Saturday, August 21, 2010

To Eat Or Not To Eat

Some of you know (and now all of you will) that I am a vegetarian and have been for about 30 years. There are several different types of vegetarians. I am a Ovo-lacto vegetarian which means that I include eggs and dairy products. Some stay away from that. I decided years ago to leave off the meat and fish and poultry. It has never been a sacrifice. I remember once a friend asked me “What do you do when you go to barbecues. Doesn’t the smell drive you crazy?” Actually, it doesn’t bother me at all. I still enjoy some of the other parts of the meal. I just stay away from the grill of death! Leather is still a part of my life as in shoes. So my decision is based on my own personal preferences for food.

I will say up front that vegetarianism is not for everyone. I have had numerous conversations with people through the years as they consider such. Clients consider it thinking that would be an easier way to lose weight than conventional methods. Group exercise instructors have even tried the “vegetarian thing” for a few months to see if it would change the reading on the scale. Yes, group exercise instructors struggle with weight issues.

Here’s where new vegetarians can run into trouble. Sometimes the “weight issue” can go just the other way. Going vegetarian is not another diet to try. Eliminating a food group, mainly protein, and substituting it with another like more grains which translates into rice, pasta, and bread, can sabotage any efforts to loose weight. That isn’t going to move the scale in the right direction. It takes time and a little effort to figure out how to eat vegetarian. There are a lot of good sources of protein. Careful consideration, a little research, and meal planning are necessary to make it work.