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Thursday, April 22 2010

I'm a meat lover who decided to try vegetarian eating awhile ago. I stumbled across some information that talked about how the bowel becomes distended. According to this information, the main reason for this distention of the bowel was the amount of meat we eat that hasn't digested properly. This was terrible news as I loved my meat - all meat. So I chose a vegetarian lifestyle change to see if it would make a difference to my digestive symptoms.

I'd always been conscious of the nutritional component of what I cooked and had insisted on eating fresh - ready-made anything was hard to find in my cupboards or my freezer. Balancing a meal wasn't difficult, but, how to make a meal without meat. That meant no pizza to me - oh, dear. My lasagne, which had taken me years to refine into "yummo" was out too. So I set about learning what I could eat and how to turn it into palatable forms of consumption.

These days I have quite a store of meals that meet the criteria and are classified as vegetarian, and the best part is no-one would even think twice about not eating them. A vegetarian version of lasagna based on sweet potato, pastry parcels filled with spices, vegetable and lentils, rissoles/meatloaf made from brown rice and red kidney beans. I have everyday things like pancakes and fruit, toast and avocado or tomato or bananas, or cereal for breakfast, and salad mixes for lunch. The soy milk took some adjusting to and I prefer my coffee black now. And my ready supply of what my friends call 'birdseed' - various nuts including macadamia, cashew, pine, pistachio and things like pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds for nibbling on, are just some examples.

I remember my invitation to a friends place for dinner and my first restaurant outing as a confirmed vegetarian.

The restaurant was not too difficult to maneuver as the menu had the dishes listed on them and since I cook I basically knew what went into making most of them. Restaurant speak, the listing of what the dishes were, outlined the contents enough for the menu items I wasn't sure about. I walked out at the end of the night both satisfied and unscathed - still intact vegetarian.

The friends invitation, however, was a little more interesting. It was a BBQ, which meant that the smell of BBQing meat was the first thing I encountered as I arrived. That waft in the air and the sizzling sounds of meat on a grill. My mouth was watering. Once I resumed control of my senses and we started along the buffet-style table, I was confronted with more difficulty. The potato salad contained bacon and the salad nicoise had hard-boiled eggs in it. Luckily the rice salad was okay and there was a tossed salad and bean salad that was fine also, bread rolls too. The good part about the BBQ was the nibbles. People love to make homemade nibbles for BBQ's. This meant that I had an excellent variety of foods on offer, which everyone was eating and not even recognising them as vegetarian. A vegetable platter, with aloi that I found out was made eggless, crackers that I dipped into homemade salsa and corn relish dips. This time it took a little more maneuvering but I managed to stick to my 'vegetarian standards' and left unscathed again.

As an update to my digestive symptoms, yes it made a difference. So, if you are considering becoming vegetarian for whatever reason you may have, it is not impossible. Once you have the basic information you can incorporate it into a normal everyday lifestyle and enjoy the benefits.

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 11:43 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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