Food & Recipes

Why I Decided to Go Vegetarian

I recently made up my mind on animal protein consumption, and I finally chose to nix the consumption of meat, even chicken, for at least a while. [Side note: I love cheese and eggs, especially with organic-certified production. I believe it’s possible to have the benefits of animal products if the process of production is managed according to standards of care which prevent cruelty to livestock and respect the dignity of the animal itself. ]

The reason for which I tried to go again vegetarian is that I do believe is possible to live healthfully even if you don’t eat meat. Nowadays, I don’t think is essential for humans to kill animals in order to sustain themselves. Plus, the most recent data on carbon footprints in the world are alarming enough to incentivize me to switch to a meat-free diet.

The carbon footprint of a vegetarian diet is about half that of a meat-lover’s diet.

This means that changing the foods that you eat can also have a big impact on your carbon footprint, therefore reducing pollution, preserving the environment, and slowing global warming. Switching to a vegetarian diet will also help you in budgeting and can be quite beneficial for your health.

I tried vegetarianism as a way to test my body, to a certain extent.

I do believe that while for some people is possible not to consume meat and live healthfully, for other people meat is essential to keep their body and mind at their best. When I started being vegetarian 6 years ago, I wasn’t very responsible about it. When I say responsible, I mean, for instance, to make sure that If I’m not eating proteins and fats from meat or fish, I should start consuming daily nuts and seeds. I should eat avocado for omega 3 fats and eggs for essential amino acids. It also didn’t occur to me to add supplements to my diet.

Since I didn’t do all that, I ended up with frequent migraines, joints and muscular pain (especially when I started to practice yoga!), bruises, hair loss, nails weakness, hypothermia during winter, fatigue the day after a prolonged workout, and sleeping without feeling rested. I didn’t make the connection until I accidentally found out that my iron reserves were below the minimum ideal level. Now that I’m more responsible about my diet, even though the last few months have been really intense (mostly because of mental stress), I’ve never felt physically as great as I am feeling now. I manage to stick to my workout, and I’ve even started light weights lifting to focus on strengthening.

In the hustle and bustle of the big city life, I am more conscious of which nutrients I introduce in my daily diet.

I think I’ve become mature enough to responsibly embrace the choice of being a vegetarian. However, aware of the risks and the difficulties I might experience, I am also honest enough to admit that if this choice should become dangerous or harmful for my health, and if I should ever deal with the same abnormal blood deficiency I’ve dealt with in the pas,; I am ready anytime to quit and move to eat again a little of everything. I don’t believe in one-size fits all advice and because each body is different, each body functions differently. And that can even mean your own body functions differently over time.

Some people can go vegan or vegetarian, whereas others need to eat everything. Some people fully assimilate iron, whether is from animals or green sources; others suffer from iron deficiency even if they eat meat and need supplements. I don’t believe that supplements can ever replace real food but, in the case of vegetarian or vegan choices, it’s true that they might help the body to overcome the symptoms of the transition to a vegetarian or a vegan regime. For people who don’t eat lots of vegetables, supplements are also a great way to get your essential vitamins and nutrients. In my case, I’m doing a mostly natural diet including few supplement cycles per year when I realize that it’s the time to give myself a little extra boost.

Whether you are working out regularly or not, if your intention is to keep yourself in good health, you can’t skip protein.

So be sure to have plenty of beans, lentils, chickpeas, favas, dates and especially nuts and seeds regularly when you are skipping animal products.

Beside the health aspect of being vegetarian, consider and re-consider your choices and ask yourself the purpose of you action. If your body accepts this new habit, then the responsibility you took will help in making the environment you live in more sustainable for everyone.

Have you tried going vegetarian? What were your reasons? How did it go? Share with us below (and no trolling either way, please)!

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