'going veggie'

for a massive food lover like me, making the decision to go veggie was more of an impulse rather than a gradual or premeditated idea. i wanted to cut meat out of my diet, so i set a sort of 'challenge' to go one month without meat, so just like that was how it happened... 
i didn't know what the end result was going to be, i didn't plan a ritual to mark the months end, to be honest, from that moment i didn't even start counting down the days... i knew it was more of a lifestyle change than it was just a challenge to myself to cut out meat, and if i treated like a temporary diet then that's what it would be. but the decision was something i wanted to be permanent. 

(i must admit that i'm yet to give up fish, so i guess you could call me a half vegetarian. however it is a worry of mine as someone previously suffering from anaemia and with low iron levels to give up a huge source of protein and iron when i haven't done my full research and not yet sure how to replace it with non meat alternatives without my body suffering (yet))

the hardest, but also the most exciting part, was not having the choice of my usual go-to meals; breakfast lunch and dinner had a different meaning; now i had to think of brand new exciting dishes that i'd never even considered before. i think that's what i'm enjoying the most; it's going for the 'different' option, not just when i'm out and about but also when cooking at home. for three of us as a family there's no separate meat and veggie option (because i'm the main cook of the house haha). we all eat the same meal and enjoy it together. 
our habits have changed and our fridge is far more colourful than it's ever been. it's actually been easier to prepare meals because the cooking and preparing time much shorter, the luxury is there's not much to worry about if the aubergines are undercooked or overcooked, they taste just as delicious. whereas this would mean a night over the toilet in other cases if a chicken breast was under cooked.

i've also learnt a lot about the food industry and have more respect for food, instead of being gluttonous and eating whatever is in sight, i put a lot of thought into what i eat and have more respect for where each ingredient comes from. i get so much more inspiration and have the chance to get more creative. my social media is filled with alternative recipes from people leading a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle which teaches me things i didn't know about food before. it's a pleasure to be surrounded by something different, that motivates me on a daily basis.
i also realise now how important it is to respect the food i eat and choose to buy local where i can, so i can support the local community rather than the huge co-orporate companies and conveyor belt production of farmers. 

in terms of the physical; i feel lighter and less bloated, i don't ever feel stuffed and uncomfortable after a meal. pretty sure i have more energy. i respect my body more and can actually remember everything i eat at the end of the day. of course i'll still be tempted by cakes and biscuits but hey i've got a sweet tooth!

i'd definitely encourage anyone who's conscious about what they eat and what affect it has on not just the body but the planet, to challenge yourself to 'go veggie' for a month. see what you learn and how you'd feel. i'd love to hear your story - comment below if you're a veggie/vegan.

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