Becoming Vegetarian

Little Secrets Vegetarians Know

Little Secrets Vegetarians KnowMost people who don’t know anything about the vegetarian lifestyle think that is must be pure drudgery being a vegetarian and giving up meat. That is a misconception because even though meat is not a part of a vegetarian diet, it isn't about what you are going without, it is what is in your diet and in your life that makes a vegetarian lifestyle work so well. If you actually interviewed a vegetarian, the last thing they would say is that they are all about not eating meat. Instead they are about living in healthy way in a way that is at peace with the environment and with their own bodies.

The body of knowledge about vegetarians that most people don’t know is pretty astounding. Most people do understand the basic three reasons someone becomes a vegetarian which are health, animal rights and spiritual or moral reasons. But there are a number of side benefits and little secrets only vegetarians know that if they became popularized, the flood of converts to vegetarianism would be overwhelming. Some of those little secrets include…

. Vegetarians are not depressed as much as others because they know some secrets to overcoming depression naturally.
. Vegetarians do not struggle with weight issues as much as others.
. Vegetarians are better informed about nutrition and know how to make the most of what they eat.
. Vegetarians sleep better, are more energetic and need less sleep than meat eaters.
. Vegetarians have a much reduced incidence of cancer, heart disease and digestive disorders.
. Vegetarians live longer than meat eaters.

One secret vegetarians know that gets almost no press is the power of walnuts. There is a little known chemical in walnuts called serotonin that is a powerful antidepressant. Now you can get your doctor to prescribe an artificial anti depressant which can cost you a lot of money and put you at risk for chemical dependency. Or you can make a nice hot cup of tea with walnut as part of the mix. About half a walnut shell mixed in with your regular tea brew fills the drink with serotonin. Taken regularly, you will feel the effects of a chemical pick me up that can combat depression very effectively.

Another little secret of vegetarians runs against the normal rules of dieting to get the full value of nutrients you might expect from eating a salad. Diet theory would have you use no salad dressing or at very least a zero fat or low fat salad dressing. Vegetarians who are more in touch with the effects of foods in their bodies know that the real value of eating salad are the natural nutrients in leafy vegetables called carotenoids. But science has shown us that the best way to pull cerotenoids from green vegetables is to use a higher fat salad dressing. So enjoy that fatty dressing because your vegetarian lifestyle will deliver plenty of weight loss value to you even with this small indulgence that can do you so much good.

Speaking of tea, green tea is often a staple of a vegetarians diet because of the little health secrets buried in this amazing drink. Green tea has powers to help your digestive system, help combat depression and to accelerate weight loss that ancient cultures like the Chinese and India have known for centuries. Vegetarians have caught up on this secret of health knowledge ahead of us so its time well learned from their wisdom.

These are just a few of the wisdom of the ancients that have been rediscovered by the modern vegetarian "craze". But it really isn't a craze because once you start living a healthy life cashing in on these many benefits a vegetarian lifestyle will give you, you will never want to go back.

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Is It Time for an Intervention?

Is It Time for an Intervention?"Guess what mom and dad, I'm a vegetarian!"

If those words would strike terror in your heart if it came from your child, this article is for you. While we all are aware that vegetarians walk amongst us, when someone we love becomes a vegetarian, its easy to fear they have fallen in with some strange eastern cult and that we should start looking into organizing an intervention before they go off the deep end and go to South America to disappear forever into a commune or follow some cult leader to doom because.

But before mom goes into hysterics or dad puts the kid in a padded room, lets have a reasonable discussion about what it means when your loved one becomes a vegetarian and what you can do to make sure they are safe and still the same person you always have known and loved. And the heart of being able to cope with the conversion of a child or a loved one to vegetarianism is knowledge and understanding.

The truth is you have not lost your child to a cult or to another religion if they become a vegetarian. In fact, you can still take them to church and they can be the same religion they always were and also be a devout vegetarian at the same time. That is because their decision to not eat meat is primarily a dietary decision and it doesn’t have to mean anything severe or odd about the one you love.

More and more normal and healthy people you already know have made the move to a vegetarian lifestyle and it doesn’t change who they are. There are primarily three reasons the one you love may have decided to become a vegetarian or a vegan.

1. For health reasons. Eliminating meat from your diet is good for you and it is an outstanding way to diet. If your loved one just wants to eat more healthy, there is no reason to organize an intervention to put a stop to that.
2. For ethical reasons because your loved one is upset about the cruel and unethical treatment of animals who are raised for slaughter to provide the meat industry with food to feed us. Even if you disagree with this ethical position, eliminating meat from the diet is not a radical thing to do. It is just a different lifestyle and a healthy one at that.
3. for spiritual reasons. Most religions encourage some form of fasting or limitation of excess in eating. Perhaps your loved one is going through a time of greater religious devotion and not eating meat helps with times of contemplation and prayer. Anyone would see that as a good thing to be encouraged and supported.

Notice before the list we used the word "vegan". Don’t be afraid of that word. If your child calls from college to say, "Guess what mom and dad, I'm a vegan", that just means your child has become a vegetarian but is following a culture of vegetarianism that is more extreme than others.

Instead of overreacting and putting your loved one into an intervention, the best response to learning he or she has become a vegetarian is to learn more about it and encourage the move. Your loved one can be a life long vegetarian and have nothing bad come of it. If fact, he or she will live better and longer because of the decision. Do some reading about what it means to live a vegetarian lifestyle and be supportive in how you prepare meals or in what restaurants you chose when spending time with your loved one.

Then be open to hear why your friend or family member made this change in their life. Will they try to "convert" you to become a vegetarian also. Perhaps. But by engaging in an open discussion of what it means to be a vegetarian, you can express support for your loved one without becoming a vegetarian yourself. And when you make their decision normal and approved of as part of your family life, it can enrich your loved ones life and yours too. Because becoming a vegetarian is a very healthy step for anyone.

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But What if Your Sweetheart Loves Meat?

But What if Your Sweetheart Loves Meat?The vegetarian culture is one that fosters a certain "snootiness" because of our insistence on pure foods. It is also easy to get a superior attitude because vegetarian living is clearly a superior way to live from a health perspective and because so often our reasons for becoming a vegetarian is grounded in moral, ethical or religious values. And this is all well and good as long as you are functioning within the vegetarian community exclusively.

But what if your sweetheart is a meat eater? If the one you are dating, engaged to or even married to is not a vegetarian, that can lead to some pretty delicate moments. The last thing the vegetarian movement is about is hostility. So we have to have some guidelines on how to live in peace and harmony if your romantic partner has not joined you in your the vegetarian lifestyle.

Of course, one resolution is for your sweetheart to become a vegetarian with you. You could go with the argument of, "well if you loved me you would give up meat." But forcing someone to join the vegetarian community out of guilt is a terrible reason to make that change of life. Your sweetheart will just resent giving up a food he or she loves and will probably cheat and eat meat when not around you. That kind of tension, resentment and deception is no grounds for a long term love affair.

A better way is to come to terms with your differences, find ways to live with them and then see if down the road, your sweetheart might convert of his own free will. The first step, as is true of any conflict in an intimate relationship, is to talk about your differences openly. Sit down and talk about where each of you is on this issue. Agree to disagree. But also agree to find compromises and not to hold the other in contempt or to mock the other for the life choices he or she has made. By reaching a loving agreement, each of you can allow the other to be who he or she is and the romance can continue as the dietary dispute is resolved peacefully.

Together you can look for restaurants that offer both vegetarian dishes and meat dishes so each of you can get what you want. Now you don’t have to go to a restaurant that shouts in its advertising "We Serve Vegetarians!" All a good restaurant needs is a few good menu entries that are meatless and you can find what you want while your sweetheart enjoys a meat dish. Most good restaurants offer a tempting salad offering that you can customize so any meat, bacon bits, boiled eggs or even cheese are left out. By working together to build a good list of restaurants both of you can enjoy, you have a compromise for date nights that will last a long time.

Finding ways for both of you to enjoy your diet of choice is a good long term step. But your loved one may have a misconception that vegetarian food can't taste good. So make a deal that he or she might try it one night. Then you can put your best foot forward by preparing a sumptuous vegetarian meal that nobody can resist. But be aware that if you do try to make such a deal, you might have to agree to let your sweetheart try to convert you back to the meat eating world with a sumptuous home made meat based meal. If that is not ok with you, don’t make the deal.

Above all, don’t mock or look upon your sweetheart's choice of diet with distain or disgust. Don’t make the "eww" face each time your date has a hamburger or a hot dog. Come to the point that you can live with meat eaters and not feel repulsed when others eat the foods you don’t approve of. After all, you would not your date to make the "eww" face when you had a tofu burger or a big plate of steaming vegetables instead of meat. So treat each other with respect and love. Over time that approach will result in the best long term love affair and maybe even see you come to a time when he or she sees the light and joins you in the joys of vegetarianism.

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