A Vegetarian High

I had been thinking about it for years and finally in September of 2000, I took the step and changed to a vegetarian diet. In this post we will explore the pros and cons of being a vegetarian.

Like most health freaks I started out with military-like discipline, "I won't have another trace of shrimp powder and no meat will ever be kept in this fridge again."

Why not, be as extreme as you like until you don't have the energy to resist anymore. By reading this article in its entirety, you may realize that maturity makes for moderation.

Vegetarian Philosophies

Why are you vegetarian? That is one of the most common questions vegetarians face, as it were, there are many answers to the query. Personally, I changed diets for two reasons:

- I was really interested in Buddhist meditation and not unlike the ten commandments, Buddhists try to live by what is referred to as the five precepts, the first one being not to kill. That, in combination with a love for animals convinced me that the vegetarian lifestyle was right for me.

- We all know what it's like to have a big meal, let's say a sizable steak with all the extras. Digesting a heavy meal like that can be tiring. I wanted to give my body the very best so I was hoping a change in diets would make for vitality and lightness.

Vegetarian Diets

Starting out, I focused on getting protein from dairy products, grains and nuts. I also ate a lot of salads based on root crops and plenty of fruits. My goal was to get as many enzymes as possible with each meal.

So, as a rule of thumb every vegetable salad would have a minimum of five different vegetables, likewise, the fruit salads would have at least five types of fruit.

Later on, I entered a phase where I went totally vegan. This was mostly an attempt to remove animal products from the diet altogether. As soon as you remove dairy products from the menu, you lose out on three vital nutrients; namely protein, calcium and vitamin b12.

I don't recommend anyone to go vegan without understanding the workings of the essential amino acids or proteins.

As a vegan I started to use supplements to compensate for having dropped the dairy products. To boost the protein intake I consumed a variety of legumes, nuts and grains. I also drank a natural calcium powder that tasted like liquid gypsum. Finally, I added a teaspoon of chlorella a day which provided plenty of chlorophyll and vitamin b12.

But to be honest with you, it wasn't worth it. The taste of the calcium supplement and chlorella were horrible, to say the least. A meal that is supposed to be really good for you may end up spoiling your entire day.

In my opinion, health is not about washing down nasty supplements but about eating wholesome and tasty food. Again, the key is moderation.

As a result of my new insights, I adjusted the diet over again. This time to include dairy products and egg. I also started to eat more fresh green leaves, I find it a balanced diet.

So, what are the pros and cons of a vegetarian diet?

I feel much lighter and I'm especially happy about leading a healthy lifestyle without contributing to the killing of animals. The downside is that I've lost weight and become somewhat thin, but I've learned to live with that.

A final note. What others eat is up to them. Life starts to flow the moment we accept things the way they are...

Best of luck!

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