On February 3rd, 2018 I celebrated my 1,000 day of being a vegetarian. That's 143 weeks, a little over 33 months and 1,440,000 minutes of my life being changed and I wouldn't change a second of it. I chose to be a vegetarian after taking a sustainability development class at my university. I know that people have had so much more experience than me and have so much to share about their journey, but this is my opportunity to celebrate and share what I have gained.

I'll take a break from my celebratory dancing to share the three major lessons I learned and a few tips and tricks to get you through. lesson number one is as follows: Your reasons for not eating meat must be your own.

You can think someone has a good reason for being a vegetarian but until you have one for yourself you'll always be one of those that file themselves in the group of "I tried it and gave up after a week." or one of those that says "I just can't give up meat." Some do it for dietary reasons and others for environmental and others because the thought of how the animals are treated turns their stomach. No matter the reason, when embarking on this lifestyle journey be sure of one thing; that the decision is made with your personal reasoning and contains some fortitude.

Lesson number two is as follows: vegetarian enchiladas are just as good as the original dish! I use enchiladas as my example food, but really it means that you can still have your favorite foods while being vegetarian! Now don't get me wrong, If your favorite food is steak you are going to encounter some issues. However, with most other dishes it's all about texture, texture, texture! You just need a bean or potato or mushroom or chickpea. The list goes on and on to create the "meat mouth-feel" There are also complete meat substitutes that get pretty close to the real thing.

vegan enchiladas GIF

Lesson number three is as follows: Take it one day at a time. Step by step. How did I make it to 1,000 days? I woke up each day and just made the decision to not eat meat that day. Sometimes when I would be in a tough situation where it would just be easier if I ate meat I would make the decision 'just not at this meal or 'not right now'. I had a reason and a principle I wanted to uphold so all I had to do was make a choice that upheld it. If I applied this to more in my life I'd be a better person.

This is such a momentous occasion for me and I plan to carry it forth on my journey.Thanks for celebrating with me & remember to keep your life as colorful as a bowl of vegetarian food! *insert wink*