The first thing you need to know about us is that we were massive meat eaters. We ate a lot, we ate it frequently. In fact, we ate it with every single meal, sometimes we ate things that were almost exclusively meat. Sometimes, we skipped vegetables all together. The point I'm making is that, no way in a million years was I going to give up meat.
Until I did (mostly).
There were a few reasons behind the decision after so long thinking about it, but it's safe to say the 'balance' just all of a sudden tipped.
I knew eating a lot of meat wasn't good for us, then I started learning about how it's not really good for the planet either, and then I started learning about the chemicals in meat; I tuned in a bit more to my sympathy for animals (sometimes I've had to learn to tune in after blocking things out for a long time); and then I heard on the radio that you are 40% more likely to get cancer if you eat a lot of processed meat.
Just let that sink in for a minute.
Now, I'm no stranger to questioning findings; I know that there are no fair tests, that the test that produced this result may have been on a small area of the population in a country that wasn't our own and yada yada yada. But in the face of all of these things together, and in the face of the fact that I couldn't afford organic meat (and the fact that my fiance's family is very prone to cancer and, call me crazy, but I don't like upping that risk) suddenly it just made sense to stop.
So, I started my research. I found vegetarian meals I liked. I started to cook them - and to my surprise, I loved them. Joe doesn't find them so bad either - he loves the sweet potato chilli we found. My favourite is this tomato and courgette risotto.
Then other things started to happen: after a lifetime of dodgy belly, suddenly I was less bloated, I felt lighter, healthier; I was getting my 5 a day easily and, most amazing of all to me, I started to lose weight. This was amazing because my body holds onto weight like crazy, I can exercise and calorie cut to the hilt and nothing will happen. I've tried so many times in so many different ways to lose weight and cut fat, and feel good, strong and healthy. And suddenly, it's started happening simply because I've stopped eating meat. Excuse my profanity, but what the actual f**k? To find this out 32 years down the line is insane . . . I'm just glad it didn't take me any longer.
In any case, I'm now happy to be almost completely vegetarian, with the exception of fish, which I will only buy if farmed sustainably and pole and line caught. It has made such a positive difference to my body, my conscience and my life that I don't think I'll ever go back. The only thing I've got to do now, is learn not to replace everything with cheese . . .
Do you have any suggestions for me as I walk a more vegetarian path? Does anyone have any top tips? If you do, leave them in the comments! And if you fancy writing a Top Tips post on vegetarianism for me, let me know - I love to have guests writing on my blog, and anything like that is super helpful for people like me.
Thanks for reading!