A few months ago I decided to become a full-blown vegetarian.
It was a pretty seamless transition given that I had spent the past couple years as a “semi-vegetarian” (meaning I wouldn’t choose meat, but if it was my only option, I wouldn’t refuse it). These days it’s all about veggies, fruits and whole grains and I’m feeling better than ever.
Typically when I tell people I’m a vegetarian, I get asked two questions:
“You don’t eat ANY meat?” (Uhhh, no)
“What do you eat, then?” (well, everything EXCEPT for animals)
My mom remains the most skeptical about this lifestyle choice and is forever trying to convince me that I should “just have a bite” of whatever meat is being served. Ha! That’s okay. I’m totally fine with others eating meat, I just don’t want to partake in it myself. And most of the time, it’s fairly easy to customize my meal around others. Heck, I’ve even found the perfect vegetarian meal at Disneyland! Trust me, it can absolutely be done.
The key to making it healthy and successful is to focus primarily on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains and not use it as an excuse to binge on refined sugars and carbs. As someone who passed out in a Border’s parking lot in San Diego from anemia years ago (much to my poor mother’s horror), I have to make sure that I am getting sufficient iron, so I eat plenty of spinach, black beans and lentils. And luckily, I love healthy food. I love the way it tastes, the way it makes me feel, the way it looks so colorful on my dishes (working it from an aesthetics angle!), and the way it doesn’t weigh me down.
And now for the disclaimer: I most definitely DO NOT eat perfectly 100% of the time – there’s plenty of dessert, cheese, and wine worked into my diet as well (;
Any other vegetarians out there?