Becoming Vegetarian: Life after Meat

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Alexa Muro, Staff Reporter

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Many people want to join the vegetarian community but don’t exactly know where to start. First off, you want to ask yourself if this is the lifestyle you truly want to pursue. People who are not fully committed don’t stick with it. People get caught up. If you are determined to follow this journey then you will definitely enjoy going green. However, many people can quickly lead themselves onto a path that endangers their health. Small changes to your diet in your everyday life can become an easy way into transitioning yourself.

It is a common misconception that all that vegetarians eat are fruits and vegetables. It is a misconception that misleads and sometimes discourages new vegetarians. The vegetarian community actually eats a large variety of foods, from eggplant Parmesan to Soba noodles with miso-glazed tofu and vegetables. Many of these foods are the same as what everyone else eats, you just take out the meat. Spaghetti and hamburgers can still be enjoyed with the right alternatives. The garden burger is definitely my favorite type of veggie meal, replacing the meat with vegetables is a very easy switch that hardly goes unnoticed. Simply pick a few vegetables such as celery, carrots, kale, and onions and blend them together with mushrooms along with bread crumbs to keep their shape as patties. This simple mixture looks and tastes like meat, except its better, animals were not harmed in the process.

The food you eat is not about calorie counting but about quality. Foods that are used to replace meat can do more harm than good. It is foods such as nuts, wheat, and spinach that are great alternatives to eating meat. However, adding too much salt to other foods to compensate for lack of taste can negatively influence your health.

When you begin to eat other foods without meat it allows your body to change. Your senses become heightened, such as increase in your sense of smell and taste. This happens when your body isn’t used to digesting these types of foods, such as meat. Your body becomes very aware of the smells around you since you’re not eating it. Foods like beef and pork are very hard to digest, your stomach has to work harder and will also take a longer period of time. The longer it takes to digest the more time it stays in your stomach.

People can become discouraged when there appears to be many steps in trying to limit yourself to certain foods. However, “You soon start to crave foods that you probably thought you wouldn’t have enjoyed. Sometimes it’s difficult to become vegetarian because it’s new and foreign to you and your preferences in food,” says Sadie Winterer, a current vegetarian. Fortunately, it forces you to research and look for new types of foods to involve into your diet, allowing you to begin a journey on a new and youthful way of eating.

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