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  • Writer's pictureLily Burns

Becoming a vegetarian

It's a new year and we've got all sorts of goals and resolutions. Some hard to keep, some easier. I hope you're not too hard on yourself for not keeping all of yours. Motivating ourselves is a hard task. If, by chance, a resolution of yours was to give up meat or eat less of it (I feel as though this is a trend) then I'm here to give you some inspiration to keep ya going.

I've been vegetarian for three years now and I find it to be much easier than people think. I always thought it was so silly when people would ask "well don't you just miss meat?" Like... no. Not really. I get everyone's different, but if you're always making yourself some delicious meals then there's not much to miss! Also, there's a bunch of really good meat substitutes for the days you're really craving a hot dog or something.

Here's a list of my go-to meatless meals for when you feel like there isn't anything to eat anymore:

breakfast

Fried egg, avocado, toast: This one's a classic. Simple & easy. Mash up your avocado with some of your favorite seasonings (I like salt, pepper, and red chili flakes). Fry up an egg and put it on your avocado toast.

Scrambled eggs and sweet potato hash: So vibrant, delicious, and easy. I usually cook my grated sweet potato first on a pan with coconut oil, then eggs. I don't really add anything else except for seasoning, but occasionally I'll add cheese to the scrambled eggs.

Veggie omelette: My go-to veg is mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes. If you struggle with making omelettes- make sure you have a really good non-stick pan, a cover, and a steel spatula (I almost wrote flipper because I forgot the word spatula, oops).

Oatmeal: A mean bowl of oatmeal on a cold morning. Sign me up. Throw in some yogurt, hemp seeds, fruit, and honey 🤤

BEC-B: This is a bacon, egg, cheese minus bacon. If you're really craving meat though, Target has some great meat substitutes including plant-based bacon and sausage.

lunch/dinner

Bowls: Bowls are my go-to lunch/dinner. I usually will use couscous and lettuce (like spinach) as a base, add in sautéed veggies, cooked chickpeas, tofu or impossible meat on occasion, and a good dressing or hummus. These are so filling, have quite the assortment of food, and overall delicious.

Soup: A nice tomato soup with a grilled cheese. Or a veggie broth or creamy mushroom soup. Perfect for the cooler nights. I find it pretty easy to wing it when it comes to soup, but definitely consult Pinterest if you need a starter.

Eggplant parm: Ugh, this one is such a treat because I never make it as often as I should. If you've never had eggplant parm, I'm sad for you. It's the same as chicken parm but with eggplant, if you couldn't guess it. Eggplant parm sandwiches with leftovers- also a great call. My mouth is watering writing about it and I just remembered I have eggplant in my fridge, so guess what I'll be making tonight 😋

Ramen: Probably one of my favorite dishes and to make it vegetarian, just take out any meat (or use vegetarian seasoning packs for instant ramen), add in more veg, and an egg. My favorite instant ramen is Indomie. I'll usually add mushrooms, spinach, and an egg to this one.



Not so much anymore, but when I first became a vegetarian people used to ask me all the time where I got my protein from. I don't know, food? This is such a common concern many people have, or used to anyway, that really threw me off for a while. Anywho, I had never tracked my eating or nutrition before giving up meat and still don't. I've been doing pretty well as a vegetarian- no fatigue, lack of energy for no reason, I'm probably more active now, no significant weight gain or loss, etc.- and my doctors keep saying my health is looking good, so I'd say I'm likely getting enough protein and you could too. Here's some great sources of protein for those who are curious about where vegetarians are getting their protein (there is obviously much more than this, but these are my main sources and super common ones):

  • Tofu and edamame- contains iron and calcium, as well as 12-20 grams of protein per 3.5 oz

  • Beans- have about 15 grams of protein in a cup when cooked

  • Nutritional yeast (also a good way to add a cheesy flavor to dishes)- 1 tablespoon has 8 grams of protein

  • Quinoa- has 8-9 grams of protein in 1 cup (cooked)

  • Oats- half a cup of oats has around 5 grams of protein

  • Chia seeds- 2 tablespoons contains 5 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber

  • Nuts/nut butters- each nut and nut butter is different, but 1 tablespoon will usually have between 5-7 grams of protein. Nuts are also considered healthy fats with other benefits

  • Greek Yogurt- 7 oz of greek yogurt (plain and unsweetened) has 20 grams of protein

  • Eggs- one egg has 6 grams of protein

  • Hemp seeds (has a nutty flavor)- have 3 grams of protein in 1 tablespoon

I hope you found this post helpful or interesting. I was definitely interested in the protein content in these foods listed. What're your favorite vegetarian recipes? I'd love to try 'em!!

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