Choosing The Vegetarian Lifestyle – Their Story

Choosing The Vegetarian Lifestyle – Their Story

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.

 

vegetarian bean salad

 

Marva:

 

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.

Her difficulty

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”.

No Regrets

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.

Great Lifestyle

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.

 

salad -market

Brian:

 

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.

 

produce

Wally:

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.

 

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Choosing The Vegetarian Lifestyle – Their Story”

  1. Hi there,

    What a nice article, I really enjoyed reading the stories of your friends. Very interesting!
    I am myself becoming a vegetarian but slowly because I suffer from Cholesterol and I also because I love healthy food:) Most of my friends are vegetarian and guess that it has influenced me as well to become one of them:)
    That’s it. This is my story:)
    Thank you very much for this excellent post!

  2. Being a vegetarian is so awesome because this is such a healthy life style. In this day and time so many foods are being grown with chemicals and these chemicals are making so many people ill. When it comes to animal meat for the most part a lot of them are contaminated. It takes discipline to live this lifestyle but if you make up your mind you can do it. I believe that this is a great lifestyle.

  3. Hi there Anne, thanks for sharing your friend’s stories. It is interesting to read how they have started their journey. I had a phase in my life when lI didn’t eat any meat (for about two years), and I felt really good. But then I went traveling and started to eat meat again because it was convenient. My husband is a big meat eater, but I do try and cut down our meat consumption. At least twice a week I cook a vegetarian meal. I guess that is a good start. We also eat a good variety of mostly homegrown fruit and vegetables.
    I am always grateful for some new recipe ideas.
    All the best from Anke

    • Thanks Anke.

      You are definitely headed in the right direction with your diet. I will be posting some vegetarian recipes soon and hope you will be able to try them.

      All the best.

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