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May 1, 2010 on 10:18 pm
vegetarian salad (Palermo)

Image via Wikipedia

Many people like the idea of living a vegetarian lifestyle because of their values and personal beliefs, but once they decide to give it a try they find it doesn’t blend well with their personality or other aspects of their lifestyle.

For others cutting out meat is a pleasant and simple experience, but for those who aren’t as lucky it takes extreme dedication to make it work.

The following questions will help you analyze your own personality in reference to the vegetarian lifestyle.

If you find that it doesn’t suit you on some level, remember this isn’t an all-or-nothing lifestyle. You can still eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains the majority of the time while having some meat on occasion.

Remember, vegetarians don’t always cut out eggs and dairy products either, so there is a lot of wiggle room to find a vegetarian plan that fits your life and personality.

1. Are you concerned with the welfare of animals typically consumed as food?

This is one of the biggest reasons most vegetarians go vegetarian. They don’t believe that animals consumed as food are treated humanely prior to being consumed or they simply don’t like the idea of eating a dead animal in any circumstance. The refusal to eat meat can feel like taking a stand or following your values in this case.

If this really is not a concern for you, then there has to be some other major motivating force to help you adopt a vegetarian lifestyle. If there is no real reason you chose to go vegetarian, it will feel more like a diet and you aren’t as likely to stick with it long term. That is probably why the majority of true vegetarians you meet follow the lifestyle out of personal beliefs and care for animals.

2. Are you concerned with the negative effects animal products could be having on your health?

This would probably be the second biggest reason many people stick to a vegetarian lifestyle. The foods consumed on this type of diet are a lot healthier for your heart and other organs of the body. A vegetarian diet balanced with whole grains and a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables will drastically cut down on the amount of saturated fats that you consume.

Dr. Dean Ornish is well known for his vegetarian diet plans that advocate heart health and even reversing heart disease with fresh foods. His more recent book, The Spectrum, does allow some meat if you choose, but he really advocates protecting your heart through vegetarianism.

3. Do you need to lose weight, but don’t want to go on yet another diet?

Many people decide they need to lose weight but don’t want to cycle through another failed diet, so they reason that they can just cut out meat and their diet will be healthier and lower in calories. You can’t approach vegetarianism in this way!

There are overweight and even obese vegetarians out there. They are overweight because they eat a lot of processed, high fat meatless foods. Unless you are a vegan and watch for animal byproducts, potato chips and cake can be considered vegetarian!

If your goal is to lose weight, a well balanced vegetarian diet will help. You just have to make sure it is well balanced just as you would on any other diet plan.

Remember, if you strike out at one of these three points, there is a way to work a vegetarian lifestyle into the life you currently live.

February 5, 2010 on 12:11 am

So you want your kids to eat healthier—you’re not alone. Many parents watch their kids ingest all kinds of unbalanced diets full of preservatives and calories. Good news: Mitzi Dulan, RD, who blogs at offers some good ideas to help us get our kids to eat better.

She starts by suggesting that parents get their kids involved in the making of meals. Of course this is a good idea, they get a sense of ownership in what they eat. To add to this budding ownership, she writes that parents should ask their children for their opinions about what types of foods to add to the diet. She states, “Offer kids a choice between two or three foods but avoid asking, “What would you like for dinner?”  For example, you can let your child decide between apples or oranges or broccoli or cauliflower.  When children participate in the planning and preparation of the meal they will be more likely to consume it.”

Yes choices are good. And finally, Ms. Dulan emphasizes that we make out excitement about the food we eat contagious. Get your kids excited about making and eating food that is good for them. We at Fresh Start Juicers agree wholeheartedly. Making our diets our own and exciting engenders a healthy lifestyle that not only keeps us coming back to a healthy eating but, perhaps, also moves us into other healthy activities as well.

You can read the entire article here.

Stop by our store to see how we can help with your kids’ diets. Try any one of Excalibur dehydrators and make granola as a first step.

Fruit & Vegetable Juicers