Sunday, 7 June 2015

Nine Things That Happen When You Go Vegetarian or Vegan

1) Vegetables are no longer just an accompaniment.
Once you become vegetarian (or more so for vegans), vegetables start to become a staple part of your diet and no longer are they just a boring side dish that is smothered in butter or covered in cheese. They take on a whole new life and actually constitute a whole meal on their own. Things like aubergines and portobello mushrooms are particularly good with their almost meaty consistency and once you start eating them, you won't even miss meat.

2) Eating only five portions of fruit or vegetables a day seems measly 
Before I became a vegetarian I thought having five portions of fruit or vegetables a day impossible and I would be impressed with myself if I managed to eat more than an apple, but now I easily manage 10-15 portions a day. Now this may seem excessive at first, but as a result of this, my skin is glowing, my hair looks healthier and it grows quicker! Obviously all of these vitamins are doing me some good, or perhaps this is just a placebo effect…? Either way, I am certain it is doing me some good.

3) How 90% of vegetarian products are covered in cheese.
I have never liked cheese, always hated the smell, the taste and, the texture so when I finally gave up meat I found it quite difficult to actually have much variety in my diet because if how limited I was! It is infuriating how little companies cater to both vegans or vegetarians that just don't like cheese!

4) You become an expert at label reading.
You will know instantly what to look for and avoid, even what E numbers to stay away from (E120 is the most common to avoid). You become an encyclopaedia of knowledge regarding product ingredients, what you can eat and what you can't eat.

5) You will become a chef out of necessity.
If you want to keep eating your favourite foods then you will have to learn how to veganise them or make them meat free. Things like chilli, curry, pizza, Mac & Cheese, ice cream and cookies. You will spend hours scouring the internet looking for the perfect alternatives and the best recipes. My favourite place to do this is on Pinterest because you can just file them all away for a later date!

6) The Free From section will become your favourite place in super markets.
Seriously, you will start to plan your whole shopping plans around this tiny little section because it is the only place that you will find a variety of dairy free chocolate buttons, a range of dairy free milks and some bizarre products that you have never even heard of before but desperately want to try. 

7) Holland & Barratts will become your spiritual home.
It will become like a place of sanctuary where you can surround yourself with raw food bars, nuts, seeds, nut butters, dried fruit from every fruit you have ever heard of and an abundance of chia seeds. It is well worth signing up for a membership card because this will be your go to place for all things vegan, especially with all of the vitamins and supplements they have on offer.

8) You will become like a squirrel and have a secret stash of food.
When you realise that most foods are now off limits you will start to covet and hoard anything that you are able to eat. It will be kept away from everyone else's food for fear that they may eat it by mistake. You will become very protective of your food, I recommend  getting something to store it all in, I found a bag with a cat on it to be rather effective. 

9) Everyone around you will become nutritionists.
When they find out you are vegan many people instantly become concerned with your protein intake with inane and cliché questions such as ‘Where do you get your protein from?’ What they don't realise is that there are a lot of places that we can get protein from that has nothing to do with animals! For example spirulina contains 4g of protein per tablespoon, or broccoli, per 30 calories of it equates to 4.5g of protein. This compares to beef which contains 7g of protein per 75 calories.

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