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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Our Health: Why I'm a Vegetarian

If any of you follow me on my personal blog, it's not new news that I'm a vegetarian. I've been living this lifestyle for over 6 months now and haven't looked back since. Before I embarked on this health journey I never imagined giving up meat. Of course there are environmental and animal lover reasons to be vegetarian but my choice was mostly for my health. You see - high cholesterol, cancers and other bad bad things run in my family. When I was checked out a few years ago at my general doctor I found out that my good cholesterol was really good but that my bad cholesterol, due to my family genetics, was high too. No bueno.

At the time I didn't know what I could do about it but knew I didn't want to go on any medication if it could be avoided. I continued my life as "normal" but was a little more conscious of my choices. Fast forward to the end of December of last year when I visited my mom and stepdad in Arizona. My mom is a certified nutritionist and although I think she can be extreme sometimes with the way she eats - I really admire her for all the things she does (and does not) put into her body. She doesn't look a day over 35 and she's in her 50s (sorry mom) but you would NEVER know it.

Anyways, back to my story. So I was visiting them and my mom was really excited to show me this documentary about vegan and vegetarians (I was not excited about this at all and thought it would be boring) man was I wrong. When I finally decided to let her show us this video I was blown away. It was life changing - yes, seriously.

Forks Over Knives convinced me to become a vegetarian forever. It focused mostly on the health aspect of begin a vegetarian/vegan and that really hit home with me. They highlighted examples of countries throughout history that did not have meat based diet at one point of time or another (mostly due to war) and how the deaths due to cancer and heart issues DRAMATICALLY (yes I had to put that in all caps to get your attention) declined when they did not have access to animal protein. Uh ... there's a way that I can help control if I have cancer and heart issues or not? Sign me up. I'm telling you - spend the hour to watch this video and your mind may change a little too. Jay still eats meat but he's more mindful about it now and even has vegetarian meals and days without meat. Even reducing your consumption a little can make a huge impact.

I'm not here to preach my views on this to you all and do not think this way of lifestyle is for everyone. It's just my take on my health and the choices that are best for me. I've received some criticism for my choices when I decided to switch - most people don't understand and don't want to - and that's perfectly okay! I know we've all grown up with the philosophy that eating meat with every meal is healthy and we need our protein - but let me just say that this works best for me and my lifestyle now and it was a choice I made for me.

Have questions? I'd love to hear from you! I'm also planning on having my mom guest post in the near future so if you have any nutrition questions for her please let me know.