Well, it’s official. I have left the world of the carnivore and have become a vegetarian. So far, so good.
My brother and his family recently went vegetarian, and I had been considering it for some time before deciding to take the plunge.
When I asked my eight-year-old niece how she liked being a vegetarian she replied, with what can only be described as a look of severe longing on her face, “Gigi...I miss my ham.”
I miss some things, too. But I’ve found that I can replace most things with a veggie version. I did catch a whiff of some fried chicken the other day that smelled pretty darn good. But I didn’t give in. Instead, I glared and ate a protein bar.
Why in the world would I do this, you may ask...or perhaps you don’t give a good toot in a whirlwind.
For those who are curious, I am doing it for my health. Studies show that vegetarian diets are much more healthful than the average American diet, particularly in preventing, treating and reversing heart disease, as well as reducing the risk of cancer. It’s also helpful for weight loss or keeping your weight down.
There are also some studies that show that if you switch to a vegetarian diet, you can add about 13 healthy years to your life. I’ll take that!
There is also a school of thought that living as a veg-head will ease the symptoms of menopause. I’ll have to get back to you on that one.
One of the best things about going vegetarian is that it saves you money. Meat accounts for about 10 percent of the American diet. Eating vegetables, grains and fruits in place of the average 200 pounds of beef, chicken and fish the average person eats can cut that your food bill by about $4,000 a year.
So far, I’d have to say going veggie has been fairly easy. With all the soy options out there, I really haven’t encountered anything yet that I can’t find a way around.
There are also a wealth of recipe books out there, and the Internet is just chock full of websites and blogs that center around eating vegetarian. So finding recipes is only a few strokes and a Google away.
My only complaint is that there aren’t a lot of vegetarian options in our local restaurants. Can you guys help me out with that?
So would I recommend the vegetarian lifestyle? I’m no expert, and I’ve only been doing it a week, but I can honestly say, it’s been good so far, so I would recommend it. I’ll have to get back to you on the health benefits of this change in my own life.
In the meantime, if you’re frying up a mess of chicken, how about shutting your kitchen window. I’m not sure how much resolve I have left...
You can reach Angye Morrison at firstname.lastname@example.org.