This year or rather month, I decided to become a vegetarian. It’s something I considered before and even tried once. Tried meaning - I put forth almost no effort at all. I lasted about an hour, realized my mom made chicken for dinner and decided I was too lazy to cook.
A few weeks ago, I decided to give it another go and see how long I could last. If you’re considering the vegetarian diet or are already on one, here’s a list of facts I learned my first few weeks that may help you.
1. It’s not that hard
The whole meat elimination thing - totally not that hard. Let me say this, if you are a vegetarian or becoming one, you obviously aren’t a huge fan of meat whether it’s for moral reasons or taste and texture ones. Therefore, ridding your life of meat isn’t that difficult. I personally am not a huge fan of red meat, and while I eat chicken or turkey I knew I could live without it. Honestly, it was a lot easier than I thought to eliminate meat when I realized how many meals are already sans meat or can do without.
2. It’s easy to get repetitive and lazy
This can happen on any diet whether you’re an omnivore, vegetarian, vegan or what have you, because it’s a lot easier to find something simple that satisfies your restrictions and requirements rather than make a complicated meal every night.(Though that’s not always a bad thing) Considering I live at home, it was super easy for me to avoid the main dish of the meal and just eat the sides. This also led to some meals lacking in substance and a lot of avocado toast, but no complaints about that one.
3. It’s a good time to get creative (and learn how to cook)
Just because meat isn’t involved doesn’t mean the meal has to be boring. After a week and a half of just sides, I finally scoured the internet for some good vegetarian recipes. I also found that this new diet gave me a chance to try new dishes and food. Who knew there were so many things you could do with a sweet potato?
4. It’s not a guarantee health fix
I don’t know why, but I always considered a vegetarian diet an instant health fix or at least a healthier alternative to my omnivore ways. This is definitely not so. There’s a ton of food products out there that don’t contain meat and not all of it is healthy. Just like any lifestyle choice, you still have to watch what you eat and exercise.
5. It’s delicious
Vegetarian dishes, are super flavorful, even more so than meat based dishes which rely on the well, meat, to provide a majority of the flavor. When I started collecting vegetarian dishes, my grocery list contained more spices than anything. This is due to the fact that vegetarian dishes rely more on natural substances, like plants, rather than animals. Take a look at Indian cuisine, a lot of Indian food is vegetarian and it’s amazing, because even though they use basic ingredients, they also utilize spices.
At the end of it all, being a vegetarian isn’t so bad. Eliminating meat from your diet has good benefits not only for you, but for the environment.
Honestly, while I’m not sure if I’ll be doing it forever, a little less meat never hurt nobody. Check in on me in a couple of weeks though, and see if I changed my mind.