10-Year Veggie: My story so far…

Eating a vegetarian diet isn’t nearly as uncommon as it once was with many people making the switch due to its association with improved health outcomes including lower levels of obesity, a reduced risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure. Research has shown that vegetarians tend to consume a lower proportion of calories from saturated fat and fewer overall calories, more fibre, potassium and vitamin C than non-vegetarians. With just a little planning, many people including myself have found that a vegetarian diet can comfortably meet all your nutritional needs and then some! Find out more in 10-Year Veggie: My Story So Far…

How did I become a vegetarian?

It all started just over 10 years ago. I’d never been a true meat-lover but one day I woke up and thought to myself: “Actually, from this moment on I don’t want to eat meat anymore!” And so I didn’t.

My Veggie Story: The perfect diet?

I can’t say my diet is perfect. If I want to eat chocolate, I’m going to eat chocolate! Moderation is key. But it is a lot better than it used to be – and I’m not just talking about my pre-vegetarian days. One year into being veggie, I had frequent bouts of feeling faint alongside very low energy levels. A blood test revealed that I was anaemic and was informed by doctors that this was owing to low iron and vitamin B12 levels. Unsurprisingly, my diet consisting of mostly white carbs – mostly pizza and pasta – inevitably took its toll.


I started educating myself on nutrition by watching documentaries and reading books and blogs. After just a few days of adding whole foods such as beans, pulses and green leafy vegetables into my diet my energy levels transformed overnight. It was at this point that I made the connection between the food we eat, our physical appearance and how we actually feel within ourselves. Nine years on, and three years into studying a degree in nutrition, I truly believe that nutrition has the power not only to maintain health, but to even restore it in those whose health has broken down in some way – as it had for me.

In my own experience, the true benefits of a vegetarian diet are experienced not in what you take out of the diet (ie. meat) but what you add in place of it. To get the most out of a vegetarian diet, you must include a variety of healthy plant-based foods, such as whole fruit, legumes and nuts, and whole grains. Since I have done this, I’ve never felt better and my energy levels are better than they’ve ever been (despite not getting any younger)! Although I don’t weigh myself, I have noticed that I’ve certainly been able to keep weight off more easily than when I ate meat.

There are many reasons why people make the switch to a vegetarian diet, such as for environmental reasons, ethical (animal) reasons, and/or health reasons. You may relate to some of these reasons or have different reasons altogether. Deciding to go veggie is a personal choice but gradually moving toward a ‘flexitarian’ diet can help make this transition more sustainable. You might also want to take part, for example, in ‘Meat-Free Monday’ every week.

Thinking of ‘going green’? Then definitely check out Becca’s previous article: Veganuary: 5 Things I Learned. Are you a veggie, what’s been your story on eco-fuel so far? Let us know in the comments below, join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter & Instagram. (After you’ve filled your engine, get it into gear with these fitness articles to get YOUR Fit ON!)

Becca Brown

Becca is currently finishing her BSc in Nutrition and hopes to grow her passion into a future career in nutrition. She is passionate about the relationship between food and its impact on the body, including how we can use nutrition to prevent and treat major diseases. As a long standing foodie and vegetarian, she loves spending time in the kitchen creating plant-based goodness but equally loves creating sweet treats to satisfy her very sweet tooth! You can find her on Instagram at @becca.nutrition where she shares more on evidence-based nutrition.

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