My name is Krystle and I have been a vegetarian for 4 months and 13 days today. Today I wanted to blog about why I became a vegetarian, how it has made me feel and what the benefits have been thus far for me. I became a vegetarian in June of this year shortly after reading the Kind Diet for the second time around. It started out as a way for me to get healthier. I had read about how much bad stuff (antibiotics, chemicals, hormones) makes its way into meat and it really had an impact on me!
It actually grossed me out to think that I had been putting all that gunk into my body. I thought, no wonder I have felt like crap for so long! I was the kind of girl that always ate meat: hot dogs, chicken (especially fried or bbq), pork chops, bacon, ham, hamburgers and steak (medium rare). Not to mention all the other miscellaneous things that had meat in it. I just never put two and two together. It wasn't until I read The Kind Diet that I realized what meat actually was.
Beef always gave me a stomach ache when I ate it, so that went first (years before I read The Kind Diet). Then I found out how smart pigs were and not to mention adorable!!!! So I stopped eating bacon, ham and pork chops. Hot dogs were the next thing to go because it just grossed me out when I found out what they were really made of. Chicken was the hardest thing to get rid of and I actually gave it up due to The Kind Diet.
I'm the kind of person that has to do things slowly or else I just give up! So all this was gradually for me. I love being a vegetarian now. I have always been interested in doing this, but always thought I couldn't do it. I have definitely proved myself and everyone else wrong! My mom was the most concerned when I told her. She was worried that I wasn't going to get the right nutrients from my diet, but she calmed down when I told her how much research I had put into it.
I didn't just read The Kind Diet. I read anything and everything I could on the subject. I watched videos on youtube and peta.org about animal abuse. I am so happy that I became a vegetarian because of all the health benefits I have received from this way of life. I am 12 lbs lighter so far, less anxious, I have been able to take about a quarter of my depression dosage, I have more energy, not to mention pride that I have done something so worthwhile.
I highly recommend becoming a vegetarian if you are able to. It's easy and the health benefits are amazing so far. I am researching becoming vegan and I think that after the holidays I will give it a go as well :)
Yay for you! You know, you can do the vegan thing gradually too. Try giving up one thing first, like eggs, then milk, then cheese. Since you know that going slow works best for you, use it to your advantage. OOOOOoooooohhhhhh, I love hearing success stories! They make me oh, so happy! :D
Yeah- So glad you made the vegetarian transition. I became a vegetarian November 10, 2009 and then slowly removed dairy and eggs and became vegan on May 10, 2009. I first gave up milk, trying almond, hemp, rice & soy milk. I usually do almond and soy (alternating every so often). Butter was easy, because earth balance is the BEST! Next I worked on finding ice cream alternatives. I love Turtle Trails by Turltle Mountain So Decadent. They also make great coconut ice creams. Rice Dream has some great ice cream sandwiches too. Eggs were gradual. I just stopped eating them, but not worrying if they were in things I bought. Cheese was the hardest, I think getting it out of your system is the hardest. There really is truth in the cravings of cheese. I stopped eating them at home first. Then I started looking for ways to mimick or change what I was eating. I use hummus in quesadillas, I eat guacamole and salsa as my gooey add on's for mexican food instead of sour cream and cheese, etc. I bought all sorts of vegan cookbooks that I read for ideas and inspiration. Then one day in early May, I just said ok I think I'm ready and I haven't looked back. I've been able to do it on vacations including Walt Disney World.
Recently I've been working on nut cheese recipes. Just today I made a pizza using "sesame parmesean (sesame seeds, nurtional yeast and salt - blended together). Vegan Yum Yum has some great casserole cream sauces that are wonderful!
That is great! I would say Cheese has been the hardest for me with going vegan. I went vegan in march of this year and the only slip ups I have had involve cheese! Not purposely eating it, but they sneak cheese and dairy products into everything! I have tried tons of cheese products out there and the only one that I have found that I like and it doesnt seem weird to me is Follow your heart mozzarella. I tried Daiya and people rave about it I can't stand it! Just my opinion but best of luck on your journey! You will see the changes in the way you feel once you get rid of the dairy the most I think and its weird but it made me feel like a better person inside!
Good for you! I picked up my copy of The Kind Diet only yesterday, and I have been "taking a break" from meat for the past week. I have seen a significant decrease in the inflammation in my eczema, and I feel great as well. I have cut out all dairy and eggs, and I find that it is helping my skin feel better. I get compliments on my skin. I feel healthier. I look like I'm glowing, and it's only the start of it!
It's good to look at cutting things out from a health perspective - what will happen to your body if you don't cut out meat and dairy, what WILL happen if you cut it out, how you will feel once it is gone, how energized you feel without all that meat in the pit of your stomach weighing you down. I am learning this as well, and it's great for me to read these success stories. It keeps me going too!
Congratulations again! It's hard work, but the effort is worth it (and will become effortless with time, I'm sure!)
Well done, you! I became vegetarian when I was 12 - because I loved animals - and it wasn't till much later that I realised how good it was for the environment and for me. However, as a vegetarian you can still eat lots of nasty foods - processed stuff, white flour, white sugar, etc - which is why I'm trying to be healthier overall (starting today!) and giving the entire Kind Diet a try. The only problem is that I can't try 90% of Alicia's recipes because I live in Bangladesh and things like edamame, daikon, umeboshi plums, maple sugar, etc are completely unheard of here... so I'm trying my best to adapt the Kind Diet to my way of life. Let us know how you get on during the transition from vegetarian to vegan... I'm already anticipating that giving up ice cream and cheese is going to be really, really hard! You just don't get cheese substitutes here so I don't know *what* I'm going to do! ;)
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