Starting as a Vegetarian.
The 3 benefits most people associate with vegetarianism are -
Health, Animal Welfare, and the Environment.
And confirmed by research - It is Healthier.
Alerted by numerous official studies reports and food scares, the public are increasingly giving importance to where their food comes from and it’s quality, best summed up by the Health Food message -
“We are what we Eat”
Hint – Easy tryout suggested in this book – Start by adopting the ‘Meatless Monday’ Program
In the early nineties a Gallop survey of adults for Realeat – a vegetarian food company – reported that the main reason they became vegetarian was health, and 75% also stated their concern was over the treatment of animals.
In 1983 Scientists surveyed the basic food patterns of 6.500 Chinese and they each contributed facts about their diet.The ChineseAcademy of Preventative Medicine then worked with a nutritional biochemist of CornellUniversity to study the information.
One of their findings was that in those regions of China where meat eating had increased, it was closely followed by increases in the diseases associated with affluence, including heart attacks,cancer and diabetes.
I first became associated with the health food movement in 1970 (yes I’m past my ‘Best Before’ date’ and retired) so I could justify adding longevity to the three advantages mentioned.
I discovered and liked a health food shop when I was browsing in a neighbouring town and wandered into a shop that instantly struck me as different.
The mouth watering aroma of the fresh wholewheat bread,biscuits and cakes was irresistable,and I became a frequent visitor even though it entailed a 50 mile round trip.
Please realize that this was before health food shops became fashionable and found in every town as they are today.
In the early 1970s you tended to look furtively left and right in case a neighbour saw you visiting such a place, and think you’d gone cranky.
In fact one of the very first pioneering health food shops were brave enough to name their shop ‘Cranks’ .
Their judgement and anticipation of the change in public attitudes that was to come was uncanny and correct.
Eventually they became nationally famous, and then internationally as well, because if you ate a vegetarian meal on an airline, the label on the pack would most likely say - Prepared and supplied by ‘Cranks of London’.
Fast forward a couple of years and inspired by that first memorable health food shop visit, and firmly convinced that wholesome unprocessed ingredients were better tasting and better for good health, I started a health food shop, together with my wife.
Then a year later a small 20 seat vegetarian restaurant was added, so that customers could taste the difference in wholefood baking and cooking. It became so popular people queued out into the street at lunchtimes.
Traffic Wardens told me that our vegetarian restaurant was the second most asked for place by visitors to the city, after The Cathedral.
From 20 to 200.
By this time (1986) steady growth had seen the 20 seats become 200, achieved through converting adjoining properties as they conveniently became available in perfect time to our needs. Meant to be !
Proof surely that vegetarian food can be not only healthy but wholesome and tasty too. Many of our customers were not vegetarians, though our food did play a big part in making converts.
They liked and were surprised by the delicious flavours, and surprisingly wide menu choice and variety, easily produced for comparatively little money.
That was the appeal. Big mouth watering tastes, for economy money. Summed up in the simple message and philosophy behind this website”startingasavegetarian.com –
“We Are What We Eat”
There are so many positives in giving more thought to what we eat.
There’s exercising the thinking powers in being more creative in the planning of meals.
And I think health food believers,vegetarians and flexitarians are by and large a happier breed.
Customers of our health food shop and restaurant would often say it always seemed a happy welcoming place, a visit that was a pleasure to look forward to.
And they were right, we were a happy bunch. Meat, especially red meat, is the fuel of anger. Prize Fight Boxers stoke up their aggression building up to a big fight by eating plenty of beef steaks.
I know of the disease curing claims of course, but I prefer to emphasise the diet as preventative and when allied to other disciplines, such as exercise and a moderate attitude to alcohol and tobacco, will provide a good foundation for achieving and maintaining good health.
To me it’s just common sense. Startingasavegetarian.com isn’t going to magic away existing ailments, but I personally think that following it is a positive move in a healthier direction.
People with existing conditions should not make drastic changes to their diet however, without getting the advice of their doctor.
That said, everything for the body to function at its best, is found in a vegetarian diet.The emphasis of this website – startingasavegetarian.com is and will be on a healthy vegetarian lifestyle and illness prevention.
Still hesitating ? Then read more here –
The 30-day course offered at Vegetarians Beginners Guide (control + click to follow link)will provide all the tools and information needed.
There are tips menus and recipes, plus various guidelines and ways to begin and progress.
It contains a 30 day journal to document thoughts and experiences. For example – Dietary changes can be entered.
Eating habits can be tracked.This helps to maintain focus and provide the comforting feeling of being in good helpful company.
Click Here (control +click to follow link)for more information. Or see top right hand corner of this page.
Also check -
Things my Mother Taught Me (# 3/20. Luck.) One day you’re the pigeon, another day the statue.)
Things My Mother Taught Me (#2/20. Logic)) “Why ? Because I said so that’s why”
Things My Mother Taught Me (#1/20. Humour) “If that lawnmower cuts off all your toes don’t come running to me” !
It was about midday in our 200 seat vegetarian restaurant and we were busy, steadily building towards the usual peak between 1 and 2 pm.
2 uniformed policemen approached and showed me a piece of paper with a name on it.” Is this person working for you “? “ He’s our new chef” I said”
“He’s a wanted person ,we’re arresting him”
“ Can it wait for a couple of hours, you can see how busy we are?” I pleaded
But no. And no explanation either. “You’ll be notified shortly”
So we had the embarrassment of seeing our chef in his whites being marched between 2 uniformed officers through a crowded restaurant.
Not to mention the problem of coping for the rest of the lunchtime session with a key person short.
The Why -
In 1988 after 16 years hard but successful and enjoyable work, the wife and I decided to ease up.
We leased the business to a tenant who carried on successfully for a couple of years but then started to struggle, eventually filing for bankruptcy in 1992.
So our restaurant and shop stood empty whilst the official receiver dealt with the creditors and winding up procedure.
I was pressing the insolvency officials daily, anxious about the damage being done to the customer base.
It’s well known that building customer goodwill takes years of consistent effort and standards, but can be destroyed in weeks of closure or bad comments.
After 8 weeks closed I got clearance to re-open.
In the meantime most of the staff had got other jobs. I contacted key members but most had to give a months notice to their employer.
I couldn’t wait, so went to the employment centre.They said we’ve got just the person for you – a recently discharged army chef and immediately available to start
I cut corners interviewing and didn’t do any background checking other than looking at his experience as an army chef and qualifications.
After engaging him and saying start tomorrow, alarm bells should have rung when he said he had nowhere to stay, could I find him somewhere for a few nights whilst he looked around.
We had room in a basement so he moved in there.
The business re-opened the next day with advertising announcing the news –
Open again under new old management.
We were about a fortnight in and building custom nicely when the police pounced.
Turned out our chef was an army deserter who’d also committed a crime whilst on the run.
Unbelievable. He was a very likeable bloke, got on well with all the other staff and was an excellent worker and skilled cook.
About six months later we got a letter from him with a Strangeways Prison address, apologising, and thanking us for our help and kindness in giving him a job and accommodation.
He blamed alcohol and divorce for his problems although I never suspected or saw any evidence during his fortnight with us.
Ah! Alcohol - “To be intoxicated is to feel sophisticated, but not be able to say it”. Homer Simpson.
I like a drink, especially since retirement, but it got me involved in an incident recently.
Our surgery has a new doctor, and on a visit for a routine checkup he asked questions about my lifestyle, how did I look after myself ?
Well with my career background I do give importance to diet and exercise.”What about alcohol”? he asked. “Yes, I have a regular whisky nightcap”
He then wanted me to take a blood test. I did. The result was good except for slightly elevated cholesterol. I was surprised when he told me he wanted the hospital to carry out a check, and he said you’d better take an overnight bag, because as you live on your own, if they give you a particular medication, you’ll have to stay in.
So I reported to the hospital puzzled and bewildered, even more so when I was taken straight to a bed and plugged into various gadgets. I was visited at intervals for procedures through the evening and early hours, but the answers to my repeated question – “What is going on “ ? were not very clear.
Eventually in the wee small hours I was visited by a doctor who said “You’ll be pleased to know we can’t find anything wrong. Your liver and vital organs are fine. You can go home if you want, but as it’s 3.0 am you might as well stay and have breakfast.
We laugh about it now. I was sent this card on my birthday. I passed a copy to my doctor, accompanied by a note saying that although I was mystified at the time, I did appreciate his concern for my well being and his thoroughness.
The cartoonist Matt features regularly in the U.K Daily Telegraph. His ‘Best Of’ Annual is a ‘Must’ for me and thousands of others each year.
Politicians are frequently the butt of his drawings but many make admiring comments like – “I like to start my day with a laugh, by looking at the Matt cartoon. Never fails.”
I quote Sir Terry Wogan – “Any humorist will tell you how hard it is to be funny to order, even once a week.This man does it every day week and year,and illustrates it into the bargain”
Things My Mother Taught Me (#2/20. Logic)) “Why ? Because I said so that’s why”
Things My Mother Taught Me (#1/20. Humour) “If that lawnmower cuts off all your toes don’t come running to me” !
The Police Dog handler sternly warned the two youthful burglars caught on our business premises after closing hours
“Now stay there and don’t move” .
On hearing those words the Alsatian growled at them menacingly with lips curled, showing some fearsome looking fangs, daring the youths in the best Clint Eastwood style -
“Go ahead punks – make my day.”
We suffered a few break ins, probably because we were in a big old rambling building which was a bit too easy to force entry to.
In our favor though was an excellent movement detector alarm system linked to the police station right next door.
A few intruders over the years were startled by what must have seemed like nano seconds from the alarm being triggered and dashing out into the arms of the waiting police.
(Best definition of a nano second – the time from when the traffic light turns green, and the car behind blasts it’s horn.)
No this is not the hero that helped arrest our burglars.This one looks too much like a loveable rogue more likely to lick you to death. (Couldn’t get photo right.Too tired to tinker any more.Will try again tomorrow) (Tired or not, I’ll get this - expletive deleted - picture right if I have to stay up all night tonight!)
I would like to claim that the animal was on a vegetarian dog diet, but I think it would be highly unlikely bearing in mind that the majority of expert advice is against it.
It is possible.There are many vegetarian owners that successfully manage to keep a dog fit and bounding with good health and vitality, especially if like many humans a compromise flexitarian or mediterranean type diet is followed.
Some expert advice is reasoned in the following extracts from veterinary publications.
“Let’s take a look at what dogs eat in the wild. A wolf or stray dog typically will kill an animal or scavenge until it finds acceptable fare. In the wild, a dog will consume grains and vegetables, but the dog’s diet also contains meat.
Taking a look at your pet’s teeth, you may notice that grinding and tearing surfaces are present. This is one indication that dogs are omnivorous. This means that dogs are biological meat and plant eaters. Straying from nature can be a difficult task, but may not be impossible.
It can be possible to feed your dog solely vegetarian meals, but this type of diet is not typically recommended for your pet. Your dog’s diet must be well balanced and nutritious to support good health and optimal body function. A completely vegetarian lifestyle may be perfect for you, but difficult to achieve for your dog.”
For a Flexi Compromise -
“Dogs can actually be quite healthy on a vegetarian diet”, according to Dr. Armaiti May, DVM. (http://www.v-dogfood.com/2-health-dr-may.html). “Dogs– like humans, and unlike cats– are omnivores and can derive full nutritional benefit from either plants or meat. But you don’t have to make your dog fully veggie-powered to lighten his ecological load. Just a few vegetarian meals a day can drastically reduce his ecological impact (while improving his health)”.
Following are some vegetarian dog foods to consider, as either supplements or as a core component of your pooch’s diet.
Example vegetarian products formulated to provide a dogs complete nutritional essentials.
Natural Balance Vegetarian Formula (Dry) Natural Balance Vegetarian Formula Dog Food, 5-Pound Bag
This organic, all-natural dry food contains brown rice, oatmeal, green peas and potatoes– a combination of ingredients designed to provide the perfect balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. The Natural Balance formula is vegan and has added nutrients to meet a dog’s specific nutritional needs.
Natural Balance Vegetarian Formula (Canned)
Natural Balance Vegetarian Formula Dog Food (Pack of 12 13-Ounce Cans)If your dog is accustomed to eating meat, he’s more likely to go for canned vegetarian foods than dry formulas. With brown rice, barley, canola oil, potato, tomato, and added vitamins and minerals, this human-grade pet food can give your dog all the vegetarian nutrition it needs without the ecological or ethical impact of meat.
(Here’s a puzzle for you – with a new and improved dog food – who tests it ?)
Of course dogs are opportunists and will take advantage of any food sneaking chance as this story told to me by a customer about her dog illustrates –
The lady bought a dog training video.One of the lessons was about disposition in which the test was for the owner to fall down and pretend hurt. A dog with poor attitude would be confused and do nothing, whereas the good dog would lick it’s owner’s face and show concern.
The lady said she did a silly thing by deciding to try out the theory while eating dinner. “I stood up clutched my chest, screamed and collapsed on the floor.
My dog looked at me, looked at my plate, and chose my meal” !
Advert bloomer in our local paper –
‘Free to good home.Golden Retriever. Will eat anything, loves children.’
On Valentine’s Day the young man sent a romantic card to his sweetheart. In it he wrote-
“For you I would climb the highest mountain,
Swim the deepest ocean
Slay the fiercest dragon”
PS. “See you on Saturday if it isn’t raining.”
New U.S. Guidelines: More Veggies, Fish, Whole Grains
The curtain is rising on the new U.S. dietary guidelines and it looks like fresh produce, fish and whole grains are going to be center stage.
As they were throughout my career and the motivation for this blog – startingasavegetarian
If the rest of the recommendations follow such a promising preview, the new guidelines will be a step toward combating obesity and related ailments such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Data from the National Weight Control Registry, which maintains records on more than 4,000 individuals who have had success keeping off a minimum of 30 pounds for more than a year, suggests that the winning strategy for long-term weight loss is a low-fat, complex-carbohydrate diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), established in 1994 by - Rena Wing, Ph.D. from BrownMedicalSchool, and James O. Hill, Ph.D.from the University of Colorado, is the largest prospective investigation of long-term successful weight loss maintenance. Given the prevailing belief that few individuals succeed at long-term weight loss, the NWCR was developed to identify and investigate the characteristics of individuals who have succeeded at long-term weight loss.
Moreover, decades of research on the diverse benefits of the vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals found in such foods led to the National Cancer Institute’s approval of the dietary guidance: “Diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases.”
Based on such evidence, the committee is expected to increase its recommendation of five to nine daily servings of fruits and vegetables to thirteen servings. This may seem daunting to Americans used to gargantuan servings of unhealthy fast food, until one realizes just how relatively modest an actual serving size turns out to be: a half cup of spinach, two apricots, a sliver of avocado, a carrot, 3/4 cup of pineapple.
Importantly, while the new guidelines tell us to increase consumption of certain foods – fish, produce and whole grains among them – they are also expected to advise cutting back on others. In particular, Americans will be urged to minimize consumption of saturated and trans fats, added sugars and salt.
Such emphasis on more fruit and veg and less meat will also benefit the environment and ease pressure on precious resources like wheat and water.
How can one forget the words of an Indian Chief from an earlier post of mine which best sums up man’s wastefulness –
Chief Seattle of the Divamish Indians spoke the following moving and thought provoking words when protesting to the US government about the forced purchase of his tribe’s land . .
“We do not own the freshness of the air or the sparkle on the water. How then can you buy them from us? Every part of the earth is sacred to my people, holy in their memory and experience.The white man does not understand our ways. He comes in the night, and takes from the land whatever he needs.The earth is not his friend but his enemy, and when he’s conquered it he moves on.He kidnaps the earth from his children.His appetite will devour the earth and leave behind a desert.If all the beasts were gone, we would die from a great loneliness of the spirit,for whatever happens to the beasts happens also to us.All things are connected.Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the children of the earth”
That was in 1855.
Source- Vegetarianism:: A history. by Colin Spencer.Vegetarianism: A History
So who will be the winners and losers when the anticipated guidelines get handed down? Manufacturers of refined carbohydrate products – white breads, cookies, sugary cereals – won’t be happy. Neither will low-carb product makers, given the panel’s debunking of the glycemic index as an effective weight-loss tool. But the decision should buoy produce farmers, fisheries, and those who sell fruits and vegetables.
Said David H. Murdock, chairman and owner of Dole Food Company, the largest producer and marketer of fruits and vegetables, who himself follows a fish-vegetarian diet: “I’m glad the federal government has finally caught up to what I’ve been preaching for years: Stick to a natural diet of whole foods like fruits and vegetables, and nature will reward you with a long lifetime of good health.”
Will waddling protruding bellies be less frequently seen on our streets if the obese do heed the guidelines. At the moment the only possible consoling thought they can find in their unnatural profile is the Aussie term for a potbelly –
A balcony over the toy shop.
Hospital notice – Due to a mix up in the urology department orange juice is off the breakfast menu this morning.
No, that’s not it.
I enjoy writing and it certainly solves the problem that started it – boredom and loneliness, particularly in the long dark winter evenings, but it’s the opposite now. More work than I realized.
Ideally I think a blog is a two person venture, unless you are an all rounder able to do both the article writing and the web master technical stuff with confidence.
I’m so slow with computer skills such as website layout and features. I toil to follow step by step instructions from videos and articles. And then I’m not usually satisfied with my amateurish end result.
And phoning technical helplines.Do I not like that !
Because of my reduced hearing I struggle and am often embarrassed by saying pardon frequently, and usually getting someone on the other end of the line with a broad or foreign accent.
I said to a technical adviser once. “Now please give me slow clear instructions as if I were a four year old child”.
He said “O . K. S o n n y - G o a n d g e t y o u r m u m m y.”
Ideas just wouldn’t come for this week’s post. But on this mornings exercise walk I thought about the time I was going to introduce a fresh juicing bar to the health food shop and restaurant.
We had a thriving body building section in the health food shop so the juice bar would be serving high protein drinks as well as the juicing of vegetables and fruit.
However I never got round to realising it.
But a lot of the creative ideas from that time came to mind on my energizing riverside walk this morning.
How to make Fresh Vitamin & Mineral Power Drinks by Juicing Vegetables and Fruit.
And of course liquid vitamins and minerals are more readily and quickly absorbed into the system.
If you are looking for a great way to work extra vitamins, minerals and fiber into your diet, or into the diet of children especially, then look no further than juicing. Juice is a yummy way to convince youngsters to drink their vegetables. They will happily get their daily recommended amounts of nearly all vitamins and minerals.
When you start juicing, you will want to avoid the really dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, dandelion leaves, Swiss chard. These dark green leafy vegetables are very high in nutrition but also very powerful. You will want to introduce these vegetables slowly into your routine after you and your body get used to drinking fresh juice.
Carrot juice is wonderful to add to almost any fruit juice combination. Carrot juice is naturally sweet, and compliments most fruit flavors. It is packed with essential nutrients and adds vegetables to the diet that many people are lacking. This combination can be a great way to get your kids to consume vegetables, too.
If you want to juice leafy green vegetables, roll them together in a ball before placing them in the juicer chute. Follow with vegetables that are more firm. You should alternate between the leafy and firm vegetables if you are making a large quantity.
Have someone you can talk to about your juicing. Find a family member, friend or co-worker that you can talk to about your juicing and healthy plans you have. Talk with them daily or weekly and they can help keep you accountable and give you ideas. The person you choose should be someone you feel comfortable with.
If you don’t like the taste of certain vegetables that you should be eating for their nutritional benefit, try mixing them with fruit or vegetables you do like! Use only one disliked vegetable in a recipe and the flavors of the others that you do enjoy will overwhelm your taste buds so you don’t even notice it!
Juicing at home doesn’t have to be costly or time consuming. You can drastically improve the way that you feel and look, and the way that your kids feel and look, by just juicing for one segment of the day. Work it into breakfast, lunch or dinner to make all the difference in your families health. Use the tips you read here to make juicing a reality.
So age and personal circumstances meant my juice bar never came about, and many supplier’s representatives that I was negotiating with to provide equipment and ingredients were disappointed.
Because I was retiring one of those salesmen who also dabbled a bit in stocks and shares tried to interest me in a sure fire investment that he claimed would return 10 times my money in 12 months time.
12 months time ! I said - Listen sonny – At my age I don’t even buy green bananas !