I’ve been a vegetarian for about 8 months now, and I can honestly say I haven’t missed meat all that much. Occasionally I’ll get a mad craving for kebab meat or something equally as calorific, but when I actually think about what it would be like to eat it – mostly when I visualise the texture and the fat – the craving quickly passes. As time has gone one I’ve felt increasingly guilty about eating eggs and cheese, but if you’ve read one of my recent posts you’ll know that I’ve been eating eggs like they’re going out of fashion regardless. I’ve been burying that guilt deep down inside but yesterday I reached the point where I just can’t do it any more. It’s like my way of thinking has shifted and I can’t ever go back to how I was before. Not that I’d want to!
I’d like to assure anyone reading this that I’m not going to get all preachy on you! I’ve decided to go all-in and become fully vegan, but only because it’s my choice and I reached that decision organically. If someone tries to force their values on you I don’t think it will be a true, lifelong change. Just like losing weight, you have to do it for YOU, at the right time in YOUR life. Speaking of losing weight, vegetarianism has really helped me on my Slimming World journey, and the reason for that may well be quite specific to my situation.
I am a person who, when I’m feeling a bit down in the dumps, will do anything to avoid going out. So if I decide to go on an eating spree then I’ll do everything I can to obtain food without leaving the house. Until recently that would mean ordering a 20″ pizza, cheesy garlic bread and a tub of Ben & Jerry’s, straight to my door, for less than £20. When I became a vegetarian those temptations were still there but my choices started to become a bit more limited. All of the ‘decent’ pizza places that deliver to my house won’t deliver unless you have a meaty pizza. If you just want a margarita, they won’t come out to you. The last time I had a takeaway I waited until my brother wanted a kebab then ordered a salad in a pitta with cheesy chips, but now my local takeaway options have become limited to being pretty much just chips, and no takeaway is going to deliver just chips to my door! Going forward I can honestly say it’s unlikely I’ll ever be ordering a takeaway again, especially as I’ve now perfected the Slimming World chip and genuinely prefer them to any other kind.
My other problem foods like cheese, cake and chocolate are also out of the window. If I want to go off plan then I now have two options – to make a vegan dessert from scratch using ingredients that I’m quite convinced are made up and will cost roughly £700, or, I can travel to London to sample the vegan wares on offer there. And that’s exactly what I plan to do, but I’m not going to be popping into London every other weekend, therefore I’m naturally going to be kept in check. For now at least it’s also going to be impossible for me to just eat something on a whim, because I’ve already discovered that the food labelling on vegan-friendly produce is often downright appalling so unless it’s made specifically for vegans, just picking something up of the shelf isn’t really an option. I’m going to have to research everything I touch!
I sat down and thought long and hard about the things I have to give up, especially as the changes I’m making are not only going to apply to food. When you really start getting into it, you have to question everything. I have to change my toothpaste, I can’t have my hair dyed at my hairdressers any more, I can’t use my A choice on any cheese alternatives, I have to take supplements to make sure I get enough vitamins D and B12, according to the Vegan Society I shouldn’t visit zoos any more… A couple of months ago I wouldn’t have risked making these changes, because I was scared of having to limit my food choices even further and that it would throw me off the side of the Slimming World wagon, but now I’ve sat down and really thought it through, I think it’s actually going to help me to stay on track.
And I know I’ve made the right decision, because as soon as it was made I felt a weight lift from my shoulders. It was one of those rare moments in life when something just feels right. Now I just have to use up the few non-vegan bits I have left in the fridge (because I can’t stand food waste) then I’m good to go.
I know stuff like this isn’t for everyone, so in future if I’m going to write a long post about veganism I’ll title it as such so readers can skip that if they wish. Like I say, I’m not going to get preachy! I just had to write a post about it, because it’s just such a HUGE thing for me. Me, whose favourite foods used to include medium-rare rib-eye steak!
I’ve just remembered a couple of days ago I ordered a lovely yellow t-shirt that has ‘how do you like your eggs in the morning?’ written on it. Oh well, I love the colour and it’ll be too big for me very soon anyway! At least I don’t have to worry about the watermelon print dress I bought today, that’s vegan friendly AND a Speed Food!
Thanks for reading, and I do hope I haven’t bored you meat-eaters too much!