Well, we took the plunge and started eating more vegetarian meals about two weeks ago. It has not been a hard transition, in fact we haven't missed meat at all. We haven't become VEGETARIAN in the strictest terms, we still have some lunch meat for sandwiches at lunch, but we haven't had a meat entree for dinner. We even went out to eat with friends and had meatless entrees.
I don't feel hungry or like I'm missing something, in fact I feel a lot better. The first thing I noticed is that I don't have the midday slump where I get extremely tired and then struggle to fix dinner and eat so I can feel better. Now, I'm much more even in mood and less likely to feel sleepy or not as alert as I want to be. It's a win for me and my husband.
Today, in the Sunday edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, I read an article about how doctors are trying a new experiment in Washington DC and are prescribing vegetables and fruits, fresh produce, for their patients. This is in an area called The Giant, one of the most impoverished areas in DC. The diets there consist of fast food, sugary drinks, and no or very little in fresh, non-packaged food. There is a high rate of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other chronic diseases in this area.
With some funding from the Dept. Of Agriculture, local governments are partnering with hospitals to give people access to fresh food. The patients are given a prescription from the doctor for the produce which is then given in food vouchers to the patients to exchange for fresh food at the super market in the Giant neighborhood. There is also a nutritionist available to give customers free help with how to use the food and recipes to help them get started. Since the program has been running a little less than a year, there is no data yet about the effects of this program on the health of the residents. It's an exciting adventure and I don't think it will be a failure. People in poor areas are asking for help feeding their families and they want to do the best job of that that they can.
The natural vitamins and minerals and protein contained in the fresh food is better and more easily absorbed by the body than pills or supplements. The reduction in salt, fat, sugar and preservatives, contained in fast and junk food, will lower blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels and result in better health. By lowering the levels of blood sugar, blood pressure readings and cholesterol scores the natural way, much less medication will be needed to achieve the same effect. So, less money spent on medication, doctor visits and hospitalizations. It's a huge win for anyone in that area who takes advantage of the new program. I hope the results are so convincing that this program can be expanded over the whole country so everyone has access to fresh food!
I know from our own little "experiment" that we both feel more energetic and we're not having gastrointestinal problems like we had in the past. I think this eating style will last for us and only get better as we learn more about eating like a vegetarian.
I hope this has given you something to think about if you are considering a change in your eating habits.