When I became a vegetarian, I was worried it would be too hard. I thought I would only last a coupe of days and then I would start craving meat. And then I would cave and have to eat meat in secret, because I couldn’t tell anyone I had failed and only last a couple of days. I would have to put on an act for months. Eating vegetables and ordering salads and then in secret I would be scarfing down cold cuts and running to McDonalds for a Big Mac in the dead of night… But luckily my life did not spiral into that. I got used to life without meat fairly quickly and now have no hankering for meat. But living as a vegetarian did present other challenges that I did not expect.
At the beginning, being a vegetarian just meant eating the sides my mother had cooked, leaving out the main part of each meal, meat. I then started replacing whatever meat others were eating with a fake meat of my own. Although this technically worked for awhile, I found that my diet started falling farther and farther away from the healthy vegetarian I wanted to be. I was always hungry, I never knew what to pack for lunch, and making my own dinner every night was proving to be very difficult for my high school self. So went to the doctor and talked about my concerns. I wanted to know what nutrients I was missing and how I could still get them without meat in my meals. And I found out there are so many options for vegetarians. So here are just a few examples for each meal, a day in the life of a vegetarian.
Everyone has heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet not everyone eats in the morning. We are all rushed for time, tired, or just too lazy to eat breakfast in the morning. According to U.S. News, breakfast not only prevents you from making unhealthy choices later in the day, it also prevents your blood sugars levels from going haywire. Giving your body food after hours of not eating can help you make better decisions faster, help your body fight off disease, and make you feel more awake. I love starting my day off with eggs. They keep you fuller longer and they are a great source of protein. The healthiest way to eat them are the white alone. Here is an easy (and flexible) recipe for an egg white omelet.
I usually have a little bit more time to prepare my lunch than breakfast. It’s my break time. I prepare, cook, and eat all of my lunch while actively procrastinating on some sort of work. But if that is not the case for you, here is a quick recipe for a Vegetarian stir-fry that can be made the day of, or prepared the night before and easily reheated. Just like breakfast, this recipe is all about you. Whatever veggies you like, whether you prefer rice or noodles, douse it in soy sauce or be a little more conservative, it doesn’t matter. This is just how I take it.
Now no matter how good my lunch was, I usually find myself wanting to munch on something before dinner. Instead of grabbing potato chips or a candy bar, I try to keep some snacks that are packed with nutrients and will satisfy me longer than junk food. A handful of nuts are so easy, provide that crunchy texture I am looking for, and fix my snacking a long while. According to a recent article by the Huffington Post, nuts have also been found to help lower your chances for diabetes and other heart related diseases. These small snacks can have a big impact on your overall health.
If you find yourself wanting something sweet and you have a little extra time on your hands, check out this recipe for 6 Ingredient No Bake Energy Balls. They are just as good (if not better) than your basic chocolate chip cookie and they are so much better for you!
As you can probably tell, I am all about flexible recipes. I love being able to make something out of whatever I have in the fridge. One of the best ways to clean out your vegetable drawer is soup. Lentil soup is my go to on a rainy or chilly fall day. It’s easy and oh-so delicious. So here is my take on lentil soup.
Nutritional, Efficient & Simplistic
The College Chew is a blog all about maximizing your college culinary experience. Enjoy and chew on.