Wednesday, July 16, 2014

On My (Fairly) Recent Vegetarianism

It has dawned on me that I have been a vegetarian for almost five whole months! I made the decision originally because I was experiencing some major GI issues, for which I had to go on horrible medication, and I thought that cutting meat out of my diet would be the best decision for my health. What really put my heart into it, however, was an experience I had on the long drive home from school. That evening, a chicken truck slowly pulled into the lane beside me during bumper-to-bumper traffic. I saw a myriad of large, half-deplumed chickens stuffed into stacks of unreasonably small metal cages. None of them were moving at first, so part of me wondered if they were stunned or already dead. That was until I saw a few of them blinking and barely moving their heads. Seeing that brought tears to my eyes. I felt a choke in my throat as I wondered why the meat industry had to be so cruel and unnatural. Witnessing this was the impetus to becoming vegetarian, which has had many positive impacts on my health and cooking skills.

For starters, my symptoms have improved a great deal. Not only is my digestion more like that of a normal person, but the rosacea-looking rash on my face has disappeared, and my complexion looks much healthier! I also have more energy throughout the day, which is a definite plus. Another perk is that I am able to maintain a healthy weight with little effort. This is great, since I don't always have make time to exercise. Although I assumed there would be health benefits, one thing I didn't realize was how easy it would be.
Trader Joe's Soy Chorizo is the best thing ever, especially if you are craving meat.

I thought that not eating meat would be a huge obstacle (and sacrifice) because I am a lover of good food, so my solution was learning to cook more of a variety. Since vegetarian food is harder to come by where I come from, it's much cheaper and easier for me to make my own. I have tried so many recipes that I would not have tried before, and my cooking technique keeps getting better. The funny thing is that I don't hardly crave meat anymore, which was unexpected. Cooking more has also forced me to become more nutrition-minded, meaning that I am more conscious of the kinds of foods I should be eating to get the most nutrients.

So far, it's been a great ride, and I don't have any desire to stop this diet. I encourage everyone to try a vegetarian diet. It may seem tough, but it is well worth the health benefits. Perhaps in a future post, I will post some go-to recipes of mine.