Becoming a Vegetarian | My Top Tips

Over the course of the last month, I have gone from a carnivorous human to a vegetarian. In doing so, I have cut all animal flesh out of my diet, as well as products of their bodies i.e. gelatine and so on.

Whilst I was already eating a relatively vegetarian diet prior to the switch, there were certain things I hadn't considered. I've spent the majority of my time over the last month looking at recipes, ingredient lists on packaged items and surprising myself with my newfound knowledge.

I've got some pointer, if you'd like to read?

First off, make sure you know the reasons why you want to make the dietary switch to become a vegetarian. This may sound simple, but considering how different the diet actually is, you need to have a firm understanding behind you of the reasons you're doing it to ensure you continue on the path you chose. For example, I chose to become a #veggie for long term health reasons, and a growing consciousness of the world around me. If I didn't have the firm belief that this lifestyle would help me, I'm not sure how well I would have stuck at it so far.

Then, tell everyone. At first I thought it was going to look like I was bragging about my new lifestyle....

"Oh yeah, I'm now a vegetarian. Are you still eating animal products, harming the planet and killing yourself? Yeah? Cool!"

However, I quickly learned that if I wanted to still socialise and stick to my guns, I needed the people around me to know what I was doing so they could support me when I wavered. Recently, we had friends over for a daily regular take out night, and one of them happily had a veggie pizza with me over the meatier options. She was thrilled, because her partner never wants to have the veggie one. Nothing to be scared of, people appreciate you being honest ra

Write a list of ingredients for recipes before you go to the store. I spent a good few weeks walking around the supermarket for hours, reading all the ingredients to see if I could eat it. 75% of the time I could, but I was really surprised by some products that I didn't expect to be non-veggie friendly. I mean, did you know Worchestershire Sauce has anchovies in and PARMESAN HAS ANIMAL RENNET?? I am heartbroken.

Make sure you're eating really, really good food. Being a vegetarian, I've learned, doesn't mean you have to eat salad and tofu every single day. Nor does it mean you can never have bangers and mash again, or go out to eat with friends. Most restaurants now have a vegetarian/vegan meal, and the food is generally pretty awesome! Take the time to learn how to prepare new foods at home, ensuring you find a way to still eat your favourite meals without using animal products. For example, if you LOVE chilli, there are a number of ways of creating a vegetarian version. Soy Mince or Quorn are really good meat substitutes, as are lentils as a mock meat. I try and steer clear of mock meats for the most part because I'm not sure they're the best for you, but there are some brilliant ones out there if you're willing to test them out!

If your partner is eating meat, don't be afraid of it. There have been some instances where Sam and I have both wanted to enjoy dinner, but Sam is craving meat. That's fine, for me. You may be someone who has completely turned off to the idea of meat and won't stand it in the house, but if you're not, just whack another pan on the stove and cook their products separately. A great example of this is bangers and mash. Simply cook all the sides as normal and then just cook the soy sausages and meat sausages separately. This way, its super easy. Alternatively, if you have banned the purchasing of meat, whenever you go out to dinner, don't begrudge your meat eating companions a juicy steak or chicken once in a while. Remember, it was your decision, not theirs!

These are my main pointers from experience. Sam has helped me make a really smooth transition, and I can say the only time I really craved meat over this past month was on a Sunday when I reaaaallly wanted some roasted chicken.

Do you have any tips?

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