This week makes six months since I last consumed any meat. Since most people I know don’t actually know a real vegetarian, I figured it would be a good idea to address some common concerns about those of us who no longer eat animals.
Getting Enough Protein and Fat: Six months ago, I weighed 158 pounds. Now, I weigh 156 pounds. So maybe I lost a petty amount of weight, but I’m no human praying mantis. I consume plenty of good fats from avocados, nuts, and olive oils and lots of protein from beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and green vegetables. Not to mention, I still consume some dairy products; I’m not a vegan.
Still Being Hungry: As I learned from the documentary Forks Over Knives, 500 calories of a high fiber vegetarian meal actually makes a person feel more full than if they ate 500 calories of a meat-centric meal. Whenever I am hungry, I eat. But if I am still hungry after a meal, it’s only because I didn’t eat enough food.
Psychologically Wanting Meat: Though proper vegetarians get more than sufficient amounts of their necessary nutrition, what about the the fact that it’s fun to eat meat? I admit: the thought of a big, juicy burger sounds pretty good. So do some fried shrimp and scallops.
That’s what’s ironic about this. I don’t crave or any miss chicken or salmon or any other kind of lean, healthier meat. I just miss the unhealthy kinds of meat; mainly the fried, high-fat stuff.
So I eat lightly fried okra or homemade baked fries instead.
The thing about psychologically wanting meat is it’s kind of like wanting dessert. You don’t eat dessert because you’re still hungry. You eat it because it tastes good and it makes you feel good.
Therefore, if I won’t allow myself to drink soda (which I never do) then I can also subdue my psychological desires to taste animals.
But for me, it’s a slippery slope.
So will I ever cheat? Will I ever have an “off day” and sneak in some fish and chips?
Here is what I’ve decided:
If I ever “cheat” and eat meat again, then I must also eat all kinds of meat from that point forward; including fast food products as well as pork and shellfish, which for me is taboo because I am kosher.
Since I know what I am not willing to go back to my old ways of eating, I know I will not eat meat again. It’s one big slippery slope for me.
It’s the “all or nothing” mentality that makes this thing work for me.
But speaking of cheating, something I love about being a vegetarian is the lack of “food guilt.”
At work parties, I can totally load up on some chips and dip as well cake and donuts and not gain any weight- Because I have no meat needing to be slowly digested inside of me, the “non-meat junk food” just slips right on through with my vegetables and whole grains; evidently.
Not to mention, by being a 100% vegetarian, I view it as my own built-in insurance policy against cancer, Diabetes, and all those other troublesome diseases. If all else fails, I’ll just go vegan.
If you are curious to learn more about how going vegetarian “shuts off” your body’s cancer cells, I invite you to watch Forks Over Knives on Netlix.
Please, don’t just take my word for it; instead see for yourself the death-sentenced cancer patients from the 1970’s who are now alive and well because of their choice to no longer eat animals.