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How I become a vegetarian during recovery

I am allergic to some nuts, I’m not the biggest milk fan and I’m recovering from an eating disorder. Therefore, it’s slightly harder because I need to be getting lots of protein. I have wanted to be a vegetarian for years now, but these things have gotten in the way, so instead, I decided to make the transition gradually.

How did I do it?

  1. I have never really been a big meat fan, so I decided to stop having pork and lamb first. This meant that although I was not eating either of these, I was eating more chicken. I very occasionally had beef but that was only if I was having a roast and there were no other options or for iron on my period! One day, I decided to try Linda McCartney sausages which are AMAZING! They tasted so nice; much tastier than pork sausages so that was a massive win. You can still have bangers and mash, toad in the hole…just substitute the pork sausages for veggie sausages.

  1. The next thing is to go to the supermarket (or look online) and look through the vegetarian section. Quorn have a massive range and their food is really tasty. I especially love Quorn nuggets which taste much better than chicken. Additionally, you can get Quorn mince or pieces to use instead of meat in everything…. casseroles, pie, burgers etc.

  1. I’ve also begun to eat more meals that have halloumi in. One of my favourite meals is risotto which works really well with halloumi.

  1. I’ve looked up recipe’s and as well as my mum and I created some new ones. It normally takes 2 or 3 goes to adjust them to our tastes. Some examples are bean cakes and sweetcorn fritters.

  1. I think the biggest game-changer for me, is lentil spaghetti Bolognese! The sauce can be used in pretty much anything. We’ve been using them in a flan and pasties. But you could put them in a cupcake tray and have them as mini-tarts. Lots of choice with Bolognese and luckily, it’s one of my favourite meals!

  1. In the last few months, I’ve been having half the amount of cod and two sweetcorn fritters. But in the past few weeks, I’ve decided to just have one big sweetcorn fritter which I prefer much more! Fish is obviously a particularly good source of protein, so make sure that you have something with enough protein in to replace it, e.g. eggs.

I currently still have chicken once a week, but I’m hoping to be completely vegetarian soon! For me, it was really important to make sure that I wasn’t cutting out meat due to my eating disorder and that I actually wanted to do it. Therefore, I’ve been doing it over a period of months, to make sure that it’s something I can sustain. Even if you don’t have an eating disorder, I believe that it is easier to stick to being vegetarian if you gradually change your eating habits.

Edit: I went full vegetarian at the end of May 2020 🙂

Best wishes C x

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