Have you been thinking about choosing the vegetarian lifestyle?
Are you wavering in your decision because you don’t really know any close friend who is a vegetarian and you don’t know what the experience is like?
Well I decided to ask three of my vegetarian friends about their experiences and their regrets if any, with choosing the vegetarian lifestyle.
I asked them:
- how long they had been vegetarians
- what caused them to adopt this lifestyle and
- what if any benefits and/or challenges they experienced.
The responses were varied and I believe they can be a source of encouragement for someone who is considering making the switch to a vegetarian lifestyle.
I would like to share their stories with you.
I would say my walk started in 2001. I went to a health Retreat and oh, what an eye opener it was. I said to myself, “Yes, I am going to start”.
Before that I had an introduction to the whole idea of the vegetarian lifestyle as I had a friend who pointed me to certain health beliefs. I therefore had a sort of favorable perspective on the matter but when I went to that health retreat, the deal was sealed. I made up my mind there and then that I was going to walk the walk.
I started, slipped, restarted, slipped and then moved on from there.
I know my lifestyle has helped me health-wise. No two ways about that.
My greatest challenge was giving up cheese seeing that I am vegan. It wasn’t difficult for me to change my lifestyle. I live alone so I didn’t have to face that challenge of getting others to join me on the path. The only difficulty I had was giving up cheese. In terms of how to prepare food….that was no problem. But cheese! In fact it was the information that I received at the health retreat, and things I read and the research I did that made me realize that I had to give up cheese and then I said “Well, if I can give up cheese, then I can give up anything”.
There is definitely no regret about my vegetarian lifestyle choice. I wish I had known about it before….not so much for me but certainly I think I could help relatives. I wish I had known more about the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle.
I like it. I like the challenge of preparing good, healthy, tasty vegetarian meals. I have an imagination, I look at things and say “How can this be turned into something really attractive and palatable?” Where I am now I can’t remember any challenges except the cheese. I like where I am, I like the challenge of being able to prepare meals, and I never cease to be amazed at the benefits you get from plants. It fascinates me and I wish that many more persons would turn to this lifestyle.
If we really start to eat as I think we should, we would be better off financially as I think we would spend a lot less money on food and certainly on health issues as well.
For me the lifestyle is great. I don’t think it is more expensive than a non-vegetarian lifestyle as some people think. What I have discovered however, is that for almost everything that meat eaters use, there is a vegan alternative. It may not taste the same, but it is just as satisfying. I cannot understand why we hold on to these (less healthy) things when the healthier alternatives are there if we would only apply ourselves and if we train our taste-buds to enjoy the tastes that these new dishes produce.
I think making the choice and sticking to it is a frame of mind. If you decide you are going to become a vegetarian, or whatever other life choices you might make….if you decide for the right reason, it will be done.
I have been a vegetarian for the past six months. I thought it would be healthier for me as a diabetic and I figured as part of my whole programme to control the diabetes, I would make the change to a vegetarian lifestyle. And it has helped.
My blood sugar levels are normal since I have become a vegetarian and I have been able to come off medication (under doctors supervision of course). It certainly worked for me and because of the vegetarian diet also I find that I don’t overeat and have been able to maintain an ideal weight.
It is not a carb intensive diet that I am on. I eat a lot of veggies, fruits when I can, and I eat a lot of oatmeal. I eat the vegetarian foods that have little or no processing. The most processed food I have is probably tofu. The other processed stuff like those vegetarian foods that come in the tins, I don’t buy. For one thing, they are too expensive.
Happy with the choice
I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian so I do use eggs and dairy products.
It doesn’t take a lot to make me happy so I don’t have many challenges. The major challenge for me is that it is more costly because I now have to buy a lot of vegetables at the market. Costly, probably because as a non-vegetarian I wasn’t paying as much attention to healthy eating and was actually purchasing and eating very little vegetable.
I wanted to make a total change in the whole management of my diabetes because I thought that was the healthier way to go. (I am still trying hard to get the exercise part of the plan going.)
I am happy with my choice. I feel better and I am certainly seeing benefits from the increased fiber in my diet. It’s all good.
Do you want me to recommend the vegetarian diet to anybody. I certainly would. It’s a good thing.
I have been a vegetarian for the past twenty nine years. I became a vegetarian because of the influence of friends and after testing it for myself and experiencing the benefits, I resolved that I would embrace this lifestyle fully. So twenty nine years ago on January 1, I stopped eating meat.
It was an interesting start because on January 1 of each year, I would go out with my church to feed the street people. We went out with the delicious smelling chicken, fish and steak and that is when I announced to my church sisters that I was no longer eating meat. It was quite a sudden switch but I haven’t turned back since.
Enjoying great health
I read about vegetarians suffering from deficiencies because of their diet. I don’t know if I am suffering from any deficiencies. I feel great.
I have never had any challenge regarding what to cook because there is such a wide variety of food to choose from; peas, beans, vegetables……. I also use the commercial meat substitutes. I am not hooked on them but I have them in the cupboard to go to if necessary. I can always find something to eat.
There might be a challenge sometimes when I go out, so I have learnt to do without or make do with what is available. For example, if what is being served is rice and beans along with meat and vegetables, I will eat the rice and beans and vegetable. That will certainly hold me until I get home.
I really enjoy the vegetarian lifestyle. I think the health benefits are great. I have been able to maintain a flat stomach even at my age and I attribute this to my vegetarian diet. I don’t see a disadvantage to this lifestyle and when I hear about all the health issues that can result from meat eating, I have no regrets with the decision I made 29 years ago.
Well there you have it.
That’s their story.
I hope their experiences will help you in making the decision to choose a vegetarian lifestyle.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.