Vegetarianism: Eating Healthy with a Vegetarian Lifestyle

Eating Vegetarian

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Have you ever considered going vegetarian?

It’s an idea I have played around with off and on for the past couple of years.  In high school, my health interest began with organic foods and my growing love for animals and animal rescue in particular. In my research on both of these topics, I feel that I have been slowly working towards vegetarianism. I have thought about being a “flexitarian”. I know that term might be offensive to the true vegetarians out there, but I figure nobody should be expected to quit anything cold turkey (no pun intended). A flexitarian is basically a part-time vegetarian. They might eat some chicken or fish (ew) here and there. I’ve been eating meat on a daily basis for 20+ years, so I never expected the transition to occur overnight.

For 60 days during my husband’s last deployment, I quit meat. I was a “lacto-ovo vegetarian” which means I still ate some dairy (lacto) and eggs (ovo) – but no meat whatsoever, including food items with lard or beef/chicken-based broths. I read labels, researched restaurants before going out to eat, and really did my homework. I figured while the husband (aka Mr. Avid Meat Eater) was away, it was the ideal time for me to give vegetarianism a go.

I loved it.

I don’t know how to explain it. You know how you feel after you eat a delicious, healthy meal? Instead of feeling over-full or bloated, you just feel GOOD. You feel good physically because your body has been provided with essential, natural fuels instead of junk, and you feel good mentally because you know you have made the choice to be healthy. Well, I felt damn good for the entirety of that 60 days and by the end of it, I realized how easy it was to be a vegetarian.

When my husband returned from deployment, I managed another few weeks of vegetarianism. Then, our family came to visit and I started eating a little meat, like chicken. We are from the Midwest and it’s not “normal” to be a vegetarian there. It all went downhill from there. I’ve been eating meat on almost a daily basis since.

Starting on July 15th though, I made the switch back to vegetarianism. I was brainstorming a blog to write and thought it might be nice to share my experience with vegetarianism and figured it would be motivation for me to write about it as I was experiencing it. The animal lover in me rejoiced in my decision. So, as of right now, I am 100% vegetarian again – for health purposes, but especially for the animals.

The plan is to create a series of blogs on how to be a vegetarian. I know you might have a lot of questions, and I would be happy to help you find your answers. I will try to explain it all as best I can. If you are like me and you enjoy trying out new ways of eating, then this might be another adventure for you. I am back to being a lacto-ovo vegetarian, so anything I post may include eggs and dairy. If you are feeling even more brave, you can try out being a vegan – which means absolutely no animal products or animal byproducts.

In the spirit of , I will start by posting recipes I am trying on Mondays. I will stick to my rules about not using hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners. I don’t know about you, but cost is also a huge factor for me. I know my husband isn’t going to want to be a vegetarian, so I need to learn ways to make food that appeals to both of us. I will try to find and create recipe ideas that will appeal to vegetarians, their meat-eating loved ones, and those who want to save a few bucks on some meals by leaving out the meat, which we all know can be very expensive.

I will also be chatting about my experiences on my Twitter account, so make sure to !

My reasons for becoming a vegetarian again are for moral and health reasons. The truth is, many of the animals we humans eat are treated very poorly, and I would prefer not to support that industry. I would not kill an animal myself, so for me it makes sense not to eat them. If you want to learn more about how animals are treated, you can go to to read and watch videos about factory farming. I am warning you now that it can get graphic - but I personally feel that it is important to know where your food comes from. I do not think that everyone has to be a vegetarian, but I do think that we as humans need to take more responsibility for the ways animals are treated before landing on our dinner plates.

Health-wise, there are studies that point to the fact that vegetarians have fewer health problems, including less heart disease and obesity. One study to take a look at is . In this study, Dr. Campbell notes that “people who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease … People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease”.

Some people become vegetarians because of the environmental effects of the farming industry. For example, it would take a whole lot less grain to feed me than it would take to feed a cow that I would eventually eat.

As always, I encourage you to do your own research and make the decision that feels right for you! Check back soon for the first recipe.

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4 Responses to “Vegetarianism: Eating Healthy with a Vegetarian Lifestyle”

  1. Rebecca says:

    Haha, I know exactly what you mean! I’m from the Midwest as well, and I’ve actually gone Pesciterian (I eat fish, eggs, dairy but no other meats)And my poor Husband-to-be, loves meat, I’ll still cook it for him but as for myself I would like some appealing food. I can’t wait to get some recipes from this! *^-^*

  2. Jess says:

    I haven’t told all of our family yet. I have to explain to each person I come across why I’m vegetarian – which is great because I love educating people, but at the same time, it gets tiring. I come from cattle country so I can see how it’s a bit weird… ha ha. I hope you enjoy some of the recipes here, as well as your husband-to-be!

  3. Brenna says:

    As a 10 year vegetarian, I would like to welcome you to your new lifestyle! Here’s a hint to keep you motivated and going in this new found freedom… don’t EVER feel like your the one going “without”. Whenever we mentally put ourselves in a place of deprevation, it is easy to feel sorry for ourselves or just plain unhappy. I have found the one of the tricks to keep me going is to plan ahead. I made delicious food… and when you just ate something yummy – you rarely will say – “Yeah, but I really miss my steak.” So don’t get stuck at someone else’s BBQ “just having a salad.” Oh wait… you can’t – because they put bacon in that too…. Bring your own veggie burger! Call ahead, and see if there is something you can bring – and let them know that your a veggie. Most people are happy to try new recipes, and you might be introducing them to your brave new world. And vegetarian food DOES NOT HAVE TO BE BLAND! In fact, most of my friends are shocked to find out that what they just ate had no meat in it. They don’t miss it, and you won’t either if you get brave!

    Congratulations on your choice! So exciting!

  4. Jess says:

    Thank you for the encouragement Brenna! We went camping with friends last weekend and you’re right – planning ahead totally made a difference. I knew I had PLENTY of delicious food to eat the entire weekend and it made everything so much easier.

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