Why did I become vegetarian for a week?

There are many reasons, but the biggest one is lame: I was bored.  I have the same routine every day and my life was getting too boring and predictable.  On top of that, I’ve been eating way too much junk food and my poor stomach has felt awful lately.  So I decided to try vegetarianism for a week to 1. see if I could and 2. to eat healthier.  Here’s what I learned from the experience.

It’s hard.
Completely cutting out meat (goodbye tasty bacon!) when you’ve been eating it your whole life is really difficult.  Most of my recipes call for some kind of meat and all of a sudden I had nothing to work with.  I figured I could eat lots of salads but that gets so boring so quickly.  But this brings me to my next point.

You’re actually not limited to salads.
People (meaning meat eaters) like to think that our meals revolve around meat and if you’re vegetarian (or God forbid a vegan!) you have nothing to eat but grass.  This isn’t true in the least bit.  There’s so many soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas, and Mexican dishes that don’t require meat.  I particularly learned that most Mexican dishes translate well to a vegetarian dish.  Just take out the meat and add more beans. Wala! Say hello to tasty enchiladas, burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and my favorite: stuffed bell peppers.

That said, it really helps to love vegetables.
You can’t be a vegetarian (at least a healthy one) if you hate veggies.  It also helps to like a variety of vegetables so that you can incorporate different nutrients into your diet.  I’ll admit, I’m a huge picky eater and I used to eat hardly any vegetables.  I wouldn’t eat broccoli without cheese.  Never ate salads and always removed the vegetables from my sandwiches.  But, over the years I learned to stop ignoring them and to try them.  At first, I really hated eating them, but over time I learned to love a plethora of veggies.  Except tomatoes and onions.  They will forever be picked out of my food.

It’s easy to be overweight and a vegetarian.
I really hate when people assume that someone is healthy solely because they’re vegetarian.  This isn’t true at all.  There are plenty of foods one can eat that will cause weight gain that are still vegetarian.  Pasta, chips, any kind of dessert, just to name a few.  Not to mention, we can still eat cheese which if indulged upon regularly, will easily fatten one up.  Vegetarian ≠ Healthy.

But what about your protein?!
Eye roll.  This is such an uninformed question that comes up a lot.  In the typical American diet, one will easily hit (more like greatly surpass) their protein goal for the day due to how easy it is to meat (heh heh) it.  So easy, in fact, that the FDA does not require manufacturers to put the protein amount on their nutrition facts of their food.  Vegetarians easily meet protein goals through potatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggs, any kind of bean, lentils, cheese, and many other foods. So stop worrying about that!

Conclusion:

I enjoyed being vegetarian for a week.  I did fail twice, once because I love bacon and twice because I only had chicken broth on hand at home so I used that for a dish.  I feel healthier already and more full of energy.  My stomach doesn’t hurt as much anymore which is always a good thing.  Honestly,  I enjoyed this so much, I think I’m going to keep up with it for a while.  I’m an animal/environment lover anyways so it’s my turn to do something to protect them both.

Are you a vegetarian/vegan?  What are your thoughts?  Or maybe you’re a die hard carnivore.  Please share your thoughts/opinions in the comments below!

I’ll see you next Wednesday!

With love,

Meagan.