When I decided to become a vegetarian, I did so with my own agenda in mind. I decided to quit the consumption of meat products for my health and wellness, after a long battle with digestive issues. Bloating, cramping, and intestinal issues consumed my entire day, what I chose to eat, and when I chose to eat it. Because of this battle, I decided to test out variables that could alter this, and while limiting my dairy intake helped tremendously, I was still lacking the proper health I needed. So I tried becoming a vegetarian, and I've loved every minute of it.
Trust me, it was an adjustment, to say the least. Finding resources to be vegetarian in my town was by far the hardest part, but I have learned that the most important thing to have is a support system that understands exactly what you're dealing with.
What once was a self-absorbed reason for quitting the consumption of meat, quickly became a real conflict. I have become consumed with the idea of bettering our earth and the animals we share it with. I've learned that my small (and easy) decision to cut out meat, has not only shaped my view of health and wellness, but the world around me. I have learned it really isn't necessary to consume meat as my source of protein, and that I can be just as healthy with forms of protein such as tofu and establishing vitamin regimens that work for me. I have also learned that my taste buds have changed, evolved, and most importantly decided that I do not crave meat products.
But that's not all. I have found amazing social media influencers that have pushed me to want to do more with my new lifestyle. Promote cruelty free products, destroy the vegetarian stigma, and establish a name for vegetarianism. I've learned to be more aware and alert of the advertising and media portrayal of the necessity of meat in our lives. But most importantly, I've learned to share a lifestyle with people who usually wouldn't dream of venturing into a world of unknown territory. I have learned how to feed my body and to make my body feel healthy and at its best in months. My body has continued to thank me, and it will do so as I continue this journey. I have found so many amazing alternatives food alternatives (fake meat, chicken, and yummy snacks like corndogs) that fulfill my protein intake, craving for meat (which has subsided as time evolved), and products that make my body feel better after consuming. Seriously, I haven't been deprived of anything, I mean seriously, I can still eat a juicy (vegetarian) burger, and a hearty (fake) chicken salad!
made by yours truly
So, will I continue this vegetarian-based lifestyle into my college life? I think so, at least.
Reflecting on my two-month journey, I have only positive things to say about a vegetarian lifestyle. Is it for everyone? No. Should everyone at least try to venture out of their strictly animal product-based lifestyle at least occasionally? Definitely. When I tell people about my new journey with food, and how I use it to fuel my body, I make sure it is known that to me, it isn't just a "fad diet" or a "cool new thing to try out", to me, it is a lifestyle. A lifestyle I plan to evolve into a world-changing epidemic. I say to you this: be completely you, and be completely proud of your beliefs and how you view food, and most importantly do not be afraid to try new things (they could form a new life for you).