If being vegetarian is healthy is a question I had on my mind for a while, ever since the first time I decided to get into vegetarianism and give this new eating approach a go. It didn’t end too well for me.
The Right And Healthy Thing To Do
When I first tried it, years ago, I wasn’t really concerned about the health benefits of it, it was more for moral reasons; only later on I learned that it also was supposed to be great for health. If you read books about becoming a vegetarian, some of the first things you will find out is that if you do, you are going to develop an incredible amount of energy and just feel great over all. I was convinced it was eventually going to happen to me too, but it was quite the opposite.
Some of the first things that I noticed after I stopped eating meat was that I had a very hard time sleeping. Sleeping was never easy for me already, but after I stopped eating meat it became even harder. I was told it was withdrawal symptoms from meat products, so I just kept going along with it.
My Energy Kept Decreasing
But my energy levels kept dropping, I felt tired all the time and also I always felt hungry. Yet I am a very stubborn person, so I just kept blaming it on working too much and maybe getting older, even though at that time I was only 16. I started loosing a lot of weight, mainly muscle. Since I was a figure skater when I was younger, I’ve always been very athletic looking and never considered a thin girl. But after about a year of not eating meat, everyone was starting to worry, because all of a sudden I dropped about 20 lbs – weight I definitely couldn’t afford to lose.
Two years went by. My sleeping problems escalated, I always felt exhausted and I got extremely depressed, I didn’t recognize my self when I looked in the mirror. Even though I ate a lot of vegetables and fruits my face color looked like I’ve been ill for years.
Then, one day, I was in a cafeteria at my job at the time, and one of my friends was eating a roast beef sandwich, she offered me a bite and for some reason I agreed. I ended up eating half of her sandwich. After I ate I felt incredible, I hadn’t felt that good in a very long time. I started sleeping again, didn’t feel tired anymore and the color came back to my face. You see, I grew up eating mostly red meat and chicken at every meal, this was something my body was used to as I was growing up. Protein is quite essential, and as much as we try to substitute, I believe some people need to have the real thing.
Vegetarianism – Simply Not For Me?
A few years ago I tried being a vegetarian again and this time it lasted for 6 months. It was exact same story: hard time sleeping, no energy, muscle loss, and mood swings. I finally realized that being a vegetarian wasn’t for me. I really tried to convince myself that it is the right thing to do, but when I listen to my body, it tells me that I need to eat meat.
Just recently I tried an experiment. I ate raw vegetables and a lot of them, every single time I sat down to eat. Guess what happened then: I developed a lot of energy even on the days when I wasn’t able to get enough sleep, I’ve been feeling like an energized bunny. Then it hit me, vegetarians develop a lot of energy not because they stop eating meat, but because they eat a lot more vegetables!
Listen To Your Body
This was just my story, but I know people who are the opposite of me. They grew up eating only plant-based diet, and if they try meat, they feel sick. So those people have to stick to the diet that works for them.
In the end, every single person has to listen to their own body. Eat, see how it makes you feel and if you feel great after eating certain things, then that is what works for you. If you get stomach cramps, bloating, etc, then that food is not for you.
I personally admire the vegetarian approach for the moral reasons, because most people who are vegetarians do it out of these concerns. As far as health goes, I believe as long as we eat meat that is raised without usage of hormones, antibiotics and comes from animals that are humanly treated, then it’s healthy to eat meat. Just make sure you also add plenty of raw vegetables.