I have been a vegetarian of sorts for around a year. It has been a slow process to get to where I am at now. I don’t eat any meat except for seafood so I am actually a pescetarian. I usually just say vegetarian when asked, “What are you?” It is that or human.
Becoming a Vegetarian
The journey has been slow because it started with a personal dare and has evolved through education. I think it has been at least 3 years since I last ate beef. I decided that I would not eat beef for a month just to see if I could do it – a test of will. The man in my life laughs when I describe it this way because I often eat a cup full of ice cream after dinner for a week without blinking an eye. Will power is ignored for ice cream. I decided to start with beef because I didn’t eat it that much to begin with. After a month of easily not eating beef I felt confident that I could be in control of other food items. I was a bit over weight at the time and it seemed nice to know I could be in control. I recently read that will power is like a muscle and you have to use it to make it stronger. I love that idea because it eliminates any excuses.
Feeling better with less meat
Anyway…I started to feel great and it gave me something to practice. My friend gave up all meat except for seafood a few years ago and the more we started to cook meals for one another the more I noticed that after a meal free of chicken and beef the calmer and more relaxed I felt. I have no medical studies to back this up, just personal feeling. It could be the fact that I don’t have guilt or sad feelings for the animals, the fact that cleaning up dishes is so much easier when I’m not cooking with meat, or that I get more vitamins and things my body needs (such as Omega-3 fatty acids) from vegetables and seafood. I have slept better, had more energy, and felt more myself without meat.
Helping Others with Changes
My cousin wanted to talk about my change this Christmas. He had really struggled with the switch and had gone back to meat without finding much success. Changing to a diet with less meat or no meat is very personal. I found great success and would recommend that you try it if you are looking for a change. It has taught me control and allowed me to see food in a more positive way.
Readers: Do you feel like you have control over your diets? Have you thought about becoming a vegetarian or helping someone else change their diet? Do you consider a diet to be something temporary, or a permanent lifestyle change?