Becoming Vegetarian: One Food at a Time

Becoming Vegetarian: One Food at a Time post page

By Paula JarosDecember 18th, 2020

Becoming Vegetarian: One Food at a Time


by Paula Jaros,

PAC Scheduling Coordinator

Sometimes the comments people make about this choice of mine are rude, occasionally mean, and some are genuinely questioning. The biggest question is why?

I’ll tell you why I chose to be vegetarian. My daughter made me do it. Not totally true but it is partially true. My daughter went vegetarian almost two years ago. She is a massage therapist and a sports trainer. She did it for her health and after a lot of reading and research made the leap. Mind you she mostly ate chicken (still meat, I know), she rarely ate beef, and despised pork, all my kids did. Being the kind of mom I am, I decided that we would all do this with her. My husband and one of my sons begrudgingly went along with us. We allowed them to eat meat outside of the home if they wanted. The biggest reason was I was only cooking one meal for all. So off on the journey we all went. Mind you we, like most people, eat a partial vegetarian diet anyway if you really look at the way you eat. After six months or so my daughter went vegan. Now that is a whole other way to eat. We all went partially that way then slipped back to vegetarian and I am now pescatarian (I eat fish).

I am not a big meat eater. Not a big fan of pork either, so that was easy to give up as well. I did and sometimes still do miss a great hamburger; I will admit that but there is not much else I miss.

Do I feel better? Yes, I do. Have I lost a ton of weight eating this way? No, but for the health of it I do feel a lot better. I have some arthritis, but the inflammation is a lot less and nonexistent in other areas.

The hardest part about being vegetarian is going out to eat. You need to be creative about the way you eat and what you eat otherwise it can get old pretty quickly. If you do go back to eating meat you need to be careful as you can get very sick, so I would suggest making sure you are home if you do decide to re-introduce meat into your diet. I am finding, at least where I live, that a few more restaurants are gearing towards vegetarians and vegans. It’s not just all about going out and ordering vegetables, rice, or potatoes, it’s also about how they cook it and what do they mix in with it. Sometimes they get confused when you ask if the rice is made with water or broth and if its broth, what kind. Do you fry foods in the same oil that you fry chicken in? If so, that is now out. Being vegetarian is a little bit more than you think.

I always suggest to people who say they want to try being a vegetarian that it is relatively easy, just choose one or two days a week and go for it. Have a vegetable, bean, rice, pasta, and/or mixed fruit kind of day. Yes, you can and will be full. I think some people think they can never be full on just veggies and beans, but you would be surprised how full you can be.

I don’t suggest trying this just because I did it or someone you know has done it. Know your facts, do some research. Watch a few documentaries, there are some great ones out there: Forks over Knives, Game Changers, and What the Health. Education is the key to changing anything.

If you give it a try and have a set back with a burger at your favorite spot, no worries. Enjoy it and just start again. Like anything new, sometimes we have setbacks. Nothing to worry about and nothing to get mad at yourself over, it happens to the best of us.

Enjoy your journey whichever way you choose to eat. The biggest thing, is to enjoy what you eat, be creative, and try new things.

Oh, and when my hubby wants a steak or a pork chop, I do buy it for him.

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