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.
[accordion title1=”Vegans” text1=”Vegans eat no animal products what so ever. Only plants ” title2=”Vegetarians” text2=”Vegetarians Eat cheeses and dairy products ” title3=”Lacto Vegetarians” text3=”Lacto Vegetarians: Eat no flesh and cheese only ” title4=”Fruitarians” text4=” Fruitarians eat only fruits and nuts and seeds, they prefer the fall from the tree and are not picked commercially.” title5=”Pescatarian” text5=”Pescatarian Eat only fish and vegetables and fruits no chicken , or anything else.” ]
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. [alert color=”770011″ icon=”128227″] If it’s in a box, has a package, or a commercial– don’t eat it. Apples don’t have commercials…eat them![/alert]
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!
Vegetarian Starter Kit
Traveling On the Road
Global Warming & Other Information