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Old 07-25-2011, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Capitol Hill - Washington, DC
3,168 posts, read 4,634,021 times
Reputation: 3395

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Hi all!

Never thought I'd see the day where I'm researching potentially becoming a vegetarian. But, here I am!

Just some background on me first. I'm 26/f and moved to Syracuse NY from Honolulu HI 2 years ago. While living in Hawaii, I was in the absolute best shape of my life - always active, lifting heavy weights at the gym, etc. When I moved cross country, I stayed in shape for the most part, but it has now completely spiraled out of control. I'm trying to regain my health and my life. As much as I'm generally a happy person, I keep pushing away how disappointed in myself I am.

SO with that in mind, I decided to take the first steps and do a cleansing detox to regain some of that control. It's 3 weeks long, with at least another week of reintroducing foods and such - I just finished the first week. This cleanse highly promotes fresh veggies and and juices. During this cleanse, I also started reading The China Study and while I'm only about half way through, it's making me rethink where I want to go with my life after this cleanse. I don't plan on coming to my full conclusions until I'm completely finished with the book, but I can already see that I'm leaning towards vegetarianism - for my health, if nothing else.

Problem is - I absolutely love meat. I honestly don't know if giving it up forever is something I can do. But I know that I can definitely severly limit my animal-based protein consumption.

So, this is my starting point. I plan on doing lots of research over the next few weeks as I continue with my cleanse and prepare myself for the next stage in my life. I welcome any information, comments, advice, etc from all of you! I literally know nothing at this point, so consider me a clean slate with an extremely open mind!

Thank you!!!!
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:12 AM
 
2,191 posts, read 4,194,423 times
Reputation: 2267
Watch any of the dozens of videos on the internet showing animals being tortured and slaughtered right when you get a craving for animal products. If you do research on veganism then do research on the bad stuff that goes into animals and the health problems associated with eating them such as them eating GMO foods and being pumped full of antibiotics. Eating meat is associated with increased rates of cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol, and various other health problems.

Conduct an experiment yourself and see what happens when you get off animal products for a month then treat yourself to a steak, ice cream, or a bunch of cheese. I guarantee you will either get sick or have some other type of violent body reaction in addition to getting lethargic, sleepy, and wanting to pass out. Your food shouldn't make you feel like you need to unbuckle your belt and go into a coma.

After getting on more raw foods for a few weeks you will notice a huge improvement to your mood, energy levels, and other problems you may be having such as sleep. Often I feel slightly high after having a smoothie with raw greens in it. My body loves that stuff. We evolved to eat plants and it's what our body runs most efficiently on.
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:35 AM
 
Location: Hollywood North
428 posts, read 1,046,896 times
Reputation: 725
Don't overwhelm yourself with telling yourself you'll never eat meat again. I LOVED meat. I stopped eating it over 5 years ago and it was hard at first, however, not as hard as I thought it would be. My motivation was ethically based however. At that time in my life I would not have been able to give up meat for health alone, I wasn't that healthy as a pack a day smoker who was 20 lbs overweight. For the first few months I told myself that I just wasn't going to eat meat today but who knows about tomorrow. Five years later and health is a factor in my staying vegetarian. I am in very good shape now and I do bikram yoga 4-5 times a week. I also quit smoking. I think it's easier to stop eating meat if you remind yourself often why you're doing it. It's also worth mentioning that I know that I "could" have meat if I wanted to, I just choose not to. I have no desire at all to it meat now. It disgusts me on a visceral level. The China Study is a good book, I read it and it reinforced much of what I already thought. I also suggest watching Earthlings. You can watch it for free online. It's a great documentary narrated by Joaquin Phoenix about the treatment of modern day farm animals.
I would also avoid eating meat subsitutes at for a while. I think they taste like meat to those of us that haven't eaten meat in quite awhile. Get a good vegetarian/vegan cookbook and try new recipes, go to ethnic restaurants,try new "exotic" ingredients.Look at this as a new chapter in your life, something to be excited about not sad coz you're missing out on something.
Finally, make sure that as you switch to a veg diet you eat some nutrient dense foods. I have known a few vegetarians who mostly ate salads and then after a month or so got ill and decided that vegetarainism wasn't for them. It had nothing to do with vegetarianism and everything to do with not getting enough calories to meet energy needs. Include lots of legumes, grains, fresh fruit and veggies and seeds. Give your body some time to adjust.
Good luck with your journey!
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Old 07-26-2011, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Capitol Hill - Washington, DC
3,168 posts, read 4,634,021 times
Reputation: 3395
Thanks so much for the advice!

I like the thought of taking it one day at a time and just seeing what happens. When I'm done my cleanse, I do a week of reintroducing various foods and such, some of which is a small amount of animal protein. I'm thinking I may build it up to maybe 2 or 3 days a week and then wean myself off over the month or so afterwards.

I was looking at recipes yesterday and MY GOSH they all look so freaking delicious! I've actually eaten a decent amount of Morning Star burgers in the past and I really do love them. I definitely do not want to be one of those vegetarians that just eats pasta every day - to me, that defeats the purpose of being healthy.

My mom and stepdad are actually vegetarians, but they're more of the eat pasta every day kind of people. They're not creative in the kitchen at all. But they're coming to visit towards the end of August and by that point I would've started my transition and I plan on cooking some awesome veg meals for us all and sitting down to talk about it.

To me, it just seems like a natural progression to go from the cleanse into vegetarianism. I am very excited for what's to come, but also a little nervous and scared. But I believe taking it one day at a time will definitely help. Once I get my footing, I'd like to get back into the gym and lifting my heavy weights, so I'll just also take that as it comes.
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