Sunday, February 21, 2010

{V is for Vegtarian ... I'm Pretty Sure}

I went a whole year (2009) without eating any meat except for seafood, which I had two to
three times a month on average. I loved it. I didn't miss the little bit of chicken and turkey I
had eaten in previous years. Not at all. And my conscious felt so much cleaner.

Here's the thing ... giving up meat was easy. I never really like it in the first place and there
are so many reasons ethically and environmentally not to eat it. Seafood is a different story
for me because I enjoy it ... the taste, the texture, the flavor, ordering it when I'm out. And
it was a good source of protein and omega 3.

But I don't want the foods I eat to harm animals or the earth. I know most of you are meat eaters, and I'm not trying to convince anyone else to be a vegetarian. I think it's a very
personal decision. I'm just waxing and waning a bit on my path and choices. It's been kind
of an interesting journey for me, and one that seems to be evolving yet again.

The last seafood I had was on Christmas night 2009 ... Lobster tail. I haven't decided
completely, but I'm thinking about that being the last "meat" I have for a long, long while, including seafood. I am fairly sure I'm ready to take this vegetarian thing all the way.
Right now, I'm taking it one day at a time, and I haven't missed it (much).

Still, it's easy for me to over do it on the carbs. Especially at home, where I've often made a
meal and just eaten the sides. I enjoy the sides, but with them alone, I'm not always getting
the nutrients and balance I need. I'm low on iron and high on triglycerides, according to my latest blood work. So, I'm working on a few things to balance that out.

First, I'm actively looking for more vegetarian recipes that are complete and satisfying meals.
That's really the biggest thing I need to do food-wise. There are a lot of them out there. So,
it's just a matter of looking, meal planning, shopping, and cooking -- something many of us
are doing anyway. I got two very nice vegetarian cookbooks in December. One from my MIL and another from my friend, Kim. There's some great ideas in them that I'm really looking forward to trying.

Second, I'm reaching out to experiment with new foods that contain the nutritional value I'm lacking. I tried a couple meat substitutes last month. They're okay ... kinda creepy though.
What I don't like about the ones I've tried so far ... they make them to taste like meat, and I don't like meat. But I am in search of some good protein replacements. I love tofu but have
only had it prepared for me at restaurants. It's time to try cooking with it at home, along with other plant-based proteins like lentils, quinoa, edamame, etc. I've also heard good things about "Gardein" products. So, I'm going to pick some at Whole Foods and give them a try.

Third, I'm incorporating some daily supplements into my routine.

Cinnamon -- helps your body use the glucose you produce, naturally lowering triglycerides.
Iron supplements -- to raise low iron, obviously.
Acidophilus -- a probiotic for happy digestion.
Flaxseed oil -- lowers triglycerides and is good for the heart.

Anyway, I'm feeling good with my path as it's evolving. It feels like part of the route I need
for a healthier me. I'm excited to take seafood out of my life and replace it with some sustainable, whole foods and some other options. There's no veganism in site ... I love
dairy too much to go there. But this step feels like the right one at the right time for me.

"If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian." ~Paul McCartney


Diane and Joe Baldo said...

Interesting journey...
you might want to watch this on our probiotic..

It is important to know that the supplements you purchase actually have what they say are in them!! That is one big reason I love Univera. Their efficacy and production controls are stellar.

Miss M! said...

I didn't know that about the cinnamon! My overall cholesterol is okay, but I also have high triglycerides. My doctor told me to put ground flax seeds into everything and take fish oil capsules, but I think I want to try the cinnamon too. Where did you find it in capsules like that?

Anne said...

I commend you for giving up meat protein, Sam. Good for you! My husband says we can never have cattle here on our farm because I would give them all names and we could never take them to the butcher shop after that! Personally, I could never give up beef. I love my red steaks much too much! But we do buy our beef cattle from what I call "family friendly" farms, where the cattle are raised and grazed in a peaceful environment here in Michigan, sterilization is prohibited, and no hormones are used in their offspring or milk production. They eventually outlive their productive lives as cows and bulls and eventually go to slaughter. It makes for tougher steaks on the grill, but I am happier with that.

Before you begin a regime using soy as a protein substitute, please read the book, "The Whole Soy Story" by Dr. Kaayla Daniel. Although she is a doctor and writes the book for professionals, it is easy enough to understand if you have a dictionary or medical encyclopedia by your side. You will be surprised about the possible dangers of soy in your diet after reading this book. Her data is backed up by many, many other physicians, dieticians, FDA professionals and statistics. I only discovered her studies because I found out I was allergic to soy and wanted to research why. I feel better for reading her book and have recommended it to many medical professionals who feel the same.

Olivia said...

Hey there! I'm not a vegetarian, but I love this site...I've some recipes and they are very good. Thought you might like it.

Lis said...

OH I hear ya. I dont really like it much either. Too much makes me sick. GOOD JOB! I need to do this with CANDY!!!

Trujen said...

Scott has recently become very interested in taking care of his heart (thank goodness!). So he brought me some info about he benefits of cinnamon and honey, together! Every morning I make him either toast with honey and cinn. mixed and spread on top or hot water with a teaspoon of cinn. and a tablespoon of honey. If I think of it I'll try and get you the same info. Cinnamon and honey are so helpful for many reasons other than lowering triglycerides. It's amazing what natural foods can do for us!

Good for you Sam! :o)