We have now been meat free for over one month! Why?
Short answer: We love vegetables and after a lot of research we saw some great health benefits that we did not want to miss out on, which I also go into more details later in this post.
Backstory: It all started after we moved to Bali and the quality of meat was not as good as the quality of vegetables and fruits, as well as it was a lot more expensive. We slowly started cooking a lot more of vegetable dishes automatically, like this delicious "Mongo bongo", up to the point where it became "out of the norm" to have meat. We also got a lot closer to the “meat” it self. At one point we lived in a neighborhood where there where cows literally just out side our door, feeding on garbage as well as we would occasionally see the chicken truck drive by. The smell that came from those poor chickens trapped inside those tiny cages was to say the least, breathtaking. Breathtaking in the sense that I always held my breath when it drove by, trying to avoid that horrible stench! So after seeing where our meat came from as well as loving the veggie based food we were eating, we decided to make it a lifestyle! I like to say that we became vegetarians by accident as we slowly eased into a new diet unconsciously as we adjusted to a new environment and culture.
The best thing about this whole process is that I don’t miss eating meat. It feels weird saying it, because a year ago I would never even consider becoming a vegetarian, I would have thought it was mad to “give up” meat.
So what are the perks of it?
In my opinion they are countless! Just by changing my diet to mostly a veggie based one I have lost 15 kg (33 pounds) and my BMI (Body Mass Index) is now 20. Before changing my diet it was 24.6 which is only 0.4 from being “overweight”. Also I feel like I have a lot more energy and I don’t feel hungry all the time or tired after all meals! These are just a few of the benefits I have experienced, now let’s look what the experts have to say!
Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School
#A way to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses
“studies are confirming the health benefits of meat-free eating. Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses.”
#You are more likely to live longer
“they’re (vegetarians) likely to have lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and lower body mass index (BMI), all of which are associated with longevity and a reduced risk for many chronic diseases.
See full article here
Dr. Sheah L. Rarback, RD, MS, director of nutrition at the Mailman Center for Child Development at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida
#Helps control your weight
“When you eat foods that are high in fiber, Rarback says, you feel fuller. This can benefit people who are trying to control their weight”
#Helps your digestion
“The fiber in a vegetarian diet will keep foods and waste moving smoothly through your system, avoiding both constipation and diarrhea.
See full article here
Dr. T. Colin Campbell & Dr. Joseph Mercola
#Meat based diet often contain to much protein which can be harmful and is even thought to link to cancer
“While we do need protein, perhaps we don’t need so much as we might think. The Center for Disease Control and Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine both agree we are getting plenty of protein and that protein deficiency is not a problem in our society”
“The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) even says that we actually get too much protein, around double of what we really need.”
“There are a number of reasons why I believe it's prudent to limit your protein intake. The first is that if you eat more protein than your body requires, it will simply convert most of those calories to sugar and then fat. Increased blood sugar levels can also feed pathogenic bacteria and yeast, such as Candida albicans (candidiasis), as well as fueling cancer cell growth.”
“Excessive protein can have a stimulating effect on an important biochemical pathway called the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR).This pathway has an important and significant role in many cancers. When you reduce protein to just what your body needs, mTOR remains inhibited, which helps minimize your chances of cancer growth.”
#You avoid the intake of antibiotics filled meat
“About 80% of antibiotics produced in the U.S. are given to farm animals.”
“This overuse of antibiotics encourages the evolution of antibiotic resistantbacteria strains by giving bacteria resistant to the antibiotics a better chance of survival."
"Because the antibiotics we feed animals are similar to those for humans, the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria strains is a serious public health threat."
“Poultry products often carry at least one bacterial strain, and it is now increasingly likely that the bacteria in the meat you buy is an antibiotic-resistant strain.”
See full article here
#You are more environmental friendly
“Raising animals for food (including land used for grazing and growing feed crops) now uses a staggering 30% of the Earth’s land mass.”
“In the United States, 70% of the grain grown is fed to farmed animals. Imagine how many people we could feed with that food."
"Nearly 80% of land deforested in the Amazon is now used as cattle pasture."
See full article here
#You will become successful in all areas of your life!
OK, I might have taken things a bit too far now. Being a vegetarian is probably not going to solve all of your problems, but it might solve some of them! I can say that I feel both mentally and physically better than I have before, and I credit my diet for playing a vital role in this whole journey.
I want to mention that it’s vital for any kind of diet, whether it being a plant based one or not, to be done right. Gather nutrition information and be sure that you are getting all that your body needs.
Becoming a vegetarian is a big step to take and can be quite challenging at first, but in my experience the key is to have the right mindset and approach. We decided to never look at being a vegetarian as a person that is not "allowed" to eat met. I am "allowed" to eat as much meat as I want to, but I choose not to. It sounds simple and obvious, but we often make certain rules in our minds that hype up the temptations of what we ban ourselves. If we fail we feel defeated and then we're more likely to give up. By approaching it the way we have done we don't feel tempted to eat meat as it's not "banned" and we are taking away that feeling of failure if we one day would eat a hot dog. We are also reminding ourselves of the purpose of being a vegetarian! The purpose after all is to live a healthier and happier life.
Now knowing some of the benefits of being a vegetarian, would you ever consider giving it a try? And if you already are a vegetarian or vegan, what are the benefits you have experienced?