Like any college student, I experimented a lot with food. I grew up as an omnivore, and had no qualms with all the delicious food my momma prepared for me. After a year in college, and mostly due to peer pressure, I became a vegetarian. I still ate eggs, but cut out any sort of meat. Then, we decided to take it to the next level, and became vegan. I lasted a week, before I started feeling hungry all the time, and I felt very limited by options. Food didn’t become fun anymore, and it was challenging to find food in a college student budget. Thus, I decided to become a pescatarian. Basically, I ate a lot of fish and shrimp, and eggs, but no meat. I was a pescatarian for 3.5 years, and I still maintain this lifestyle. But occasionally I have slipped and have added chicken back onto my plate. I commend vegans who are wholeheartedly dedicated to their lifestyle. It is very admirable, and definitely encourages a commitment to the healthy lifestyle.
However, not all bodies are alike. What works for one person, may not work for another individual. And just because you’re a vegetarian doesn’t necessarily mean you’re eating a healthy and balanced meal. My fellow Indians who are vegetarians know all too well, how unhealthy Indian food can be, even when it is all vegetarian. As a vegan/vegetarian, I could tell my body wasn’t getting enough protein and the essential nutrients. I was eating beans, and tofu, and taking my vitamin supplements, yet I still felt lethargic, and exhausted. Hence why I decided to be more open minded and flexible with what I consumed. The only thing I have definitely cut out is red meat and pork. Neither of which I ever really grew up eating nor will I ever really miss. I love food. And I believe in moderation.
But let’s be honest, here are the 4 reasons why I can’t ever really be a vegan or vegetarian.
1. I love Salmon. Any seafood really. But I can eat salmon every day and not get sick of it. This one is marinated with lots of herbs from the garden and a little bit of olive oil.
2. I have an unhealthy obsession with cheese. I like to think I’m making for all the lost time I use to hate cheese when I was younger. I have to exercise self control when it comes to cheese.
3. Eggs. They’re versatile. And they’re nutritious and delicious! 😀 This is supposed to be a veggie omlette with feta cheese (I know: I have a problem when it comes to cheese).
4. Honey. I use it as an alternative to sugar. Chai tea lattes, baking, etc. I think when it comes down to it, sugar and honey have about the same amount of glucose and maybe the same amount of calories (some say honey has more), but I feel like honey is less processed than granulated sugar.
When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, it’s great to experiment with food and find the one that works for you and your body. I know a lot of vegans who are healthy and make really delicious recipes; and I know plenty of omnivores that are just as healthy and strong. The important part is that you’re eating a balanced meal with plenty of veggies and eating the right foods to keep you happy and healthy.