I have to admit that, I WAS. I used to be that kind of person who can’t imagine to be having only vegetables for my meal every day, I just love meat so much. I did read different articles about how vegetarian diet is better for the environment or even saves the planet. It is well documented that intensive animal farming requires massive amount of crops and water – 1,500 liters of water is required produce 1 kg of beef, compared of just 250 liters for 1 kg of potatoes. The processing, transporting and storing of animals, crops and water is also extremely carbon and energy intensive with forests.
BUT, I am a person who likes to tackle challenges. Although being vegetarian is not my target now, going meatless sometimes is. This month, I challenge myself to go vegetarian once a week. And today is my 5 times of going meatless. Before sharing my experience of “one day a week going vegetarian”, I did lots of research and I got better understanding of what being vegetarian actually means, and I am going to share with you some of the benefits of being vegetarian I found from my research:
Lower cholesterol level: Vegetarian diets are nearly cholesterol-free. Although cholesterol is an essential component of each human cell, our body can make all the cholesterol it needs from vegan foods.
Less risk of stroke, obesity and diabetes: Many researches and studies state that vegetarian diet can reduce the risk of various diseases.
Reduce depression: Researches show that vegetarians had lower scores on depression tests and mood profiles when compared to meat or fish-eaters.
It is economical: if you follower a vegetarian diet then you are saving good amount of money, non-vegetarian foods in no doubt are relatively expensive if compared to the vegetarian foods.
Varieties of Vegetarians
Vegetarian is commonly conceptualized as a person who doesn’t eat meat nor seafood. But indeed the word “Vegetarian” is a big family composed with people with many different dietary patterns, such as:
Vegans: Do not eat meat, poultry, fish, or any products derived from animals, including eggs, dairy products and gelatin
Lacto-ovo vegetarians: Do not eat meat, poultry, or fish, but eat eggs and dairy products
Lacto vegetarians: Do not eat meat, but eat eggs and dairy
Ovo vegetarians: Do not eat meat, poultry, fish or dairy products, but eat eggs
Pollotarians: Do not eat red meat, fish and seafood, but eat poultry, eggs and dairy
Pescatarians: Do not eat red meat and poultry, but eat fish, seafood, eggs and dairy
Globally, animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gases than all the world’s transportation system combined!
Give it a Try!
Become one-day vegetarian per week is the easiest challenge I’ve ever done before.
I remember that I started my first vegetarian day with typical cereal as breakfast. For lunch, I basically had potatoes, rice, pasta or other starch-based carbs choose wholegrain where possible, avocado toast is always my favorites. And for dinner, I normally grabbed some stir fry broccoli and cauliflower or salad. My personal philosophy is that all foods are acceptable to eat in moderation. I don’t believe in totally cutting out any food group or category. In the nutritional angle, meat do have important nutrients like iron B-vitamins. So I’d consider one meatless day per week is a great way to stay healthy and stay slim while your wallet stays fat.
Today is my 5 days, discontinuously, of being vegetarian, and I am more than happy with my decision on becoming one-day vegetarian per week. I feel better with my physical and mental health, as well as from an ethical and environmental point of view. I was once concerned about other people’s opinions. But let’s be honest, if you are convinced of something, other opinions don’t really matter anyway.
My New Year’s resolution this year – keep going meatless once a week.
I challenge you to try this just one day per week for three months (or any duration you want) see what difference it can make.
If after some times you feel good and happy to step up more, you’re highly encouraged to gradually extend the pattern into 2-or-3-day vegetarian a week to challenge yourself! This is a great way to do something “green” to help the planet. Believe it or not, you will feel the changes!