I became a vegetarian almost six years ago without regrets. However, this was a big decision to make. But with the great inspiration and good planning the transition went smoothly.
I have been thinking for a while about becoming a vegetarian before actually doing so. The main reason was probably my love to the animals. I knew that in most cases the animals were not treated nicely and did not want to support this.
However, the many myths about vegetarianism were holding me back from completely refusing to eat meat. I was afraid about not getting enough protein and iron. Moreover, my family was very much against my idea so I could not expect any support. Thus, I conducted a research and talked to a couple of friends who became vegetarians. I learned that vegetarians are actually healthier as a group and that the two friends started to feel better after the transition.
Planning and Transition
So I had the inspiration to become a vegetarian but also needed a plan. I heard about several people who became vegetarians for a short time but started to eat meat because they did not eat properly or could not withstand the pressure from the family or friends. Therefore I needed to plan well to succeed once I start. Being a university student I had very little time to prepare my own vegetarian meals and to learn about the proper vegetarian diet. Therefore, I waited until the last exams were over; luckily it was only for a couple of months.
I started reading about a balanced vegetarian diet. I learned that it was important to eat a variety of vegetables, legumes, nuts and fruits, including greens for the body to get all the required nutrients. Also, it was recommended to slowly stop eating meat, then fish, then dairy and so on. This sounded delicious but required some adjusting and learning new recipes.
One of the most important aspects was dealing with the pressure from my family. I have heard that some support was important during the transition period. However, I knew really well that sharing meals with my parents and sister would include them offering me some meat, pitying me, and persuading me to give up. So I came up with a trick. I decided to use the extra time that I had to prepare delicious new vegetarian dishes for the whole family. And this worked amazingly!
During each meal all the family members really enjoyed the dishes I prepared, all vegetarian, healthy and wholesome. They were so full and satisfied that they ate very little of their meat dishes. In a couple of days they started to complain that they had too much meat leftovers because my vegetarian meals were too tasty. This way my family supported me in my decision in a way.
The transition was not easy at times but still not as hard as making the decision. I never craved meat. I used to be anemic due to low hemoglobin before becoming a vegetarian. I included a lot of greens, beans and nuts in my vegetarian diet and I started to feel healthier and more energetic. My blood tests became really good.
Also, I have learned that if you decided to become a vegetarian then do not try to persuade the others that you are right or to do the same. Let them see the great changes in you and learn from your example. They might follow it just as my family has.
I share my experience on my blog: http://www.skillandhobby.com .