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Cindy Rangel

 

Day 4:  

Your vegetarian jumpstart  + 10 tips to health

Veggies, dinner time!

So every weekday I wonder what the heck I am going to cook for dinner.  I'll be honest with you.  I am very undomesticated.  I like photography.  I love traveling and sewing but cooking?  Eh, I'll do the dishes.  I think sewing and making my own clothes is as "domesticated" as I get but why go vegetarian?  What's so special about it anyways? 

Well first of all, there's less to clean up! Kidding aside.  It really is about your health. According to the National Geographic study, did you know that it can take up to 660 gallons of water to produce 1/3 pound of beef ? Yes.  660 gallons.  Let that sink in for a moment.  That's staggering. I want to urge a more of healthy lifestyle.  The choice is always up to you but that statistic is disturbing to me.   Let's step back a bit and reassess what it means to be vegetarian in U.S. society.

Did you know that it can take up to 660 gallons of water to produce 1/3 pound of beef?
— National Geographic study

I'll be very honest again.  Why am a vegetarian? Well there are many reasons but the number one reason is my health. First of all, nutrition and health has always been my highest priority.  I am very passionate about food but mind you, real food.  Like is it 1) fresh? 2) can I pronounce it?  3) what are the health benefits to eating this food? 4) does it taste good?  I take those questions seriously because my health is everything to me.  

So I decided to go vegetarian about 8 years ago and I will say this, I have never felt so healthy in my life.  Am I perfect? no.  Do I eat fries?  Yes, and who knows if its greased up in whatever  that particular establishment has for its customers. Eating with health in mind is part of being a vegetarian for me but there's no room for perfection. I do my best.  With that noted, is the vegetarian lifestyle for you?  It's a very healthy approach to living so I continue to bring on the veggies for dinner.    

So what are good tips to start off with if you want to test out the vegetarian lifestyle?

  1. Create one day out of the week for vegetarian options kind of like Meatless Mondays.  I often do this with certain cuisines because I love learning about different cultures.  So let's say I adore taco Tuesdays. I turn to that as a vegetarian food option.  

  2. Start experimenting with natural veggie smoothies.  One simple way to do this is at your farmer's market.  Every day of the week there's a farmer's market in your area and you can pick what's in season or your fave fruits and veggies and you have a nutritious drink! 

  3. Get to know your local CSA, Community Supported Agriculture. It's an entity for local residents to have direct access local high quality produce from local farmers. You become a "shareholder" of that farmer and you can subscribe to receive a box mailed to your home, too. More info on CSA here. Here's a local California one here. It's important to keep fresh organic fruits and vegetables in your diet. 

  4. Consider a vegetarian groups that meets up locally to gather with other likeminded people.  Often there are vegetarian restaurant meet ups or events you can attend too.

  5. Start a food journal and see where you can replace certain foods with fruits/vegetables. That way you can test what foods effect your mood, productivity and taste buds. Test and see.

  6. Consider planning a group meal when you celebrate healthy living or a holiday like Friday, hahah!  (Less cooking, less clean up and inexpensive)

  7. Note the variety of colors in your fruits and veggies.  Are you picking the same? Can you pick a variety of colors so your palate is always interested?

  8. Observe how economical eating and prepping raw or semi cooked veggies. Consider your intake carefully as well.  This is important as you consider other foods along with raw/cooked veggies and fruit.

  9. Balance your food intake with a variety of legumes, whole wheat pasta/ rice and additional vitamins.

  10. Allow yourself for a treat and time to take a break.  Look at the big picture and take note of your level of energy.  Are you eating more veggies? Did you want different foods? Test and take note how you've progressed and where you want to go with your vegetarian lifestyle.

What are your experiences with being a vegetarian? Did you see any long or short term benefits? I'd like to tell you more when I share different types of vegetarian approaches and how to strike a balance. It's not about perfection but you can sense a lighter more aware sense of lifestyle as you embrace it.  Later in my e-newsletter I will include a vegetarian checklist and top rated resources for you to have at your finger tips or in your kitchen.  If you'd like to receive this great resource for you, subscribe to the newsletter below as I will be starting a new meet up group and provide that resource to more people looking to start a vegetarian lifestyle.  Thanks for stopping by. Cheers.