Wednesday, May 2, 2007

So lately, I've just been vegging out.

I am not sure how long it will last. It IS after all coming up on hot dog season.

But, I have decided to go vegetarian. There are a few reasons.

First of all, I must say that I have always been drawn to the lifestyle. When I was younger, my mom and adoptive father, Tony T. would travel and do shows with a duo, the Holt Twins. Well, these awesome hippie-cool ladies were vegetarians and healthfood nuts. We were avid campers and I spent quite a bit of time with them as a kid, so I saw that their lifestyle could work at home and even at the campsite--- tofu dogs, etc. I was also intrigued by Emily and Linda. So, that was the first recollection I have of vegetarianism.

Well, not really. As a kid I was also around another group of vegetarians. My aunt Joan and uncle Pat are also 95% vegetarian, as our most of my six cousins. They seem to do just fine. They are all very thin and overall, very healthy.

At Wilkes, as a freshman, there were several vegans I knew. We were on SG together, and also on the food committee. Through this, I learned about some nutritional options (and tasty!) that'd don't involve any kind of animal product.

So- this was something I had always thought about. For the past few years as my world view has opened up, and my awareness of environmental issues has grown, I also have always been right on the brink of becoming a vegetarian. I just love hamburgers and hotdogs sooo much. I mean, I can live without everything else-- but barbeque season?! That seriously was my main concern.

However, I have dangerously high cholesterol and am on Lipitor for it. So, being a vegetarian for ethical reasons is one thing, but whether or not that is the reason I am doing it, the health benefits of becoming a vegetarian are amazing. I have been doing a lot of reading about it and every day I get more and more excited about my decision.

I think about what some of my fave foods are. Really, none of them NEED meat. I love Mexican stuff and in fact I had bean burritos tonight-- MMMM. I mixed beans and green chilies together, added lettuce, tomato, onions, cheese, salsa, sour cream and wrapped it in a whole grain tortilla. It rocked and I was full.

When I think about holidays that center around a meat dish, I really don't indulge too much in the ham or turkey.... my faves have always been green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, the bread and all the other veggies. And dessert.

I think I may be able to do this for good. It's been two weeks so far! I have been eating a lot of fruit, oatmeal, PB & J, pasta dishes, salads with cool things like almonds and bean sprouts. I am ordering some cookbooks, too.

I have to give kudos to Steph. D who I adore. I came across her MySpace page and she had added that she is a vegetarian. It had been on my mind quite a bit lately. A few months ago I did a Sacred Heart Diet and did well on it-- no meat for a week. When I saw that she became one, well, let's just say I was a copycat. No- really! I just thought that if someone I knew just did it, maybe I could too.

Dave doesn't want to go veg-- but you know what-- he hasn't even said anything about the dinners I've made. I make sure they are filling enough. He doesn't even miss the meat. For lunch, he has ham or turky sandwiches, but yeah, for dinners-- he hasn't asked "Where's the Beef?" yet. When he does, I will think of something to cook for 'one' as I can't push this lifestyle I am adopting on anyone.

Since I am primarily doing this for health and diet reasons and not totally for ethical reasons, I will allow myself to have a hotdog this summer. But who knows, I may not even want one. I will also be one of the vegetarians who eat fish. But again, after the transition, I may find that I don't want any.

On the ethical side, I have always felt funny supporting PETA since I eat meat. But, I truly believe in what they do and I am a total tree-hugging, animal lover at heart. I know my actions haven't always aligned with my views. I know that I don't do enough by way of being green, but I am trying harder now to do so.

Becoming a vegetarian is one small way to make a small difference-- but more importantly a statement. If I can lose some weight, get better skin, lower my cholesterol and risk for other diseases, get more energy and join a group of awesome vegetarians, then this decision benefits me in more ways than one! And, if someone else looks into it, even better!

So, if anyone has any good veggie recipes, fill me in and fill me up!


Kristi said...

Oh wow, Donna. I'm so proud! You'll have to update us as your veggie ways progress. ;->

Donna T. said...


Anonymous said...

A friend of mine stopped eating meat for Lent a couple years ago, and he never regretted it. He eats fish as well.
I have a great recipe for veggie lasagne that's pretty low fat and pretty filling. Good luck!