I was a bit unsure on what to write about this week. There’s always so many different trains of thought running through my head at any one time – and they frequently crash! Dominating my thoughts at the moment though, is the question of becoming vegetarian. This has been on the back of my mind for some time and I’ve finally decided it’s the right time to make the leap. Before I go into to detail, I am going to define what being vegetarian means to me. I know there are so many definitions out there now! For me, eating vegetarian means having a plant-based diet excluding meat and dairy, but still including eggs. I’ll be honest, I eat this way about 80 percent of the time now anyway.
Why Become Vegetarian?
My motivations for switching to full-time are varied. I have been trying to limit diary as I find it to be inflammatory for my body and endometriosis and adenomyosis symptoms. Meat has not been a large part of my diet since I moved from Australia. I have found that the quality of beef and chicken in the UK is a lot lower quality than Australia so it just hasn’t appealed to me, and I hate cooking it! Seafood has never been a part of my diet because, well I just don’t like it!
I ate way more than I normally do, and combined with an overall shoddy diet while I was there my body just threw a tantrum. It’s already been pretty grumbly lately with an adenomyosis flare, so it was not appreciated! All this caused me to reflect on my overall mindset and wellbeing when I eat vegetarian.
I have also just been in the US for work and it startled me just how much meat they consume! They honestly have it in just about every meal. You could start to see why eating meat could have such a large effect on the environment. The amount of meat and dairy products we consume as a whole significantly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, the bad guys in global warming. I have only just just started to read about this topic so I am not very well-informed at the moment. It is something I am beginning to feel strongly about though. I think there are small things we could all do better at to help protect our environment now, and for the future.
When I consume a plant-based diet I care so much more about what I’m putting into my body. I’m thinking about what each food can do for my body and how it will make me feel. Funnily enough, I’m not thinking about all the foods I’m ‘missing out’ on at all, because I don’t actually feel like I am missing out. My body is happy and content (as much as it can be). This then has such a positive impact on my state of mind. Because I know I’m nourishing my body in the best way possible, I feel mentally strong and capable. On the flip side, when I include meat and dairy in my diet I feel sick and bloated. My bowels act up and I start to swing between constipation and diarrhoea. I feel sluggish in both mind and body which causes me to go into a more negative head space.
my vegetarian diet
So, what do I actually include in my diet? If you’ve seen me on Instagram you will know that I have porridge for breakfast. Every. Single. Morning. And I wouldn’t have it any other way! I try to eat as wide of a variety of vegetables as possible. Sometimes this is easier than others depending on what the local supermarket stocks. I tend to make a lot of veggie bowls using items such as sweet potato (my fav veg), aubergine, carrot, baby corn, broccoli and something green and leafy. I spoke with a wonderful nutritionist a little while a go and she advised to try and include as many colours from the rainbow as you can. This was surprisingly hard as I am such a routine person so remembering to eat different veg frequently was tricky!
I also eat a lot of quinoa, rice, and brown rice pasta as I try to limit the amount of wheat and gluten. These are also inflammatory foods for me, along with soy products. To help maintain my protein intake I eat a lot of beans and legumes, such as lentils, black beans, and chickpeas. I also include nuts and ground flaxseed in my daily porridge. On days when I am doing more intensive workouts I include a scoop of protein powder in my oats or a smoothie. Some of you have recommended hemp seed so I’m going to give that a go too! I also eat a few eggs a week. As I am trying to introduce more smaller sustainable acts into my lifestyle, I do make sure I buy organic free-range eggs. They are more expensive but it is a cost I think is worth it.
Now I don’t want you to think I don’t eat dessert, because I most definitely do. I always need a little something before bed otherwise I wake up starving. Yes, sad I know. For sweets I’ll usually have coconut yoghurt with some combination of fruit, fruit syrup, dairy-free chocolate or granola. I also love baking so crumbles, biscuits and slices make a regular appearance. Deliciously Ella and The Little Green Spoon are my favourites for recipes!
Finally, I want to state very clearly that this is what works for me. Everybody is different, our bodies work in different ways and we have different preferences. This is just what I have found that helps make me feel the best I possibly can. What makes you feel your best? Are you vegetarian? If you have any recipe suggestions let me know!
Thank you for reading and have a fabulous week!