First the Questions ... Now the Answers!

Hi there, lovelies!

A few days ago, I uploaded a picture on Instagram, asking you guys if you had any questions you wanted me to answer. I promise I will try to answer all of them as well as I can, but I do not always know the answers, so bare with me please!

1. Where do you live?
I live in this gorgeous little Dutch city called Middelburg, in the province of Zeeland. I was not born or raised here, nor will I stay here for long, but I am going to university here. It is a very lively in summer and a major destination for tourists (apparently? it is full of Germans at the moment), but during winter it tends to get a bit boring. Here's a picture I took of it from the top of a church:
2. I'm going to be a new vegetarian, what are some recipes and foods to eat and get started?
Nice! You know my mission is to inspire people to eat more vegetarian (even if it is partially, like I do myself).

First of all, I would recommend going through some vegetarian or vegan blogs. Of course you already know mine, but here is a list with a few others that are way more amazing than mine: "Eating Vegetarian? 7 Cooking Blogs to Check Out Now!". You will be super inspired by all the recipes, and see that there is so much you can eat without adding any meat or fish!

Secondly, I really advise you not to go crazy on the carbohydrates. A lot of vegetarians and vegans tend to do that, but please go easy on them. Unless you work out all day, this is not an amazing idea. Carbs are okay, just do not overdo it. I gained a lot of weight when I went vegetarian/vegan, just because I was not aware of this.

Thirdly, and this goes hand in hand with the second point, eat your protein! There are tons of protein sources for vegetarians, you just need to know where it is! Here is a nice list with protein sources for vegetarians/vegans.

Also, if you are not good at going cold turkey with things, slowly build up to being vegetarian. First, get rid of red meat. Then, get rid of white meat. Lastly, get rid of fish - or in any order you prefer, of course. Go from maybe five meals with meat a week, to four, then to three, etcetera.

Lastly, keep reminding yourself why you are doing it. Do you want to add to an improvement of the environment? Do you want to do it because you think animals should not suffer for our pleasure?

5. What is your favorite meat substitute? I do not really like tofu, but I want to try being vegetarian.
Does cheese count? I am such a sucker for cheese. Blue cheese, mozzarella, brie, goat's cheese... Yum. However, I am also pretty fond of a good poached or scrambled egg. Some people consider beans and peas as meat substitutes, so then I would have to go for chickpeas and chili beans. There are so many options! The sky is the limits. For foods with protein, look at the question I answered above.

6. Do you use a spiralizer, if so, which one?
Unfortunately, I do not have one and I have never used one. I would loooooove to make like zucchini spaghetti, but I have not yet had the chance to purchase a spiralizer.

7. Do you have any good recipes for making homemade seitan?
I have never made seitan before, sorry! I also have no idea how it is made, actually. I am afraid I will have to tell you Google will be more of a help than I would be. I can look into it later and try out some to see which works best, though!

8. Is there a dairy-free way to substitute buttermilk in recipes?
Definitely! You can easily make buttermilk by adding lemon juice or vinegar to a non-dairy milk, and you will have the perfect buttermilk to work with. For each cup of milk, you will need about 1 or 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice or vinegar.

9. I want to lose weight and eat healthier, but I don't know how to start. Do you have any tips?
I am not sure if I am the perfect person to ask this, or the worst, because I know exactly how to lose weight, I just do not always know how to stay motivated and keep that discipline. At the moment I am doing very well, so I feel confident enough to help you out here.

There are a lot of tips I can give you, but here is my top 7:

1. Eat a lot of fruit and vegetables. I believe these two together should make up for at least half of your food in a day (not calorie wise, but plate wise). These will keep you full and provide you with many of the nutrients you need in a day.

2. Eat normal/smaller proportions. Servings nowadays are much bigger than our bodies need, so it is easy to overeat and gain weight.

3. Keep track of what you eat, and then you will also come to realize what normal proportions are. This is what helps most for me. I use MyFitnessPal on my phone. You can stay totally anonymous (just do not connect the app to your Facebook account), and you can keep track of everything there: your weight, your exercises, your food, and more. The app will calculate the amount of calories you need in a day based on your height, weight, level of daily activity, and the amount of weight you would like to lose in a week. When you add food to it, it calculates the amount of calories in it, but also the fats, carbs, protein, vitamins, and much more! I highly recommend it when you are just starting out.

4. Water. Water, water, water, water. Drink lots of water. Here are a few reasons why you should drink a lot of water.

5. Make sure you sleep a lot (about 8 or 9 hours a night), because your body needs to rest and recover from your day.

6. Exercise! Exercising should always be part of your day in some way. I would suggest running to see if you like it (but promise me you will purchase some good running shoes first), do some online work out videos at home, go to the gym if you can afford it, or like me: just walk to as many places as you can, or go for long bike rides. Any exercising you can get into your day helps! (And add it to MyFitnessPal, because that means you can eat more!).

7. Do not forget to keep enjoying life and good food. Depriving yourself from all that is good is gonna get you off track within a few weeks.

I loved helping you guys out. If you have any questions, do not be afraid to ask!

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