Becoming a Vegetarian
The act of giving up meat for good has been plaguing me for a while now. Trust me I love and eat meat like nobody’s business but I have reached a point in my life where I think…no…I feel like its time. So now comes, the why. I think the “why” is important. It is what keeps you committed. It cant be about a passing fad, and certainly not because a celebrity lives the vegetarian lifestyle.
Ive read many of the pros for transitioning over to a vegetarian lifestyle and here are a few of the benefits that I found:
Cut the fat
While meat provides a lot of protein, it also provides a ton of fat — especially saturated fat. Which means that by cutting out meat, you’ll be cutting out a lot of bad fat, and replacing it with things that are probably not only lower in fat, but that contain some good fats. This greatly reduces your risk of heart disease, and in fact numerous studies have shown that vegetarians tend to have a lower risk of heart disease, as well as hypertension, diabetes, cancer and other diseases. Read more here.
Reduce the suffering
You probably don’t want to hear about the horrific treatment of animals that are raised for food, even before they are slaughtered for our benefit. But suffice it to say, there are great amounts of suffering involved, and by cutting out meat, you are reducing your involvement in that. Read more here.
Help the environment
There are actually numerous ways that the meat industry harms the environment, from a waste of our resources (animals raised for food eat enough grain to feed the world), to a waste of fuel, to the pollution caused by their waste matter, and much more. Read more about that here.
Help your weight loss
It’s possible to be vegetarian and eat very unhealthy foods, including Coke and fries and fried stuff and pizza and chips. But it’s much more difficult. Studies repeatedly show that vegetarians are slimmer and are less likely to be obese than meat eaters. If you’re trying to lose weight, being a vegetarian can be a good part of your program.
Get more nutrition
In general (though not necessarily), vegetarians replace meat with more nutritious foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and so on. If you do that, you will be getting more of the nutrients your body needs, giving you better health, less illness, and more energy.
So back to my “why”. My “Why” is simply to live a healthier lifestyle. Im almost 40 and its well past time for me to start living my nutritional age. Today Im happy to say that I have eaten more vegetables in the past month than I have in my lifetime and I feel great. Now it is time to start finding some great vegetarian recipes.
One thing that I found disturbing was as I looked for new recipes, I found ALOT of recipes that were filled with bread, bread (yes I said bread twice), potatoes, rice and pasta! Now that could be an issue, cause Im on a high protein low carb diet right now and I am not trying to become anybody’s carbatarian!!! So until I find some great high protein, low-carb recipes I’ll stick to my black beans, quinoa, green beans and veggie salads as my main dishes. (Oh! I bought tofu today and cannot wait to try out some recipes with it.)
As I turn this new corner in my life I am excited about entering a world of new foods. I am excited about touching, cooking and tasting recipes with Tempeh, quiona, and tofu, eggplant, avocados and spinach! And with the benefits of the prevention of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and other diseases linked to eating animal products I feel like I am finally on the right track.
I would love to hear from you to find out if you are a vegetarian or vegan, how was your transition and by all means, please share some great recipes and resources!