For years, I haven’t eaten much meat. Mostly only chicken and fish, usually only a couple of times a week and for the most part I didn’t even buy them at the grocery store. But if I was out, I would usually order chicken or if I went to someone’s house I would always eat whatever they were serving. I think the biggest impediment to becoming what I would call a real vegetarian has always been having to be an inconvenience to others because of my dietary restrictions.
In late December, I watched Vegucated on Netflix and decided that I really needed to stop eating meat, for a plethora of reasons including my health, the environmental impact and the way that the animals are being treated.
On January 17th, I stopped eating any meat or fish. I have decided to keep moderate amounts of dairy in my diet but I have significantly cut down on that too (I just love cheese too much to completely remove it!).
Almost two months later, I have realized that being a strict vegetarian is harder in some ways than I imagined. First of all, there are meat products hiding in all sorts of things from most soups being made with chicken broth to gummy worms being made with pork gelatin. There is more careful reading of ingredients than I imagined!
The other really hard part is eating out, until I stopped eating meat I didn’t realize how few vegetarian options there are on an average menu (I’d say usually two). Last night I went out to dinner at a vegetarian restaurant and it was such a treat to be able to eat everything on the menu!
Overall, I think that being a strict vegetarian has been an amazing process. I love getting to look up new recipes to try out and finding new (meat-free) ways to try out old favourites! At home, I’ve predominately made vegetarian recipes so there is not a lot of change there. Now that I’ve taken the plunge, I’ve accepted that I’m going to have to be a pain when I go over to other people’s houses for dinner about my dietary restrictions but what can you do.
Finally, I’m constantly astounded by how many people assume that because I’m a vegetarian, I only eat vegetables. There is a whole wide world of food out there that is neither a meat nor a vegetable!
I’m going to start posting my vegetarian food creations on here! Being a vegetarian has given me a whole new appreciation of how hard it would be to be a vegan, now that’s an impressive feat!
*image from www.vegparadise.com