The first time I became vegetarian was in 2007. I was watching an interview on The Today Show with Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, authors of Skinny Bitch. I didn’t really think anything of it at the time; just another interview on my favorite morning show. A few weeks later, I was in a book store and there it was on display, front and center. I bought a copy. Because I saw the interview, I knew the book was really about living a plant-based life; not getting skinny.
I finished the book in two days. By the last page, I had decided to stop eating meat. It was that quick. No transition. There was only one problem. I never researched what to eat in place of meat. I committed the classic rookie vegetarian mistake – I replaced meat protein with more carbs. Bad move. 10 months later, I reluctantly returned to eating meat.
Fast forward to October 2010. I was at a weekend yoga retreat at stone circles at The Stone House in Mebane, NC. All of the meals during the weekend were vegetarian. The best vegetarian meals I have ever had. Ever. I returned home from the retreat and needed to go grocery shopping. I thought to myself “I haven’t had any meat for the past 3 days. Why start now? Maybe I should give this vegetarian thing another try.” I was ready. My only concern was the food I had in the refrigerator. To my surprise, I did not have one piece of meat (fresh, frozen or canned) in the house. And so the journey began. I celebrated my 1-year vege-versary last month.
What was my main motivation for going veg?
For me, becoming vegetarian (both times) was more about my feelings on the unnecessary killing of animals for my benefit. Those who know me might be surprised by this. It is well known in my circle of family and friends that I am not an “animal-person”. The health benefits are an added bonus.
Being vegetarian, do I miss meat?
Not really. Every now and then, I will smell a delicious burger or BBQ ribs and want a bite. Then the moment passes and I move on. During the year, I have learned how to be a better vegetarian. I now replace meat protein with… non-meat protein. As long as I’ve eaten a sufficient amount of protein, I don’t crave meat.
How did my family react to my vegetarianism?
They’ve been quite supportive of my decision; as they have been with all of my life decisions. I also think seeing that I didn’t completely waste away has helped.
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