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How and Why I Became a Vegetarian

How and Why I Became a Vegetarian

MARCH 25, 2018

How and Why I Became a Vegetarian

It all happened quite by accident. I didn’t have any intention of ever becoming a vegetarian – I was that person that insisted on having meat with every meal and if there was no meat, it wasn’t a meal and I’d always feel unsatisfied.

Some of the most common questions I get as a vegetarian is why did you do it? Was it hard? Don’t you feel tired?

It all started a few winters back. I had a date with a glass of wine (or two) and Netflix. Without any rhyme or reason I decided to watch one of those dreaded food documentaries. It’s always funny when you make mention of these types of documentaries, the reactions and the shudders that you get. We all know the food industry is a disaster – be it the load of chemicals, the source, and the general process of factory farming etc. Yet so often we don’t take the time to educate ourselves or choose to remain blissfully ignorant because we are all well aware, that once we know the food situation there’s a chance we might change…and who likes change?

I chose to watch Forks over Knives, a film that examines the ‘profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods’. Wanting to keep the momentum going, I then watched Vegucated, a ‘part sociological experiment and part adventure comedy that follows three meat-and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks’. For me, this opened my eyes to what factory farming does to our environment and the massive carbon footprint it leaves behind and it also made me curious to see what having a plant based diet can do for my body.

These two films forced me to change my eating habits over night. It was a deep feeling that I could no longer continue with my current diet. It wasn’t even initially a want, but a physical feeling of “I just can’t”.

I went to a nearby book store and purchased ‘oh she glows’ and ‘my new roots’. The thing I loved most about these books is they’re easy to follow with no ridiculous ingredients, they have beautifully photographed images of the recipes, and they also provided a grocery list of common items that you’ll need.
With this, I cleared out my pantry, and went shopping.

Because I did my research and made sure I was well equipped before starting, it wasn’t hard. It was if anything, fun…

I’ll be honest, making new foods and cooking with new ingredients is time consuming, and for those with a busy lifestyle and maybe even kids, I would suggest Oh She Glows Everyday, Angela Liddon’s second cookbook, that puts more of a focus on family-friendly, freezable and convenient meals for on-the-go lifestyles.

The meals in these books are what I felt to be ‘well rounded’ and therefore I always felt full, and satisfied after each meal – never tired, or as though I was missing out. After adapting to a vegetarian diet my sleeping habits improved, my skin cleared up, I had more energy, and of course I lost quite a bit of weight – I no longer felt bloated, heavy and lethargic.
Of course when I made the change I spoke with my doctor and met with a naturopathic doctor as well just to make sure I was healthy and I was getting enough of what I needed. A common misconception is when you become a vegan or vegetarian, you won’t get enough protein. This just isn’t the case so long as you’re eating well rounded meals and venturing past just smoothies and salads.

If becoming a vegetarian is something you’re curious about, I would highly recommend the cookbooks mentioned previously, and definitely talk to your doctor or naturopath with any questions. Do your research and make sure it’s something that’s right for you. Even if you’re just considering integrating more meatless meals into your diet, the recipes in these books are phenomenal!

-Ambre Comeau