Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Things I Didn't Know About Being a Vegetarian Until I Became a Vegetarian

I just stopped.  That was it.  I had a mouthful of clam chowder in my mouth and I had to spit it out.  I had no desire to chew it, smell it, let alone swallow it.  So I didn't.  From that point on - no more flesh.  It was that easy and I have never turned back.  No thinking about it - I just did it.  I became a vegetarian.

When you just drop flesh cold-tofurkey like that, there are things that you learn after the fact.  I am here to share some of those things with you.:

1. Restaurants are really nice about accommodating their menus for vegetarians. I used to miss fish tacos at one of our old favorites, and I expressed that to the server.  He said, no problem, they would substitute zucchini for the fish and now I get my tacos - only way more delicious and less stinky!

2. If you need a quick, prepared meal, there's some great choices at your corner supermarket.  I am so hooked on Amy's Samosas (potato and peas) that I should start a 12-step program for them.  You don't have to go to a specialty grocer to get some great, quick, vegetarian fare.

3. I can do most of my shopping at the farmer's market.  I gather my recyclable bag, and walk around the market until I have so much stuff my shoulder is burning.  It's fun!  (Really)  And so very healthy to eat seasonally and locally.

4. I can grow so many of our favorite veggies and herbs myself.  I have become all about fresh herbs - the legal kind, of course. Artichokes, tomatoes, lettuce, basil, rosemary, chives and anything I can keep away from our Newfie, Cousteau, who also love veggies. (Chive thief!)

5. That I would never, ever crave flesh.  Ever... 

6. That I would not be bothered with other people's choices around me.  I don't ever try to impose my choices on my family - and they don't try to impose theirs on me.  My husband and kids are all omnivores.  However, they do know that if this herbivore cooks, that we are having a vegetarian meal.  They have yet to complain.

7. That I would have more energy than ever.  I get up every morning around 5am, do yoga and don't quit until 5pm. It's awesome to have so much energy.

8. Apparently my life insurance premiums will be cheaper.  I have read this in a number of places, but have yet to confirm it.  Sounds like something I need to address.

9. "Fake Meat" as my kids call it, tastes great in chili or spaghetti red sauce.  Fake cheese is still nasty to me.  I have tried them all and will keep on trying until this desire is fulfilled.  If you have found any fake cheese winners, please pass them on.

10. B-12 and iron need to be supplemented.  I have read several studies on this (some agree and some disagree)  and know what works best for me.  B-12 supplements I take daily, iron - only during a heavy menstrual cycle.

11.A dairy cow's life is nearly as miserable as a beef cows.  So very sad news, but I rarely now touch dairy as a result.

12. I am not only living, I am thriving on a plant-based diet.  This has made me think, this is how I was always meant to be.

Please check out this very valuable resource book titled, "Yoga and Vegetarianism", by Sharon Gannon.

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