One Year On As A Vegetarian

31 December, 2017
Vegan coconut milkshake from The Diner

At the start of 2017 I made a resolution to quit eating meat and adapt to a vegetarian diet. It was something that I had been thinking about throughout 2016 as I was extremely conscious of my meat consumption and quite frankly finally realising that I was consuming literal flesh was turning my stomach. So, I went into 2017 with the intention of giving up meat but decided that when I was travelling I would treat myself and have a burger.

A couple of days into January I watched Cowspiracy and not only did I totally throw out the idea that I'd treat myself to a burger now and again but I decided to stop eating eggs and consuming the majority of dairy products. You can read my blog post from earlier in the year about why I pledged to go veg here. I thought it'd be nice to do a little round up on how I've found my first year living off of a vegetarian diet as it's something I never thought I'd be able to do. Also, I'm pretty sure it's the first time that I've ever completed a New Year's resolution!

So here we are... a year on, I can honestly say I've not touched any meat. Well, apart from the one time I was at a blogger event and a sneaky bit of ham was on my vegetarian option of a jacket potato and I hurriedly spat it out in front of some girls I was chatting to at the time - whoops! Considering I grew up learning that a meal wasn't a meal without a piece of meat and I once owned a blog solely dedicated to rating burgers from across the world, I've managed an entire year without eating meat.

Seitan & ale vegan pie 'n' mash from Young Vegans
How have I found it? It's actually been the easiest transition that I've ever made, which is something I didn't expect and I honestly thought I would struggle with it. It seems laughable now that I was worried that once I made the switch to vegetarian my options would be limited and I wouldn't enjoy food as much. If anything my transition to a mainly plant-based diet has led to me loving and enjoying food more than I ever have in my lifetime! I've found myself experimenting in the kitchen much more and actually cooking from scratch, which as a former serial microwave meal culprit is serious step forward! I've eaten out more than I ever have because the idea of a new vegan or vegetarian restaurant opening  excites me and I make it my mission to try it out. Admittedly, I've probably chosen the best year to make my transition as it seems like 2017 really was the 'Year of the Vegan' as new cruelty-free eateries popped up everywhere and a vegan supermarket shop became easier than ever as the 'Free From' sections grew from a singular shelf to an entire aisle!

Yep. That's a vegetarian roast dinner.

How do I feel? I do feel healthier since giving up meat. My skin is clearer, my hair is just in much better condition, I have more energy and the thing I've noticed most physically is the fact my IBD has caused me a lot less grief this year than it ever has in my lifetime. Something I wasn't expecting is to feel happier and finding an inner peace once I made the decision to stop eating animals. I know it may sound ludicrous but subconsciously knowing that I'm not consuming animals has honestly had an impact on my mental clarity.

A vegan 'cheeseburger' from Hash Green London

Have I craved meat at all? Honestly, there has been one moment where I craved meat in the past 365 days. I was walking home from work and as I passed someone's house the smell of gammon drifted up my nostrils and I was suddenly craving the taste of gammon. However, I kept walking and a few minutes later the craving had passed. I made a note to look up gammon-inspired vegetarian alternatives and luckily there's a Quorn product that makes a crackin', cruelty-free replacement. No, I didn't crave bacon at all. Not even once! I wouldn't touch bacon with a bargepole now.

Vegan Christmas dinner wrap from Hash Green London

What now?
 Well, I've signed up for Veganuary to pledge my 31 days of going strictly vegan. Yep. I'm saying 'ciao' to cheese for the next month at least. Cheese is pretty much the only animal product that I consume nowadays apart from the very occasional milk chocolate bar, so I'm hoping I don't find Veganuary too much of a struggle. I'm not committing just yet to a full vegan diet after January but we'll see what happens!

If you're thinking about giving up meat or any other animal products for 2018 and need a helping hand then feel free to tweet me as I'm more than happy to give any advice to anyone wanting to start their cruelty-free journey!



  1. Thank you for sharing this Leigh, such an interesting and helpful read! I've been thinking about going veggie for a while now, and it's definitely something I want to try and move my diet more towards this year! x

  2. I've been veggie for a whole year too! Surprisingly much easier than I thought, as you said. I never ate veg before but now it's literally my lifeline (for obvious reasons) I get what you mean about just feeling better- there's no guilty conscience after eating. Good luck with Veganuary :D

    Dalal //


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