12 March 2017

Vegetarianism: One Year On

girl from north london, lifestyle, diet, pescetarianism, blogger, flatlay
Over half a year ago, I published my post on Vegetarianism: 6 Months In, sharing my early experiences of pescetarianism and interesting realisations that I had come across. Now I've been a pescetarian for a year, I thought I'd post an update, with new struggles and discoveries of mine. Hopefully some of you can relate, and I can help out others that are new to the meat-free diet.

Pesto often isn't veggie!
This one blew my mind, because it isn't well known and when I was growing up I'm sure all my veggie friends lived off the stuff. Basically pesto is made with either Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese, which isn't vegetarian as it contains rennet. I now buy Sacla's Organic Vegetarian Pesto (they also do a Free From version for you vegans) or I like the fresh pesto that you can get from Waitrose. Another random thing to avoid is certain e-numbers - E120 and E542 aren't vegetarian. 

Being a pescetarian in Japan
I'm half Japanese, and my trip over the summer was my first visit to Japan being pescetarian. My choice to include fish in my diet was a huge benefit, as I could still enjoy sushi, sashimi and the many cold noodle dishes that are popular in the summer. However, I did miss out on a lot of my favourite foods - ramen, gyōza, yakiniku, karaage just to name a few. Vegetarianism is practically unheard of in Japan, so restaurants don't go out of their way to provide a vegetarian alternative like in London. Being a lacto-ovo vegetarian in Japan would be almost prohibitive because I always had to turn to fish or seafood during my stay there, which is a shame because the Japanese have an amazing respect for food and the quality wherever you go is very high, and the food is one of the best things about the country.

On a side note, when flying long-haul, I'd recommend that fellow veggies research how to get a vegetarian alternative for meals. You often have to select your 'special' meal before the flight (this applies to vegans and those with allergies too) either by phone or online and the deadline may be 24-36 hours before the flight. This varies for different airlines so I'd check well in advance for their policy.

Food at Christmas
A lot of people have expressed an interest in vegetarianism to me, but often bring up Christmas as a argument against. My Christmas is spent with my cousins, who all have their own dietary requirements, so this year we had 1 pescetarian, 1 vegetarian and 3 vegans round the table which makes things easier. I enjoyed a vegan nut roast, roast potatoes and plenty of vegetables on the day, which I was more than happy with. But admittedly, I was pretty heartbroken about the Christmas Pudding which was 11%(!) beef suet. Next year I'll put in a request for veggie gravy and pudding.

As a final mention, my friend Freya got me The Hungry Student Vegetarian Cookbook for my birthday in August, and I have been loving it. It has loads of yummy yet realistic recipes and a very helpful section at the beginning with advice for vegetarians so I'd highly recommend!

Let me know what discoveries you've made if you've changed your diet and any advice for me down below.

girl from north london, signature, fashion blogger


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