That’s right, One Week Without is back with this installment about surviving without meat. Could you live without it? Kat Gray tells us how she coped…
How hard can it be to be a vegetarian for one week? Granted, I love meat, and nearly every meal I eat has meat in it, but if so many people around the world can do it, then surely I can too?
Saturday 27th October
So it’s my first day of being a vegetarian and I head out on a shopping trip to Asda to stock up on, well, whatever vegetarians eat! Fortunately, I have my vegetarian housemate to guide me! Automatically I head towards the ‘meat and poultry’ section, the aisle I normally spend longest in, where I consider whether my student loan will cope with the staggering price of two chicken breasts and deliberate whether a tin of Spam might actually be the answer. My housemate hurriedly points me in the direction of the frozen vegetarian section, which, to my surprised, is relatively well stocked with plenty of choice! Into my trolley goes a bag of Quorn pieces, some meat free meatballs (no idea how that works) and what looks like fishcakes without any fish in! Definitely feeling dubious about being a vegetarian! However, at the checkout I notice a sizeable difference in the cost … maybe a week as a vegetarian will afford me an extra night out in Jesters… Brilliant!
On the menu tonight is Quorn sweet and sour – surprisingly delicious! Even my housemates like it! People aren’t lying when they say Quorn looks and tastes like chicken. In fact, I might even go as far as to say it has more flavour than chicken! It is certainly less hassle to cook and I definitely didn’t miss the usual debacle of attempting to chop up a slimy raw chicken breast!
Sunday 28th October
Day two of being a vegetarian and I seem to be eating healthier already –2 bowls of Shreddies, 2 apples, 1 pear, 2 slices of wholegrain toast with a whole tin of baked beans, and a kidney bean-packed macaroni cheese later and my stomach is actually feeling a bit dodgy… my housemates proceed to tell me that I’ve consumed too much fibre in one day – I really hope they’re joking!
Monday 29th October
So tonight my housemates decide to have an Indian takeaway – my favourite! My heart sinks when I realise I’m not going to be able to have my usual chicken tikka massala! But, after the last couple of day’s success, I’m still optimistic! The choice of vegetarian options isn’t exactly plentiful, but I settle for a vegetable korma. Whilst it’s not inedible, I have to admit I feel a little hard done by, and rather sorry for myself, watching my housemates devour their meaty deliciousness! I even try to pretend the chunks of potato are actually chicken … Feeling desperate! Not sure I could put myself through this again.
Tuesday 30th October
Tonight I used up the rest of the sweet and sour sauce – I have a new found love for Quorn! It’s no different to chicken – in fact it’s cheaper, comes pre-cut up, you don’t need to defrost it, and it contains less fat and more protein and fibre… I could easily market this stuff!
Wednesday 31st October
Today I had the single worst dinner I have EVER had, and that is including the night last year when I attempted to make a sausage curry: disaster! Meat free meatballs are absolutely vile! They have the most hideous texture and taste like cardboard… I have to admit, although somewhat inappropriate, I declared to my friend that I’d rather lick our friend’s bum hole than eat it again. Worryingly, I’m not joking.
Thursday 1st November
Thankfully, today was a success! Turns out that ‘potato-cheese-and-onion-cakes’(just to clarify, I’ve omitted the prefix ‘fish’ there) are delicious, and I even had them with sweetcorn – at this point my housemates are getting concerned over how healthy my diet is… it’s a very rare occurrence for me.
Friday 2nd November
I have been dreading today all week – my family are coming to visit! But no, I’m not dreading their arrival, I’m actually pretty excited to see them, it’s more the fact that they will inevitably be taking me out for lunch and I will have to be a vegetarian. I’m not sure my self-restraint is great enough.
As I sit there, watching my brother demolish a super size all-day breakfast: 4 sausages, 4 rashers of bacon… I realise I can never be a vegetarian. Whilst my vegetable burrito was nice, it was painful to watch my family tucking into their meals, which all seemed so much more substantial than mine! Although, on the bright side, my meal calorie count was half of theirs!
Unfortunately, the torture didn’t stop there! Dinner was worse as the History Committee headed to Tiger Lily’s – it turns out that buffets DO NOT cater adequately for vegetarians… unless all you want to eat is seaweed! This meal was depressing; I had a plate of seaweed, egg fried noodles and spring rolls. So, as subtly as I could, knowing full well the others were aware of my supposed vegetarianism, I managed to sneak a pile of chicken chowmein on to my plate. And do you know what – I don’t even feel guilty!
A few weeks later…
So I may have failed at the last hurdle of this challenged and succumbed to my desire to eat what I wanted, but I have actually taken on board a large change to my diet that I could never have predicted since doing this challenge. Two weeks later and my freezer draw is stocked up with not chicken breasts, but bags of Quorn! In fact, I liked it so much that one of my housemates has even done the same and traded in chicken for Quorn! Seriously, if you haven’t tried it, you really should!