Q&A part 1: being a vegetarian/living with a meat eater.

24.1.13

I have received a few questions about diet and exercise recently so I thought it could be helpful to answer each one in a separate blog post where I can go into a bit more detail. First up... 

Why did you go vegetarian? Does Jonathan eat meat?

I decided to become a vegetarian around the middle of last year. I'm very much into the welfare of animals and I often felt hypocritical buying and eating meat from the supermarket when I knew it probably hadn't come from an animal with a happy life. One day, all of a sudden, I just decided I was going to do it.

I have found it surprisingly easy to cut out meat considering how much meat I ate before, and it has made me try new recipes and new types of food. I also feel like my meals are much healthier and feature a wider range of vegetables.

Yes, Jonathan still eats meat but every now and again he will have the same as me which makes things nice and easy, and gives him a meat-free day.

It's pretty straight forward making slightly different meals. It just involves an extra pan here and there. For example, if I have pasta with veg (garlic, onion, mushrooms, peppers, sometimes courgette) and sauce, then Jonathan has the same but chucks meatballs in his. Or if we have fajitas then I cook his chicken separately with all the peppers and other bits, and make mine with just the veg.

(all images found on weheartit.com or Google images)

If Jonathan has a piece of fish with potatoes and veg then I have the same but swap the fish for Linda McCartney sausages or maybe something from the Quorn range. Also Morrisons do a great vegetarian range in the fridge section.

It was a bit tricky at first but now it is second nature and not much hassle at all. I'm lucky that Jonathan is easy going and really supportive. He used to do all of the cooking but at the moment I do most of it through the week so it's easy for me to keep things separate. On a weekend when we cook together we pick a vegetarian recipe using the BBC Food website or my Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall book (I highly recommend this!) which means we can eat the same thing.

The annoying thing for me is having to check packaging all the time as I have slipped up a few times making assumptions that certain yoghurts or certain biscuits would be vegetarian, before getting home and finding they contain gelatine (I'm looking at you Party Rings!)

Eating out is usually fine. It means I try food that I wouldn't normally have as the options tend to be limited but I always enjoy whatever I choose. However when we went on holiday I was pretty much limited to cheese pizza, side salads or vegetable paella which wore thin after a week.

Will I be a vegetarian forever? It's hard to say. For now though, I'm happy and feel healthy and will carry on as I have been doing!

25 comments:

  1. I think it's great that you have made a choice that works for you and you enjoy it too. I love vegetarian food - I think people dismiss veggies too quickly and say they taste of nothing but they don't. I love a good vegetable pizza or a lovely garlic mushroom risotto. A friend of mine's sister suffers with coeliacs disease and I understand how difficult eating out can be. I don't understand why the world doesn't cater for everyone. Meat is tasty yes, but it doesn't make a meal. Now - the lovely potato on the other hand, THAT I couldn't give up! xx

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  2. A great little read Victoria - how bloomin annoying that you can't indulge in a Party Ring though! I do eat meat but often have meat free days and find myself feeling less bloated and healthier.

    Hannah x

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  3. Interesting post - I'm a veggie and my boyfriend isn't but unfortunately for him I do most of the cooking and I'm not nice enough to add meat to his meals! I love Linda McCartney sausages especially the ones with red onion in. Also, I never realised that Party Rings contained gelatin...oops :( x

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  4. Haha, I can totally relate to this. I've been the only vegetarian (more recently I've started to eat fish again, extra protein etc)in my family for 14 years now, and I'm still answering questions just like these. It's so easy to cook veggie options once you get the hang of it. x

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  5. Brilliant, thanks for posting this! It's something I'm interested in as well but living with a meat eater puts me off. Great to see that it can be done and you can adjust in a few weeks!

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  6. This is really interesting! I know I love meat too much to ever be a vegetarian but I have recently been trying to eat less meat (especially red, from a health point of view). I have the odd quorn meal, and we have a lot of veggie pasta or bean & veggie chilli.

    You're lucky to have a really flexible boyfirned, mine is the same and is really adaptable to whatever I am eating which is really sweet!

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  7. I'll certainly be taking a look at the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall book, I'm vegetarian and sometimes get bit stuck for inspiration!

    Rosie
    x

    littlestagg.blogspot.com

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  8. Looks lovely well done :) I would love to be a veggie but eat so much fish I couldn't give that up :( xx

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  9. Glad it is going well. I've been veggie all my life (well pescetarian, I do eat fish).

    It is difficult when travelling but sometimes you can be suprised - Marrakech where I thought I may struggle was quite good as they had loads of veggie tagines to try. Things to watch out for are cheesy flavoured things, haribo (though I am guilty of eating them sometimes) some wine is also not veggie friendly. But the wonderful things you can cook up is great :-) xx

    Oh take a look at this it may amuse you for a bit - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21122072

    alittleonesadventures.blogspot.com

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  10. This is a really useful post as I am a meat eater and my boyfriend is vegetarian. We do pretty much the same as you guys but it can be hard sometimes. I dont mind eating veggie stuff at all but since our freezer broke its hard to buy meat for one! :S

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  11. Fantasic post! I have been vegetarian for close to two years now and don't ever forsee myself changing - I'd also say I'm about 70% vegan now. I do think it's great that you and John work with this - I'm not entirely sure if I could date a meat-eater now because it's an issue so close to my heart I'm convinced I could only date another veggie :/

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  12. I'm a pescatarian, if that's how you spell it. I do find it so much easier to refer to myself as vegetarian. Too much explaining to do otherwise. I have no problem with eating meat however. I don't think it's cruel to actually eat animals. After all, that's what we were designed to do. We wouldn't have pointy teeth otherwise :P but I do have issue with how animals are treated and considering 'free range' doesn't actually mean running free in lovely open countryside, just slightly bigger enclosures, or having access to light, I find I have to just steer clear of all meat. I still maintain that I would eat steak if I knew exactly where the cow had been bred and reared. Saying that, I now haven't eating meat for about 4 years. I went through a stage at uni of eating meat, but prior to that I was veggie for 8 years!

    I'm chief cook in our house so the boy gets what he's given :P

    Jen | sunny sweet pea xx

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  13. @Jen - yes this was the point I tried to make, that as an animal lover I don't want to eat something that has had a crap, miserable existence purely so I can eat it.

    I have thought about eating meat but only if I know where it has come from and am satisfied it was happy (as much as I can be!) but it just makes things more complicated and I'm happy as I am.

    I see fish and animals as the same so chose to give up both :)

    Thanks for your comment!

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  14. I can relate to this! My boyfriend loves his meat, but it's still pretty easy if we ever cook together. Especially seeing as my whole family eat meat so I've not known anything different since I gave up eating meat/fish when I was 12.

    Have you tried quorn fajita strips? They're really nice. I've also started getting veggie scampi - quorn does some, and so does Linda Mccartney. Quorn fishless fingers are nice too :)

    I was gutted when I found out party rings contain gelatine! But so happy when M&S brought out veggie percy pigs :D

    xx

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  15. I too am vegetarian and have been for my whole life (I'm 21). I cannot imagine ever eating meat as I have no desire to whatsoever, but never say never. The most common question i get asked is 'OMG what do you eat?!' my answer is always; 'Umm, anything that is not meat'. I think it is a much healthier way to live and also more eco friendly when you eat a meat free diet.

    Holly xx
    http://caramellacouture.blogspot.co.uk/

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  16. My guy has been a vegetarian for 10 year and happens to be a creature of habit, when we started dating--he would ALWAYS have a ginger pear salad which consisted of gelatin. He had been eating this particular dessert for years--but has since stopped when I informed him of gelatin's origin.

    Poor guy

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  17. Great post, thanks! I was a vegetarian for a short while, then pescatarian for 7 years before going back to eating meat 2-3 years back. I didn't find it a problem being vegetarian when cooking for myself, but it was hard when eating out in Singapore, where there aren't that many vegetarian options in 'general' restaurants or food places. Eventually I did go back to meat for a variety of reasons, partly health/energy reasons, but I don't regret having been veggie before, and it made me try loads of veggies I'd never been keen on at all before! I now love eggplant, tofu and a million other things I would never touch before.

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  18. I guess I'm quite lucky that both my boyfriend and I are veggies - no problems here whatsoever!

    I just discovered your blog and really, really like it - keep up the good work!

    Have a lovely day,
    -Kati

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  19. This is a really interesting post, thank you!
    I have no intention of going completely veggie, but my boyfriend and I are trying to do three or four meat-free days per week as it gets a bit more variety into our diets and it's cheaper! I'd love it if you shared some of your favourite veggie recipes?

    Jesss xo

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  20. I was toying with the idea of becoming a veggie, because of the animal welfare thing too, but the main thing stopping me is that i'm massively fussy and really geniunley dislike a lot of vegetables, i just worry i wouldn't do it in a healthy way because i wouldn't get the right nutrients sticking to chips and lettuce, i need to get more adventerous i think!

    Great post, and well done for doing it! :)

    Hannah xx
    Bella and Roscoe

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  21. My mums a veggie and looks amazing because of it, I'm allergic to gluten so unfortunately I can't have Quorn products :( so I have no choice but to eat meat which USA shame as I used to love veggie food :) x

    http://Heidi-likes.blogspot.co.uk

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  22. Hi Victoria, great post! Well done with. I feel the same about eating meat as online animals and don't actually enjoy eating meat! I've thought about going veggie before now and people have told me I won't get enough minerals and vitamins. Do you find this to be true? Do you take additional minerals and vitamins? Thanks :-)

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  23. @carryoncreating - I don't take additional vitamins although I probably should!

    I try to get a good mixture of fruit and veg in my diet, as well as protein and nuts and all the rest of it.

    X

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  24. Oh I wish I could be vegetarian but I cant give up meat, I don't know if I could replace it... damn


    Please come and check out my latest post if you have a few minutes spare :)

    www.fragile-bird.blogspot.co.uk

    Helen

    X

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  25. Great post! I'm in the same boat. After being a major meat eater for my whole life, I just went off it one day, but my partner is a major meat eater so it was a bit to get used to (and makes our tiny kitchen more of a mess than it used to be) but it's fun trying out new recipes and great feeling healthier :)

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