January 28, 2012

Why I'm Vegetarian (Plant Based) ... !

I never starve myself & I eat until I'm full!
So I've been vegetarian/plant-based for almost a full month now. I started my New Year resolve a day early on December 31, 2011. In 28 days (just 4 short weeks) I've lost 10 lbs. That is why I changed my dietary habits. I wanted to lose weight, and I wanted to be healthier. Also, my new dietary habits came highly recommended .. not from just anyone. But from someone who is a very highly regarded as a physician. Not someone who I've just read about in books on on the internet, or someone who I've never met. But this was my own endocrinologist, working at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic. He's been recommending that I go back to my Indian dietary roots, at every visit, for at least 4, maybe 5 years now. He provided recipes, book recommendations, and himself as an example. Him and his wife, decided to go Vegan after reading The China Study - and he suggested I read it. I did, 4 years ago. I went ovo-lacto vegetarian for a whole year, but then got back to eating meat when I found out I was pregnant with li'l Nikhil. I reconverted to vegetarianism (this time without dairy too!) on December 31, 2011. Since then, I've read a few other bestselling books (Skinny Bitch, Eat to Live) and cookbooks (Happy Herbivore, Everyday Happy Herbivore and Appetite for Reduction) and the changes I've seen in the last 28 days make me believe that this lifestyle change is likely to stick :).

Yes, you CAN lose weight by exercising and diet control, even on a meat-based diet. I have some wonderful friends who've done just that. I'm proud of them and of what they've accomplished. It didn't work for me!! I've got Hashimoto's Thyroiditis which is an autoimmune disorder where the thyroid gland is gradually destroyed by antibodies made by my body (yup!! Me!). In essence, it means that my body cannot make enough thyroid hormone - which happens to be the master regulator of almost every physiological process in the human body, including metabolism. It makes it difficult to increase your metabolic rate, and even more difficult to lose weight. I've tried every diet out there! I even had a personal trainer for all 2005. He was a good man .. and nearly killed me with his grueling workouts ... but even then - I didn't lose 10lbs in 4 weeks. What I did lose back then, it didn't take me long to gain it all back. Obviously, I needed a drastic lifestyle change. So, this time I decided to actually listen to my endocrinologist, I decided to read all I could about it, I decided to finally take note of the brilliant example I have, and always have had, right in front of me - My dearest Grandfather Suraj Parkash Sawhney - has been vegetarian for 60+ years, is 95 years of age, and is still going strong!! And at his lovely age, he takes NO medications. None! Zero!, Zilch! And, he has no lifestyle illnesses that are rampant in the Indian middle class - hypertension, heart disease, diabetes. ... So why am I vegetarian? Because my Grandpa showed me - I'm worth it!! 

Here are some other reasons for becoming a vegetarian that one can could easily find on the internet too:
  • No nutritional deficiencies. There is no nutrient necessary for optimal human functioning which cannot be obtained from plant food. Vitamin B12 cannot be produced by humans. But many vegan foods such as non-dairy milks are fortified with Vitamin B12. Meat is largely deficient in vitamins (except for B vitamins). 
  • Love the environment? Think about conservation of fossil fuels. It takes 22-80 calories of fossil fuel to produce 1 calorie in animal protein; and 1 calorie of fossil fuel produces 1 calorie of plant protein. 
  • Love the environment? Think about conservation of water. It takes 3-15 times as much water to produce animal protein as it does plant protein. 
  • Plant foods are low in fat and cholesterol. Animal foods are higher in fat than most plant foods, particularly saturated fats. Plants do not contain cholesterol. And we don't need to supplement with cholesterol. Our bodies make what we need quite efficiently. 
  • Excess protein. We've all heard it .. eat more protein, drink more milk, you need protein to grow. Did you know that the average American eats 400% of the RDA for protein. FOUR HUNDRED PERCENT?? Yeah we need all that protein - to grow in width!? 
  • Meat is fiber deficient. Fiber absorbs unwanted, excess fats; cleans the intestines; provides bulk and aids in peristalsis. Plant food is high in fiber content; meat, poultry and dairy products have none. 
  • Fiber deficient means longer transit time. Wholesome food travels quickly through the "G.I" tract, leaving little time to spoil and incite disease within the body. 
  • Food costs. Vegetarian foods tend to cost less than meat based items. Next time you're at the grocery store compare the cost of a pound of beans, to a pound of chicken. 
  • My health. The correlation between meat consumption and degenerative and lifestyle diseases is well founded and includes ..... Kidney Stones and Gallstones, Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Acne, Obesity, Intestinal Toxemia, Heart Disease, Cancer, Osteoporosis …. 
  • My well being. I just feel better since I've stopped eating meat. I don't feel bloated. My clothes are slowly beginning to fit better and I feel good about myself!
& the best reason of all - because I'm worth it!!  

    1 comment:

    1. Hey I like your Blog but its really hard to read with the background and green text