Hi, My name is Sunny and I am a meat eater.
Well, at least, I was......
Last Monday I decided that it was time to venture into the strange and scary world of vegetarian living. I have been considering the idea for a few months now, and decided to give it a few weeks 'trial time' to suss out if it was right for me.
Unfortunately, my reasons were quite trivial and vain, but I'm not going to lie to you and say that it was because my conscious got the better of me.
My top reasons for turning were:
1. I have seen my Vegetarian, Vegan and especially Raw friends bodies go from regular to toned, glowing and bouncing off the walls with energy
2. The price of meat seems to only be getting more and more expensive. So I thought, taking out meat from my shopping list will save me quite a bit of money. Its a recession busting idea! And I can put that money towards much more fun things!
3. A vegetarian diet matches the kind of low fat, high fibre diet recommended by dietitians and doctors.
4. Vegans & Raw eaters (if I ever get to that point) are renowned for their youthful looks & great skin.
I'm sure there are many vegetarians reading this and cringing at my reasons, but lets be honest, many more women (and certain men) would be vegetarians if they knew the aesthetic benefits.
After doing a bit of research, I came across the following facts which have completely changed my initial reasons for joining the vegetarian cause:
1. Cut the fat.
While meat provides a lot of protein, it also provides a ton of fat — especially saturated fat. Which means that by cutting out meat, you’ll be cutting out a lot of bad fat, and replacing it with things that are probably not only lower in fat, but that contain some good fats. Numerous studies have shown that vegetarians tend to have a lower risk of heart disease, as well as hypertension, diabetes, cancer and other diseases.
2.Less Food Poisoning.
Food poisoning gets millions of people each year — and many of them from meat, which is a good breeding ground for harmful bacteria, especially if not stored, prepared or cooked exactly right. Cut out meat and you lower your risk of food poisoning (especially if you also cut out eggs and dairy, but that’s optional).
3.You'll live a lot longer.
Vegetarians live about seven years longer, and vegans (who eat no animal products) about 15 years longer than meat eaters, according to a study from Loma Linda University. These findings are backed up by the China Health Project (the largest population study on diet and health to date), which found that Chinese people who eat the least amount of fat and animal products have the lowest risks of cancer, heart attack and other chronic degenerative diseases.
4.You'll give your body a spring cleaning.
Giving up meat helps purge the body of toxins (pesticides, environmental pollutants, preservatives) that overload our systems and cause illness. When people begin formal detoxification programs, their first step is to replace meats and dairy products with fruits and vegetables and juices. "These contain phytochemicals that help us detox naturally," says Chris Clark, M.D., medical director of The Raj, an Ayurvedic healing center in Fairfield, Iowa, which specializes in detox programs.
5. Your bones will last longer.
The average bone loss for a vegetarian woman at age 65 is 18 percent; for non-vegetarian women, it's double that. Researchers attribute this to the consumption of excess protein--the average meat-eating American woman eats 144 percent over the recommended daily allowance; the average man eats 175 percent more. Excess protein interferes with the absorption and retention of calcium and actually prompts the body to excrete calcium, laying the ground for the brittle bone disease osteoporosis. Animal proteins, including milk, make the blood acidic, and to balance that condition, the body pulls calcium from bones. So rather than rely on milk for calcium, vegetarians turn to dark green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli and legumes, which, calorie for calorie, are superior sources.
6.You'll cool those hot flashes.
Plants, grains and legumes--especially soy--contain phytoestrogens that are believed to balance fluctuating hormones, so vegetarian women tend to go through menopause with fewer complaints of sleep problems, hot flashes, fatigue, mood swings, weight gain, depression and a diminished sex drive.
7.You'll provide a great role model for your kids.
"If you set a good example and feed your children good food, chances are they'll live a longer and healthier life," says Christine Beard, a certified nutrition educator and author of Become a Vegetarian in 5 Easy Steps (McBooks Press, 1997). "You're also providing a market for vegetarian products and making it more likely that they'll be available for the children."
Seriously, how can you say no to slimming down, being stronger and healthier, living longer, having an easier menopause and providing a good example for your kids? Needless to say, im sold on the idea!
So in conclusion, I have decided its time for me to take the vegetarian challenge, and I encourage anyone else to give it a try for a week. If it doesnt work, then you havnt lost anything, but you can say you gave it a go! Your body will thank you ;)
Stay tuned for more tales of my vegetarian adventures & some of my vegetarian recipes & beauty benefits.
Super Duper Love,
Veg Society; Vegetarian Times; Zen Habits;