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Why I Became A Vegetarian Aged 37

Blog - Why I became a vegetarian aged 37 - www.leannejuliette.com

In May 2018 I decided that I was going to give up eating meat and become a vegetarian.  Well, technically I started as a pescatarian but actually as more and more time has gone on I’m becoming less inclined to eat fish too.  Which is odd for me!

I’ve always eaten meat.  I’ve never not eaten it…except perhaps when I was backpacking around the world on my own in 2014/2015 and was trying to save my pennies so I’d not eat as much meat.

When I was pregnant with my daughter in 2015 I massively craved cured meats like prosciutto and salami and chorizo.  Like, really craved it!! But “guidelines” stated not to eat it so I didn’t (except for one cheeky day after my due date when I just thought “sod it” and devoured a packet of prosciutto from Marks & Spencers! LOL!)

What are my reasons?

Honestly?! I don’t know! I’ve been asked by a number of family members and friends why I’ve suddenly given up meat.

“Is it because of the agriculture industry?” They ask.  “No”.

“Is it because you don’t like to see animals harmed?” They ask. “No” (no I don’t like to see any living being harmed but that isn’t my reasons for no longer eating meat)

“Is it because of the hormones etc that are given to animals?” They ask. “No” (again)

“Is it because of the videos going round on Facebook about animal torture?” They ask. Again, “No” is my answer…as is “please don’t share those nasty videos because you are only giving more stage space to those who carry out such inhumane acts”.

I really don’t like to see animals harmed and in the past I’ve always said that I’ll eat meat but I don’t like to think of how it got to being on my plate.  But I continued to eat it as I enjoyed it and found it very versatile for cooking.

But in all honesty, the only thing I can account my switch to vegetarianism with is down to the deeper connection to the soul work that I’ve been doing as part of my spiritual journey.  And I find it weird!! Like, why would I really feel no need to eat meat just because I’m more spiritually aware?!  It’s very odd for me…I’m really really not interested in eating meat anymore even when I’m cooking it for my husband and daughter.  Or when we’ve been out for lunch and they’ve both had a carvery meal.  It really doesn’t interest me anymore.

And I find that strange!  Because there’s no one thing that has triggered it other than the deeper soul work that I’m doing.  That’s the only thing I can think of is that as I go deeper with my soul work, I’m becoming more in tune with the world around me and how we are all connected as one….human, animal, plant and the elements.  So it makes sense to forgo certain choices because they don’t align with the deeper connection I have to the planet.  And that’s not me getting all “woo” and hippy lol…it’s just how I feel right now.

What have I noticed since becoming vegetarian?

Weirdly enough when I first decided to cut out meat and go vegetarian I didn’t find that I was craving sweet foods as much.  Which I found very odd as I’m a certified chocoholic!!! I’m not sure if that’s down to my food choices or the increased vegetables, beans and pulses but I did certainly notice a difference with that.

I do still have dairy as I did toy with the idea of going dairy free too but as a Yorkshire girl I love a good cup of tea (Yorkshire Tea for me!).  I tried Oatly Barista milk in my tea which tasted the closest I could find to my usual skimmed milk but I’ve decided to phase dairy out slowly over time instead of in one go.  I have friends and family who swear by dairy free for their skin!

My Top Tips for changing your diet

  1. For me, personally, it’s about being more prepared with my meals. Knowing that I’ll more than likely be cooking from scratch most of the week (I’m loving chick pea curries!) instead of just defrosting some meat that I can cook up.  Make sure you plan your meals in advance so you know exactly what to buy and can plan lovely curries or stir fries in advance.
  2. You don’t have to go all in at first!  When I decided to make the switch to my diet in May 2018 I thought “hey! I’ll give up dairy straightaway too!” but that didn’t quite go to plan as I wasn’t prepared enough.  I know I’ll cut it out at some point and will more than likely be vegan by the end of the year but it doesn’t all have to happen in one go….you can gradually transition to vegetarian or vegan over time.
  3. Start Pinning!!! Honestly, Pinterest has been a life-saver!!! There are THOUSANDS of recipes out there that are vegan/vegetarian/paleo/gluten-free/dairy-free/sugar-free out there….THOUSANDS…if not millions!!! I’m in awe of all the amazing recipes and I know I can be really versatile with my cooking!  Check out my vegan and vegetarian Pinterest boards below!
  4. Be prepared when eating out.  I know, I know.  Who DOESN’T provide vegetarian/vegan friendly meals these days when eating out?!?!  You’d be surprised!!! We recently did a family bike ride (myself, my husband and our 3 year old) to a local pub (11 miles there) who were doing a BBQ in the sun….this was early on in my vegetarian transition and I thought that they “may” have had a vegetarian option instead of just burgers and sausages…but no, they didn’t.  My mistake for assuming that!!  I probably should have known given that it was only a small local-ish pub and should have really asked them first but you live and learn!
  5. You don’t have to justify your choices to anyone. In today’s society there is a lot of social pressure from others to conform to certain “ideals” like the whole “clean eating” bandwagon that’s been running for a while now.  People can all too easily get caught up in the “hype” of what is new today like clean eating, keto and vegan.  There’s been a huge surge recently in those going vegan because of things like Veganuary (going vegan in January) which I think is fab because it makes people more consciously aware of what they are eating.  But on the flip side of this, people seem too caught up in almost needing to stay with the current trends in order to fit in.  You really don’t have to justify your choices whether you choose to be vegetarian, vegan, paleo, gluten free, keto or just want to eat steak and chips all day!  It’s YOUR choice and really it should come from your own beliefs and desires to provide the best form of nutrition for YOUR body right now.  Not because it’s cool to be vegan or keto.

Soon to be Vegan?!

The more I continue on my vegetarian journey the more I’m becoming more inclined to go vegan instead.  Seriously….I don’t even recognise myself anymore!!  I’ve been on Pinterest….a lot!!! Getting new meal inspirations for my new found veggie life.  I love cooking.  I love experimenting with different flavours and foods and textures.  Cooking from scratch has never been an issue for me.  But I’ve found that I’ve had to be more prepared with my shopping as it’s not like I can just grab a steak out of the freezer or cook up a chicken breast.  I now prepare my meal choices more in advance so that I can always cook something up quickly if need be.

Pinterest has been fab though for getting more inspiration for vegetarian meals! And as such, I’m becoming even more inspired to go vegan instead as some of the meals that I cook are vegan friendly too.  I’m really loving learning about all the new ways to cook and finding inspiration with things like non-dairy cheese and making vegan friendly desserts.

You can follow my Pinterest boards here for more inspiration for yourself:

Vegetarian Recipes and Easy Meal Ideas

Vegan Recipes and Easy Meal Ideas

 

For those thinking of making the switch, if it feels right to you, go for it!!! I really don’t miss eating meat anymore and am loving all the new recipes that I’m creating!  It’s fun to cook up new ideas with veggies and pulses (I don’t use tofu…never liked it!) and it makes you more aware of what you are eating!

Enjoy!

 

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