Why I’m a weekday vegetarian

How to be healthy and maintain an ideal weight is one of the most discussed subjects among my group of girlfriends, and it’s a topic that fascinates everyone. I mean, who doesn’t want to have a good life and optimal health?

5 years ago, a healthy lifestyle seemed pretty much unattainable for me though. I was working crazy hours, struggled with relationships at work and was feeling very lonely. I used to get sick at least once a month and the lack of sleep was deteriorating my skin as well as my mood. It was such a vicious cycle – because I was feeling low, I didn’t want to exercise and food was my daily escape from reality.

I had several symptoms that screamed “help!” and facial acne was one of them. Now… that was a wake up call that I could just not ignore! Anyone that has experienced acne knows how depressing it can be.

In a desperate search for a solution, I visited a naturopath who told me that dairy was probably the culprit of my acne and recommended that I change to a more plant-based diet.

That’s how I started my weekday vegetarian lifestyle. As the name suggests, you eat vegetarian meals from Monday to Friday and on weekends it’s green light to eat whatever you fancy. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? And it is, really. It just needs a bit of creativity and commitment. Fast forward 5 years, and I still follow this regimen. Here’s why:

  • My skin cleared up soon after I switched to being a weekday vegetarian and it has been in the best condition ever since.
  • I’ve been able to keep a stable and healthy weight. I’ve never had to restrict my intake or put myself into a weight loss diet.
  • I rarely fall sick
  • I feel good about the fact that I contribute (even if little) to less meat consumption and environmental damage.
  • I’ve become more creative and resourceful in the cooking department!

If you’re still not convinced to give a try, I highly recommend watching this TED talk by Graham Hill. This talk is great because it not only touches on the health benefits but also the positive impact it has on our earth and animal welfare (may I also add that you save a lot of $$$ by not eating meat everyday?).

Another great book that motivated to follow this diet is Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. The book shades light on the extremely unethical and harmful farming practices in the food industry. Trust me, you will never look at meat the same way again.

Whether you do it for the environment, animal welfare or health reasons or a combination of all of those things, I’m a firm believer that you can make a difference simply by rethinking your food choices and a weekday vegetarian diet is a good place to start.

Tips on becoming a weekday vegetarian
  • Gather lots of veggie recipes so you never feel uninspired to cook healthy meal. There’s plenty of websites to choose from.
  • Instead of hiding the fact that you’re following this diet – tell your family and friends. They won’t judge you but rather be curious to hear about it! I remember I told my then boyfriend (now husband) about this on our first date and he became a weekday vegetarian soon after. It’s a lifestyle that we both follow now.
  • Get your family/partner on board – everything gets easier when you do it with someone. If your loved ones can’t switch right way, let them start with Meatless Mondays!
  • Most importantly, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Just listen to your body.
Smoothie

Everything is better when in good (and supportive) company


Looking to improve your general well-being? Check out my other posts on GratitudeFitness, Spirituality and Work-Life Balance.


If you’re curious to learn more about vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, check out the sources below.

Books
Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
Stuffed and Starved by Raj Patel
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven Nutrition Based Cure by Caldwell B. Esselstyn
The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook by Kim O’Donnel
Almost Meatless by Joy Manning and Tara Matazara
The Flexitarian Table by Peter Berley
Food Matters by Mark Bittman

Video Talks
Why I’m a Weekday Vegetarian
by Graham Hill
Food Politics by Marion Nestle
How I Fell in Love With a Fish by Dan Barber
What’s Wrong With What We Eat by Mark Bittman
Food Matters by Mark Bittman
Sustainable Food by Michael Pollan
Impact of Food by Gidon Eshel
Culinary Medicine by John La Puma
On the World’s Killer Diet by Dean Ornish

Film
Good Food, Bad Food directed by Coline Serrau
Food Inc directed by Robert Kenner
No Impact Man about Colin Beavan directed by Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein
The Cove directed by Louie Psihoyos
Food Matters (not the Bittman work) directed by James Colquhoun and Laurentine ten Bosch
Supersize Me by Mogan Spurlock
Fast Food Nation directed by Richard Linklater

What are your thoughts on being a weekday vegetarian? Have you ever tried it? I’d love to start a conversation on this fascinating topic!

Maria

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