1. You will get a lot of questions. When it comes to discussing the fact that I'm a vegetarian, I've found two types of people. The first are those that want to question and argue against vegetarianism. Thankfully I haven't found myself in too many of those situations and if I do I usually just tell them that I don't eat meat because I like animals and I didn't want to eat them anymore. I try to keep the conversation short because I'm not really an outspoken person. Other people will argue the point further and that's great, but it's not my approach. Don't get me wrong, I think it's very important to know why you've made the choice.
The second are those who seem almost embarrassed or concerned that they are eating meat in front of me. Apart from my brother, the rest of my family are meat-eaters. My boyfriend is a meat-eater and we live together. All of my work colleagues and close friends are meat-eaters. I can count three other friends who are vegetarians but they're people I don't see very often. The point is - I'm surrounded by meat-eaters. It was my choice to become a vegetarian, so don't feel embarrassed or make a fuss over the fact that I don't eat meat. I never go hungry wherever I go and I'd prefer people not to go out of their way. That's just a personal preference. If I wanted to eat meat I could, I just don't want to.
3. Do your research. I attribute the fact that I became a vegetarian to moving in with my brother, who had already been one for a few years. We were eating vegetarian meals together at home so I became more interested in the lifestyle. I started doing some research, reading about it online and watched a few kinda horrific videos on factory farming. After watching one particular video I had decided that I didn't want to be a part of that kind of cruelty anymore. There are plenty of resources out there and the different opinions can be both extreme and more reasonable. I personally love the book Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer as I think it's well researched, non-preachy and presents both sides of the factory farming debate.
5. Experiment with new recipes and food. I've found since becoming a vegetarian that I've tried so many new cuisines and my cooking has definitely improved. I think it's safe to say that Ben and I have invented the best recipe for vegetarian bean burritos and homemade salsa in the WORLD. The internet is your friend when it comes to vegetarian recipes. I like websites such as Vegan Yum Yum or Veg Web. I have a number of meals I fall back on and eat weekly, but there's a tonne of stuff out there that can be used in unique ways - beans, lentils and grains are super versatile, for example.
- Tempeh spaghetti bolognaise.
- Kidney bean burritos with homemade salsa, guacamole and lettuce.
- Big salads with spinach leaves, regular salad items and added proteins like lentils and quinoa (pictured above).
- Wraps with salad and veggie patties or schnitzels.
- Vegetable curries with added tofu or chickpeas for protein.
- Homemade sushi with avocado and cucumber.
- Pizza - homemade or bought, you can't go wrong with endless topping choices.
I will try and share some recipes here in the future, but my meals usually aren't very scientific. I hope you've found this post interesting or useful. None of it is revolutionary but hopefully it's been worth the read. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments or send me an email.