I used to be a carnivore. If fact, I was raised on the idea that meat was the main course.
Growing up I was a meat lover
How could I not be? We had it every night for dinner. Just to paint a picture for you – one summer when I was about 7 years old we were on vacation with a group of friends and decided to go out to dinner.
When I ordered the “queen cut” prime rib off the adult menu one of the people with us said,”You are not going to let her order that are you?”
Her concern was that I was going to purchase an expensive dinner and waste it because there was no way I would eat it all. This was nothing new for me, I was no stranger to eating out or eating prime rib. When dinner came and my Dad started to cut my meat for me it was quickly noticed that I was eating it just as fast as he was cutting it.
Becoming vegetarian never crossed my mind
Throughout most of my life I thoroughly enjoyed meat and the thought of becoming a vegetarian never crossed my mind. It wasn’t until after my son was born that I started to pay closer attention to my body and how I felt after eating certain foods.
I noticed that after eating meat I often would feel like a rock sitting in my stomach.
It was also accompanied by bloating, gas and a sick feeling in general. So I decided to do an experiment and cut meat out from my diet.
My friends and family didn’t know what to think. It was totally out of character for me not to eat meat. I’m not going to pretend that the transition was easy; I definitely struggled to find things to make that were satisfying and healthy.
I found myself researching what to eat and different ways to be more creative in the kitchen. In addition, I also had to learn how to eat out and also how to be a guest at someones house.
Learning to adapt
After some research and creative thinking I became comfortable living as a vegetarian.
I would say the most unexpected thing that came along with becoming a vegetarian was the need to learn how to answer the questions about being a vegetarian. I’ve narrowed it down to a select few to share with you.
What DO you eat?
Sounds like a simple question but for people who have little knowledge on the subject it can make for a long conversation. In short, there are different types of vegetarianism.
I am what you call a Lacto-ovo vegetarian which means I do not eat meat, poultry, or fish, but DO eat eggs and dairy products. To learn all the different types of vegetarianism you can click here.
How do you get your protein?
So many are brainwashed thinking they have to eat meat to get protein. This is something that you have to do your own research on. Here is a list of a few foods I eat on a regular basis that contain protein.
• 1 avocado is 2.7 grams of protein
• 2 tablespoons of nut butter on average equal 5 grams of protein
• 1 cup of kale has 2.9 grams of protein
• 1/2 cup Tempeh has a 15 grams of protein
• Chia seeds 4 grams of protein per ounce
• 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds have 10 grams of protein (my favorite)
• 16 grams of protein per ounce of Spirulina.
• 8 grams of protein per cup of quinoa
• 7.3 grams of protein in 1/2 of chick peas
• 8.4 grams of protein per half cup of edamame
• 2 cups of raw spinach has 2.1 grams of protein
In Part 2 tomorrow, I will be looking at more commonly asked questions from non-vegetarians and tips to adapt to a vegetarian lifestyle.
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