Now I promise this isn’t going to be one of those posts that guilt you into living my lifestyle. Everyone’s body is different and what works for one may not work for another. But what this is going to be is how I believe vegetarianism is impactful not only on the environment but your personal health. I started my journey about 3 years ago by just going meatless days once a week and it really changed the way I looked at food how I sustained my body. After a few weeks, I was cutting meat out more and more and even opting for vegetarian options when going out with friends. It’s a lot easier than people think to be vegetarian, you just have to start.
I’m going to start with something that I noticed almost immediately when I because of a vegetarian full time and that was more energy. I feel so much more energized throughout the day and especially after meals. Because meat is made up of so much protein and fat it take quite a bit of energy to break down and digest that’s why after a big steak you feel really lethargic. Reducing my meat intake I also was a big difference in my stomach. It got so much flatter and I also have way less bloating when I eat. I have always been pretty petite but in college, I really didn’t want what I ate and am paying for it now. Trying to get my body to a place that I’m proud of is a serious struggle but a vegetarian diet has been the easiest choice. I can still go out with friends and have a great meal but never once feel guilty about what I ate. To also keep your energy level up eating a plant-based diet you want to supplement your protein intake with things like nuts, granola, and beans. Snack away, make sure you get in all those calories because they are coming from a good place!
Not only does being a vegetarian have a positive impact on your body but it also reduces waste and decreases your eco-footprint. About 51% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are produced by animal agriculture and is a big contributor to global warming. 1.4 billion tons of waste is produced by the meat industry in the United States alone a year. A farm of 2,500 dairy cows can produce the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people. Something so simple as cutting meat from your diet can drastically impact the waste and pollution our country produces.
Finally, this one is a bit obvious and I promise I won’t go all PETA on you, but ten billion animals are slaughtered for human consumption each year, and you’re probably thinking to yourself well they’re being killed anyway what does it matter? Just by not participating you aren’t contributing to the cause of that murder and to me that makes me feel a little better.
Even just reducing your meat intake is a great start, and a way to really see all those personal benefits as well. Participate in Meatless Monday and see just how easy eating a vegetarian diet can be. After a couple weeks of cooking meatless meals, it will slowly become a norm and you’ll find yourself wanting to experiment more and next thing you know the meat cravings will be gone. I love keeping vegetarian cookbooks in my kitchen to inspire me to make something different. My favorite by far is Love and Lemons, she has great simple recipes and they are all organized by vegetable so if you have something in your fridge you need to use before it goes back it’s so easy to find an exciting recipe to create.
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