Are you ready to become a vegetarian?
Vegetarian Day is officially October 1, but you can become a vegetarian any day of the year. Some people also transition into becoming a vegetarian, perhaps giving up one type of food item at a time. Some transition more quickly; others take months and even a year or more to fully change their eating habits.
October is also the first day of Vegetarian Awareness month. Vegetarians eat fruits, vegetables grains, and some also eat dairy and eggs. Some are semi-vegetarian and eat mostly vegetarian food and occasionally poultry and fish, and perhaps some other meats on an infrequent basis. Vegans don’t eat any animal products, including dairy and eggs.
Becoming a vegetarian is easier now, as more and more restaurants are increasing their meatless options. And when they don’t, people can always ad-lib. For instance, when I order a Reuben sandwich, I order it without the corn beef, and add some coleslaw to it instead.
Sometimes I’ll order a burger without the burger, and have them add mushrooms and sautéed onions. That makes a pretty good sandwich.
If you want a baked potato with a different flavor, you can also add mushrooms and onions to that in place of butter and/or sour cream.
When my husband was at the Cincinnati airport, in 2009, and went to Gold Star Chili, he saw that they had vegetarian chili as an option. Way to go Gold Star Chili!
As a kid, I ate meat. It was what was fixed for dinner, and usually for lunch, and sometimes breakfast. We used to visit an uncle that had a farm. On one of our visits, I realized what the chopping block was for. That really hit a chord with me. However, it wasn’t until I became an adult, that I actively pursued the vegetarian life style.
Becoming a vegetarian was a gradual process for me. I had spoken with a friend who had done it quickly, and she had gone through quite an adjustment period. Based on that, I decided to make my transition more gradual. First, I let go of eating beef, then chicken, and then seafood.
Forks Over Knives tells about studies where people’s health has improved – when they ate little to no dairy or meat, and ate more vegetables.
Not everyone in the studies had chosen to become a vegetarian, some ate as a vegetarian, simply because of circumstances (there wasn’t meat available.), and their health improved too, while they ate a vegetarian diet.
Variety is key when switching to fruits and vegetables as your main diet. Different colored skinned fruits and vegetables offer different vitamins and nutrients. So the rule of thumb is to eat a variety of colors, and to eat your vegetables and fruit every day.
Most vegetables and fruits are more nutritious when eaten raw. So I do try to incorporate a raw selection in my diet as well. Though, I’ve read that spinach is better for you when it has been cooked.
If you are considering changing out dairy, there are many nutritious options available. You can find coconut milk, almond milk, and soy milk.
From my experience, if you are going to make up a batch of mashed potatoes, use the unsweetened almond milk; its flavor is more conducive to them tasting more normal.
The cows will be happier for it.
- Did you know that for commercial milk, young calves that were still nursing were removed from their mother, and bottle fed? Then the mother cow would be milked by machines.
- Did you know that bone density improved with “less” protein in the diet, than with higher calcium intake?
- Did you know that spinach is a great source of calcium?
- Did you know that many animals eat plants and grains themselves?
They would like you to do the same.
Are you ready? Do you agree that it’s time to eat more fruits and vegetables and less or no meat?
You are welcome to join me and many others that have already made the switch. We will be glad to have you on board, however long or whichever route you take.