Health and wellness have been the overarching theme of the past year; everyone has been striving for a better version of themselves. However, there’s no doubt that when making a big life change, we doubt ourselves in our abilities to follow through. Sometimes making a significant life change or breaking a habit seems far more overwhelming before you attempt it. Lexi Kreimeier, a sophomore at Florida State, is one who recently took a leap of faith into a big lifestyle change—vegetarianism. Lexi had been toying with the idea of vegetarianism for a while, before finally deciding to rip the band-aid and give it a shot. I sat down with her to learn about her experience with vegetarianism, and how she managed to stick to her goal and turn it into a lifestyle.
Her Campus (HC): How long have you been a vegetarian?
Lexi K. (LK): I’ve been a vegetarian for a little over a month now.
HC: What inspired you to become vegetarian in the first place?
LK: I’ve always heard about how good going vegetarian is for your health and the environment, along with so many other positive aspects, but I just didn’t see myself as someone who could fully commit. It was after my friend Patricia convinced me to try it that I gave it a chance. Also, there are plenty of documentaries out there that would make you never want to eat meat again.
HC: Did you find that the transition was easy or hard?
LK: The transition was actually a lot easier for me than I thought it would be. I told myself I would try it out and see how it went, but it was exciting, every day, to be able to say, “Wow I went another day without eating meat.” I thought I would be hungry all the time or tired but I haven’t.
HC: Have you noticed any changes in your health since you made the switch? If so, what kind of things have you noticed? Are they positive or negative changes?
LK: I feel lighter, if that makes sense. Like sometimes when I would eat meat I would feel tired and not my best. I haven’t had any stomach issues, and I’ve found myself looking at ingredients a lot more to make sure I know what I’m eating and to double-check that it’s good for me. Definitely only positive changes so far.
HC: Have you found that it is possible to get enough protein with a vegetarian diet? Where do you get your protein?
LK: I haven’t had any issues with getting enough protein. I make sure to eat lots of beans, soy, chickpeas, etc. I know a lot of people eat tofu but I haven’t ventured into cooking that yet.
HC: Do you take vitamins or have you considered supplements? Do you think you need them?
LK: I don’t take any vitamins specifically for a vegetarian diet, but I definitely want to look into taking B12 supplements.
HC: What has been the greatest benefit of being vegetarian?
LK: The greatest benefit of being vegetarian is just that I feel like every day, no matter what I did, I made a difference by not eating meat. I make that choice every day not only for my benefit but for the animals.
HC: What has been the biggest struggle about being vegetarian? Is it difficult eating out?
LK: Honestly, the hardest part has been eating out. Especially when I go to a restaurant that doesn’t have many vegetarian options. It’s hard to choose a salad while my friends can pick anything they want. I try not to eat out too much anyway, and if I do, I try to choose somewhere vegetarian or at least with a lot of vegetarian options.
HC: Do you plan to stay vegetarian long term?
LK: My friend Patricia, who I mentioned earlier, says it best: “Being vegetarian is a choice you have to make every day.” Some days are easier than others. I hope that I can continue on this journey, but I know that it’s going to be a continuous, conscious effort.
HC: What advice would you give someone who was considering becoming vegetarian?
LK: To anyone considering going vegetarian I would say—just do it. It seems overwhelming at first, but you can start small. Try cutting meat out of your diet once a week, and then twice a week. Then maybe just eat meat on Fridays. I think the scariest part of doing it is deciding to start. Once you’ve started, you’ll be glad you did.