1. Veggie doesn’t mean healthy
Two days in, and all I’ve eaten are Croque Forestiers (glorified cheese toasties with mushrooms), a few packets of Skips, a slice of cake (thank heavens for office Birthdays) and bowls and bowls of cereal. What have I learned so far? Being vegetarian does not mean being healthy. With the crucial exception of bacon (mmm, bacon), most of my favourite food comes meat free: crisps, chocolate, cake. Not to mention cheese. How would I even function without cheese?
Veganism definitely isn’t my way forward.
Since I’m pretty lazy and hate cooking, I initially found evening meals the hardest of all at the beginning of this challenge. While I would usually whip up a quick Spaghetti Bolognese or chicken stir-fry (or just buy a ready meal if feeling especially lethargic), the challenge forced me to think and prepare my meals in advance, something that I’d never especially done before.
2. Getting creative is the most important thing
Shout out to BBC Good Food for the sheer beauty of their site. My favourite activity before dinner over the last month was to select ‘vegetarian’ and ’10 minutes or less’ and just like that, I can spend just a little time on veggie dishes as I would my usual meat fest.
Favourite meals that are easy to make
Cheese & pepper pitta pockets
Halloumi stuffed peppers
Chunky vegetable soup
3. It is a great money saver
Meat is money (probably because it’s so bloody delicious), so I noticed over the month that my food shopping came to much cheaper than usual. Buying fresh vegetables and fruit with meal ideas in mind so you are able to use the same ingredients meant a week of cheap food. Honestly, knowing I had enough money left over at the end of the month bought me a new pair of shoes.
4. Eating at restaurants is delightful
Something I noticed about being veggie whilst eating out is that most places are keen to aid your vegetarianism. They’ll come to you first with your veggie treats, help you pick and choose what is best for you, bring the food with little ‘V’ sticks so you know you’re not accidentally about to ingest a cow. It also made me try things I usually would never think of ordering. For example, have you ever tried a veggie taquito? Because dear God.
5. To conclude? Don't be so quick to judge the veggie life
All in all, I enjoyed my month of vegetarianism. Like quitting smoking, the first three days were the hardest to stay away from meaty goodness, and eating nothing but veg did seem like an impossible feat. However, after varying my meals and trying some new things, I began to enjoy the challenge of making tasty food, and I also liked that I wasn't eating animals anymore. I don't know why, but after a week in the idea of eating chicken, lamb or beef even started to seem a little odd.
?I didn’t need to eat meat, and I kind of enjoyed not eating meat: it broadened my horizons and introduced me to food I’d never usually try. So now the month is over? I understand Vegetarians a lot more, and kind of want to stick with it. It'll all depend on how I react next time a Sunday Roast is wafted in my direction...
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