I never thought I would be a vegetarian. I always thought: 1. I love meat and 2. what good would it do? I love food too much to give up something I consume in almost every meal. Food is an experience, it’s a treat and it’s delicious. So why would I want to give something up that tastes so good? I know myself well enough to know I could never do it anyways. I don’t care that much about what I eat and what goes in my body… so what?
Well, I proved myself very very wrong.
I would say in the last 3 years I have been more into fitness than any other time of my life. It dawned on me that your 20s are the years where you are going to look your best… after kids and real adulthood.. everything kind of well.. sags.. and the wrinkles become more defined. I don’t want to look back at my 20s and think that I let myself go. Instead, I want to think my 20s were a time where I always wanted to look my best, and walk through life feeling my best.
One thing that was missing from my fitness routine was eating healthy. I always had this mind set that because I worked out so much, I could eat whatever I want. This is not true. I am so lucky I don’t have any allergies and I am not a picky eater, but I would always tell myself I need to change my eating habits and never did. I needed to try something that wasn’t too drastic (no carbs, going vegan, paleo, etc.) but something that would make me more conscious of what I ate.
My mom went vegetarian 3+ years ago so I had her upmost support when I was thinking more about a lifestyle change. I decided one night after having breakfast for dinner foods, which included all the yummy breakfast delights: bacon, green eggs and ham, sweets and more, that it was time to crack down and try something new. So since then I have been a vegetarian and I have no complaints.
Here is what I love about being vegetarian:
(If we want to get technical.. I am pescatarian because I eat sushi and fish on occasion– but definitely not on a daily basis.. just for sushi Sunday 😉 )
- It makes me more conscious of what I eat. Since I don’t eat meat, I am lacking the normal protein I usually eat. My body doesn’t want carbs as a way to make up for the lost nutrients. It wants something nutritious and just as good. I find myself getting extra veggies, or swapping out dairy foods with fruit instead because it tastes better to me. Lentils and chickpeas are my new BFF and they are TASTY.
- Living in a big city makes it easy. There are ALWAYS vegetarian options on a menu and you don’t even notice you aren’t having meat. I have noticed and appreciate that chefs take such time and effort into creating exquisite, vegetable based dishes. My photo above is from one of my fave NYC restaurants, Dez, which has such delicious Mediterranean food, and is veggie friendly :).
- My body became more toned. I have always been bigger boned but I quickly noticed the combination of making simple swaps for something healthier and working out 4 times a week, my muscles started to make more of an appearance than ever before and I am not opposed at all. I spend a lot of my time working out, so I hope and want my hard work to pay off.
- I like how I don’t feel bloated. Did I lose weight? Yes I have lost about 7 pounds but it’s nothing drastic and it isn’t my goal to lose weight. My goal it to be healthy. My tummy remains flat throughout the day and I don’t have as big of an appetite as I used to. I snack during the day, have my normal yogurt for breakfast, a small lunch and something simple and quick for dinner. The weekends I splurge a bit more on what I eat but I try and stay consistent when I can.
The number one thing I have told friends and family is that it is so easy because there are so many alternative options. My energy levels are high, I feel good and am proud to say I set a goal for myself and I continue to move forward with my lifestyle choice.
Do I crave meat? No, I have not had a moment where I crave meat. What is the hardest part is thinking “oh yeah, let’s grab Chick-fil-a for dinner” and then having a “AH SUCH A BUMMER” moment once I realize and remember I am a vegetarian. I only get sad remembering how great Chick-fil-a is, but I know it’s not the end of the world and I know what it tastes like so I am all good.
I encourage you to take a chance on making a lifestyle change and see how it makes you feel! Leave a comment below if you have any questions about my vegetarian journey!