There I was, on spring break for a whole week… surrounded by vegetarians. My friends and I were all cooking for each other, which meant no meat for seven days. As someone who dreaded #MeatlessMondays in East Quad Dining, I never thought I could go vegetarian. I love meat too much and it seemed like all (good) entrees were meat based. More than that, I hate vegetables (like more than a two year old throwing a temper tantrum). But my friends have always been very vocal about the benefits of going vegetarian and since we were eating together for a whole week, this seemed like the perfect time to give it a try. So, if you’ve ever considered going vegetarian, I encourage you to go for it with these insider tips in mind.
1. There are all kinds of vegetarians
Not all vegetarians are the stereotypical tree hugging, animal loving, calorie conscious hippies. And nobody should think of them that way. People go vegetarian for everything from health to cultural and moral reasons to just plain preference or interest.
2. That being said, there are all kinds of vegetarian dishes.
Did you know that not all vegetarian dishes are salads? Well I didn’t, or at least I thought they were all super healthy and not flavorful. Not true. I was able to eat everything from vegetable sushi to pasta to French fries to ice cream, and yes, actually good salads.
3. Black bean burgers are seriously delicious
Confession: I had never had a veggie burger before this. I never had to consider alternatives because I was a carnivore, so I never knew the greatness that is a black bean burger. New to meatless burgers? Try this black bean burger for meat lovers. Foodgasm.
4. You can eat all the carbs you want (not that you should)
Newsflash carnivores: a lot of your favorite foods aren’t meat, they’re actually carbs. And because carbs are not meat, carbs are still up for grabs on a vegetarian diet. Logic. Although its probs not the best idea to eat tons of bread/pasta to overcompensate for all the meat you’re not eating, you’re totally allowed to do so once in a while.
5. Dessert is still on the table (no pun intended)
Most desserts don’t have meat, so they’re allowed. Again, seems obvious, but it’s actually a lifesaver when you’re abstaining from chicken fingers and have a sweet tooth like me. Try these A-mazing red velvet Oreo cupcakes.
6. Vegetables can taste good (Who knew?)
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Remember how I said I was worse than a two year old during a temper tantrum? I guess now I’m a slightly less cranky two year old, because veggies can be good (roasted veggies are bomb). Like I said, not all vegetarian meals are just straight up vegetables, but you are more inclined to eat them when you can’t eat meat. I’m partial to this tomato Gorgonzola salad.
7. You feel healthier
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When I was off of meat, I realized how a lot of the unhealthy things I was eating weren’t unhealthy because they have meat. Actually, a lot of the unhealthy things I was putting in my body didn’t have meat at all. A lot of them were unhealthy because of unhealthy carbs, processed sugars or extra fat. The result? While some may consider this annoying, stressful and too health conscious, it wasn’t. I know this seems cliché, but it was actually really empowering. I felt much more in control of my diet and health. Who run the world? Vegetarians.
8. You don’t even miss the meat
I became too distracted choosing from the vegetarian options to even be sad about all of the meat options on the menu I wasn’t able to have. In fact, when you don’t even consider meat as an option, ordering at restaurants can sometimes be easier. Other awesome articles: