Tuesday, 28 July 2015

How To Be A Vegetarian

I'm back with a slightly unusual post today which is partly due to the number of people who have asked me over twitter about vegetarianism and partly because its something I genuinely wanted to talk about. I actually know a couple of people who have thought about cutting meat from their diet but don't really know where to start. I went vegetarian around march this year and was a vegetarian for part of my teens too, and although it is hard to make the transition I definitely don't regret the decision nor do I 'miss eating meat'. I personally am not trying to turn people away from eating meat I just thought this would be helpful to those out there who are thinking about making the transition and would like to know how to do so in the healthiest way possible. Please note also that I am a vegetarian NOT a vegan and I still eat dairy products...

The reasons that I went vegetarian might be slightly different to some people's but I wanted to improve my health and add more natural goodness to my diet. By going vegetarian I eat about 6x as much fruit and vegetables as I did and barely snack on chocolate or crisps like I used to when I ate meat. I also seem to be able to tone up and lose weight more quickly when I'm working out as a result of eating more healthy fats from things like avocados and coconut oil! If you want to feel, and look good then I would say cutting meat from your diet could be a good place to start although you might not necessarily need to cut it out entirely. Since making the transition I feel more energized, and my hair and skin is in much better condition too from all the greens I've been eating! And yes it is true that there are unhealthy veggies out there living on a diet of fries and coke but research actually proves that the majority of vegetarians are much healthier than the average meat eater. Also, don't let people tell you that veggies don't get enough protein because actually evidence says that most people living on the western diet consume far too much protein and there are so many plant based types of protein that are so much healthier than eating meat!

Know your reasons for going vegetarian

If you don't have a good and solid reason to go vegetarian then you aren't going to stick to it. You need to know exactly why it is you want to change your diet whether its for economic, ethical, or health reasons. There literally are so so many reasons why people are and do become vegetarian, but only YOU know why you want to live this way too.

Make the transition slowly

If you are someone who eats meat almost daily then you aren't going to suddenly become vegan overnight...start with one type of meat and gradually cut everything out one by one. Also don't be afraid of things like soya mince and Quorn products; these will probably be your best friends in the beginning when you still aren't quite sure what to eat in place of meat. A lot of people think that being vegan or vegetarian means being really strict with yourself but I think its about minimizing the effects of animal products on our health, economy and of course the ethical implications too so for example sometimes I'll drink cows milk and then other times I'll try and stay away by having almond or rice milk instead.

Do your research

If you watch programs or read literature or blogs on the subject it will help you to understand why so many people choose to live like this and could also potentially help you to decide whether it really is for you or not as well as giving you inspiration for your vegetarian journey. One documentary in particular that really helped me was Vegucated which is still available on Netflix and really is such an interesting watch; I would recommend watching it even if you have no interest at all in being a vegetarian.

Learn to cook a few vegetarian dishes

If you don't know how to cook at least a couple of great tasting meals then this is never going to be a viable option for you. Get yourself a good cookbook, learn a few easy recipes and take everything else from there. One of the best things about becoming a vegetarian for me was that it has completely changed my cooking habits and I can cook delicious meals so quickly now, and its no where near as expensive or time consuming as everyone makes out! A little brown rice with some bean chilli costs barely anything and takes just half an hour to cook.

Find your local vegetarian restaurants

As someone who loves to eat out this was a complete necessity for me! Although most restaurant's will now include both vegetarian and vegan options on the menu they often aren't all that exciting so my advice is to go to a strictly vegetarian restaurant. I'm lucky that there are so many good, award winning places to eat amazing vegetarian food here in Glasgow and I always find that even meat eaters who accompany me cannot believe how amazing the food is.

Don't get me wrong I definitely don't think this type of diet is for everyone but if you are thinking about it then I'd definitely say go for it or at least give it a chance! There are so many amazing health benefits associated with being vegetarian and I have also saved money on my weekly groceries as meat can be so expensive! I'm honestly so happy that I ever did this and I genuinely can't see myself eating meat again for a very long time if ever.

I would love to know what your thoughts on vegetarianism is in the comments! Whether you have done this yourself or are thinking of making the transition please let me know all about it!


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