Honesty Corner with Albritton – Is going vegetarian right for you?

KRISTA ALBRITTON
Staff Writer

I am a devoted omnivore. Well, I would say that I’m 90 percent carnivore and 10 percent herbivore. The point is that I love meat. However, despite my unrivaled love of meat, a friend and I decided that we would go vegetarian for two months in order to fulfill a Compass Point.  I didn’t think it would be too difficult. I mean, it was only two months – it couldn’t be that hard. I was wrong.

I was so terribly wrong and regret ever thinking that it would be easy. In hindsight, the fact that before I even started, all I could think about was how good bacon would taste after not having it for so long should have been a giant hint that things were not to be a walk in the park. The two months are now up, and I am thoroughly glad that they are.

If you are planning on vegging-out, there are multiple things that you must prepared for in order for the experience to not be one giant mistake.

First of all, going vegetarian is not something to be done on a whim – this was my first mistake. If you are planning on becoming a vegetarian or even a vegan, you have got to have a legitimate reason, and you must be 100 percent dedicated. Another absolutely crucial necessity is a love of vegetables. If you, like me, can barely tolerate any vegetable outside of the legume family and the occasional carrot, going vegetarian may not be the best course of action. If you are still on board the vegetarian train, there are some more things you might want to know. Eating vegetarian is exceedingly difficult when you don’t have access to meals that are made to be vegetarian.

Going vegetarian was not an enjoyable experience for me until I had actual vegetarian food that contained meatless substitutes, like veggie chili, jambalaya and stir fry.  Without all of the delicious meats in your diet, you will have to find other ways to get your missing nutrients, like protein and iron. Doing research to find out what foods have which nutrients is a good idea and will be very helpful. You could also get vitamins and an array of different supplements so you don’t wither up and die.

Becoming a vegetarian was a great and horrible journey, and I learned a lot more than I thought I would. I encountered new foods, and I have a greater appreciation for those that are vegetarian and even more for those that have been for years. It is nowhere near easy, takes a lot of determination and is not for everyone – it’s definitely not for me. With that said, if you plan to make any sort of extreme change to your diet, whether it be vegetarian or not, just be sure to do your research and stay healthy.