Yup… I’ve Finally Joined the Rest of the Vegetarians Out there!

 

vegetarians

Finally, a full vegetarian!

It’s taken me a whole year (I stopped eating meat last February and had my last chicken stir-fry on Friday), but I’ve finally joined the rest of the vegetarians out there.

And it feels GREAT!

I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders for some reason… I almost feel ‘free,’ kind of like this picture above. Strange, I know.

vegetarianismSo, why did I finally decide to give up chicken and fish as well and go FULL ON vegetarian?

I guess for a few reasons…

About a month or two ago I was walking around Woolies or Pick ‘n Pay – one of the two, and stopped behind the grilled chicken section. We wanted chicken in our wraps for supper, and buying a whole one seemed a lot more economical than a few breasts.

Standing there, I literally felt sick looking at those whole chickens – it never bothered me before.

Also, we’ve had a tin of tuna in our kitchen cupboard for the last few weeks. I don’t know why, but all of a sudden I had absolutely no inclination to eat that tuna – ever.

Over the last year, I’ve started cooking more veggie stuff at home and really exploring different ways to eat them. I found out about organic farming, and fell in love with fresh produce. I just can’t get enough of it, it’s so good!

Of course along with my searching online, I came across some sites (and pages on Facebook, which I’m no longer part of – it’s just too upsetting) that really shed light on the way farming for meat happens today. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say there are some pretty drastic and horrific methods of practice out there – employed to try and keep up with the “demand” of the ever-increasing global population.

I just don’t want to be part of that demand anymore.

I also discovered a whole bunch of famous celebs I admire who are actually vegan or vegetarian. Very cool. I had no idea Adam Levine was one. And he does yoga. (P.S. He only needed to propose to a Namibian to get my nod of approval). In case you’re interested, here’s a mammoth list of vegan and vegetarian celebs.

And of course, the last reason is probably the most obvious one – wanting to be healthier. I’m LOVING the place in my life where I am right now. Yoga, meditation, trying to be more positive, trying to be kinder to myself, trying not to be so selfish sometimes, nature, zen music, exercising, and eating good, fresh stuff from the earth.

 

Will I still go to braais?

Of course… It would be pretty rude of me not to go to a braai just because I’m vegetarian. I’ll just be eating salad, which is why I’ll always ask if I can bring something with – like a bowl of salad for everyone – because I don’t eat meat AND I don’t eat wheat.  Yes, it’s lots of fun when we go out to eat these days. Especially if they don’t have an online menu…

What will I eat for protein?

This question amuses me sometimes. As if meat is the ONLY source of protein. My mom used to freak out when I went through a tiny vegetarian stage in my early teens. I don’t think chickpeas and lentils and things were as popular back then as what they are today.

I’m really not trying to be rude to those who ask… I guess meat-eaters just don’t understand the big deal about legumes and all that sort of stuff.

vegetarian foodProtein isn’t just found in meat…

You can get it from eggs, cheese, legumes (chickpeas and lentils are my favourite right now), etc. 

Apparently it’s also a good idea to have some sort of vitamin as well, so I’ll definitely stock up on some of those come payday.

I watched the most hilarious thing on the Comedy Channel the other night about vegetarianism. John Vlismas, a South African comedian, was telling the audience what it’s like to be a vegetarian (I also never knew he was one). How he’s got to almost defend himself for being one, etc…. in a way that comedians do, of course. It was absolutely brilliant. If there was a YouTube clip of it, I’d have posted it here.

The “elevator pitch”

Apparently, if you become a vegetarian – or vegan for that matter – you’ve almost got to work out an “elevator pitch,” or so to speak… you know, to come up with a good (acceptable in some cases) answer for, “So, why are you a vegetarian?” or “Don’t you go to braais then?” or “What do you do for protein?!”

Well, this post right here is my elevator pitch because in all honesty, the last thing I feel like doing is defending my eating habits to anyone. I mean come on, this isn’t religion or politics we’re talking about. My choice to eat like this shouldn’t affect anyone else.

On a final note…

I know, this has been a LONG post today… sorry! I blame it on the excitement. VEGGIES… yay, haha!

I got a really awesome message on my Facebook wall the other day from one of my ex work buddies. It totally made my day!  🙂

Here it is, no names are mentioned, so I figure it’s safe to use…! 

 

Dear Melanie Chisnall

I am proud to announce the fact that I now eat more veg than anything else on my plate. This is predominantly due to the fact that I start salivating when I see your lunches/dinners. Gluten free aint happening, but goodness im trying your ice cream recipes soon. Did I mention that I have tons of energy and I dont get sick…

Kind regards,
The Reformed Meat Addict.

Not that it’s my intention to try and “convert” people to not eat meat, but it’s just good to know that every once in a while someone reads what I’ve written or thinks about what I’m doing – like eating veggies without meat – and tries it for themselves… And then finds that they really like it! 

All I’m saying is, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. 🙂

 

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9 Replies to “Yup… I’ve Finally Joined the Rest of the Vegetarians Out there!”

  1. yeah! from one vegetarian to another…Welcome to the green land 😉
    ruchira recently posted…Wordless Wednesday #21My Profile

    1. Melanie Chisnall says: Reply

      I didn’t know you were vegetarian Ruchira 🙂 Although, that makes perfect sense. It seems to me like the most positive/spiritual/happiest people are vegetarian or vegan. So interesting!

  2. I had a feeling you would get to this point eventually! So happy for you! I think you will really love being a vegetarian. Something changes within over time.
    I first became a vegetarian for health reasons, but i started watching the videos (like those you mentioned) and reading books about factory farming and animal cruelty and it became a more spiritual / ethical choice. And I couldn’t eat anything at all for a week. 🙂
    Good luck on your gentle path! I’m looking forward to lots of wonderful recipes!
    Amy recently posted…Smiling Yoga {with Cats}My Profile

    1. Melanie Chisnall says: Reply

      That’s a great idea for the “elevator pitch”… health, spiritual and ethical reasons. I love it. Thanks Amy! I’ve mostly been eating vegetarian meals for the last few months, but chicken or tuna once a week, so it wasn’t too hard to cut out luckily. I think the trick is to start cutting things out slowly. 🙂

  3. Love that last message and seriously you should never have to defend what you do or do not eat. But the fact that you have become a vegetarian is awesome and very happy that this is working for you. Can’t wait to see any recipes you come up with and share here, too!! 🙂
    Janine Huldie recently posted…What Would You Do? ~ The Husband’s Secret ReviewMy Profile

  4. You’re an inspiration! Hehe. I don’t eat much meat – I tried the vegetarian thing and loved it – I don’t really like meat that much – but I haven’t figured out how to keep husby with enough meat on his own body. We eat meat probably about once a week. However, if I could figure out how to get him enough protein from plant/egg-based foods, I want to. 🙂 My problem is that this is the same guy whose doctor put him on protein shakes when he was younger to make him gain weight. He just wouldn’t. He’s just naturally really skinny but gets skinnier when he doesn’t eat meat. :\ So, we include some chicken in our diet and some bacon to help prevent him from withering away. I have the opposite problem, actually, lol. I just have to take a look at something fattening and my body will grow fatty cells. HAHA.
    Good for you! I want to do this again – I think it’ll be when it won’t matter if I can afford 10 bags of edamame for one meal. lol
    Cyndi recently posted…Explaining my Absence and TeachingMy Profile

    1. Melanie Chisnall says: Reply

      Thanks Cyndi! Oh yes, I know what you mean about the meat thing for hubby. Although not for those reasons, Geoff will just never stop eating meat. Not with me asking anyway. So it’s pretty much two meals for those nights he wants meat – which luckily isn’t too often. As long as he has starch and the option for chicken most nights, and meat now and then it’s all good. Though, he will usually just indulge in meat when we go out – we’ve treated meat as a luxury for the past few years. I never knew what edamame was until you mentioned it! Don’t think we even get them here! Sticking to lentils and chickpeas right now – they’re the most economical and so versatile. Yummy! 🙂

  5. Well my dear, I wish you well. I won’t be able to follow you on this journey, but I’m with you all the way on organic. Best wishes with this new journey of yours.

    1. Melanie Chisnall says: Reply

      Bill, I know you’re a meat and potatoes kind of guy. 🙂 Although Geoff usually eats what I have plus starch, he will never, never give up his meat. It would be great if other people wanted to do the same, but I’m in no way out to try and convince them otherwise. It’s a personal choice. Like politics. Like religion. Organic is the best though, isn’t it? I think we need to make a turn this weekend at one of the country markets and see what they’ve got.

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