It's mostly been an easy transition as I didn't ate meat much to begin with, I only ate chicken and things like burgers and bacon a regular basis and that was about four days out of seven. I didn't really like red meat, steak made me feel sick and most meat just tasted too salty or rich to have all the time, so cutting it out altogether really wasn't a big step. In fact I ate so little meat that my parents (who I live with) didn't even realise I'd stopped eating it until a week later.
I knew from the off that the hardest time to refuse meat would be when I was hungover or drunk, my standard end of night meal was two big macs and the next morning I could only function after bacon (or another big mac depending on how severe the situation). I've been tempted many times, but I'm proud to say that so far I've resisted every time. I also crave meat quite a bit during my period. Thankfully vegetarianism coincided nicely with my menopause so there hasn't been much of that, but my first period I badly craved mince in gravy. There was a rather memorable meltdown in Sainsbury's where I emerged with noodles and soy sauce, because it turned out my body craved salt not meat.
I guess I didn't realise before was how much choice their is for vegetarians now, I very rarely struggle to find something I like on a menu when I'm out with my carnivorous best friends and most places fall over themselves to accommodate me or suggest a substitute. Shout out to Chiquito in Newcastle for their outstanding brunch menu and ability to not judge me and my pals for getting drunk at 10am. Honourable mention to Coop Chicken House for their falafel and sweet potato fries and Fat Hippo for their FOUR different veggie burger options.
I've also become obsessed with things like hummus, falafel and sweet potatoes. And cheese, oh jesus I eat so much cheese. I was worried about losing weight because I'd be consuming less calories, but what I lacked in meat I made up for in cheese. I could sit and eat a whole packet of edam slices or a bag of grated cheese whilst watching tv, My cheese infatuation spawned the same love in my niece, she absolutely loves it and knows that when everyone else says no she only has to suggest cheese to me and she'll get some too.
One weird thing I wasn't expecting was how obsessed people would become with my iron intake. From my dad constantly asking about it to random strangers asking how I get my iron. Considering I didn't eat a lot of red meat before and most my meals contain some sort of beans, peas or leafy greens now I'd say pretty well! Comments about my weight don't go unnoticed. like they never did before. When I'm with bigger acquaintances they've made rude comments about how I'm only so thin because I only eat rabbit food or told me to go eat a burger. But I'm used to that crap, just another way to tell women how they should look I suppose.
Oh talking of weird things, that is by no means the worst. Since I stopped eating meat, I love watching other cook and eat it. I've become utterly obsessed with cookery shows involving the preparation, cooking (slow roasting especially, I fucking love a good slow roast) and then eating (carving, oh baby) of meat. Jamie Oliver does it especially well with his turkey covered in bacon but so does Gordon Ramsey and for a filthy half hour I love nothing more than watching Nigella stir gravy with her boobs. I'm the vegetarian that tells their friends to get chorizo when they're out for food so I can watch them eat it. Trust me I know I have a very serious problem.
So yeah, my first six months of vegetarianism have been rather ok, if not strange. I've enjoyed discovering new foods and ways of cooking things to not include meat. But I know I'm also very lucky to have someone who loves cooking for me.
Have you ever made the change, how did you find it? Also if you have any good recipes (that I wont cook) share them below