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Today in Health & Wellness

Rise to the Challenge

"Challenges to vegetarianism"
By: Pam YapRise to the Challenge

The transition to becoming a vegetarian entails a process or a journey, and it won’t be easy as there are many challenges along the way. It is good to be aware of these, to be guided in these situations, and thus increase your success rate of becoming a vegetarian.

“How can I control my craving for meat?”

ADVICE:  It really entails a strong motivation to stick to the plan. Avoid temptations by cleaning up your pantry, stop purchasing these processed products from the supermarket. The best scenario is to have the whole family and household be united in this decision, or at least to respect the individual by always serving a minimum of one meatless dish for the vegetarian household member.

“How can I be a vegetarian at my workplace?”

ADVICE:  The best scenario is if you can bring home-prepared meals and snacks and eat at your office pantry. This will save you time and money from having to eat out. Sometimes the cafeteria may have a vegetable dish, but make sure to ask if it doesn’t contain any meat or seafood. 

“How can I continue to eat out with my family/friends?”

ADVICE:  Unfortunately, no low-budget food establishment offers a real vegetarian dish/meal to customers. Even vegetable salads may contain chicken and the dressing may be made of fatty meat ingredients. More often than not, Italian/Pizza, Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese, some Chinese and some Filipino restaurants have vegetarian choices in their menu. And you’ll have a couple of choices fitting your budget. There are oil- or tomato-based kinds of pasta that cost P100. You just have to specify “without cheese” on your pasta and “without butter” on your bread. When you order, talk to the order-taker, tell him you are a vegetarian, ask for recommendations, and double-check with the chef if it is not premixed with any meat ingredient. 

In general, people who are on a vegetarian diet that’s done properly:

  • Feel light and move fast.
  • Reportedly don’t sweat much and feel cooler amidst the hot weather conditions because vegetables contain water and bring coolness to the body (unlike meat, which is warm and high in saturated fats/cholesterol).
  • Have no foul smell emanating from the body (unless your diet is rich in spices). Even the smell of flatulence, urine, and stool are not as bad (in the same way that breastfed babies’ poop smells milder than formula-fed babies’).
  • Have fast metabolism, regular bowel movement, and no constipation. Vegetables and fruits are high in fiber which helps.
  • Can avoid obesity and obesity-related diseases. No matter how often vegetarians eat, they are able to maintain their desired body weight as they don’t take in meat and meat products that are high in saturated fats that cause obesity and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Benefit from a natural way of anti-aging. Because vegetarians don’t eat meat or meat products, they don’t take in Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormones, which reportedly hasten to age, leading to early puberty (age 8-11), early menopause (40s-50s), and premature aging (white hair and fine lines starting from the mid-20s).
  • Have strong bones.  If done correctly, vegetarianism should provide adequate amounts of the necessary minerals and nutrients needed for strong bone development.
  • Have strong immunity. Natural daily sources of vitamins and minerals prevent illnesses. All vegetables contain certain amounts of vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, protein, etc., just in different amounts.
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