I was in the kitchen recently, making some homemade cashew nut butter – when I realised that it has been just over 10 years that I decided to become vegetarian. Since then, I’ve been a vegan and tried being a raw foodist. Time flies! And in that time, I get a lot of questions from people who are interested in staring this journey too.
There seems to be a deep connection with becoming natural and exploring the natural lifestyle. Food is also such a big part of our daily life 🙂
As with all new routines, it is all about changing habits.
This was one of the most obvious first lessons I learned when I made the choice. It’s amazing how many daily habits we have that we may not be fully aware of… like going to same shopping aisle or shop, picking up the same foods/ingredients each week etc. Changing your food habits and how you shop will make you more aware of these little daily things. It’s all about replacing old habits with new ones… instead of the lamb chops, buy some chick peas lol 🙂 As new habits become familiar, it gets easier.
Being a vegetarian does not make you automatically healthy.
Yes, there are plenty of junk-tarians too! Following from the previous lesson, you can easily substitute old habits with bad habits… I’ve met many vegetarians who quite easily go through their day eating potato chips because it’s vegetarian. I say, if in doubt, pick up anything fresh from the fruits and veg shopping aisle and google a recipe or eat whole! That saved me a lot of temptation!
Start slow and do your research.
And as we learn about new recipes and expanding our knowledge on foods, the key is getting a balance. The first few months of transitioning (or going cold turkey) can be challenging! Channel that energy into getting excited and researching new possibilities. There are many websites out there to support and share recipes/health related information. Be patient, be gentle with your Self – there is a lot of info out there! And if you revert to eating old habits, know that your next meal is a new opportunity again.
Becoming vegetarian will open your creativity in the kitchen.
As you research and grow new habits, your creativity will naturally kick in! Even if you never cooked before or liked cooking, you might realise that you are being drawn to try new things in the kitchen! I think the best part is that moment when a new recipe turns out just perfect and you taste/share it… even after all these years, that feeling is priceless! Be creative, experiment and have fun with it!
Each ingredient now has a whole new life of their own.
I think this is a common sign of diet change – your taste buds might change and become more sensitive. As you eat fresher ingredients, maybe reducing your salt/sugar intake in the process, you might find that each ingredient has a much stronger effect on your meals. Each ingredient/food group has a whole new life of its own. And this makes food much more enjoyable I think 🙂
Let the colours guide you.
The food chart has a huge spectrum of colours…with vegie eating, you will notice that your food becomes literally more colourful! There is a whole food science connected to food colours and health benefits… and my favourite, the Chakra foods. As you become more familiar with different foods, you might naturally be drawn to certain foods/colours more – What is your body telling you need? Let the colours and your body guide you… this taught me a whole new connection to my body and trusting it to heal and to guide.
Your body will change.
Another sign of change is how your overall body changes too. Personally, I became much more leaner. If you change your diet to a healthier fresher one, it’s only natural that you will see differences. Everyone is unique! Keeping a food/body diary helped me a lot over the years 🙂
Being a vegetarian has made me feel energetically lighter.
It’s not just the physical body that will change long-term! As with a lot of vegie eaters, there is an energetic shift… you might literally feel lighter or with more energy. The fresher you eat, the more energy you are taking in… and this naturally has an impact on how we feel, our mood, our general sensitivity to life. Many new vegies have told me that they become more of an empath – sensing the energy within and around them more. This certainly happened to me! And it can be an overwhelming shift – but it is a beautiful thing to experience life in a different way… I say it’s like transitioning from living 2D to full-on 3D 🙂
You will make new connections.
I think a lot of new vegie eaters worry about the practical and social impact of the change. It certainly did for me! And it was a challenge, I won’t lie… some people, especially those closest to you, might never get it… and that’s OK. As with all changes, this can create reactions to others around – some may be genuinely curious reactions – and others, just plain negative. Change in someone usually makes others question their own choices too. But this doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time out to dinner with your friends and family – again, just replace old habits with new ones and choose things that suit your changes. The best part about changes is that new energy will invite new connections (to people and places) – you might meet some very interesting new people on the way as you explore 🙂
The journey never ends!
As I mentioned before, there is a lot of information out there… and new information regarding food and health is always being updated and shared! So go at your own pace, be open to learning new things and be inspired along the journey. Enjoy!