So if you remember, in December last year, I wrote down a bunch of goals and things that I wanted to achieve in 2016. And one of them was to try out being a vegetarian. My reasons behind it are environmental because of the amount of CO2 the red meat industry is responsible for. Plus the amount of resources such as water that are put in to producing just the grains to then feed the livestock. For me – it’s a bit of a deal breaker. With a number of my friends that are already vegetarians and me personally never really buying much meat… I thought I’d give it a try. And this is what my first month of being a vegetarian has been like.
Like any new habit, it takes a while for it to sink in and become second nature. For me trying to train my brain to not eat meat, I was off to a bad start.
So, I spent NYE in Melbourne and had a pretty great time. I also had quite a lot of alcohol, so you could imagine my mornings started a bit rocky. On New Years Day (DAY 1 of being a vegetarian), I got up earlier than all of my friends and I decided I would go grocery shopping to buy ingredients to make an awesome breakfast. I bought avocado, tomatoes, eggs, haloumi, mushrooms, bread and bacon. But I bought the bacon for everyone else knowing that they would love it and I would be happy with the rest of what I had bought. Breakfast was a breeze… it was in the afternoon that got a bit tricky.
It was about 3pm and I was starting to crash. I was tired and absolutely hungry. My friend and I were walking the streets of Melbourne, hot and exhausted. When suddenly, we came across a Nando’s! Hallelujah! Finally, some delicious food that I need to get me through the rest of the day. So we went in and bought so much chicken, went back to our apartment and went into a food coma.
Later that afternoon we were out to dinner at a fancy restaurant and I was going through the menu and I said to my friends ‘ah that looks good but I can’t have it, it’s chicke-‘ and then I paused. OMG! I had just eaten a massive thing of Nando’s only a few hours earlier! So incredibly embarrassing and hilarious!
So technically my month of vegetarianism started on the 2nd of January. But it just goes to show how hard it is for your brain to be active in reminding yourself that ‘hey don’t eat that, that’s meat’ or to learn a new hobby. It’s hard and it took me a while! But a month in and I’ve pretty much accustomed myself to it now.
Eating Yummy Foods
Because I’ve now taken meat out of the equation, I’m always looking for something to substitute it for my meals. So I’ve been trying to get a bit creative with my cooking. Using lentils, cheeses, falafels, spreads like hummus, and sprinkling meals with chilli and lemon really give whatever it is that I make an extra kick.
Eating Lots of Yummy Seafood
OK so I’m not exactly vegetarian, but pescatarian (a vegetarian who eats fish and seafood). I made this decision because I love seafood and I need to have some sort of balance of protein and it’s a good way to get my Omega 3. Plus, I LOVE stir fries with prawns and I just wasn’t ready to give them up just yet. I try to eat fish at least once a week. Along with eating lots of yummy seafood and fresh fruit and veges, I feel a lot healthier within myself. I know it’s only been a month but I feel that I have a lot more energy than I usually have. We’ll see how this goes long term.
Going out to dinner is generally the only time I have issues with being a vegetarian. I look at the menu and see the specialty lamb burgers and think ‘damn.’ But – the vegetarian options are usually cheaper and jam packed with amazing flavours!
The Down Side
It was quite interesting to see how the people around me reacted to me becoming a vegetarian. There’s a pretty well known stereotype of vegetarians and vegans always telling anyone and everyone about how they’re vegetarians. I do not do this. And neither do my friends who are vegetarians. Just sometimes it comes up in conversation – like ordering food. The negative vibes wore off eventually but I was pretty surprised by the amount of slack I received from a lot of people around me. Well it’s stopped now so I must of convinced them how good it is 😉
So that’s been my month of being a vegetarian. It’s been interesting and I’ve learnt a lot. I started off committing to a month and I’m planning on continuing it for at least another. We’ll see how we go – and of course, I’ll keep you in the loop!
Are you a vegetarian or vegan? Do you have any suggestions on how to keep going and find tasty new recipes? Let me know in the comments below!