I did not eat much meat. Billy and I had already embarked on a when-at-home vegan protocol, which we no animal products agreed to buy in the supermarket.
That worked for 90% (biscuits and cheese croissants were found hard to resist), but meat came anyway no more since. I had for myself outside the door imposed no rules, except a plan to eat vegetable or vegetarian.
That often did. I was strong enough to withstand chicken satay, and choosing a veggie burger. Or replace the prawns in Thai curry tofu.
But often managed not to leave meat . At parties for example. With chorizo sausage. Or Italian ham. Or divine shrimp salads.
And when we went to India. And because I was in Thailand and Myanmar several times in the previous year had to spend the night on the floor next to the toilet , I decided to do it differently. No meat for three months . To see how you like it.
And it pleased. I ate my last piece of meat on February 3 when my mother left and February 5, 2016 to India. These are the lessons I learned in my first year as ‘vegetarian’.
1. Vegetarian food proves easier than ‘eat less meat’
Who would have thought that! For years I have my reduced meat consumption . But until I ‘gave’ it really was always a tradeoff I had to make.
That is no longer necessary.
- In the hospitality industry you as vegetarian often less choice. I check the vegetarian options and make my choice in a few seconds.
- People sometimes feel sorry for me that I can not take the double cheeseburger. But I am truly happy with pasta with mushrooms, because I love vegetables.
- I do not have to meet with myself whether I did or not for the chicken satay will go today. No meat is not meat, was easy.
Decreasing meat sounds easier, because you always keep a blow to the arm. But I noticed that my life harder . Because if you just eat meat, why would not you go for the double cheeseburger. Why would you yourself ‘compromising’ and go for vegetable quiche?
Exactly. Now I’ve made the choice for myself, I am well satisfied with the quiche.
2. My surroundings had to adapt more than I
Yes – I did not expect. I was always of the department: I will not harass others with my diet. But now I wanted to eat a full-time vegetarian, I had to ask people to consider me .
And because I already 80% vegetarian ate, I thought this would not be a problem. Well, I was wrong. Some people around me really had to get used to the idea.
And it is understandable. It has some fun to just eat all the same. And while some people feel the choice I might make for myself as a threat to their own lifestyle.
Anyway. It is what it is. And I do not have to discuss. I let them be as they are and I keep to myself. “I feel better if I do not eat meat, so I do not eat.”
3. I’m less worried about food
Sure, you can eat a terrible diet as vegetarian. But I always did my best to eat lots of vegetables. And now the menu is meat, I automatically get even more fruit inside.
Automatically as I try not to eat too much dairy and eggs. And the result is that I do to make me less pressure on my diet. I must now do my best to get in a few vegetables . And that feels pretty nice.
4. remain on weight is much easier
Meat contains many calories unwise. All animal products are free calories. Cheese, cream, milk and eggs are usually richer than vegetable products that can replace them generally (such as almond milk, legumes, avocado and tofu).
And because I eat more vegetables now I get more fiber. I also eat more legumes, what literally helps me when the next meal will have less hunger .
I keep on weight easily . And meanwhile I eat just around my belly. Because I’m not a fan of hunger.
5. I became less ill
I know, this is anecdotal evidence. But I put it there anyway between, because it strikes me. The last time I was sick was in Delhi – because … well, Delhi.
But since then I feel healthier than I’ve felt in years . I have pretty sensitive intestines, and have even had a few years suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). But my gut worked in 2016 smoother than I can remember in years.
And a big Halloween party hangover (pfff), I have not been sick. I have gesnotterd one or two days, and I once took a nap because I was a bit listless. But that was the day then over again.
6. Vegetable cooking is becoming easier
Yeah dude – piece of cake. The point is: we all cook a few dishes rotating. And when you have adjusted the carousel once with vegetable favorites, then it takes hardly bother.
I get other products at home than before. And I make other recipes. I used to do on my cheese bread, now I do have hummus, fresh spinach, flaxseed and maybe some noble yeast.
Years ago I threw kilo blast through my chicken curry. Now I choose chopped mushrooms or tofu . If I’m pulling in granola with yogurt, then I choose yogurt plant.
Really – it’s easy. It’s just getting used to and adapt . But I do not even think about it anymore.
7. I do “flesh” not to give up
Some people are dead set against it, but I’m crazy about meat substitutes. Not for every day. But just for occasional – as comfort food.
I feel just happy and thankful that I can experience the thrill of chicken satay chicken without a point first. Or as fast to put a delicious burger together who never mooing.
Meat substitutes are less healthy than legumes or mushrooms, but less unhealthy than the real thing “(less saturated fat and calories). And sometimes it’s just nice to eat the food I grew up with (like cauliflower with fresh sausage), without anything having to die.
8. There is more room for compassionate
I notice that my attitude toward meat has changed.
Where I used to be simply seen as ‘food’, I see it now for what it is: bits of dead animal. If the body of a being who has not chosen to die.
Now you will not have me ‘MURDER’ hear you scream if someone puts his teeth into a beef burger (I understand that the whole issue is more complex and nuanced than that) – but I really look with new eyes at the meat department.
I notice that there is more compassion came towards life in all forms . For years I wanted to actually eat meat , because I totally disagreed with the practice that play behind the scenes. But I could not, and that made me a hypocrite. And I knew all too well.
That guilt made all cloudy. And is now the most noise out of the way, there remains compassion. That feels nice. Because it better enables me to make others good as they are – even if they just eat meat.
9. Vegetarian food is safe in the kitchen
No meat bacteria in my kitchen. I just rinse my knife and cutting board and use again. And leftovers last longer. And that’s fine. Because since Billy started blogging food we always food in the fridge and the freezer.
Do not worry about salmonella, diarrhea or other mischief . No increased risk of cystitis because we cut chicken in the kitchen (ew). The only thing we have to keep in mind are lentils, and farts that follow.
But you know what I learned? The more lentil farts, the happier you are good intestinal bacteria . And if they really do not stink – so I’m only just grateful that my friends working there within so hard to keep me healthy.
There you have it. The first year of a vegetarian is full of fiber and surprises . I look forward to year two!
Start with vegetarian food?
You can do it in two ways: cold tofu or phasing.
I got my meat consumption (and the consumption of other animal products) phased out for years, making the final transition was not so shocking.
But as I mentioned earlier, our minds eventually makes life a little easier.
However, in this article you will find tips to eat the transition to less meat (or completely vegetarian / vegetable food) to make it as easy as possible.
Are you looking for inspiration?
Billy so shares veggie comfort food on billybilly.nl . He places many recipes that we eat at home, and keep everything as simple as possible.
And my good friend Sarra off during my trip in India on a completely plant-based diet. She blogs such as vegan pastry chef at Simply Delicious Green with vegan remakes of The Great British Bake Off recipes, and other divine baked I can taste often.
Finally, of course Merel of Green Girls I occasionally present with vegetable verorber in Rotterdam.