4 Things Everyone Should Know Before Becoming A Veggie
If you have been following the news lately, you know our planet is seeking help. From temperatures out of the ordinary all over the globe to natural disasters happening more frequently, it’s clear that our impact on the environment has been a negative one.
This is one of the biggest reasons why earlier this year (in February) I decided to change some of my habits: I became a veggie. This was actually a wish I had for years while growing up but never had the courage to pursue.
Anyway, I am here to tell you some things I think everyone should know before becoming a vegetarian.
1- It’s easier if you do it slowly
Even though I stopped eating meat one day and never went back to my old habits, it’s easier to do it step-by-step. Start small and move from there.
Some people start by cutting meat from one of their meals and replacing it with something else and that is by far the best option in this case. Your body needs time to process those changes. Whenever possible, seek some help from a professional. It will make the transition smoother if you have someone knowledgeable helping out.
2- Food won’t taste the same
Even though every day we have more and more options for veggies (and some of them are becoming quite the real deal), meatless food does not taste like meat (for obvious reasons). Do not expect to eat plant-based food and for it to taste like what you’re used to, even when the label says it tastes just like the meat you’re used to eating.
Trust me, 99% of the time, those labels are not right. That doesn't mean the food will taste bad or you won’t enjoy it, but it won’t taste like meat, chicken, or whatever you’re hoping for it to taste.
3- Do it for yourself
It’s easier to stick to the plan when you’re doing it because you want to. Becoming vegetarian is like any other diet, like a diet to lose weight or to stop eating sugar. If you do it because someone is making you do it or because you feel pressured to do so, it will not last. You will end up going back to eating just like before (sometimes even more than you used to).
On the other hand, if you do it for yourself, there is a greater chance it will work. And with vegetarianism, no matter why you do it. Some do it for political reasons, some for nutritional ones, and others for environmental causes. No matter why you do it, commit yourself because you want to.
4- It is okay to stop
Since the day I stopped eating meat, I never looked back. To be completely honest, I just don’t feel the urge to eat it anymore. It doesn’t affect my overall diet or health either. If there comes a day I feel like going back to my old eating habits, I will do it. And it is okay if you choose that as well. There is no point in making yourself miserable.
5- Experiment with different options
If you are afraid you will get bored with a meatless diet or if you worry about not getting enough proteins, do some research. Nowadays there are hundreds of brands with plant-based or vegan products. It is a matter of trying different options and seeing what works for you. Not everything will taste great, so keep trying.
In addition, do not limit yourself to those plant-based products or eggs, there are many whole grains and other foods that can assist in your new diet. I personally love quinoa, chickpea, mushrooms, lentils… The options are endless.
Clara Oliveira is a graduate student with a BA in Mass Communications and a BA in Interactive Media & Web Design (with a minor in advertising) from Lindenwood University. She is currently pursuing a double Master's Degree in Digital Marketing (Traffic Management and Lead Generation & Digital Project Management) in Spain.
She has been working with Jill Devine Media since June 2020 and works with other companies as well. She is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but has lived in the United States for 3 years and studied abroad in California and New Zealand. She loves traveling, reading, and meeting new people.