Monday, May 17, 2010

Weight a Minute Monday! The Veggie Life Continued

In our Weight a Minute Monday series we are exploring wellness, fitness and healthier lifestyles! Being healthy and fit are essential to being at your spiciest! We missed last Mondays post to bring you exciting news regarding our MoNique Show appearance! This week we are back on track and will continue discussing the Vegan and Vegetarian Lifestyles.

In our previous Veggie Life post, Christa, friend of Spicy Wifey, began to discuss her transition into become a Vegetarian and eventually Vegan. We also explained what each lifestyle is and some health benefits. (scroll through previous post to read Weight a Minute Mondays, "The Veggie Life"...if you missed it!)

For Christa, the transition wasn't as difficult as most might think. Christa shares, in her own words.
"I went Vegetarian in 2001 and became a Vegan in 2006. My journey into Vegetarianism began following a very candid discussion with my brother-in-law about meat and it made me a little nauseated to think of it so literally. So, I decided to eliminate chicken, beef, pork and turkey from my diet for about seven days. Once the seventh day arrived, I realized that I didn’t desire or miss eating those things, so I never went back from that point. I continued eating dairy and fish off and on for the next few years. Dairy was the most difficult to eliminate for me, cheesecake and pizza anyone?! However, during this time I met my boyfriend who was a Vegan and I kept doing my own research about the consumption of animal products, so between those two elements I was finally ready to take the plunge into full-fledged Veganism!
There has been extensive research done on the topic of Vegetarianism and Veganism promoting these lifestyles to be very healthy and beneficial to the body. The American Dietetic Association annually publishes its position on vegan and vegetarian diets.

I love being a Vegan. Consuming more vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains has made a wonderful impact on my body and how I feel. I am lighter on my feet and not so weighed down after a meal. I have not had any health concerns at all in the past nine years nor a doctor tell me that I am missing anything. I listen very closely to my body and pay attention to its signals, which I recommend for everybody. Many people ask me “Where do you get your protein?” I receive my protein from the vegetables, fruit and beans I consume. According to research done by the Vegetarian Resource Group:

Although protein is certainly an essential nutrient which plays many key roles in the way our bodies function, we do not need huge quantities of it. In reality, we need small amounts of protein. Only one calorie out of every ten we take in needs to come from protein.

It is very easy for a Vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein. Nearly all vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds contain some, and often much, protein.

There will always be studies that come out against this lifestyle, but what matters most is your own conviction and beliefs about what you want your body to consume. Common sense, research and your own bodily signals will guide you along the way. Many people believe eliminating animal products from their diet will lead them to a bland eating lifestyle. This could not be further from the truth! I LOVE to eat and am completely satisfied with my diet. I have discovered so many great recipes and restaurants that cater to my food choices that it would be impossible to get bored! There are a plethora of cookbooks, websites and blogs for tips and ideas (see a list of a few below). Most conventional grocery stores now have health food sections that carry many products which don’t contain animal products and of course Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s have countless options as well.

My advice for anyone considering making the switch to Vegetarianism or Veganism is 1) Go for it! 2) Do your research 3) Take your time to make the transition. Going pretty much cold turkey into Vegetarianism worked for me, and maybe you as well, but don’t pressure yourself into anything. I transitioned into being a Vegan and I believe it works best this way for most people. Start out by perhaps eliminating meat or dairy once or twice a week and see how that goes first and build from there. I am not a doctor, but I give you this advice from my own experience and research. It’s up to you to do what works best for you.

Lastly, please remember that this lifestyle is not about lack because you gain so much. I always tell people to think of what you can have versus what you can’t have, and you will find endless options that excite and entice your taste buds!

I have a notorious sweet tooth and I love breakfast! Many people believe you can’t eat baked goodies being a Vegan and it’s a LIE!! I bake all the time! I’m famous for my Vegan Chocolate Chip cookies. That recipe is top secret, but if you are interested in purchasing a batch, you may e-mail me directly. However, please remember baked goods are still an indulgence and should be consumed in moderation, your Vegan diet should consist mostly of the goods of the earth!"

Thank you Christa for sharing your journey. We will post some of Christa's favorite recipes soon! Next week will discuss fitness! Lets get physical ladies!

Content of this post does not necessarily reflect the views of Spicy Wifey LLC. Spicy Wifey LLC does not gurantee that content is accurate or factual. Please read responsibly!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

SO funny to see this. I just started reading your blog after seeing you on the MoNique show. And my coworkers were just talking about this very topic.

My church did the Daniel Fast and it maybe consider being a vegetarian. But dont still unsure.
Thanks for this post!