When people find out that I am a vegetarian, I am met with all sorts of things. Curious looks. Blank stares. 5000 questions. When I was new to this gig, it used to intimidate the heck out of me. I was always afraid that I would somehow be challenged by someone who knew more than I did about nutrition and they would debunk everything that made me WANT to eat the way that I eat. Now that I have a few years under my belt, it doesn’t phase me so much. You see, I eat a plant based diet because this is what works for me. I feel at my best when I don’t eat critters. If I eat any other way, I not only feel like crap, I start looking like crap and functioning like crap too. I don’t like it one bit.
I also realize that eating a plant based diet isn’t for everyone. Which is why I try to encourage people to simply try to cut down on their animal products if they don’t feel like they can take the entire plunge. I don’t shove this life choice on anyone. It’s a personal choice. Period.
The big question really isn’t why I chose to eat this way. The big question is why aren’t you? What is it about not eating animal flesh that makes people instantly cringe? Why is it so easy for people to throw up walls when I make the suggestion that they don’t stop eating flesh but that they just cut back their intake?
I attended a nutritional seminar a couple of weeks ago and the speaker suggested that people offer to change 95% of their diets. She was speaking to the audience about curing disease not simply making healthy choices so…I won’t even go that far. Think of the positive impact that you can have on your health if you agreed to change 50%…or 80%. It could be phenomenal.
What exactly is 80% of your current diet?
Let’s assume that you eat 3 meals per day. That is 21 meals each week. Let’s also assume that you eat 2 smacks per day. That is 14 snacks each week that you need to be accountable for.
21 meals 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners. If you are going to do the 80% change, you only have to eat consciously for 16 of those meals and 11 of your 14 snacks. FOR THE WEEK!
Let’s break this down a bit further. How many of you actually eat breakfast? If you are in the work force, I would guess that about 50% of you don’t eat breakfast. Or that your breakfast is of the liquid caffeinated variety while you are commuting. What if you traded your commuting cup of Joe for a nice fruit smoothie? That leaves you only 11 meals left to make healthy for the entire week. That is totally doable, isn’t it? Toss in a baked potato or a salad lunch and you are down to single digits of meals that you actually need to THINK about making healthier.
Let’s talk about snacks now. How many of you are walking down to the vending machine to get your snack fix? Why not toss some nuts into a bag and drop them into your briefcase or purse so that when you get that 2pm “Oh I need a nap” feeling, you have a HEALTHY option? Don’t like nuts? Grab a piece of fruit instead of chips.
Congrats, you have just handled 50% of your diet without even trying. See how easy it is to change. Now that you realize how simple it is to have a big impact, you can easily tackle the other 30% that we were originally talking about. Right?
Think about it. Changing 80% of your diet will reduce your risk of developing heart disease by over 80%. It will reduce your risk of developing cancer by 80%. It will just about completely knock out your risk of diabetes. Is that enough to convince you? It should be.
How are you going to handle the remaining 30% of your healthy choices for this week?