How can you be a vegetarian!? What do you eat?!

So I decided I should update with an informative post. The number one question I get when I tell someone that I am a vegetarian is, “What do you eat?” or “How do you live?” I also get:

  • Don’t you miss meat?
  • Are you crazy like PETA?
  • Do you crave meat?
  • Do you eat chicken?
  • What made you decide to stop eating meat?

Now the last one, I don’t take offense to. It’s a good one. And it deserves a good answer.  I stopped eating meat almost 10 years ago for basically personal reasons. The taste just put me off. I hated tasting blood, metal and flesh. That’s all I could taste when I ate any meat. It grossed me out and just left a gross taste in my mouth. I dissected a fetal pig in Honors Biology, and I stopped eating pork at that moment. Never looked back. Seeing the flesh, organs and the fact that it was once living just made me sick to my stomach. I didn’t need to eat it. I had no appetite for it. So that was pork. I stopped eating beef when I stopped eating pork. They kinda went hand in hand. Once I stopped eating piggies, I just stopped eating cows. It was a mutual thing. I still ate chicken and turkey, but not so I could see the meat itself, it needed to be hidden by breading or something. I could not eat it off the bone, that made me want to vomit. Eventually, that summer, (2001) I stopped eating poultry. At first, it was just to see if I could do it. It was like a test for me, but then like pork/beef I just lost my taste for it and I just didn’t want or care to eat it anymore. I haven’t looked back since.  It will actually be 10 years this summer.

Now I hear people all the time, saying that meat substitutes and tofu are gross and tasteless. But this is a LIE! Meat substitutes don’t taste like metal, or blood and were not once alive animals. This is my justification for eating meat substitutes. Okay, get off my back. But anyway, there are TONS of companies out there making great non-meat products. Here is my list:

The store also sometimes makes their own version, like Trader Joes for instance.  If you cook it the right way, with the right seasonings and sauces, it tastes delicious. Any recipe can be turned “with meat” into a vegetarian version.

Spaghetti bolognese can be substituted with MSF’s meat crumbles or Boca’s meat crumbles. (Note: I do eat dairy products, I am not a vegan.)

A simple chicken caesar salad can be prepared with MSF’s chicken strips or cut up breaded chicken patties.

It’s also extremely healthy to “not” eat meat as well. Meat does give you proteins and vitamins you need, but the meat substitute products are also giving you these same benefits. If you want to break up your diet and change things up a bit, don’t be afraid to try meatless foods.

A vegetarian can also just remove the meat from any recipe they want to make is veg friendly. They can substitute chicken broth with vegetable broth! There are endless options, and just because we don’t eat meat, it doesn’t meat we don’t eat at all and it also doesn’t mean go crazy with junk food.

One thing a vegetarian needs to be careful of is hidden meat products disguised under different names.  One of these ingredients is called “Rennet.” Rennet is (from Wikipedia) – “Dried and cleaned stomachs of young calves are sliced into small pieces and then put into saltwater or whey, together with some vinegar or wine to lower the pH of the solution.” Yuck, right? So basically rennet is the diced up stomachs of a cow. So, yes not vegetarian…obviously. Rennet can be found in many cheeses.

Now I hope this gave you an insight to why I am a vegetarian and what I eat! This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to vegetarian lifestyle and eating. Be sure to stick around for more helpful tips and recipes!

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