Meat-Free, Pescatarian, Vegan, Vegetarian, Veggie

One Year Meat-Free: My Honest Thoughts

Hello all and welcome to my first blog post of 2019! Hope you’ve all had a fabulous festive period.

Today I’m going to give you my honest thoughts and opinions on my meat-free journey through 2018. My last post was about New Year’s resolutions and whilst I said that I don’t tend to make them, this one kind of just happened!

Sounds strange, but I wasn’t really planning on giving up meat. However, on 4th January 2018 it was as if a switched had flipped and I made the snap decision to see if I could manage without it.

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There were a couple of reasons for this: I’d spent a year between August 2016 and August 2017 training at a strength and conditioning gym. Due to the increased use of weights, I was advised to up my protein intake to help with muscle building/repair. I felt as if all I ate was chicken and turkey at times. I ate so much that I feared I may turn into one! And I think due to eating so much of it, I kind of got fed up with the taste, no matter the different ways in which I cooked it and served it up.

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I’m not going to lie and pretend that I quit purely to save the animals, although this was also a feature. I’m never going to be someone who gets preachy with people over what they choose to eat, it just isn’t in my nature. But I can’t lie, it definitely does feel gratifying to know that you’re no longer eating animals…

…Apart from fish. Again I’m not going to lie, I’ve gone meat-free but I’m currently still eating fish. I am therefore a pescatarian. Whether or not I’ll be able to wean myself off of fish remains to be seen. I’ve not tried it as yet but that’s not to say that I won’t. After all:

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I live with my younger sister, who has been a vegetarian for the last 15 years, so luckily for me she was able to guide me a bit. This also meant that we had an abundance of meat-free alternatives in our freezer for me to try out.

Here is a rundown of things that I’ve learned and experienced in the last year of being meat-free:

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1) I genuinely don’t feel any better (physically) for cutting meat out of my diet. Just to stress, I also don’t feel any worse! But I can’t lie and be all “oh I feel sooooo much better for it” as honestly, I just don’t? That’s not to say that it wouldn’t make the next person feel better physically but for me, there’s been no marked change.

2) Quorn is your spongy little friend! Basically, Quorn is pretty tasteless on its own. But it has the ability to soak up any kind of flavour that you mix it with – enter me, thinking I’m Salt-Bae. I’ve thrown all kinds into the pan when cooking Quorn; salt, pepper, garlic, curry powder, paprika, cumin… the list is endless! It always soaks up the flavours lovely so the beauty of it is, you have free reign to change it up every single time you cook it.

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3) In saying all that, there is much more out there than just Quorn. I think some meat-eaters can be a bit narrow minded at times and not realise just how many alternatives there are out there. To be fair, I was probably a bit narrow-minded myself when I started out. My overwhelming feeling initially was “ohmigod what am I gonna eat?!” But there is SO much out there and the levels of choice are increasing all the time. I do eat Quorn but I’m also a fan of the Linda McCartney range, The Veggie Kitchen (especially their sausages – yum!) and I love the Wicked Kitchen meals from Tesco to eat on the go.

4) Going abroad can sometimes pose an issue. Last June I visited a beautiful resort called Puerto de Mogán in Gran Canaria and it’s a bloody good job that I still eat fish. Almost every restaurant there had almost ZERO in the way of vegetarian options and if you were a vegan? No chance! Pretty much the only food available for veggies was margarita pizza and plain-ish pasta dishes. I didn’t really fancy being bloated off of just pizza and pasta for a full week but luckily for me (though not luckily for Nemo and his pals) there was plenty of seafood on offer.

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5) I miss meat at times, especially pulled pork burgers and a Nandos! The Linda McCartney range has their own version of a pulled-pork burger and whilst it does taste lovely, it just isn’t the same! However, going meat-free has pushed me into seeking out new places to eat and I’ve since discovered some gems. My favourite being Sanskruti in Liverpool, which is an Indian restaurant serving only vegetarian and vegan dishes. My sister and I visited here back in September and I’m feeling a re-visit coming on for sure. It was delicious – best peshwari naan bread ever!

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So that is my experience thus far of eliminating meat from my diet. Are you a meat-eater and do you feel as if this is something you would ever do? If you’re already a vegetarian or vegan, can you recommend any particular meals or ranges which are worth trying? I’m always open to new options!

41 thoughts on “One Year Meat-Free: My Honest Thoughts”

    1. I really admire anyone who is vegan, I honestly have no idea how you do it! I’m always told that the switch is quite easy but I’ve found it hard enough just cutting out meat 🙈😂 Thanks for reading!

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  1. This is a really great post as I’ve been trying a lot to cut back on the amount of meat that I eat. I was please that you actually said you didn’t feel a million times better for it as I hear a lot of people say. I will be definitely checking out some of those alternatives for meat! X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah the alternatives I’ve mentioned are genuinely tasty, definitely worth checking out! Thank you for reading and good luck with cutting down 😊

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  2. This was a really interesting post to read, at the moment I am trying to go vegetarian because I want to reduce my carbon emissions and improve my environmental impacts. I’m so glad to hear it all worked out for you though!!
    beesytimes.co.uk

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  3. I’m going completely meat free this year. I’ve cut way back on the amount of meat I eat recently and now when I do eat it, I feel horrible afterwards so I guess it’s time to cut it out completely! I do feel better weeks that I don’t eat meat vs weeks that I do eat meat, so it is easy for me to say no to meat.

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  4. This was great to see your views on going meat-free! I am trying to gradually ease myself into the meat-free life but finding it difficult, will have to look up your recommendations for alternatives! x

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  5. This was a really interesting read. I think I could fairly easily go vegetarian, but like you, would need to keep eating fish. (Although I love a good steak every once in a while!) So now the question is… will you continue the vegetarian lifestyle in 2019?

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    1. Thank you for reading! And yes, so far I’m still off of meat. Not yet tried to cut fish out yet but it’s something I’m considering for sure 🤔

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  6. It is awesome that you went meat-free last year! Pretty cool that you’ve been doing so many different things to improve your health. I can imagine how it’ll be a big lifestyle change for me and I always admire those who can do it. It is interesting to read how people’s experiences went. Thanks for sharing your adventure!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

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  7. I don’t think I could go full meat free but after reading your post I’ll definitely try and have a few meat free days a week and see how I get on! There are lots of options out there now which is good to see! 🙌🏼

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  8. Great post! I highly recommend the new Plant Based range from M&S – so good and so much choice!
    Also, the Happy Cow website (and app) is an absolute lifesaver when travelling. They list everything from purely vegan and vegetarian eateries to veg-friendly places, stores, markets etc. I always look it up before a trip.
    Good luck with your meat-free journey! 🙂

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    1. Ha yeah, think of all the pigs and cows that you’re already saving! Oh I have a friend who lives fairly near to Didsbury (she’s in Chorlton) so next time I’m down that way I’ll check it out. Just looked at the menu and it looks amazing 😍 Thanks for reading!

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  9. Going completely meat free is such an amazing achievement! You should feel super accomplished and this inspires me to also take on a more plant based diet too – I know I’d find it difficult at first but I guess that’s normal with any change of diet. I’m Indian myself and there are so many vegetarian dishes which I love so I like that I’d still be able to enjoy my cultural food. Thanks for sharing and here’s to even more progress! xx

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  10. Haha. Great read. I love the honesty because you talk how I think but you’re not afraid to say it. Thanks! I had to look up Quorn! I’m in USA so I had no idea lol. Out here there is a brand called Morning Star for mear substitutes if you ever make it here! Actually, Morning Star Spicy Black Bean veggie burgers are delicious!! Anyway, I may try less meat cuz sometimes it makes my stomach so full. Btw, were you eating egg, milk, and cheese? Thanks for sharing your experience!
    Teri – MillennialAdulting.Life

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    1. Thank you so much for reading! That black bean burger sounds amazing. I visited New York back in November and had such a good falafel burger at a place called Black Tap 😍 Yeah, I still ate (and still do eat) dairy. I don’t think I could live without cheese 😂

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  11. Interesting post! For a while, I have been thinking of trying to go vegetarian but I’ve so far not convinced anyone in my family to try it with me… so I think it may be a case of trying it on my own and seeing how I feel.
    Jess xx || littlepinkduckblog.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Hey, all you can do is give it a go! I think going veggie/meat free is a lot easier these days than it’s ever been as there’s so much choice now. Good luck if you give it a go and thank you for reading! Xx

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