Vegetarian for 1 year – My Experience!

I can’t remember exactly why I decided to stop eating meat. I didn’t eat a lot anyway, I was more than happy to go days without any meat. I’d signed up to go to my first retreat, which served Vegan food throughout. I was also living in the UK and there was a thing called Veganuary, where you go Vegan for the month of January. As my retreat started on boxing day 2015 I thought I may as well carry on the Vegan eating after my retreat ended! So really, that’s how it begun. I had no idea how I would fare and how long I would last, if I’d crave meat etc My last piece of meat was on the plane flying to Hawaii to my retreat,boxing day 2015. (I had the chicken, in case you were wondering!).

As I write this it is boxing day 2016 and not one drop of meat, fish or poultry has touched my lips. Why did I continue after that month of  Veganuary and the retreat I went to? How did I do it? Easy. Here’s the low-down:

  • I did not and still don’t crave meat – obviously that helped, but I had no idea at the beginning if I would or not, I guess I was ready.
  • Knowledge. I read, research, watch documentaries etc and I now realise what is in today’s meat products and how they are made, and I’m not ok with it.
  • Experiment. I experimented with different foods, expanded my pallet, tried different combinations. It’s a great chance to play in the kitchen and create wonderful dishes.
  • Mindset.I realised I don’t have to eat like everyone else, I don’t have to continue to eat how I always have. I chose to look at it positively and as a bit of an experiment, rather than an arduous task.
  • Support. I had supportive friends who understood and accepted my reasons for not eating meat. They were happy to accommodate me and try new things. Support crew is everything.
  • Knowing that I can stop whenever I want. If I get sick, really sick, and the only way to get better is to eat meat. I’ll do it. My health comes first – always. If it is too stressful to not eat meat and I get sick because of that, I’ll stop. Do what is best for you as an individual.  Some body’s just aren’t made for not eating any meat, fish or poultry. Luckily mine seems to be doing ok!
  • I’m not a failure If I go back to eating meat. Life is a journey, you change, grow and adapt. I don’t know what the future will bring, all I know, is that, for now, I am happy not eating meat. Don’t think too far ahead.
  • Expansion. I have met new people, got out of my comfort zone, tried lot’s of different foods I didn’t know existed, and learnt so much this past year. There is an ABUNDANCE of vegetables out there to fulfill your every need.Trust me. You just got to be willing to look.
  • Adapt. I am more adaptable than I realised, I was just scared to give it a go. Now what’s next?!! You cando anything you set your mind too.
  • Judgement. Don’t judge others if they choose to eat meat, it’s their body, their life. If people judge you, who gives a shit, they aren’t people you need to be around.

So there you have it, the main things I experienced in my journey, and a bit of advice if you are pondering the same journey. My health journey is an ever-going one. Each year I get healthier, but I still have a long way to go to optimal health. For me, not eating meat has been a positive change. Going forward, I feel like there is a chance I may eat fish again (wild caught of course), but at this stage, I do not plan to eat meat or poultry again. But who knows, I refuse to put my life into a box that looks a certain way. I won’t be bullied into anything. I do me. I listen to my body. I am not one for labels, as you can tell from my last post, so I don’t say I am a vegetarian, I simply say I don’t eat meat. It is what it is!

Have you stopped eating meat? How long for? What was your experience like? I’d love to hear!

Sarah x