Monday, 19 June 2017

Going Vegetarian

Going Vegetarian - My Experience + Tips |

Since having a break from my blog, I've been trying to decide whether I want to talk about this subject on here or not. It's definitely not a usual topic of mine, but it's something I've become really interested in and definitely want to discuss with you guys.

One of my New Year resolutions was to cut meat out of my diet. Before Christmas I had managed to cut it down to eating meat only twice a week and honestly, I didn't find it that hard, so I vowed in the New Year to stop eating meat altogether. So since then, I've been a vegetarian.

I'm not going to lie, I have occasionally slipped up and have eaten meat especially in the first couple of months - sometimes there's just a massive lack of non-meat options. But recently I've being doing really well and I'm confident I can keep this up!

Confession time.

I was a HUGE meat lover before going veggie. You name it, I'd eat it. I loved meat on the bone, the fatty bits, rare steaks, the lot. Except fish/seafood, I've never eaten that. I'm also not oblivious to where meat comes from. I grew up in the countryside, I've had pigs on the yard where I kept my horses that were destined for slaughter. I adore animals, but I've also considered eating meat quite a natural thing. So, many people were quite shocked when I announced I was swapping to the veggie side.

So you might be wondering why on earth I gave up meat when I LOVED it. 

Honestly, I think it was a long time coming. I just needed the willpower/knowledge/determination to push me into it. There's a number of reasons why, but I think the most important one for me is the environment. 

Currently, the consumption of meat is just not sustainable. I was so oblivious and ignorant to the damage that the meat and dairy industry does to the world we live in. The more research I did, the more ashamed I felt that I was personally contributing to this. 

Two whole acres of rain forest are cleared EVERY single minute, just to raise cattle or grow crops to feed them. It takes dozens of times more water and five times more land to produce animal protein than equal amounts of plant protein. There isn't a sustainable way to raise animals to meet the world's growing demand.
Source: PETA

I'm not here to lecture you on the causes and effects of climate change, but it's definitely something worth researching. I can't believe how oblivious I was.

There's a hell of a lot of reasons to switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet, and a million blog posts out there explaining these. Please, go read some if you're even considering the idea, and even if you're not, go read them ;).

Going Vegetarian - My Experience + Tips |

Do I feel better for being veggie?

Yes. 100%. I'm not just saying that either. Apart from feeling like I have less of a guilty conscious, I feel healthier within myself too. I'm more aware of my diet, what EXACTLY is in the ingredients of different food (you'll be shocked), and I often opt for healthier versions. It's forced me to try new foods and find new meals I love.

Plus, there's the added bonus of lower risk of heart disease, unclogged arteries and you're saving animals from slaughter and lowering your carbon footprint. I've even noticed a significant decrease in how much I spend on food!

You might think that going vegetarian is really hard. But if I can do it, I promise you can too.

Going Vegetarian - My Experience + Tips |

My top tip would be to ease yourself into it.

Don't go vegan over night, you will seriously struggle. My ultimate goal is to live a vegan lifestyle but I'm taking it one step at a time. Start by cutting meat out of your diet on certain days of the week, opt for veggie options in restaurants (you'll be surprised how good they are), try vegetarian alternatives from the supermarket.

Have a solid selection of go-to meat-free recipes, such as a veggie spag bol with quorn mince, vegetable green thai curry, vegetable pasta bake, macaroni cheese, pizza.

My favourite meat-free alternatives: Quorn chicken nuggets, Linda McCartney sausage rolls, Linda McCartney quarter pounders and Quorn mince. Also M&S veggie Collins sweets are awesome!

Use your friends too, my best friend is a vegan and I can't tell you how many times I've asked her for recipes/tips/suggestions (soz Caitlin!). But I love helping others out, ask as many questions as you need too!

So, what do you think? Are you vegetarian or would like to be? Do you have any advice for those wanting to cut meat out of their diet? Do you have worries about going vegetarian? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Going Vegetarian - My Experience + Tips |

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