Becoming a vegetarian has become more mainstream—we’re no longer the outcast at dinner. Thanks to more meat-free options and health benefits, veggie eaters are now allowed to have bragging rights. While we may still be a minority, a lot of people don’t understand the lifestyle.
Not all of us are looking to food shame others or stand on the PETA soapbox. We simply have chosen the diet based off of beliefs or food preferences like getting tired of eating meat. Putting differences aside, there are common aspects of the veggie life that aren’t talked about. Some aren't the greatest. With all that said, it’s time to shed some light on what it’s truly like to lead the "green life."
1. Be ready to answer a lot of questions
Uttering the words that you’re a vegetarian opens up a can of worms. You’ll be asked: why did you give up meat; how long have you been a vegetarian; have you ever cheated; what do you do for protein?
2. All vegetarians unite
When you meet someone, and they are also a vegetarian, an instant bond is formed. Recipe swaps and protein tips are key talking points—throwing Pinterest in there.
3. Carbohydrates become an enemy
When you forego the 20 grams of protein from meat, finding a substantial protein source can be difficult. Enter: carbs, a great way to feel full. While carbs a necessity to help your body produce energy, too much of them can add a few pounds.
4. Holiday meals can be tricky
Ham and turkey are the main staples for Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner, leaving you with the sides. Thankfully, there are now products that are vegetarian-friendly. Gardein offers a variety of turkey-like and ham-like products—relatives take note.
5. You will be tired
Not consuming enough daily protein will make you tired. Our bodies need 80 grams or more of protein a day—it’s what fuels the metabolism. When we’re not getting that much in, you can find us napping.
6. You'll love cheese and eggs
I have a lot of respect for those who are vegan because I can’t forgo without cheese and eggs. They add more protein and flavor to meals.
7. Accidentally eating meat is traumatizing
If you choose to live on the edge and sneak a piece of meat, you will get sick. Animal protein is harder for the body to digest, taking several hours. When you’re body forgoes meat for an extended period, it loses some of the necessary enzymes to break it down—making your body react as if you’ve had food poisoning.
8. Salad becomes rabbit food
First-time veggie eaters consume a lot of salad, and it gets old fast. Instead of salad, opt for ancient grains; they contain more health benefits.
9. Splitting the check can be painful
Being a vegetarian and going out to eat can be cheap—you’re now paying $12 instead of $20. However, when you’re eating out with meat eaters be ready to split the bill—it’s easier, and they’ll end up buying you a drink.
10. Pescatarians are not vegetarians
You’ll run into some people who only eat fish and call themselves vegetarian. They are not vegetarians—they’re two different labels for a reason.
11. You’ll feel healthier
While you may not lose a lot of weight, you will feel overall healthier. Going vegetarian is detoxifying your entire body. Your skin will be clearer, and you'll be less bloated.
12. Check out the menu online before going to the restaurant
Doing your homework is always a necessity when going out to eat. You don’t want to be that person being stuck with a salad—hello substance.
13. There will be moments when you’ll miss meat
When the aroma of bacon roams through the rooms, you’ll want to forget that you’re a vegetarian. If you choose to eat a slice or two, be ready to get sick.
14. You’ll be hated by waiters and waitress
Customizing a once meat-based meal can make the waiter mad. The reason: he or she will have to check with the kitchen. That’s why it’s always smart to check out the menu beforehand.
15. You’ll enjoy cooking
The vegetarian life is more than beans and tofu—you’ll discover new recipes and experiment with different cooking styles for your tofu. Embrace the change.