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How to Become Vegetarian

How to Become Vegetarian

When I became vegetarian 28 years ago it wasn’t something I really thought about. However, it was the best decision I ever made. I had been very ill for a long time. I joked that I personally built the new wing on the hospital. I got out of the hospital and I started reading all these books on many different topics. All of these were to be healthier. I did not know enough about being vegetarian when I made the choice.

I had just read all these inspiring books and decided it was what I needed. It was instinctual. It wasn’t logical in the way it should have been logical. I just know this was a good choice for me and for the environment. I made the choice then and there. I got a garbage bag and threw away all the meat in my freezer and my refrigerator.  My house was meat-free from that moment on. I subscribed to the Vegetarian Times magazine and that was it. The rest I learned.  However you are lucky, you are not alone on this path; you have me to guide you.

I still think being vegetarian has saved my life in many ways. you become vegetarian to be healthier, to be a warrior.When I became vegetarian, my entire family became vegetarian. They really didn’t want to, in fact, my daughter had a melt down. We still laugh about when we remember it. Here is what you need to know;

Step 1: Decide what type of vegetarian you want to be.

Maybe you just want to eat fish. Maybe you want to eat cheese and yogurt, or maybe you want to be vegan. I have done it all. When I eat fish, pescetarian I only eat fish twice a month. I don’t eat it very often. People think you eat something daily, because that is what they did with meat. Here are some of the various types.

Here are a few other types of diets;

Macrobiotic follow a diet of grains, local vegetables, fermented foods, it’s a slightly salty diet. People with cancer often switch to a macrobiotic diet. There’s been no evidence that it helps cancer.

Raw foodist: This is a diet consisting of foods that are not cooked. It is believed that you lose a lot of nutrients when the food is cooked. I ate 100% raw in the summer and 80% raw in winter.


 

I spent time in 28 years doing each of these at one time. There will always be debate of which is healthier. Some people believe that their way is best. I tried them all to make a decision for myself and I really liked them all with the exception of macrobiotics. Macro just didn’t sit well with me. All the miso soup, and it was very salty. It just did not work for me. However, I know lots of people who are happy with it.

Step Two: Meat-Free Mondays…and then some

To start the vegetarian diet you want to start by having two meat-free days a week. (Meatless Monday then choose another day that works for you). Gradually wean yourself off meat. My next recommendation is to go to the best vegetarian restaurant in your town and find a food you like and learn how to make it.  But eat it healthfully. Not fried or covered in oil. Try to eat more fruits and vegetables and no fried foods.

Step 3: Elimination Nation

To become vegetarian I would recommend an elimination diet. Eliminate one thing at a time. Try eliminating the worst things first. First eliminate beef, then pork, Then only eat chicken and fish with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. After a few weeks eliminate chicken, then eliminate fish. See how you do. I think the reason people fail is they do what I did and get rid of everything at once. I succeeded because failure was not an option.

You are trying to eat healthier so eliminate processed foods, chips and candy. With elimination, it’s simple really. 

 If it’s in a box, has a package, or a commercial– don’t eat it. Apples don’t have commercials…eat them!

Step 4: Step up Your Game

The next step is to increase your meat free days to to four days a week then give up chicken. Eat only fish. Healthy salmon, mackerel, or tuna fish high in omegas 3 and 6. Then eat the fish grilled, broiled, not fried. You can stay in this zone  for as long as you want. I recommend three months before the next step– No fish.

Step 5: Experiment, Have Fun & Feel Better!

 

Take a few cooking classes. Experiment with faux meat. Seitan and tofu are good sources of protein. Try new fruits and vegetables you have never had. This is the time to experiment!

For those of you wanting to take the plunge, here are a few websites and articles that can help you get started, find new recipes, and enjoy your dietary adventure!

Recipes
http://www.theppk.com/
http://www.goveg.com/feat/chewonthis/
http://www.vegetariantimes.com
http://www.vrg.org/index.htm
http://www.cestlavegan.com
http://fatfreevegan.com
www.vegweb.com
www.everydaydish.tv
http://veganyumyum.com/
http://vegandad.blogspot.com/
http://www.bryannaclarkgrogan.com/page/page/579094.htm
http://vegangrandma.blogspot.com/
http://www.vegsource.com/
http://www.veganblogs.com/
http://bittersweetblog.wordpress.com/

Vegetarian Starter Kit 
http://www.pcrm.org/health/veginfo/vsk/

Traveling On the Road 
http://www.happycow.net/browse.html

Global Warming & Other Information 
http://www.eatveg.com/
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art19387.asp
http://www.vegsoc.org/
http://www.quorn.com/

VEG Sites 
http://seitanismymotor.com/
http://www.veganlunchbox.blogspot.com
http://thisiswhyyourethin.blogspot.com
http://www.helloveggie.org
http://www.nomeatathlete.com
http://www.messyvegetariancook.com/

Tofu 
http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/health/series/recipes_for_health/tofu/index.html

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About Author

April Farrell-Hasty

April Farrell-Hasty

I am first and foremost a patient with sickle cell anemia. I chose to treat my illness more holistically. I have been a vegetarian for more than 25 years. I use homeopathy, accpunture, along with allopathic medicine. I have volunteered with the sickle cell foundation for decades. Working as a mentor and working with parents whose child was just diagnosed with sickle cell. I have also worked with teens who were aging out of peadatric sickle cell and not quite ready for the adult group. Because they were off to college. I've also talked a few over protective parents of sickle cell kids into allowing their child to go away to college. I've organized sickle cell retreats. I train yoga teachers and teach yoga. I specialize in restorative yoga. I chose to work with people who need yoga. People with chronic illnesses, people who have a lot of stress. I feel people who are chronically ill need yoga to help manage the illness. I teach patients with all types of disease, and yoga has helped them maintain or get better, rather than getting worse. Most chronically ill people get worse. Yoga helps ease the stress of illness, and learning to breathe properly helps manage pain. It has proven to be very beneficial for people with fibromyalgia, arthritis, sickle cell anemia, and other illnesses. Restorative yoga helps maintain homeostasis. I also teach more physical types of yoga. I have certifications in personal training, wellness. I am a reiki master. www.peacefullotus.com.

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2 Comments

  1. Melek
    Melek October 11, 23:15

    I’m nearly iaietncdl to you. I’m 15, 5’4 , and 140.Honestly going vegetarian doesn’t guarantee weight-loss unless you really pay attention to your calorie and nutrient intake. Vegetarians tend to actually GAIN weight when they first start out because they resort to eating processed foods and carbs. Potato chips, mashed potatoes, white bread, cookies, soda, and most candies are all vegetarian.When I went vegetarian I gained about 10 pounds, then after I started paying attention to the foods I ate I lost about 15. In order to lose weight as a vegetarian, you have to replace your meats properly. When I went vegetarian at first I just eliminated my meats. When my mom made steak, mashed potatoes and corn for dinner, I just ate potatoes and corn.Morning Star and Boca products are good for starters. They are basically fake meat, made from vegetables and soy products. But I wouldn’t eat these excessively, since they are loaded with processed ingredients. You really, really have to make sure you’re eating a variety of vegetables and fruits. Before it wasn’t AS important since you obtain many nutrients from meat. But now you MUST make sure you aim for at least 6-8 fruits/vegetables a day.As long as you’re conscious about what you’re eating and don’t resort to cupcakes and potato chips, you definitely could lose weight on a healthy vegetarian diet.

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