Ten Things No One Tells You about Becoming a Vegetarian.

I’m about two months into life as a vegetarian (or, as my husband calls it, my hippie dippy phase). Long enough to feel like I’m starting to get the hang of it. And long enough to gather some little nuggets of knowledge that none of the “beginning vegetarian” books and blogs share.

So, being the giving person I am, I’m going to share them with you.

1. When you commit to becoming vegetarian, you commit to learning a whole new way to cook. And it’s much more difficult than cooking an omnivorous menu. There’s no slapping a chicken breast on the grill, or nuking a hot dog, for instance. You’ve got to cook. And it’s hard.

2. Cooking vegetarian meals involves doing more dishes than you ever imagined possible. I swear, every recipe I try calls for three bowls, four pots, and 50 million utensils. Me and the dishwasher? We’re becoming fast friends.

3. Vegetarian-types have a secret vocabulary. Did you know there was a thing called nutritional yeast? And that it can take the place of cheese? Or that you might need some agar agar powder? Or arrowroot? I didn’t. But I do now.

4. Kids can spot tofu at 100 yards. I keep trying to trick my daughter into eating it. I even tried making tofu nuggets (which I thought were delicious). But she is having none of it. And if she sees it on the counter, she runs screaming.

5. Feeding a kid when you’re trying to go veggie is not a task for the faint of heart. I try to get her to eat what I’m eating. Every night I try. But you know what she’s had for dinner three of the last six nights? Chicken nuggets. Organic ones, but still. As my diet gets less processed, hers is swinging in the opposite direction. Somehow, we’ve got to find balance.

6. When your diet is made up of mostly green things, the things that come out the other end start to become green too. Just so you know and don’t freak out and do a frantic Google search (not that I did or anything).

7. Also, green things have lots of fiber. If you’re not drinking enough water to counteract all that roughage, you’re in for a world of hurt. Ahem.

8. Fast food restaurants are a no man’s land. Even the salads have meat on them. This is very disappointing to small children who love their McD’s.

9.  After you immerse yourself in veggie-ism, you will start to find things tasty that make others cringe. For instance, I have a recipe for tofu crab cakes that I’m dying to try. My husband isn’t so sure. And by not so sure, I mean vehemently opposed.

10. When all else fails, eat salad. It’s a recipe you can’t possibly screw up.

11. If I can do it, anyone can. So if you’ve ever been curious, just give it a try. You can always go back to eating Babe tomorrow.

6 Comments on Ten Things No One Tells You about Becoming a Vegetarian.

  1. Rebecca
    June 30, 2013 at 9:43 pm (3 years ago)

    I often joke that Joey (my 6 year old son) is vegan. Because that child eats fresh raw fruits and veggies for lunch and dinner daily. On the weekends he will eat chicken if it’s from Chick Fil A, Diary Queen, or Raising Cane’s….but that’s only if we go to those places. No cheese, no eggs………..just raw fruits and veggies. THOUGH, he will eat pancakes and waffles which makes him no vegan but still…..

  2. Tiffany Moore
    June 30, 2013 at 11:09 pm (3 years ago)

    I’ve got some recipes or you to try and a website to check out;)
    The tofu parm. is a favorite of Sam’s.
    Lets catch up!!!

  3. Andi
    July 1, 2013 at 12:23 pm (3 years ago)

    When I say I don’t eat at fast food restaurants, people (who don’t know me) assume I’m a crunchy health nut. But really there is no food for me there! The best I’ve found is at chick fil a – spicy chicken salad with the chicken on the side. Tey look at you like you’re nuts, but then I don’t have to buy a seperate meal for the kiddo. She just eats my chicken.

    When I get sick of normal salads, I throw black beans, corn, avocado, any other Mexican type food on some greens and dump salsa on it. Because its salsa instead of dressing, it totally doesn’t even taste like salad anymore.

    Sounds like you’re doing good!! Good luck!

  4. Meagan
    July 1, 2013 at 12:33 pm (3 years ago)

    Chris and I tried a month without meat and failed miserably. It’s tough! Especially when I’m the only one who would eat a lot of the vegetables. Kudos to you for making this change.

    It might be a bit of work up front, but have you considered making a few meals ahead for Tori that you can just heat up? If there’s something less processed that she likes, you could make a batch and freeze single servings. Then thaw and reheat. I freeze a lot of our leftovers (since so many recipes are bigger than one meal for us) and it works. Lots of ziplock bags and gladware in the freezer, but it makes for a quick meal.

    Also, if you eat beets, your pee will turn a little reddish pink. Just so you know. And aren’t panicked that it’s blood.

  5. Amanda C.
    July 1, 2013 at 3:30 pm (3 years ago)

    Since we started this new CSA this summer, I’ve found myself becoming more vegetarian. Plus, it helped when Vincent was on his restricted diet due to having too many stomach/GI issues. We’ve eaten a lot of chicken, but we’ve also eaten mostly pasta and veggies/fruits over the past couple of months. It helps that the CSA provides a wide variety of veggies each week. I’ve cooked some interesting things, some of which that I ended up eating more than the boys (and even Brian; oh, how he hates this vegetarian/less meat phase of mine. Something has to have died for his meal for him to consider eating it. He’ll try the veggies, but he may not like them.)

    Anyway, just saying keep up the great work! My boys have had a lot of hot dogs and chicken nuggets lately, too. :)


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