What I Eat In A Day

Soy-whey-protein-diet
There’s more to vegetarianism than fruit and veg. Saying that, fruit and veg is wonderful. Image credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetarianism

You’ll be sick of me telling you this by now but I’ve been vegetarian for 3 or 4 years and have recently started cutting out dairy a wee bit at a time, hoping to be vegan in a few years’ time. As a vegetarian, one thing I get asked an awful lot is what I can eat. Some people seem to think that, because I don’t eat meat, literally all I can eat is fruit and veg Well, my friend, you’re wrong. There’s a lot more than veg and meat to the world and the options for non meat-eaters are getting more and more varied over time. Here’s an idea of a typical day for me, food-wise.

Breakfast

A typical breakfast for me is some sort of muesli or granola with almond milk because it’s super quick for those rushed uni mornings. If I have more time, I’m all about the bagel-life, toasted with peanut butter and banana. If I go out for breakfast, pancakes or waffles with syrup. If I’m feeling fancy, avocado on toast with lemon juice and paprika. You don’t need bacon to have a great breakfast.

Lunch

When I’m at uni, lunch has to be quick, convenient and cheap. This doesn’t mean it can’t be lovely though! There are plenty of places around Glasgow where you can grab a quick vegetarian-friendly lunch, my personal favourite is actually Boots. They do a great £3.29 meal-deal (sandwich (or something like it), drink and snack) and have plenty of vegetarian options. My favourite is the pesto and pine nut pasta but there are a good few really nice options (and it’s brilliant value). Sainsbury’s do a good meal-deal too and their hummus and falafel wrap is amazing. Starbucks is also pretty great, I usually get their three-cheese toastie but I’m not sure what they offer for vegans. Costa does a good mozzarella, tomato and pesto panini but, again, not sure what vegan options are available. If I’m getting lunch from Costa or Starbucks, I go for a peppermint tea or a latte (sometimes soy latte) to accompany it. If I can’t be bothered being healthy, McDonalds do the best mozzarella sticks. If I’m having lunch at home, avocado on toast.

Dinner

Dinner is very varied for me, with both myself and my mum enjoying cooking. The rest of my family are meat-eaters but don’t eat very much meat anyway and whenever they are having meat, I just have something else or a meat-free variation. Some of my favourite dinners are risottos, stir-frys and any vegetarian pasta dish. I just load it up with different vegetables and I’m happy.

I usually snack through the day too. I’m a huge fan of vegetable crisps (Pret do nice ones, so do Tyrells and Kettle Chips) and ProperCorn do a really nice sweet and salted pop corn (and it’s vegan). Healthy, vegetarian and super affordable! You can buy some really good healthy snacks in Boots or Sainsbury’s. When I’m at home, avocado on toast works well as a snack too. Avocado on toast is great – quick, easy, affordable, healthy and really filling. I highly recommend it.

As you can see, I’m not restricted. I don’t eat meat but that definitely doesn’t mean I struggle to find nice food. My diet is varied and, in my experience, there are plenty of options to replace meat in my life. Vegetarianism can be easy.

Thanks for stopping by! Remember to keep updated on the blog by following me on twitter – @KeepItVeggie

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Tips For A Change In Lifestyle

I’ve already told you all about why I’m vegetarian and why I’m considering veganism so now it’s time I shared some of the ways you can do it yourself. What little changes can you make to work towards a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle?  It’s surprisingly easy and not half as intimidating as you might think.

Since starting Cat Keeps It Veggie, I’ve ran a couple of twitter polls (@KeepItVeggie) to see how my readers feel about vegetarianism and veganism and to see how many of you are veggie/vegan already. The results were quite surprising, as the majority of my twitter followers said they wouldn’t consider veganism. There’s a stigma around veganism and although I’m not vegan at the moment, I would 100% consider it. It surprised me that so many of my twitter followers are so reluctant to try it.

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https://twitter.com/KeepItVeggie/status/712222348447981568
poll 1
https://twitter.com/KeepItVeggie/status/702087625314856960

I’ve been vegetarian for a few years now and I’ve never struggled with it at all. I don’t miss meat and genuinely never wish I wasn’t vegetarian. I know it isn’t easy for everyone but if it’s something you really want to do, it is completely possible. Don’t be scared to give it a go and remember that you don’t have to go all-or-nothing with it. Take it step by step – it is a big lifestyle change, afterall. For the past few weeks, I’ve been gradually cutting out dairy and edging closer to a vegan lifestyle (I talked about it more here) and I’m finding it easier than I expected. I’m hoping to be vegan in a couple of years but right now, I’m taking it step by step and not putting too much pressure on myself. Now for a few tips!

1. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself:

If you’re trying to become vegetarian and you eat meat one day, it’s fine. If you’re trying to become vegan and you have a bit of dairy one day, it’s fine. It’s your life and if you slip up, it’s totally okay. One slip-up isn’t going to end the world and, contrary to popular belief, the vegan police doesn’t exist. This is your journey and you’ll get there in your own time. Every little helps.

2. Look to others for inspiration:

Vegetarianism is fun. Genuinely. I follow amazing food accounts on Instagram so I can just scroll through social media and feel instantly inspired to try new things (this does make me hungry though so maybe keep off insta when you’re meant to be working). I read vegan and vegetarian blogs which never fail to give me food envy and encourage me to try new things. I watch vegan YouTubers to remind me that food can be so much fun and you don’t need meat or animal produce to make your diet interesting.

3. but don’t compare:

Take inspiration from others but don’t compare yourself! Everyone is different and everyone’s life is different. Comparing your own journey to others is just going to bring you down and discourage you. Don’t let other people tell you that your journey towards a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle isn’t good enough. It’s also important to remember that a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle just isn’t attainable for many people for various reasons. But like I keep saying, every little helps.

Thank for so much for stopping by! Remember to keep updated on all things blog-related by following me on twitter @KeepItVeggie

 

 

My 3 Favourite Vegan YouTubers

Although I’m not vegan, I’ve been watching a handful of vegan YouTubers for a few years now. I love watching food videos in general but there’s just something about plant-based ‘what I eat in a day’ videos that never fail to give me major food-envy, and there are a few YouTubers in particular that I always go back to. Let’s have a look at my top 3!

Lily Melrose

Kicking things off with my favourite ‘what I ate today’ YouTuber, Lily Melrose. Lily is actually a fashion vlogger (a very good one too) but she started making these plant-based ‘what I ate today’ videos a year or so ago and they are absolutely brilliant. Lily makes a vegan diet look super attainable and a lot less intimidating. She sometimes does vegan supermarket hauls on her vlogging channel, Other Lily Melrose, so you can see exactly what she buys to eat each week and start to think about ways you can adapt your own diet if you want to give veganism a go. Her videos are edited beautifully and the meals and snacks she shows always look delicious. You can check out her channel here!

Monami Frost

In my opinion, Monami Frost does some of the best vegan cooking videos on YouTube. They’re straightforward and easy to follow but she always manages to put a twist on traditional dishes and make every video a wee bit different. The food she makes looks unbelievably good and she has such a lovely presence on camera, she’s really a pleasure to watch and listen to. I’d happily make everything Monami Frost makes on her channel. Check it out here!

Jenny Mustard

Jenny Mustard is one of my favourite YouTubers in general but she really shines when it comes to videos about veganism. Every single video she posts is gorgeous and a joy to watch. I actually really struggled to pick a video to show here because I love them all. Jenny makes veganism look very appealing and any time I watch one of her videos, I feel so inspired to be more creative with my cooking and to open myself up to a vegan diet. You can check out her channel here!

Thank you for stopping by! Remember to keep updated by following the blog on twitter – @KeepItVeggie

Considering Veganism

I decided to become vegetarian again 3 years ago (you can read the full story here) meaning that I don’t eat meat, but I’ve been considering becoming vegan on and off for the past year or so. I’ve always been a dairy fan, it’s quite difficult to imagine my life without dairy actually, but the more I look into the way dairy products are actually produced, the more attractive veganism is to me. I’m really starting to consider veganism.

As of a couple of weeks ago, I’ve started to gradually cut out diary. There are a few reasons for this, like the things I’ve read about the production of dairy and the impact it’s having on my body. My skin has been suffering recently and I’m starting to think it may be partly due to the amount of dairy going in my body. Although dairy is alkaline outside the body, it becomes acidic once you digest it which can interfere with your body’s natural detoxification process. There are links between diary and acne, as it can cause hormonal imbalances and cutting out dairy has been said to help reduce other skin conditions too, like eczema.

Dairy cows are often injected with synthetic hormones to increase milk production, these hormones then make their way into the milk we end up drinking. They can throw off your body’s own hormone levels, leading to imbalances and skin problems such as eczema and clogged pores. As well as this, humans actually find it difficult to break down the proteins found in cow milk. Dairy could be damaging our bodies more than we realise.

So, I’m considering veganism. I don’t see myself becoming vegan anytime soon for various reasons, but I’m going to try cutting down on my dairy intake for the next few months to see what difference it makes to my health. My main aim is to have better skin by the end of this, as I really think there’s some validity to what I’m reading about the connections between dairy and skin problems. I’ll keep you updated.

If you want to read more about the links between dairy and acne, I found this post by Pai Skin Solutions and this article by Dermstore very helpful. Also, Jenny Mustard is a wonderful vegan youtuber, I’d highly recommend her videos. She makes veganism a lot less intimidating and more attainable. She did a brilliant video about the pros and cons of a vegan diet.

Thank you for stopping by! You can keep updated by following the blog on twitter – @KeepItVeggie

Different Types Of Vegetarian

One thing you might not realise (I know I didn’t until recently), is that there are different types of vegetarian. The general definition of a vegetarian is someone who doesn’t eat meat, fish or poultry, consistently avoiding ‘flesh foods’, but vegetarianism isn’t black-and-white, there are different levels. You might find that one form of vegetarianism doesn’t suit you but another does, or that it’s easiest for you to build up your vegetarian lifestyle more gradually. Let’s have a look at the different types!

Pescatarian:

Some people wouldn’t consider pescatarians as vegetarians but, in my opinion, it’s a scale, not black-and-white. Pescatarians don’t eat red meat or poultry, but do eat fish, seafood, dairy and eggs. This is often how people start off their journey into vegetarianism.

Pollotarian:

On a similar vein as pescatarianism, pollotarians are often not considered as vegetarians. They don’t eat red meat, fish or seafood, but do eat poultry, eggs and dairy.

Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian:

Lacto-ovo vegetarianism is the most common form of vegetarianism and is the type of vegetarian most people would instantly recognise as being vegetarian. They don’t eat red meat, poultry, fish or seafood, but do eat eggs and dairy. I’m a lacto-ovo vegetarian.

Ovo Vegetarian:

Getting into the more restricting forms of vegetarianism, ovo vegetarians don’t eat red meat, poultry, fish, seafood or dairy, but do eat eggs.

Lacto Vegetarian:

Similarly, lacto vegetarians don’t eat red meat, poultry, fish, seafood or eggs, but do eat dairy. They often choose to avoid meat by-products too, such as gelatin.

Vegan:

Finally, the most restrictive form of vegetarianism, veganism. Technically, the term vegan is about more than just a diet, it’s a lifestyle. Vegans avoid red meat, poultry, fish, seafood, dairy, eggs and meat by-products e.g. gelatin. Some vegans avoid honey, as it’s an animal by-product. A vegan lifestyle involves avoiding silk, leather and wool too, and any other products made using animal by-products.

I hope you found this interesting! Maybe it gave you a slightly different view of vegetarianism. It really is a scale and there are different types of vegetarian, you can start off as a pescatarian and work your way up to veganism if you want – it isn’t black and white! Don’t let people judge your form of vegetarianism, every little helps, even if it’s just something like avoiding meat for half the week to start with.

You can keep updated by following the blog on twitter – @KeepItVeggie

My 3 Favourite Vegetarian Blogs

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After talking about my 3 favourite cookbooks, I thought it was about time I gave some love to the vegetarian blogging community and shared three of my favourite veggie/vegan blogs. The blogging community in general has been growing quickly for a number of years now and there are some amazing bloggers out there, you just need to take some time to have a good dig around and find the perfect blogs for you!

Since becoming vegetarian again, I’ve found a few food blogs that I always go back to for brilliant (and simple) recipes and tips for an easy vegetarian lifestyle. I’m sure at least one will catch your eye!

First up is Oh My Veggies (check it out here), a lovely meat-free website which aims to make a meatless diet easy, with a wide range of vegetarian and vegan recipes, hints and tips, and meal plans. There are mains, sides and some gluten free recipes so there’s something for everyone (apart from meat-eaters). The website is super easy to navigate too which is always a plus.

Next is Living The Healthy Choice (check it out here), an absolutely gorgeous website with recipes for a plant-based diet. The photos on this blog are seriously beautiful and never fail to inspire me to be more adventurous with my cooking. Even if you don’t really care about cooking, it’s worth visiting this blog just to admire the food photography. There’s an impressive range of meat-free recipes covering everything from mains and lunches to breakfasts, sides and smoothies.

Lastly is my personal favourite, Cookie & Kate (check it out here). I use this blog the most out of all of them (probably more than my cookbooks too, actually) and have got some of my favourite go-to recipes from it. It’s so easy to navigate and has an amazing range of vegetarian recipes, covering every course and occasion. It really does make vegetarian cooking less intimidating.

Thanks for reading! Remember to keep up-to-date by following the blog on twitter: @KeepItVeggie

My Top 3 Cookbooks

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Left to right: The Art Of Eating Well by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley, Keep It Vegan by Aine Carlin, and Mildreds: The Vegetarian Cookbook by Daniel Acevedo and Sarah Wasserman

Since becoming vegetarian, I’ve rediscovered the love of cooking I had when I was little and would ‘help’ my mum in the kitchen. She taught me to cook a long time ago and now, 10 or so years later, I’m revisiting it. I love vegetarian cooking. For the past couple of years, I’ve been building up my cookbook collection, now I’ve curated my collection and have got a few that I love and always go back to.

The first cookbook I bought myself was The Art Of Eating Well by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley. This isn’t actually a vegetarian cookbook but there are a lot of recipes in it that are suitable for vegetarians and a lot of the meat recipes can be adapted to be vegetarian. There are some really interesting dishes in it and it’s a gorgeous book with a lovely font and beautiful photos. My favourite recipe I’ve tried from it is the Malaysian lentil and squash curry, but I substituted the squash for courgette because I’m not a big squash fan.

Next up is Mildreds: The Vegetarian Cookbook by Daniel Acevedo and Sarah Wasserman. This is a really lovely vegetarian cookbook with some really interesting takes on traditional dishes, all laid out in a way that makes vegetarian look simple. If cooking scares you a wee bit, this might be a good place to start. My favourite recipe from this one is probably the macaroni, but the guacamole is incredible.

The last book is probably my favourite: Keep It Vegan by Aine Carlin. This book made me seriously consider going vegan because everything I’ve made from it so far I’ve absolutely loved. Vegan cooking has always intimidated me but this book makes everything so simple and easy to follow. The ingredients aren’t super bizarre or hard to find and there’s an amazing range of recipes. I think my favourite is the vegan chana masala recipe and my family always seem to love it whenever I make it which is a definite bonus.

Thanks for stopping by! You can stay updated by following the blog on twitter: @KeepItVeggie