Saturday, 2 August 2014

A beginners guide to going veggie


Hello! 
How are you?

You may or may not know this but I am a vegetarian. After reading a few comments asking me about what I eat and whether I find it difficult to eat a vegetarian diet, I thought I'd put together a simple beginners guide to going meat free which will hopefully answer some of those questions! Please be aware that I'm no expert in nutrition and so make sure to research outside of this guide. Also, I must add that I'm in no way trying to push the idea that vegetarianism or veganism is the only good dietary choice (I don't believe this anyway), on the contrary, this guide is simply for people interested in vegetarianism or those interested in incorporating a few meat free meals into their diet!

So let's get started.

101.

Why?

Vegetarianism isn't for everyone, but it may be for you! Here are 3 reasons why you might want to go veggie:

  • Animals. 10 billion animals are slaughtered for human consumption each year, that's a lot of animals and unfortunately, many spend short lives in factory farms where they are crammed into crates, often mistreated and force fed a diet filled with pesticides and antibiotics. A great alternative to vegetarianism is of course to buy free range. Unfortunately, free range doesn't actually always mean 'free range' as we'd expect, so if meat eating is definitely for you just try to make sure you're buying from reputable free range farms. I suggest asking your local butcher, researching online and checking labels as the best way to begin!
  •  Environment. The meat industry is having a devastating impact on the environment. Vegetarianism reduces pollution and deforestation for farm land. Chemical and animal waste runoff pollute rivers and streams while other farming activities such as confined animal facilities, plowing, pesticide spraying, irrigation, fertilizing and harvesting cause horrifying amounts of pollution.
  • Health. Vegetarians widely consume less saturated fat by not eating meat. Saturated fat clogs your arteries and reduces your energy levels and so going veggie can possibly add a whole 10 years to your life span. By eating a low calorie diet of unrefined complex chemicals, fiber and phytochemical rich fruits and vegetables as well as calcium and protein from alternative sources; you can still have all the fuel your body naturally needs to lead a healthy, energetic life without consuming meat.

102.


How?

Many people who may be interested in a vegetarian diet are often put off by the idea that it's hard to make the switch because of long term meat consumption, availability of vegetarian food and the prospect of being seen as a fussy eater.

Honestly, I agreed with all of these points for a long time too; yet I couldn't have been more wrong! It's so easy to find tasty vegetarian (and vegan) alternatives and almost every restaurant will have a meat-free selection to choose from. You also don't have to give up any of your favourite meals, you simply switch any meat product to a vegetarian alternative or if you're going to a friends for dinner, just ask them to leave out the meat or bring along your own substitute. I've found that many people don't miss eating meat as much, if at all, as they initially believed they would.

Here's a few items to stock up on when you're just starting out:

  • Quorn mince, bacon, pieces, sausages, burgers etc (Quorn,Linda Mccartney)
  • Lentils and tofu
  • Vegetable stock cubes and gravy granules (great for adding depth to pasta dishes, casseroles etc as well as roasts)
  • Fresh and frozen vegetables. These will be your new best friends. 
  • Wholewheat pasta and gnocchi
  • Rice
  • Beans, chickpeas, other beans!
  • Nuts and seeds

Of course if you're wanting to switch to a vegan diet, it's a whole new venture but don't be put off as there are alternatives to animal sourced products everywhere!



103.

When?

A lot of people worry about suddenly cutting meat out of their diet so if you think your body may take a while to adjust, you can always start by slowly cutting down on the amount of meat you consume. Although, in most cases, your body will adjust pretty quickly. While I was brought up on a mixture of both vegetarian and meat based meals, I've known many people who have always eaten meat yet transitioned perfectly well: the body is an amazing machine!

Plus, if you do find that your new meat free diet doesn't suit you: you can easily add meat back into your diet! Also, if you just want to incorporate one veggie (or meat) meal a week into your diet, that's absolutely fine: find the balance that suits you! Eating quorn just once a week is actually great for your health.

So, to get a little taste of what it is like to eat the veggie way, why not try one of these great recipes?!




A Mediterranean one-pot stew with peppers, courgettes, lentils, sweet smoked paprika and thyme



With gorgeous buttery puff pastry





Layered spicy vegetables, basmati rice and cashew nuts are just the ticket in this traditional vegetarian Indian dish.

I hope you've found this guide somewhat useful, if you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment and I'll make sure to answer to the best of my knowledge!

Going vegetarian was a good decision for me, but like I've said throughout this post, it isn't for everyone so don't let yourself feel pressured either way: do what is best for you and your body!

I hope you're having a wonderful week

L
xo

9 comments:

  1. Lovely suggestions hun, I am trying to convert completely but am starting on meat free mondays, but I only have it about twice a week now so I am really trying to cut back xxx

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    1. That sounds a great way to start, definitely have to give yourself time to adjust and gradually get used to regularly having meals without it. Good luck! + thank you! :o)
      L xo

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  2. I'm a vegetarian too! And have been for so many years I can't even remember what meat tastes like! People always ask me how I can resist meat and I'm just like "well it's pretty easy when you don't know what you're missing". I definitely am not a vegetarian for health reasons though, I'm pretty sure all other calories I cut out by being vegetarian, I make up for x5 by eating tonnes of chocolate.
    Elesaurus | elesaurusrawr.blogspot.com
    YouTube - Eleanor Rose

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    Replies
    1. Definitely agree. It's my fourth year now and I'm the same-I can't really say I miss eating something when I only vaguely remember what meat tastes like.

      +Haha!! I did think it was quite funny that while I wrote the paragraph on health I was munching on microwave sponge cake!

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  3. I've been a vegetarian all my life (a long 20 years!), and I love quorn sausages and linda mccartney sausage rolls, yumyum! I have many friends that are meat-eaters but when they tried quorn they actually liked it and some even preferred it! Being vegetarian doesn't always mean it's healthy, me being one that loves junk food - oops! ;)

    Frankie x
    Crazyblondegal

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    Replies
    1. Ah the sausage rolls are the best :D
      + I completely agree, I couldn't live without my weekly sugar fix!!

      Hope you have a lovely week! L xo

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  4. Wow, it looks so yummy!! :) Great post!

    http://bubblyjenny.blogspot.ca/

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  5. Great and informative post! Although I only buy cruelty-free beauty and household products, I do eat meat. At this time, becoming Vegetarian is not for me, but who knows? Perhaps I will change my mind in the future! That said, animal well-being is extremely important to me, so when buying meat I always keep this in mind and buy only British, free-range, organic and/or Red Tractor approved products. I don't have a huge amount of meat in my diet and I really enjoy meat-free dishes too. My favourite dish is Macaroni Cheese! :) xxx
    The Jolly Fashionista

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  6. I'm not vegetarian but I love my vege recipes and the ones above look so good! :) Thanks for the inspo!

    www.hdotxo.blogspot.co.uk
    xo

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