Not a vegetarian, and it’s alright.
I have been avoiding creating this post for awhile but decided there is no point in putting this pressure on myself. So today I would like to share the reason behind the tough decision I made which is to put the vegetarian lifestyle on pause.
I was a vegetarian for about four years. About a month ago I slowly started including meat in my diet again. It really wasn’t an easy decision. It’s a decision that comes with so much guilt and pressure.
Quitting being a vegetarian is way harder than becoming one. When I decided to become a vegetarian I excluded meat from one day to another, and it wasn’t hard at all, there was no need for will power. I had my mind set in the right way for me to do it. My beliefs have always been strong for this one, and it really was effortless.
The reasons behind my decision to become a vegetarian is the fact I don’t want to support the way animals are treated in the factory farming industry. I am a strong believer that one less meat eater is a step closer to a more humane way of treating animals. And I will always believe in that.
When it comes to meat itself, I never perceived meat as bad nutrition. As a matter of fact, I have always been a fan of meat, because it tastes delicious, but I am absolutely certain that humans don’t need meat to function properly. In my vegetarian experience, I would say my overall health really improved over the last four years, judging by how many times I have been sick. In my opinion animal protein is not a necessity for humans or most at least. I don’t want to suggest that one diet fits all, but just sharing my experience with it. Different bodies could have different needs.
Not gonna get carried away, I have never liked to give vegetarian lectures. When I was a full-time vegetarian I would also hardly ever bring it up in any way. I have never liked parading with my dietary choices. Also, I didn’t care (still don’t) what other eat, and never lectured or guilt anyone when it comes to their diet. Your body, your business.
My Vegetarian Diet & Cooking
For the bigger part of my vegetarianism, I have been happy with my diet. Usually, I would eat a really big amount of fresh vegetables, chickpeas, falafels, tofu and other soy products. One thing that made it harder for me to be a vegetarian is the fact I don’t cook. I don’t. Doesn’t mean I can’t I just don’t do it.
I have had (still have) many issues with binge eating and cooking a meal that’s enough for few servings could easily turn into a binge eating episode. It’s complicated, I would love to talk about it more openly on the blog, but it’s hard. If you know it, you know it.
Sometimes I would feel inspired and in the mood and will take the time to cook some salmon or nice risotto, but most of the time I just eat something that can be prepared fast doesn’t create too much mess and is a serving portion.
With this being said, I think I made it clear my diet at some point became boring to me. I would always eat the same things and you too much of anything can make you sick. Even your favorite foods.
Carbs Struggling & Acne
I have always had hard times processing carbs, since a teen. Eating carbs have always had the same effect on me, acne breakouts, weight gain and general tiredness. My body has never been alright with high carb diet, or to be honest any carb in my diet.
Carbs are life though. Not only delicious but almost unavoidable when you are a vegetarian. Even if I try to avoid guilty pleasures like pizza, pasta or risotto, I will still end up consuming carbs because of my vegetarian diet.. Most of the products that would give you unprocessed vegetarian protein, naturally come with high carbs content. All the lentils, beans, quinoa, chickpeas (life) are naturally very high in carbohydrates…
To avoid starving myself, of course, I would eat such foods, but it always come with a high price 🙁 and that would be my skin. It’s almost unavoidable for me to eat carbs and not get massive breakouts. And I knew it very well, I have always known the effect it has on me.
From time to time when my skin gets really bad I would cut all carbs out, but this would leave me with only eating fresh vegetables, given I don’t cook much. I was so frustrated about being hungry and the struggle to avoid carbs and keep up my vegetarian diet. I am not trying to say that avoiding carbs as a meat eater is effortless, but WAY easier.
I would say this probably the biggest reason for setting the vegetarian lifestyle on pause, and I won’t let anyone guilt me about my decision.
Another thing that contributed to my decision to start including meat in my diet again is the fact that Aalborg is not the most vegetarian-friendly place. I am not sure if it’s not popular enough or it’s something cultural, but facts are facts. There are places that offer vegetarian dishes, but most of them don’t have it on their menu or call salad a dish. Salad is not a meal, get yourself together. I hate hearing “we can make it vegetarian” no you can’t. In many meat dishes, meat is the accent, you can’t take that out and serve a tasteless blah to me.
I love going out eating, and it was just always so frustrating, with almost NO CHOICE for vegetarians. You, either way, get the salad or go home.
Making the decision & Strangers guilting me
Making the decision was really hard for me, and It still is but for different reasons. I felt so much pressure, guilt, and fear of people judging me when I started thinking about quitting vegetarianism.
For some weeks I ate meat “in secret” . It might sound so ridiculous to many, even to me! I had no idea it could be so hard to openly quit being a vegetarian. Even though I have never judged people based on what they eat I felt like I will be judged.
I posted a picture in my Instagram story that I will quit vegetarianism for some time and OMG a number of strangers who went ballistic on me.
It didn’t surprise me that much but it definitely made me feel bad and got me angry. Some would just lecture me on why vegetarianism is the best and only way to go with, others were just saying they could never do it (eat meat again). And that’s not alright, I believe in freedom of speech and so on, but seriously, approaching a stranger regarding their diet, without knowing their reasoning behind it and guilting them? Shame on those who do that. That’s not the way to “preach” vegetarianism.
And just so you know what you are doing is even worse then when non-vegetarians try to tell vegetarians they don’t get enough protein #ignorant.
There is only one thing I can tell you guys, “your body, your business”. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for what you eat or don’t eat.
My family and friends were very supportive. My family actually was pretty happy as they were never really on board with the vegetarian lifestyle. My dad instantly started planning BBQ parties.
Soo yes, that’s why I decided to put the vegetarian lifestyle on pause. And yes I say pause, as I might go back to it, who knows. I will always have my beliefs and love for animals. It feels good to share. I hope you enjoyed this post and it wasn’t too long or personal. Have a wonderful day, and don’t forget to always love yourself.
“You can’t pour from an empty cup.”