My decision to stop eating meat was as much a surprise to me as it was to the people around me. And by surprise, I mean I woke up one morning as a picky eater with a strict “no vegetable” rule and went to bed that very night as a vegetarian. Yeah, it was weird. (Long story short, I saw a Netflix documentary called Get Vegucated and it changed my entire outlook on food.) But this process is different for everyone. I know some people who gave up meat for lent and ended up going full-fledged veg, and others who researched and thought things through for several weeks to several months before going meat-free. There is no right or wrong way to go about it, but before you decide to commit to this lifestyle, there are a few things you should know:
1. You don’t need to jump into it 100%.
Yes, I realize that I definitely did this. And yes, I’ll admit, I wished I had eaten at least one more breakfast with a big ol’ side of bacon. Weaning yourself off of meat will likely make the transition easier for you. Go at your own pace!
2. You can define “vegetarian” however you want.
Like there is no right or wrong way to stop eating meat, there is no right or wrong way to go about being a vegetarian. For example, I still choose to eat fish, so technically I am considered a pescatarian. It’s a decision that makes the most sense to me and my lifestyle right now. You might choose to cut out eggs or dairy products from your diet in addition to meat. It’s all up to you!
3. People are going to ask you a lot of questions about your decision.
If any of your grandmas are like my grandma, they are going to be very concerned about how you’re going to “keep meat on your bones” without actually eating meat. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked about my choice to stop eating meat by family, friends and yes, even strangers. If you feel comfortable, take it as an opportunity to tell people about how you were inspired to become meat-free, but remember to never hate on anyone for their choice to eat meat. Their choice is as personal as yours!
4. You’re going to have to make some major adjustments in the kitchen.
If you don’t already know how to make protein-rich meals without using meat or how to prepare vegetables in a way that isn’t just throwing them all together in a salad, you’re going to learn real quick. Your refrigerator will have to undergo a serious facelift.
5. It’s not as hard as you think.
Honestly, if I was able to do it, you’ll have no problem. And if you do run into any problems, that’s why I’m here. 🙂