Friday, October 3, 2008

So, I've been thinking...

of becoming a vegetarian.

Unlike my usual pattern of decision making, this one has actually taken me a while. I began considering a vegetarian lifestyle in the early summer when I was reading about the reality of the meat industry and the near-extinction of farms as we imagine them (instead of Old McDonald, think massive structures of over-crowded animals that never know what sun or grass is and are not fed nutritious food but whatever will beef up the muscles to sell better at market). If you're interested in becoming more educated about the true meat industry, I suggest Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds about Animals and Food.

While the political reason for becoming a vegetarian has always been in the back of my mind, I decided to do more research when I heard of Dr. Neal Barnard, who writes about the near-perfect diet. I picked up his book called Breaking the Food Seduction. After reading his book, I was astonished to realize how bad meat and dairy products are for you. I think it's the Western culture that tricks us to think that we need to eat plenty of meat, cheese, and milk to gain protein and important vitamins and minerals. But, in reality, so many horrible diseases and health problems that are plaguing our society can be tied to these products.

Now, I can admit, I've never been a meat lover. I could easily do without red meat. Although chicken and turkey will be mourned for a short period of time, I honestly I think I can do it. I'm willing to give it a try.

So, what will I be eating? Well, according to the new food groups guidelines, I'll be indulging in a lot of fruits, veggies, legumes, and whole grains. Doesn't sound too bad. And, there are a plethora of great vegetarian options in the supermarkets these days. So, it'll be interesting... especially when I visit family and friends (I can just imagine my parents saying, "You can't eat meat? Then, what can you eat?). The book recommends that you try the "near perfect diet" (aka, the four new food groups) for three weeks, as this is the time it takes your taste buds to learn new, healthy tastes and forget the bad, unhealthy ones. So, don't be surprised if a vegetarian theme begins to occur in my blog within the next few weeks. I'll be letting you know how it goes.


AH said...

ok... how's it going so far?

Jen S. said...

good luck with your new endeavor. i've been trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into our diets and i can't wait to read about your meal ideas!