Transitioning from carnivorous to plant based diet

Carnivorous to plant based diet

When I speak to people about my recent change to a plant based (a.k.a vegan) diet, I get two types of responses.

1. I can never live without meat

2. I would love to try going vegetarian for a week

Today, I’d like to tackle the second response because a willingness to try suggests a possibility for change.

Let me illustrate this with an analogy. When you’d like to start swimming, you would not jump into the deep end of the pool and attempt to swim. You’d hold on to a float or try fluttering your legs to get a sense of how it’s like to swim. Attempting a one-week vegetarian diet is akin to jumping into the deep end of the pool – you’ll struggle, you’ll feel like drowning, heck, you’ll give up half way. Going cold turkey on meat will probably not work after having meat in your meals for decades.

The better approach 

I’d say even if you’re just trying out the vegetarian diet, start by doing without poultry. Go pescetarian for 1 meal (lunch) and vegetarian for the other(dinner). Do this for 7 days and see how it feels like.

My transition to vegetarian/vegan wasn’t overnight. It took about 3 months for me to make the decision to finally switch. And I find it extremely fun because I can experiment with foods I have never tried before, what with all these constraints.

If 7 days of going pescetarian feel good, keep going for about a month before deciding whether you’d like to continue with this diet or not. And if you do, gradually cut back on meat: say 1 or 2 days with meat and 5 meatless days – it’s even better if you can go without dairy.

Even when I was a pescetarian, social situations made it difficult for me to resist temptations of eating beef- so I succumbed to it and had beef bi-weekly. Do not be too hard on yourself if you “fail” to keep up with the plant based diet. It’s all about experimenting.

But where can I get my food from?!

My friend rose this question up to me recently when she tried going vegetarian for a week. She found it hard to find vegetarian options. But you’ll be surprised, in fact, Singapore is one of the top cities for vegetarians to live. You can find vegetarian hawkers in multiple food centers, or you can look up this list:

The other way I get around it is to ask restaurants/hawker to make it vegan/vegetarian. You’ll be surprised that most of them are happy to offer you vegetarian options. I always ask for more vegetables in exchange.

The last option is to cook which is what I mostly do, but I’ll leave that for another post.

Meanwhile, stay happy and I hope you’ll have a great time challenging yourself!!!


Hazel TengHi, I’m Hazel – a vegan, yogi and digital nomad. My life has radically transformed since I began practising yoga in January 2016. In turn, I would like to share with you how to lead a holistic life, one filled with contentment and freedom. My current mantra is: “Stay present to feel liberated.”

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