As many of you may–or may not, depending on our level of friendship–know, I’ve been vegetarian (with the occasional fish) for over three years now. I was unsure and slightly concerned about how living in France would affect my ability to remain vegetarian due to both the cultural norms and lack of vegetarian options.
Maybe just a little meat every once in awhile…
I used to love ham, why would I deny myself a croque monsieur?
But, the meat is much more natural in France…
All justifications I manifested even before I understood that France is 100% vegetarian friendly. And I mean 100% — I have not had a single issue in my two weeks here so far.
So… what am I eating?
Before school, I like to stop at the little pâtisserie down the street from my apartment and pick up a few croissants. They have simple butter croissants, Nutella filled, cinnamon/raison, and pretty much every other pastry you can imagine. The best part? Each one is only 1 euro. Oh, and NO TAX. Amazing. If I’m feeling cheap that day, I just make a piece of toast and coat it in jam until the bread is undetectable.
I’ve gotten into the habit of eating baguette sandwiches and dessert of either a pastry or gelato on a daily basis, which isn’t necessarily the healthiest choice but remains one of the cheapest and most accessible meals. Almost every café has the option to pair together a sandwich/panini, drink, and dessert together for around 6-8 euro and some places offer a student discount as low as 3 euro for the whole meal.
I haven’t been here long enough to have a steady routine for dinner, but usually I’ll get something small on the street or cook for myself. The easiest and fastest meal to make is pasta with sautéed vegetables accompanied by a baguette and wine, of course.
Basically, I’m only eating carbs and going to gain 40lbs while I’m here. Vive la France!
Cutting out meat definitely does limit your options, however it is completely possible to remain vegetarian in France. Also, major props to vegans here because I’m happily surviving on croissants, chocolate, and cheese. No complaints.
Thanks for reading! I think now I’ll work on some kind of exercise regimen and report back within the next week…