I've decided that for now, I'll be holding off the vegetarian diet. I want to revisit it in the future when I can afford more and better options but I'm at a point where I never stopped craving animal protein and with lean meat cut out of my diet, I had to resort to dairy which is loaded with fat and cholesterol. My dairy intake trying to get the protein fix I craved was so great that I'm now the heaviest I've been since high school.
Probably the strongest craving has been for chicken (yeah, I know... foxes).
Also, a few notes about being a vegetarian:
It's difficult if you have a strong disgust reaction to certain kinds of foods (as in, can't bring yourself to swallow something because it has a sickly wet crunch or a certain kind of earthy taste to it). I was limited to foods I could actually force myself to eat and while I found a lot of new things I like (and ways to cut back on my meat intake), I'm having to revert to a more conventional diet because my palette is just not suited for all-veg.
It's difficult when you're on the road. Most of the places we saw to stop and eat during our trip to California had a huge lot of meat dishes and avoiding meat meant basically just doubling up on side orders. I finally gave up and went to In N' Out in
Healthy eating has been gentrified out of the reach of those who don't earn much. I had to decide between eating well on a strained budget, or actually filling my stomach, so more often than not I chose to fill my stomach with the only things that came close to filling it with meat out of the picture: dairy and starches. A more conventional diet allows me to eat a rounded diet without being hungry or overeating.
Surprisingly few options and alternatives to common foods exist; consider the vegetarian/vegan section in your local grocery store compared to the butcher's counter.
A good many processed foods contain meat. I've had to cut out some very low-calorie canned soups, for example.
I intend to try this again when I'm better off financially. It just hasn't worked out though.