I’ve been a vegetarian for over year now, and it’s surprised me how easy it’s been.

When I first removed any meat based products from my diet, I did think I’d struggle to dine out in restaurants and also be able to keep an interesting diet. I realised that I was wrong pretty quickly. Going out for meals is usually pretty straightforward, some restaurants are better than others. Usually at slightly lower end, especially pubs, it’s a struggle – the choice is normally pasta or salad – a veggie burger if you’re lucky. Other places can be much better, I was stupidly happy when I first tried places like Giraffe, Las Iguanas and Levi Roots Caribbean Smokehouse – they have tonnes of choice. It’s also positive that there are more vegetarian and vegan places springing up, it makes dining out a lot easier!

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Eating at home has been fantastic too – I think in part thanks to Miss A. She’s been a veggie for most of her life and, to be honest, a fantastic chef. I’ve not for a moment felt hard done by losing meat from my diet. I think I actually eat better these days, so many vegetables!! It’s been good for my state of mind too, the fairly balanced diet means my weight isn’t the yo-yo it used to be. It’s also helped me build confidence in my cooking too, I’m trying to cook new things. I really do love cooking but I lack confidence. Finding new meat-free recipes and trying them out has been fun.

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The kids have been okay with a vegetarian diet when they are with me too. I’ve been building a repertoire of meals they enjoy that are vegetarian. I don’t force them to be veggie when we go out for meals. The vegetarian choices on the children’s menu can often be very limited, and if it’s not something they like – it’s hard. When they are at home with me though, I can quite often put together something that is meat free and enjoyable for slightly fussier palletes. Using Quorn and some of the supermarket’s ‘Meat-Free’ ranges makes it easier – the ‘meatier’ textures and tastes of them help.

It’s been a pretty smooth time becoming a vegetarian for over a year now. I’m sure I’ll ALWAYS get the questions I seem to get from people..

“Do you eat fish though?”
“Yeah.. but you MUST miss bacon though?”

The answer is no – obviously! It’s not as hard becoming a vegetarian these days as it’s more accepted, and indeed accessible. I can’t ever imagine switching back now, the first year has been fantastic! I would recommend going meat-free to anyone.

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While we’re on the subject of ‘first years’ – our friends at Ketchup are celebrating their first birthday.

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