Last Sunday, I had the idea to become a vegetarian for a week. This was because I wanted to lose more weight and I figured it would be a fun thing to try. At first, I thought it was going to be very easy, but on the third day, I failed. I had eaten 8 meals as a vegetarian but the ninth one was the one that got me.
After posting on Facebook that I was going to do this, I received numerous comments of support and ideas. (Thank you so much for everyone who commented with tips!) I was super excited but also realized with my lack of a kitchen and only the school caf to depend on, this may not be as easy as I thought. The cafeteria has vegetables every day but they aren't really that good (because of the spices used or lack there of). I thought, "well, there is the salad bar", but eating a salad all day long isn't really what I wanted.
Most of my meals consisted of yogurt, rice and stir fry vegetables or a PB&J. I honestly forgot how good PB&J's were until this past week! After eating yogurt, omelettes with only veggies, rice, stir fry, and PB&J, I realized that I was consuming a lot more carbs than I was vegetables. I solely relied on getting rice and peanut butter instead of trying to get my veggies/fruits. My only source of veggies/fruits was in the yogurt (loaded with sugar), or the stir fry that made me cringe when I ate it.
The three days that I was a vegetarian, I took it seriously. I tried tofu, I looked up cool recipes to try, and I watched documentaries that pertained to GMO's, animal products, and food/nutrition. All of these documentaries are available on Netflix under the documentaries section along with food/nutrition.
I realized that being a vegetarian wasn't as easy as I thought it was. I think that if I had my own kitchen, it would have been a lot more fun and interesting. I would've learned how to cook vegetarian meals and had a lot more flexibility in planning my meals. That being said, it is a lot harder to maintain a vegetarian diet as a college student when your main source of food comes from the school cafeteria.
There should be a lot more options for vegetarians in the school system. I'm not saying you have to make everything "vegetarian equipped", but it should have more options than just rice, stir fry, salad, and omelettes. Meat is everywhere in school. At the pod, there are Hot Pockets full of meatballs or ham along with Lunchables with turkey/ham and crackers. When it came to getting a snack, there were a lot more options such as granola bars, chips, and cheese sticks but the temptation of meat was still there.
I feel that if I had my own kitchen, this challenge would have been a lot more reasonable to complete. I can only imagine how hard it is to live this lifestyle or to go further and be a vegan.
Props to all the people out there who have chosen this lifestyle or have had to adjust to it because of health issues. You guys are an inspiration and are saving animals lives one bite at a time.