What I Learned My First Week as a Vegetarian

Okay, I know what you're thinking - being a vegetarian/vegan has become extremely popular in last couple of years, and a lot of people see it as nothing more than a fad.

While this idea of vegetarianism and veganism is completely valid, I promise that my reasoning behind adopting this new lifestyle had absolutely nothing to do with fitting in, going with the flow, or other people's opinions in general. 

I decided to become a vegetarian for my own personal health.

For one, I've never been a big meat eater. I can vividly remember moments from my childhood when I'd be left sitting at the dinner table around 9pm, a plate full meat before me, and one of my parents casually sitting across the table waiting for one of us to cave. This aversion to meat continued with me throughout my life, although I did develop a strong liking for chicken nuggets over the years. 

Secondly, I have quite a few friends who have either been vegetarian at some point, or still are today, and they swear up and down that it's the best decision they've EVER made. This alone was enough to persuade me to adopt meatless Mondays, and other specifically non-meat practices to incorporate into my daily life. 

It wasn't recently that I decided to take the plunge and completely eliminate meat from my diet. As of today, it's been almost two weeks (I know this isn't long at all, but I'm planning to continue with this for quite some time), and I absolutely LOVE it. 

Some of the biggest changes I've noticed since adopting this lifestyle include not being nearly as bloated as I previously was, not being as tired, being able to eat complete meals without feeling overly full or sluggish afterwards, and my cravings for things like fast food and chocolate have drastically decreased. 

While I've seen a significant change in both my mindset and my physical appearance (not that this is why I chose to do this, but I have slimmed down a good bit), I've also learned that no matter how good a decision is for you, other people will always have something to say about it. 

As I said before, many people see vegetarianism as a phase, a fad, and nothing more than a trend. Many people have told me that this lifestyle won't be sustainable in the long run, that it isn't healthy, that I won't be getting all the protein I need, and SO much more. While these are all valid concerns, I am fully capable of tracking my food intake to ensure adequate macro and micronutrient intake as well as diversifying my diet enough to make it easily sustainable in the long run. 

In the end, Collegiettes, I encourage you to make the decisions that will make you happy above all else. Whether that decision includes, eating meat, not eating meat, being a vegan, or whatever else, it's your life and as long as you are healthy and content, then nothing else matters.