really need to find a good vegetarian friendly restaurant near me so I can try more things! Will definitely have a look at VegFest, thanks! (: x

  • Cat

    I can’t possibly imagine going veggie or vegan, so good on you for trying it out! x

    • admin

      Ah thanks :3 As I said, I’ve never been a huge meat eater so it hasn’t been too difficult for me. I never thought I would do it tbh!

  • Good luck on sticking to your new diet, Katie. I’ve been vegetarian for over ten years and while I struggled a little at first (I used to eat chicken every single day, sometimes more than once a day, so it was a sometimes a struggle to come up with other meal ideas!) I now can’t imagine ever eating again. I know how healthy and happy I can be with no meat in my diet so I don’t see any reason to go back to not being vegetarian. I’ve flirted with being a vegan but haven’t committed yet – perhaps in ten years I’ll feel the same way about being a vegan as I feel right now about being vegetarian!

    x

    • admin

      Thanks! Even now, it has only been a month and I can’t imagine eating meat at the moment. It’s weird for me :3