Picture me 7 years ago, about 60 lbs. heavier than I am now, with a chubbier face, a growing gut, and an addiction to junk food.
I ate pizza, chips, cookies, fried meats and cheeses, French fries, and drank beer and sweet & fatty lattes. I was 32 and headed for diabetes and heart disease, and couldn’t figure out how to change.
And yet, a year later I had lost about 20-30 lbs. and ran a marathon. The pounds kept dropping away, year after year, and more importantly, I was eating healthier foods. I now love fresh fruits and veggies, raw nuts and seeds, beans and whole grains that haven’t been ground up, real unprocessed food.
“The really efficient laborer will be found not to crowd his day with work, but will saunter to his task surrounded by a wide halo of ease and leisure.” – Henry David Thoreau
Are there a hundred different things you wish you could do with your life someday — anything from exercising to meditation or yoga to writing that novel you always wished you could write to reading more to relaxing and watching the sunrise?
But perhaps you never have the time, like most people.
The truth is, we all have the same amount of time, and it’s finite and in great demand. But some of us have made the time for doing the things we love doing, and others have allowed the constant demands and pressures and responsibilities of life to dictate their days.
It’s time to move from the second group back into the first. Reclaim your time. Create the life you want and make the most of the free time you lay claim to.
It’s not hard, though it does take a little bit of effort and diligence.
Reclaiming that free time
Take my life, for example: there was a time, not too long ago, when my day was packed from morning to night, when I had meetings and long to-do lists and worked long hours and the rest of my time was filled up with social engagements and meetings for civic responsibilities. I had little time for my family, which ate me up, and little time to do the things I’ve always wanted to do. Read more
While being a vegetarian isn’t for everyone (and neither is Pamela Anderson), I talk to lots of people every day who tell me they’d like to become vegetarian, but it seems like it would be too hard, and they don’t have the willpower.
But becoming a vegetarian, for me and for many others, is the easiest thing in the world.
If you’re not interested in becoming vegetarian or vegan, please skip this post (and don’t flame me in the comments). But I’ve had numerous people, just in the last week or so, ask me to post about becoming a vegetarian, as I seem to have become a poster boy for vegetarianism (move over, Pamela Anderson!).
So in this post we’ll look at some suggestions and tips for becoming a vegetarian without too much difficulty, and some reasons you might consider it.
Why Become Vegetarian?
Again, let me state that vegetarianism isn’t for everyone. If you are fanatically devoted to meat (and I was at one time, so I understand), you might not be interested. If you already eat healthy, or you’re not interested in your health, you might not be interested.
- Cut the fat. While meat provides a lot of protein, it also provides a ton of fat — especially saturated fat. Which means that by cutting out meat, you’ll be cutting out a lot of bad fat, and replacing it with things that are probably not only lower in fat, but that contain some good fats. This greatly reduces your risk of heart disease, and in fact numerous studies have shown that vegetarians tend to have a lower risk of heart disease, as well as hypertension, diabetes, cancer and other diseases. Read more here.
- Less food poisoning. Food poisoning gets millions of people each year — and many of them from meat, which is a good breeding ground for harmful bacteria, especially if not stored, prepared or cooked exactly right. Cut out meat and you lower your risk of food poisoning (especially if you also cut out eggs and dairy, but that’s optional).
- Reduce the suffering. You probably don’t want to hear about the horrific treatment of animals that are raised for food, even before they are slaughtered for our benefit. But suffice it to say, there are great amounts of suffering involved, and by cutting out meat, you are reducing your involvement in that. Read more here.
- Help the environment. There are actually numerous ways that the meat industry harms the environment, from a waste of our resources (animals raised for food eat enough grain to feed the world), to a waste of fuel, to the pollution caused by their waste matter, and much more. Read more about that here.
- Help your weight loss. It’s possible to be vegetarian and eat very unhealthy foods, including Coke and fries and fried stuff and pizza and chips. But it’s much more difficult. Studies repeatedly show that vegetarians are slimmer and are less likely to be obese than meat eaters. If you’re trying to lose weight, being a vegetarian can be a good part of your program.
- Get more nutrition. In general (though not necessarily), vegetarians replace meat with more nutritious foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and so on. If you do that, you will be getting more of the nutrients your body needs, giving you better health, less illness, and more energy.
20 Tips for Becoming a Vegetarian So, if you’d like to become a vegetarian, without too much trouble, here are my suggestions:
- Have good reasons. If you just want to become vegetarian for kicks, you probably won’t stick with it for long — not because it’s hard, but because any lifestyle change or habit change requires a little bit of motivation. You need to first think about why you want to become vegetarian, and really believe in it. The rest is easy.
- Read up. Before starting anything new, I tend to read as much as possible about whatever it is that I’ll be doing. I suggest you do so with vegetarianism. Check out a couple of good books from the library (or better yet, borrow from vegetarian friends). And there are tons and tons of good sites on the Internet. One of my favorites is GoVeg.com.