It has, obviously, been a long while since I've posted here.
An update on life in 2010:
I am now a vegetarian, semi-vegan. I am still surprised, myself. I have long been an advocate of meat. My diet at home is usually meat and some vegetables, and I know that my body does not like a lot of bread, which I considered a significant portion of a vegetarian diet. I believe in the high-protein, low-carb diet that has kept me skinny and full all these years. However, I now know that vegetarians do not simply replace the meat on their plate with an equal portion of bread; I will continue to avoid excess breads even as a vegetarian. How did all this get started, you ask? I'll tell you.
As usual, our church started the year off with a fast (actually, both my churches did a 21-day fast, in Nashville and Bowling Green). For the first week, I fasted desserts/sweets. I did not feel challenged enough and I really felt like God was encouraging me to do more. So, I switched to not eating meat, bread or dairy, with the exception of half-and-half in my coffee. Basically, for three weeks I ate vegetables, rice, and nuts. I expected to feel terrible. I expected to feel weak, hungry, tired, and irritable. What I discovered, however, is that I had more energy, felt lighter, enjoyed my food more and now I'm hooked!
I broke the fast Saturday, reintroducing bread and desserts into my diet, but I have made the decision to remain a vegetarian and a semi-vegan (at least for a while). I refuse to be overly strict. A true vegan eats no products that come from animals (this includes all dairy and honey, etc.). I will not eat meat at home or restaurants and I will buy soymilk and soy/whey dairy replacements for my everyday consumption, but I'll continue to put real eggs and butter in my baked goods, and when I'm at a friend's house I'll eat what they give me, meat or no. I may even get a steak at a restaurant every once in a while.
The research about vegetarians and health is amazing. The top killers in our country are heart disease and cancer, and vegetarians - on average - have a 50% less chance of contracting one of these killers. Basically, maintaining a diet with more vegetables and less meat/dairy will pay off down the line. Vegetarians also live longer by about 7 years (a whole extra decade of life? I'll take it!).
I have not been hungry, as I thought I would. I have not been lacking protein (my other concern). There are all kinds of vegetables that I've never even tasted before and I love food adventures (I really will eat just about anything). I can eat larger portions of vegetables without worrying about my weight.
I feel so good, I have to keep this up. I am no PETA fan; I do not have lectures about how animals are treated or the intention of boycotting products. I simply like the way this diet has made me feel. I like the health benefits that I'll reap down the road. For my own personal happiness, I might as well stick with it!
It has the added benefit of all kinds of unexplored recipes to keep me entertained for months!
Well, I'm off to have my bowl of broccoli and rice with salt and pepper and a glass of iced tea for lunch! YUM!