I've been a vegetarian on and off since the second grade. Over the years I've been asked why I choose not to eat meat, and it's for many reasons.
1. I hate the taste and texture of it.
2. I love animals. It breaks my heart to think about eating them.
3. I feel better when I don't eat it.
A few months ago I decided it was time to completely stop eating meat again, this time for good. Not only do I feel 100% better, but I've lost weight too. I was worried about getting enough protein and nutrients after the change and after consulting a few vegan websites and books, I learned that it would not be a problem. If I infused my diet with tofu, beans, and soy - I can take care of the protein no problem. The nutrients I miss out on from meat are also in many plant sources. (I do take a multiple vitamin, calcium chew, and vitamin D supplement every day.)
On a typical day I try to eat a fruit and vegetables with every meal. Veggies are not only filled with essential vitamins, they also have protein too. I try to make each meal as colorful as possible. I've found that I eat a better variety and the flavors are always different. I do eat carbohydrates, but I avoid pasta's and heavy breads. I try for three meals and two snacks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
I'm not a big fan of sauces and dressings. If I eat a salad, I might drizzle a little homemade honey mustard - but that's about as far as I'll go. When I eat pasta, I toss it with a few herbs and garlic.
In my research for my new lifestyle change, I learned that with my blood type and heritage, dairy isn't good for my stomach or body. Our digestive tracks weren't built to consume the milk of animals. Cutting out milk, butter and cheese wasn't easy at first; but now that I've been off it for a few weeks and I feel even better then when I cut out meat.
I have four sources for new recipes and info about vegan-ism:
- Clean Foods - http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Clean-Food/Terry-Walters/e/9781402768149/?itm=1&USRI=clean+food+a+seasonal+guide+to+eating+close+to
- The Kind Life - http://www.thekindlife.com/
- Wilde Things - http://wildethings.org/about
- Green is Sexy - http://www.greenissexy.org/
My long term goal is to implement this way of life into all aspects of my world. My next step is to use products that were not tested on animals.
I've meet people who think I'm absolutely crazy for giving up animal products and by-products. I love when they eat one of my desserts and they love it. I take sheer pleasure in telling them that what they ate was vegan.
This is a whole new adventure for me. The food I've been eating lately has been absolutely divine. I'll share the as many recipes as possible.