Vegetarianism | What I've Learned & Tips

I've been a vegetarian for almost a year now so I thought I'd be able to share tips and things that I've learned so I can help anyone who wants to try vegetarianism and wants to know the basics, and there's also a few things I wish I knew when I first started. I'm currently only vegetarian, which means I don't eat meat but I still have dairy and eggs, I do want to become vegan at some stage but for now this is where I'm at.

The meal above is a 100% vegan burger and wrap from Brighton.

The Basics
It seems like there are many people converting into vegetarianism and veganism these days, which is great. I'm quite a new vegetarian in the scheme of things, but I can never imagine myself eating meat again. I don't believe anyone when they tell me being a vegetarian is too hard for them and their lifestyle because generally speaking, the majority of products are vegetarian. Being vegetarian instead of vegan means you can still eat cheese and eggs, if you choose, and other dairy products, which isn't too limiting. It's just the changing of your mentality that needs to change if you wish to become vegetarian, you just need to be more aware of what you are putting into your body and it's not a bad thing, and in my opinion, made me more healthier and definitely more informed. I feel as if growing up I never thought about being able to actively choose what I'm eating, and being such an animal lover, the thought of killing an animal and eating it began to really upset me at every meal, which is why I turned vegetarian, I wish it hadn't taken me so long though. 

Meat Substitutes
If you think being vegetarian means you have to give up your favourite foods like chicken and beef, you're wrong. There are a lot of brands out there that do meat free substitutes to your favourite meats, which is perfect for transitioning into vegetarianism. At this stage there is a substitute for almost everything in your local supermarket. Good brands to try are Quorn and Linda McCartney, both of which have helpful websites with recipes, my favourites are the Linda McCartney 1/4lb Mozzarella Veggie burgers, Quorn hot dogs and chicken pieces. All of these products taste exactly like the meat they are substituting, but much better in my opinion, some people could find this off putting but for others this is a simple way to adding 'meat' into a vegetarian dish. Shops like M&S are my favourite because they have easy labels that say which of their dishes and products are vegetarian or not, which saves the time and stress of trying to figure out if things are vegetarian or not by the ingredients, having simple labels should be a requirement. 

Above is the Beanie burger, which is veggie and fries from Nandos.

Eating Out
Eating out is sometimes more difficult than cooking at home. Some places offer very little to no vegetarian options, which I find very odd in this day and age. Yet, the majority of restaurants do a good variety of vegetarian options. The best place for vegetarians to eat out is for Italian food, pizza and pasta are always a good option. The thing about eating out is even if there are no veggie options you can always ask for anything without the meat on it and then it will be okay. I know some people say being vegetarian is more expensive but it just depends what you order in my opinion. Most sides and starters are vegetarian and there is normally a veggie burger option on menus. Surprisingly, one of my favourite places for veggie burgers is Nandos, a chicken restaurant, ironic. Even fast food restaurants like McDonalds and Burger King do veggie burgers and wraps, which is perfect for food on the go, and still getting your fast food fix, I will also say that the veggie burger from McDonalds is one of my favourites. You can also get ready made sandwiches in shops which are vegetarian, places like Boots and M&S do really nice wraps for on the go. 

Foods and Ingredients to Avoid
The one thing I'd say I struggled with the most starting off was checking the ingredients of products which are not necessarily labelled as vegetarian. The products that are often hard to define as vegetarian are sweets and chocolate snack products. Some products are not vegetarian in the US but are vegetarian in the UK and Ireland, like smarties. Most products made of jelly contain gelatine, which is made from beef or pork by-products - which are clearly not vegetarian. Good vegetarian jellies are jelly tots and the veggie jellies from M&S. Another ingredient which people don't realise isn't vegetarian is Carmine/Cochineal - also known as E120 - used to make the shell like products like M&M's and often used for it's red food colouring - this is made from the Cochineal insect which produces a red colouring. You have to look into some deserts and yogurts also as I have found these ingredients in many things I had thought to be vegetarian before.  

Above is a margarita pizza and garlic dough balls from Dante's Pizza.

Make Up Products
Only recently, I've realised the difference between cruelty free and vegetarian products with regards to makeup, which in my opinion should be one in the same. I've realised, only recently that a lot of my makeup products contain carmine, as I have mentioned before, which is a red dye colouring made from Beatles, which I don't understand as being cruelty free. The majority of my lipsticks and eyeshadows contain this product and I don't have any palettes that don't contain it, I wish I had noticed sooner. There's a few brands like NYX and body shop which have vegetarian lipsticks, but it's another thing you need to be aware of. Even I've found that even though NYX are cruelty free their eyeshadows, well the single ones I own, are not veggie friendly. I would actually love if anyone could recommend any good vegetarian or vegan makeup brands it would be super helpful as I'm still trying to figure this part of vegetarianism out! 

Is anyone else vegan/vegetarian and have anyother tips you'd like to add?

11 comments

  1. I've been vegetarian my whole life but I've only just recently gone cruelty free. I think switching completely to CF first and then moving into completely vegan would be the best option because that's what I'm trying to do. It's cool to see your view because I've never really noticed. Being vegetarian is like an everyday thing to me. xx Nikita

    BLOG//Jasmine Loves

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    1. Can you suggest any cruelty free brands to me? I know so many people who think being vegetarian is hard so I wanted to make this post to prove its easy! xx

      - Eternalleigh.blogspot.com

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  2. I want to be vegan and this post is very helpful! I follow you, I hope you will follow me back ♥
    https://marized.blogspot.rs/

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you! I've followed you there! x

      - Eternalleigh.blogspot.com

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  3. Hello dear,
    You have really nice blog!
    Would you like to follow each other on GFC? Let me know, please.
    Xoxo,
    https://lifella2.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you! I followed you there! xx

      - Eternalleigh.blogspot.com

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  4. Thank you for this, this is so helpful as I am in the process of going vegetarian. I never even knew McDonald's did a veggie burger! I just followed your blog x

    http://www.lydstaple.co.uk/

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    1. Whooo that's great news! If you have any questions feel free to ask me! They're so nice especially for new veggies! You too x

      - Eternalleigh.blogspot.com

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    2. Whooo that's great news! If you have any questions feel free to ask me! They're so nice especially for new veggies! You too x

      - Eternalleigh.blogspot.com

      Delete
  5. I went without dairy (but not meat) for six months because it was making me so ill and I found labelling SUCH an issue too. Places are getting a lot better, but I found it really hard, especially when eating out

    Steph - www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

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    1. They label for allergies well but just not for some dietary things and it's just an inconvenience for something that should be so easy! It depends where you live also where I live has not a wide range of options but I've visted places like Brighton which are so open to it! x

      - Eternalleigh.blogspot.com

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