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

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!
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