I’ve been wanting to share my vegetarian story for a while now, but never got around to it, but I finally thought that it was about time. Just to clear a few things up first, vegetarian is defined as someone who does not eat meat and vegan is someone who avoids all animal products as a whole. Glad we cleared all that up…now here’s my story.
Growing up, I was the BIGGEST meat eater ever. I was that person who freaking brought steak in a bag to school for lunch. My personal favorite foods were carne asada tacos, pastrami sandwiches, steak, and lamb chops…mmm lamb chops. I was a big carnivore and never even considered going vegetarian. Honestly, I didn’t even know people were vegetarian until my Aunt… but even then, I was almost POSITIVE I was never going to give up meat.
Once I got into college, I was slightly more aware of the foods I consumed and even started reading articles and watching videos about vegetarianism. The videos I watched were mainly of people talking about how going vegetarian made them lose weight and keep that weight off. I wasn’t really convinced at all and was still against going vegetarian, until Sophomore year.
Come October of Sophomore year, I randomly decided to go vegetarian. This decision was not about my health at all. It was completely on a whim and I really just wanted to prove to others that I was able to do it. I only expected to go vegetarian for about a month, but it ended up being WAY longer than that.
Cutting out meat, cold turkey, was DIFFICULT. I honestly had no clue what to eat and felt like I was constantly stressing out about going to restaurants and not being able to eat anything. I started eating a lot of rice, broccoli, and eggs. I wasn’t much of a cook, so I didn’t experiment with vegetarian recipes too much. I also wasn’t loving being vegetarian, but I wasn’t completely hating it either. I first fell in love with being vegetarian when Thanksgiving hit. Obviously I eat a lot at Thanksgiving and previous years I felt completely disgusting and lethargic after the meal. This year was different though. I didn’t eat any turkey obviously and I felt GREAT! I didn’t feel overly stuffed; I didn’t feel heavy; and I didn’t feel lethargic at all. It was honestly the best feeling.
I decided to stick with this vegetarian thing since I loved the way it made me feel. I was not gaining weight at all and just felt good all the time. I was also rarely ever bloated or full, which I typically had a problem with. I was vegetarian for TWO YEARS. What the heck? Who knew I had it in me?
There were a few drawbacks of going vegetarian though. First off, I became anemic. Anemia is “a condition in which blood doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells.” Obviously, not every vegetarian or vegan becomes anemic, I just wasn’t educated enough about the correct foods to eat to get all the nutrients needed. Secondly, a lot of people gave me shit for going vegetarian, not that I need anyone’s permission or acceptance. I think people just found it really inconvenient because not every restaurant has vegetarian options. It wasn’t really an inconvenience in my eyes though because I always found something to eat and it wasn’t really their problem anyways. Lastly, food just got kind of boring. I’m a relatively picky eater and I don’t like a lot of salads or vegetables and I feel like as a vegetarian, you’re kind of stuck with that (if you don’t know how to cook). I got bored of eating eggs and rice and broccoli and honestly, I missed my carne asada tacos and lamb chops.
Overall, I had a great experience going vegetarian. I thought it was really awesome that I, a hardcore carnivore, was able to cut out meat completely for two years. I really liked the way it made me feel. I am definitely planning on going vegetarian again in 2020, so if you’re my friend or family member, beware and I don’t want to hear anything about it.
Have you ever been vegetarian? Are you vegetarian or vegan now? I would love to hear your experiences!