This is another guest post from our newest writer, Leigh A. Hall. Leigh runs a really cool blog site called My Bikram Yoga Life
She tells us that she’s a big fan of Pinterest, and has heaps of vegetarian, vegan, and raw recipes pinned up there that she fully intends to try out. She has no idea how she’s going to make all of them during her current lifetime, but she reckons it’ll be fun to try.
IN MY PREVIOUS post, I outlined the steps I engaged in to becoming a vegetarian. On paper, the whole thing looks very nice, clean, and easy. Like anyone can do it with no problem, right? Not so for me. I had several struggles in transitioning to a vegetarian diet. Today, I want to share those struggles with you.
My biggest difficulty came when I had to figure out what to eat for dinner. Dinner was where I was used to eating meat. And even though I started by slowly adding more vegetarian meals to my weekly dinners, I had no clue about what to eat besides pasta.
Pasta was easy, and it was my go-to meal at first. Nothing wrong with that. It’s a step forward. But I soon realised I couldn’t eat pasta at every meal. However, I was also at a loss as to what I would eat if I didn’t eat pasta. Like I said in my previous post, I wasn’t big into vegetables when I decided to become a vegetarian. However, I didn’t want to have a poor vegetarian diet that was filled with starches and carbs. I had to do something! I felt overwhelmed. It seemed impossible.
The good news is it’s not impossible. I got help by purchasing Mark Bittman’s book How To Cook Everything Vegetarian. I highly recommend this book to get you started. It’s a giant book filled with everything you will ever need. It may seem overwhelming at first, but just take it bit by bit. You can also follow me on Pinterest as I have now got a large collection of vegetarian recipes going on. The thing is, what to eat will work itself out in time. Be patient.
Struggle #2: I WANT CHICKEN!
I found my second struggle to be the most bizarre and unexpected. I had chicken cravings. I wanted buffalo wings in the worst way ever. I wanted to eat chicken sandwiches in the worst way ever. I had expected to miss eating chicken – it was my favorite – but I had not anticipated having actual physical cravings for it.
What did I do? I whined about it mostly. I also just rode out the cravings. I never gave in to them. However, if you should experience a craving and give in to it, don’t worry! This does not make you a failure or bad person. Just pick back up with it at the next meal.
The cravings eventually stopped though it did make me wonder what my body was going through to have them in the first place.
Struggle #3: Travel
When I had switched over to eating vegetarian day in and day out, I reached a point where I had to start doing some business travel for work. This was going to require me to eat in airports and in other situations where I might be dining in places not of my choosing. I stressed about this at first, but here are my handy tips for dining on the go:
(a) Don’t stress. Most places – even airports – are far more vegetarian friendly than I would have ever imagined. I probably just wasn’t paying attention before to notice this.
(b) Give yourself permission to stray. I’m not going to eat something I don’t like simply because it is vegetarian. If there is exactly one vegetarian dish on the menu, and I don’t like it, I’m getting something I will enjoy. Sure, it’s not ideal, but just carry on with things at the next meal.
(c) Be open to new experiences. Traveling and maintaining a vegetarian diet can mean trying foods you might not normally try. Over time, I have found that these experiences make my travel and dining out more interesting and exciting.
In my next post, I will highlight for you some of my favorite vegetarian and vegan recipes that are simple to make, totally delicious, and will get you loving your new diet!
Leigh A. Hall loves to make vegetarian, vegan, and raw foods and write up her experiences about it on My Bikram Yoga Life where she also blogs about all things Bikram. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.