This blog post was inspired by a conversation that I had with my cousins on Friday (you know who you are). We were talking about how people love to jeopardise their friends’ efforts to be healthy. They don’t usually do it consciously, but they just can’t help it. If you’re trying to avoid sugar, they try to convince you to have it. If you’re avoiding cheese, they tell you about how they can’t live without it and how delicious it is. If you’re stopping coffee, they take you out for coffee and make you smell it and taste it. What is it with us humans? Why do we feel a sense of satisfaction when we know someone else’s healthy efforts have gone out the window?
I don’t want to have that conversation!
Just a few weeks ago, I was out with friends for dinner. I decided to order a vegetarian dish. And before I knew it, I found myself in a deep conversation, struggling to defend my choice to order vegetarian!
One thing I know for sure: people are very attached to their eating habits, and if they find that you’re doing something different, they would often defend their eating with their life! The conversation went on about how they love meat and cheese and cream. And how they would not feel good if they had to avoid it. And how ‘everything in moderation’ is always best, not going to extremes… bla bla bla
I never said YOU should do it! I was simply making a decision for myself. At some point, they must have perceived my vegetarian choices as attack on their animal-based food choices, although they weren’t.
It is often said that ‘people would rather change their religion than change the way they eat’. Along with politics and religion, food is usually a topic that would often get people fired up in conversation, which often ends in a debate about who’s right!
Am I Vegetarian?
This is a question that I get a gazillion times. Are you vegetarian? Are you vegan? Don’t you crave meat? How can you live without dairy? Don’t you have eggs? Are you human?……
And my answer is always the same: It doesn’t matter what I am because what works for me might not work for you.
People love to put ‘labels’ on others. They want to immediately categorise people to find out whether they are ‘like’ them or not. If I am vegetarian, and you don’t believe in vegetarianism, then it becomes much easier for you to just dismiss everything I say because it won’t apply to you.
But the truth is that I am not a ‘label’. I am not a ‘certain eating group’. I will eat whatever feels right for me at the stage of life that I’m at.
For many people, the idea of changing their eating makes them very uncomfortable so they would rather stay where they are. I totally respect that. I was there myself once. I know what it’s like. But if even 1% of you is curious, then keep reading because some points might just make sense to you.
So, back to the big question
Should you become a vegetarian?
Quick definition: Generally speaking, vegetarians are people who do not eat meat or poultry (some also avoid seafood); and vegans are people who choose not to eat any products coming from animals, including all meat, dairy products and eggs.
When I started looking into having more plant-based foods in my day, here are some of the thoughts that kept popping into my head:
- But I need protein
- If I avoid animal products I will gain weight
- Eating animal products is ok as long as it’s not frequent and it’s grilled and cooked with not much grease
- My body type does better on meats. I’m type O blood which is supposed to have lots of protein
- I don’t believe in extremes. Everything in moderation. Vegetarians and vegans are a bit extreme
- I would have to change all my eating habits, and that’s too difficult
- I would not be able to enjoy life and eating like I do now, especially when out with friends
- I would not be able to change my whole family’s eating, too difficult
- My cooking style would have to change. I wouldn’t even know what to put on the table
I’m not trying to convince you
If you are having any of the above thoughts, then you’re not alone. Changing the way you eat is a HASSLE. So before you can even start trying it, you have to really be convinced! Here are some points that might help you see things from a different perspective. Please note, however, that I’m NOT trying to convince you; I’m just giving you the other side of the argument.
These are some of the things that made sense to me
- The animals we eat do not have good living conditions. They are crammed, sick, and feed on crappy food.
- The animals we eat are injected with hormones and loads of medication and antibiotics. These hormones and antibiotics are passed on to us. They cause a surge in hormones, which would explain the increase in hormonal conditions and the huge change in the ages of puberty in kids and menopause in women, among other things. The excess antibiotics also make us more prone to illness.
- The animals we eat are scared. They know they will be killed and their fear can be heard in the sounds they make, it can be picked up by the other animals around them, and it can have an impact on the quality of their meat. We would be eating their fear.
- Animal foods cause acidity in our body. When our body is too acidic, we are more likely to get sick, we recover slower from injuries, we get angry more often, we get spots, headaches, and much more.
- Animal products cause the body to produce mucus. If we produce a lot of mucus, then we create the perfect environment for germs and we invite various conditions such as headaches, blocked noses, slow absorbtion of nutrients, and even speech and learning delays in children.
- Animal products are harder to digest, especially when we have low stomach acid (and stomach acid can be reduced with age, with stress, and a number of factors). Eating animal products puts a strain on the digestive system, making us more likely to get constipation, gas, rectal itching, and various other problems.
How would you know if going vegetarian is good for you?
There’s NO WAY for me to tell you whether or not it will help you to go vegetarian, or even vegan, but I can tell you this: You will never know unless you try. You have nothing to lose.
- Do it gradually (i.e. start with one meal and remove the animal products from it)
- Read up on the subject to make sure you’re doing it right (although it’s not difficult at all!)
- Make sure to add lots of vegetarian proteins from beans, pulses, lentil, sprouts, nuts, seeds, and protein-rich grains such as quinoa
Here are some of previous posts that you might give you some ideas
Book: Skinny Bitch
Recommend DVD: Eating
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