Tuesday, 30 August 2016

How being a vegetarian has become easier

I just want to share good news. In the past ten years and especially in the past 6 months being a vegetarian has become so much easier. I am currently on a pesco(lacto-ovo)-vegetarian diet, eating mostly lacto-ovo-vegetarian food and fish or seafood maybe once a month. I have also been fully vegetarian and everything in between. Life without meat comes naturally as I have always preferred vegetarian food. But finding recipes and products to fit the diet has not always been so easy.

About ten years ago when I decided to go vegetarian it had already been a quite common way of life for some decades. Yet it was still challenging to get nutritionally good and tasty vegetarian food. Magazines didn´t have that many vegetarian recipe ideas and in my case it was mostly leaving the meat out of the recipe and maybe replacing it with lentils or some soy "meat". What came to vegetarian meal products, there were few.

A lot has changed. Even more than I could have ever even wished for. Sometimes it is still difficult to find the basic vege-sausages or vege-balls from a smaller market but mainly these products are found in every market and usually in many different brands. There are also many yogurt like products and milks. When I reduced the use of milk products a couple of months ago  I found it easy to start choosing the vegetarian options. Also now that I look back in time there were no such a multitude of different beans, lentils, soy products etc. witch are excellent when I cook something from beginning. And mostly I have cooked from the beginning as I like to cook and try new recipes and also because there has not been so many ready meal solutions until recently. 

The latest turn is actually the reason for this post. Here in Finland one market chain has begun to place vegetarian products all in a same shelf so that they are easy to find. Just some weeks ago when I went to make the ordinary shopping I crossed the new shelf and found out that they had ordered lots of new vegetarian products! Fillets, sausages, bread toppings, falafel... It is now so much easier to cook a quick meal for a more hectic day :)

Mainly this all is about attitude. Diet demands that were considered difficult have now become a welcomed challenge for creative product developers and conscious businesses. Also campaigns for one vegetarian day per week and increasing vegetables in every meal might have influenced for the majority of people and that is why there is bigger demand for new appealing vegetarian products. Of course vegetables have been a part of diet back in times but the meat eating trend about ten or five years ago influenced on what was considered healthy. The current vegetarian eating trend has its roots in the environmentally and climate change conscious discussions that recommend more vegetarian based diet. 

Even though I wanted to share good news I have to tell you that sometimes I still take part in an occasion where there is a buffet with many dishes that include meat and maybe one or two that I can eat but which are not necessarily nutritionally complete. Since I learned to cook vegetarian food and found the vege-products I begun to take a lunchbox with me just in case the food offered doesn´t actually keep hunger away. Taking a lunch box has stuck hard on me and quite often it has become in need. But the direction has been right what comes to the attitudes towards the vegetarian eating, so I am not complaining. At the moment I am very pleased :)

In the pictures: Vegetarian pavlova from chickpea can´s juice and vegetarian salad both made from a local Lapin Kansa newspaper´s recipe. Excellent Professor Grunschnabel coconut chocolate ice bought from local super market. New Finnish vegetarian product Gold and Green´s pulled oat.


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