Today is my 7th anniversary of being a vegetarian! February 28th 2006 I gave up all meat: pork, beef, poultry, and fish cold turkey. I originally gave it up for Lent that year but when the 40 days/nights were over I didn’t crave it any more as well as, I noticed so many positive changes in body not to mention the smell of meat gave me a headache. For example, I noticed I had more stamina, energy and lost 34 pounds.
To better understand being a vegetarian or becoming one I did research on broadly defining the lifestyle. I wanted to know more prior to knowing only vegetarians eat mainly fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains, seeds, and nuts. I found like myself many vegetarians eat eggs and/or dairy products but avoid hidden animal products such as beef and chicken stocks, lard, and gelatin.
Lacto-ovovegetarians exclude meat, poultry, and fish but include dairy products and eggs. Most vegetarians in the US are lacto-ovovegetarians including myself.
Being born and raised in Texas, coming from a “huge” family (all puns intended) of carnivores I constantly get questioned to why I made the switch and how do I maintain the lifestyle. Again it’s important to know being a vegetarian is a lifestyle not a diet. Not only will you see cosmetic changing, how you live your life changes too. As for myself I live a very organic environmental friendly life in how I conduct my household, shop and dress.
My favorite seven benefits of vegetarianism.
- Healthy skin: My diet is rich in water-based and plant foods that are a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins ideal for healthier skin every season and helps with skin elasticity resulting in youthful skin. I have a natural permanent glow not to mention how well my acne cleared up.
- Increased energy: With my body spending less time digesting animal protein, an energy boost has been a nice side effect.
- Saves Money for Clothing: By shopping the perimeter of the grocery store (usually the healthy section not the meat laden middle of the store) and stocking up on high-fiber, highly nutritious food, I shrank almost 25% of my food budget; I use that money for new clothes.
- Obesity: Point blank period.
- Focus More on Proper Nutrition: I care about my intake more and always find myself explaining other ways of nutrition to meat eater. These five categories in particularly: protein, calcium, iron, vitamin D and vitamin B-12. All can be found in tofu, kale, sunlight, spinach and dairy products.
- Prevent Diseases: Reduce risk of food-borne illnesses, build strong bones, be more ‘regular’ riding your body of waste and living longer. Anyone who knows me know I hardly ever get sick.
- Develop a Better Palate: I use more seasoning /spices than salt & pepper when I cook. I can really taste flavors and discovered new delicacies.