Why I became a vegetarian and why I’ve gone back to being a meat eater:

About a year and a half ago, I started running.  I also started trying to eat healthier.  My sister, Rosa, had lost a lot of weight on a Real Food diet just before her wedding and she inspired me to try to eat better.

She didn’t go on this diet to lose weight.  She wanted to try to become
healthier.  The weight loss was a happy side effect.  She taught me a few things
to make and I swear we totally lived on those couple of items for months.  We ate zucchini spaghetti, bean burgers, rice and beans, and humus wraps again and again.

She had been after me to make acorn squash so I thought I’d give it a try.  The only problem was that after I bought one, I didn’t even know how to cut it.
I couldn’t get Rosa on the phone to give me the directions so I decided
to Google it.  That’s when I found the Healthy Living Blog, Kath Eats Real Food.
(www.katheats.com)

Not only did I find out how to make acorn squash at Kath Eats, after going back to that site time and time again, I kept finding many healthy recipes.    Kath’s site led me to
Healthy Tipping Point, Oh She Glow, Daily Garnish, and No Meat Athlete.  I became a blogaholic.  The whole family was trying all different sorts of foods and I was thriving.

Also during this time I was doing a lot of driving and I had to pass many livestock farms.  I could barely pass a truck of chickens or pigs without almost wrecking.  It broke my heart.  And that is what did it for me.  One day I was stuck in traffic right beside a
truck full of pigs and one of them had his leg hanging out of the truck.  He was just laying there on his side and sorta smiled at me.  I became a vegetarian for ethical reasons.  I didn’t want to hurt animals anymore.

I was also very happy about all the health benefits of eating plants but that was not the main reason for my change.  It was the killing issue.

Plants and I became best friends.  I lost 30 pounds and ran two marathons, two half marathons and one sprint triathlon.

About this time, I watched (well sort of watched….I couldn’t watch some of the horrors) the movie Food Inc.  I had never in my wildest dreams realized what was going on in the meat packing industry.  What they do to cows is unthinkable.  And Smithfield’s  Pork processing plant.  Inconceivable!

I also started seeing many reports about the dangers of too much soy.  I had learned to love tofu and I got so scared.

Then I read that it was the meat packing lobbyist that were behind the soy scare and soy was perfectly safe.  I didn’t know what to think!

You can literally find hundreds of arguments on both sides of the fence.  Scads of people touting the benefits of plants and then just as many telling you the benefits of meat in
moderation.  My head was spinning.

You would think that all those movies and articles would strengthen my decision to be a veggie.  But it didn’t.  Each time I would read one article, I’d read another article on the other side of the argument.

I had also tried to give up coffee several million times to no avail.  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.

ALL THINGS IN MODERATION.

One cup of coffee a day isn’t going to kill me.  And I love it!  There is nothing in this world better than a hot cup of joe on a cold early morning.  Salmon is so very healthy for you.  And so is beef.  I need the iron so badly!

What I’m going to do is continue on with all my vegetarian dishes that I have grown to love and occasionally have meat.  Since I will only have meat every now and then, I can afford to purchase from local, humanely treated, organic sources.  Whole Foods will be my main store but I will continually try to locate other sources.

I might sign up for another marathon and I ‘m so interested in seeing if eating meat makes any difference in my training.

(Should I do this one again?)

I’ll keep you updated on the progress and any new recipes I come across.

Happy Running (and biking and swimming).  Happy Cooking!

Goodnight Friends!

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