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Heidi

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Mom, desperately trying to get the health thing right! I started this blog so that I can pass along all the great things that I learn everyday on damage control for our wonderful bodies. It is tough to keep up sometimes with all the things going on in our daily lives so hopefully some of the helpful hints that I provide can make your life easier and healthier. I welcome your comments and tips as well! I am a vegetarian, animal rights advocate and avid animal rescuer.
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2008-08-27

The Skinny On This Vegetarian-No Lectures Just Letting You Get To Know Me

I am a vegetarian but you won't get a lecture from me. I am not going to give you the stats on why being a vegetarian is one of the best things you can do for the environment and no I am not going to tell you about all the horrible and inhumane things done to innocent animals at the slaughterhouse and no I am not going to try to convince you that eating fruits and vegetables and very little meat will reduce your risk of many cancers. I am going to tell you a little about why I am a vegetarian and what I get out of it. I will say that I am a pretty laid back person about most things but the one thing that I absolutely will not compromise on is eating or wearing any animals.

I don't judge those that do eat meat (although most of my friends and in-laws think I am the one who is nuts) , otherwise I would not be married, and have no friends since most everyone I know here in Kansas eats meat with relish. It is a personal choice and one that gives me a profound amount of peace. So, here I go...

Okay, I am a vegetarian and I have been a vegetarian for about 12 years now. I am the type of vegetarian who eats nothing with a face or heartbeat (I am not perfect because I am still working on the dairy-although I only eat organic dairy products). I won't wear leather or fur (obviously) either. Now, I did not start out being a vegetarian for health reasons, but because I love animals and I don't want to be part of what I consider to be a horrific cycle of abuse, and neglect in their demise. Keep in mind that this is just me but my husband and majority of friends do eat meat and well I consider that to be their business. The fastest way to turn someone off to something you believe in is to lecture them. Maybe if I lead by example they will follow-who knows. Now that I am on the road to being a health nut though I would not eat meat because of all the antibiotics, pesticides and who knows what else those poor animals have to have pumped into them that then goes into whomever is eating them (I was actually trying to cure a wild fox of mange and was told to inject food with a cattle and swine product to kill the mange mites. I wanted to make sure that if a cat or bird or raccoon or whatever ate what I injected they would not be hurt from it and my vet told me that no, they would not because although this was a mite killer most humans even had it in their bodies since it was injected into the swine and cattle to kill mites on them and people got it from eating the meat of those animals injected-That is gross to me-I'm just saying you might want to think about what you are eating b/c do you really know everything that animal is being injected with?).

The ironic part for me being a vegetarian is that it is a general assumption by most that I must be a very healthy person because I am a vegetarian. However, I am the chocolate and Diet Pepsi loving, type of vegetarian that I am now trying to overcome which is the very reason I started this health nut wannabe blog (I am very proud that I rarely drink diet sodas now-the chocolate is another matter altogether). Since starting Health Nut Wannabe Mom I am more of a devoted fruit and veggies vegetarian but still I have to watch it or I would eat chocolate morning noon and night. Really I think that for me being a vegetarian is probably the best thing that I could have done for my mind and body. Knowing I am not contributing to another creature's anguish is really what does it for me.

Now, lots of people will argue and argue about blah, blah, blah and animals are here to eat, blah, blah, blah. I am not here to argue and if that is what you believe then well alright for you. This is just what works for me (both my children are vegetarians at this point and very healthy too).

If you are going to eat meat though, I will say this-eat the grass fed organic beef and cage free organic chicken.

If you would like to try a great vegetarian product I recommend the Quorn Turkey roast (you can find it at Whole Foods). I love it and it is of course not really Turkey! If you are interested in delicious meat substitutes just let me know and I can provide a list for you. To your health in both mind and body!

Heidi

24 comments:

GiGi said...
Just curious - what about your kids? What do you feed them?

What about dinner with your husband? Does he do his own cooking? I'm sure you've figured out your own solutions by now, but I'm curious to know how you do it.

How does it work being a vegetarian if your family is not?
Jacqueline said...
Many people don't know that the meat subs are quite tasty. But you have to give them a try in order to find out. :-)

I became a vegetarian as a sort of rebellion...how dare they poison me without my permission! Anyway, with pollution in the air and many other harmful chemicals existing in our society, it's difficult to avoid everything "toxic." Nevertheless, I do what I can, and what I can't do, I try not to worry about.

I don't want to live to be 100, I just want to be as healthy as I can while I'm here.
Laura said...
I'm right there with you, although I can't even call myself a vegetarian. I gave up all "meat" except fish/seafood. As far as dairy, I have as little as possible, although I still have PMS cravings for a bit plate of delicious nachos with sour cream! B A D! I do get organic cheese though, and use organic creamer in my coffee... and I can seriously taste the difference. It's funny because I *think* of myself as a vegetarian, although I'm not. I live in Alaska, and there is an abundance of fresh WILD fish here, so I still chose to eat it. And I love sushi. I stopped eating other animal proteins about 3 1/2 years ago, and I've never felt better. Oddly enough (clears throat), with the decrease in dairy, and eliminating all other meats, my periods (tmi I know) have returned to normal. I buy local organic whenever I can. :)

Laura
Its true that being a vegetarian is one of the best things to do for the environment.
Eating lots of meat is a health risk, and the digestive system takes the pounding.

I always try to eat vegetarian food for at least two days in a week, and it makes me feel very good on those days. Good vegetarian food is not easily available near my work place, so my choices are limited.

I love chocolates too, and I have entirely stopped consuming pepsi/coke since the last 4 months. I've become a fruit juice guy now, the fresh kind.

A nice blog you have here, I enjoyed reading your post :)

cheers,
Sunny
Jackie said...
Excellent post. I also became vegetarian and then vegan due to animal factory farming, the health benefits and helping to prevent global warming are just the cherry on top.

LOL yes we also have to watch what we eat just like anyone else or will have an expanding waistline. My downfall is homemade potato crisps which I continue to fry and not oven bake like I should.
Liza said...
i admire you heidi, i don't think i can last that long, 12 years, wow.
Rocki said...
Great read Heidi :)

I'm the oddball of my immediate family as they are all carnivores & I've been more of a vegetarian all my life - eating meat has always grossed me out, so to speak. However I admit that I slip now and again. I have food allergies so I already have a limited diet, but being a practicing buddhist I try hard to be mindful of what I eat and how it ended up on my plate.
Jack Payne said...
From high blood pressure to veggism? Did I miss some in-betweens? Anyhow, I am an odd duck--a veggi guy 4 days a week--Mon. through Thur.--then go nuts on weekends, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday--eating everything in sight (probably even road kill, if it looked appetizing). Hope you don't hate, loathe, and despise me, Heidi, for my rather canabalistic tastes.
Alan said...
I think the reason so many people are getting sick these days is because they are eating such UNHEALTHY animals.
Eating a something that has never seen sunlight and cannot even walk cannot be good for you...and that's what people eat when they eat a chicken....eating something sick!!!

I remember when I was young eating chickens and eggs from my grandfathers chicken coop....at least those birds had a healthy, albeit short life.

I remember also wondering what happened to the cow he had in his barn one day when I was about 4. And my older brother telling me it was one my plate that supper.

I've never been much of a meat eater since....it's too Disgusting!!
Sherer said...
I must admit to you heidi, I do enjoy the meat, but I appreicate your comments, it makes me think more about what it is that I am eating!

I am happy to report its been over a month since I had my last diet soda! And I must say you had a lot to do with my change. And chocolate is a must
Doris said...
Heidi,

I have many friends who think I am crazy for not eating meat. Texas is all about a big slab of something that should be running free!

I found the health benefits years later when my friends were putting on weight and I never did.

I allowed my three boys to choose, and one choose to follow in my footsteps.

I do love milk, so I switched to soy about three years ago when it became easy to find. My youngest found he loved soy milk and his allergies mysteriously disappeared.

I love my choice to give up meat.
Polly said...
I admire the fact that you are a total vegetarian. Many people who count themselves as vegetarians eat chicken and fish. The one concern I have about being a vegetarian is - many years ago my father had to go into hospital for surgery. The hospital that he attended specialised in bone problems. Whilst he was there - there were two little boys who were brothers in a nearby ward. One had been in hospital for almost six months. Both had been brought up as vegetarians and had developed growth nodules on their bones. I had never heard of this occuring but it had something to do with them being deprived of meat. They had these small bone growths which had to be removed and kept recurring. I often wonder whether they made it to adulthood.
I just wondered whether you may have researched at what point (what age) is it safe for someone to be vegetarian?
I will be frank - I am not a vegetarian but eat a much reduced amount of meat than I used to. I try and have one or two days a week vegetarian and currently the remainder I have chicken, turkey or fish.
I have a wheat allergy and have to cut out all sorts of things from my diet so perhaps eventually I may succeed in cutting out the chicken, turkey and fish completely.
You have written a very interesing post Heidi ... it certainly (forgive the pun) is food for thought. :)
Robin said...
Hi Heidi,
I enjoyed reading your post, even though I am not a vegetarian. I think it is great, the love you have for animals. :-)
Lidian said...
We are about 95% vegetarian around here, my 2 girls and me (not my DH though he doesn't eat a lot of meat)- and we are going to try and get closer to 100%. I am so lucky that my girls also are dedicated to this and to healthy eating/fitness in general.

We tried quorn sausages in England this summer and they were amazing! I don't know if I can get them in Canada though. Will look for the quorn turkey you mention...
foongpc said...
It's a pity that meat nowadays are full of antibiotics and growth hormones and other chemicals. But vegetables are full of pesticides.
So the best option is go for wild (cage free)organic animals and organic vegetables.

It's really hard to advise people to stop eating meat unless they have a love for animals like you do. I do eat meat too but I try to eat the healthiest way possible ie. cut out the fat, and go for organic ones.

As for chocolates, I think it's not that unhealthy except for the sugar. Go for dark chocolates which is high in antioxidants. Anyway, we need some nice comfort food to indulge in once in a while : )
Good for you Heidi.
Congratulations on being vegetarian for 12 years.
I am vegetarian as well.
Mostly eat a vegan diet, but I eat cage free organic eggs once a month.

I agree with your approach.
People will shut you out when you preach to them.
It is best to lead by example.

Have you ever tried raw chocolate?
It's really good and has a ton of nutrients.

Keep up the great work.
I fully support your vegetarian lifestyle. :)
David said...
I don't really agree with your reasons for being a vegetarian, but I do agree that it is good for you if done properly.

So Hey, whatever works. Right?

Great Blog, keep up the good work!
SpinDiva said...
this is a great article Heidi. I also admire your dedication. I always though that being a vegetarian required so much more work and I guess it does for the novice. In my home we do organic, cage free, natural- as much as possible and I don't forsee us going 100 meat free but I am interested in the substitutes list you mentioned.

I have to take things one, very tiny, step at a time and see what happens.

thanks for sharing.
Terie
wildcatsthree said...
The meat sold at grocery stores is all you say it is, and I'd recommend to everyone to eat only grass-fed beef and chicken. I also am against all animal testing and the wearing of anything from animals as manmade products are readily available. It must be difficult for meal planning with you being a vegetarian and you cook meat for your husband. Do you ever get tempted - it's got to smell good.
cardiogirl said...
Do you find it difficult to get enough protein eating just vegetarian? Or do you fill that need with tofu and the "fake meat" stuff, like veggie burgers, etc?
Mooney ♥ said...
Cute post hun! I'm not vegetarian, but I only eat chicken, turkey and some sea foods...

Although, I must admit... there's no way I could be vegan. I could give up meat any day if I really wanted/needed to, but there's no way I could live without cheese... OR chocolate!! Heheeee..

Have a wonderful weekend!
ssgreylord said...
amen, sister! ditto everything you say, including the veggie kids and my oldest has been one for 11 years-never's missed a thing (course she doesn't know what she's missing:) )
i've been a veggie for 20 years and it's amazing how you don't even think about meat at all. while i know it's not for everyone, it sure works for me and my veggie family!
wanna meet up at thanksgiving for a little tofurkey? :)
Interesting post Heidi...at this point I couldn't be a vegetarian even if I wanted to...I have stomach issues caused by most fruits, some vegetable, milk and milk products and whole wheat products...makes things challenging...

Cheers...
sborg said...
I recently listened to a PETA presentation by the son of the owner of Baskin Robbins. I think his book is called Diet for a New America. Wow! You want an eye opener, that's the book to read. Anyway, I am on a journey toward reducing my meat intake, and I hope to eventually become totally vegetarian. Given my family's history of heart disease, and our love for animals, it makes sense!

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