1) There are in fact many nutritious and delicious sources of vegetarian protein: Quinoa, hempseeds, beans, peas, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, lentils, nuts and nut butters, and various vegan and non vegan protein powders to name a few.
2) I didn't feel hungry all the time! Prior to my vegetarian trial, I was convinced It wasn't possible to feel satisfied without at least some meat in my diet. This, I learned is not true. The key, however, is making sure to get enough protein. I checked labels and researched the quantity of protein in my foods. I was glad to have protein powder on standby when my meals didn't satisfy my 20-25 gram/meal protein requirement. Most active adults need between 20-30 grams per meal, depending on your size and how often you work out.
3) The VEG was a big part of my diet. To make sure I was getting a balanced diet and to fill out my plate, I ended up including many vegetables as part of my meals.
4) I cooked more than I ever have. I spent a ton of time in the kitchen at first trying new recipes. It was a lot of work to keep it interesting and new for me, but eventually it felt more natural and I got the hang of it.
5) I lost weight. This wasn't necessarily a goal of mine, but it was a result of eating vegetarian. I am convinced that the reason is this: many sources of vegetarian protein aren't as high in calories as meat. Therefore, I ate a ton more food it seemed like but without as many calories.
6) I became iron deficient - temporarily. For the first month or so, I had dark circles under my eyes and I thought gee that's weird. I then found out that dark circles under eyes can signal iron deficiency. Although I take a multi vitamin with iron, I made sure to include some more vegetarian foods with iron as well such as kidney beans, black beans and spinach. The dark circles eventually went away.
After my three month hiatus from meat, I started to want some meat again. Interestingly though, I didn't want much - just a little. I've noticed although I have been eating meat on and off, it is much less a part of my diet than it used to be. I am comfortable with continuing to listen to my body to give me cues on what it needs as those needs change.
Do you eat meat? What are your thoughts on vegetarianism? I'd love to know!
Thanks for reading.