The Vegetarian Initiative

Recently I woke up and said to myself that I was going to try a vegetarian diet. It has always been something I wanted to try out, but I have never seen it through. Living with a meat-lover mom/personal chef made me think that it was going to be harder, but it wasn’t. Even though she did not participate as much as my dad and I in this diet, she prepared all of our unique vegetarian meals.

By coincidence, the same day I decided that I wanted to try and eat a vegetarian diet, my environmental sustainability professor gave us a eco-friendly lifestyle commitment assignment that would last for a week. Because of this I decided to try it out for the whole week, and if I could keep it up, I would. 

The first day was very exciting to me, especially because I knew that my mom was going to look up some cool recipes online to plan for the week. I always wanted to be truthful about my completion of the assignment, and having my mom buy all of the healthy groceries made me more promising to keep the diet going and not give up from the first day.

She made so many yummy meals, some of my favorites were the bean salad, lentil burgers, vegetarian lasagna and bean burritos. But at some points I was getting a bit tired of those foods.

Ramen in a pan with sauce, and eggs and vegetables on the counter. Photo by Patchanu Noree from Burst/Shopify The first four days I felt really good about myself, and I was really proud of what I was doing. Helping the environment is very important to me, and sometimes we don’t acknowledge that our food choices impact the environment. For me this lifestyle commitment was not for my diet, because I mostly eat generally healthy, but it was to see an alternative lifestyle that could benefit the environment.

The fifth day I started missing other foods and was getting a bit demotivated, but I finished the week. This assignment made me think about my food choices and healthier alternatives that I could implement in my diet without being a full on vegetarian. 

The question of the hour: would I be a vegetarian? The answer is probably not anytime soon. I enjoyed a lot of the meals and I felt good about my small contribution to the environment, but the compromise to cut out so many foods that I enjoy do not seem appealing at this point.

However, I would definitely eat more vegetarian meals than I did before. As a person that does not spend much time in the kitchen, I think it would be easier for me to develop a vegetarian diet once I live alone, even though my mom said the meals were not that easy to prepare. But I would prepare simple meals that would satisfy me.

If you are like me and always wanted to see if you could be a vegetarian, I suggest you try it out for a week and see how it goes. You may fully commit, or you may not, like me. I think by doing it for a week it can help you open your eyes to possibilities of implementations that you could add to your existing diet. I hope that as years pass, I incorporate more vegetarian meals into my diet and see if one day I can fully commit for the sake of the environment. 

Photos: Her Campus Media