Yesterday, I ate completely vegan meals all day. And not on purpose! I had an avocado and tofu for breakfast, a salad, coconut milk yogurt and a banana for lunch, and some pasta with peanut sauce for dinner. I didn’t even realize I was a one- day- vegan until this morning when I read this article in Self magazine.
The article talks about the benefits of being vegetarian, but also about how being a part-time vegetarian can deliver similar benefits. I really related to the writer. She promoted both vegetarian and meat-eating lifestyles, but in balance with each other. I could never give up meat completely, and often think that my diet is vegan-ish. But if I could cut out meat for even a couple days a week, I could also reap the benefits of a vegan lifestyle.
The article stated the top 5 reasons to be a part-time vegetarian (or for me, vegan-ish).
1. To stay slim. Animal fats are full of saturated fat, which we all know is the “bad” kind of fat. Lean vegetable proteins have the same protein power without the saturated fat. Plus, they have fiber to keep us fuller longer.
2. To help the planet. Processing meat products increases our carbon footprint and reduces the health of our earth. If we could eat more foods that are locally grown and less processed, we are helping the planet.
3. To fend off cancer. Studies show that eating red meat and high fat dairy increases risk for cancer. Why not reduce our risk?
4. To protect our heart. Animal fats high in saturated fat get stuck in our arteries and increase our risk for heart problems. Clean out those arteries! Choose alternative proteins such as soy, beans, quinoa.
5. To save cash. Meat costs more than vegetables and vegetable protein sources. Especially if you are buying organic products. Check out farmer’s markets for even better cost efficient vegetables.
The words of my doctor still resonate in my head; “I am glad you have these food allergies because you are going to really be able to focus on eating a less processed diet.” Although my allergies were startling and life-changing at first, I am really beginning to see how they can fit into my lifestyle. Every week, my fridge is full and my cupboards are empty because I eat fresh and non- processed food. I feel great, I want to exercise, I am full of energy, and I feel good about what I am putting into my body. Now, I am going to think about eating less meat for those 5 great reasons above. I am going to officially challenge myself to eat meat free one day a week. Hope you consider it, too!