A Conversation about the Vegetarian Journey

I am forever curious about food and people, so my conversation while working with Amy last month lead to a discussion about her experience as a vegetarian. It’s a story that rolls out as a bit of a journey. It is an interesting one, so I asked if I could share it here:


JP: Why did you start to eat vegetarian?

Amy: It seemed liked everyone around me at the school I was in was eating vegetarian — it seemed like a progressive way of thinking and like a bit of a challenge to take on. So I decided to give it a try.

JP: And how did it go for you?

Amy: I was vegetarian for a while and then took the step up to vegan — with no animal foods at all. I must admit that I started to feel like I had no energy and that I was hungry. I started picking unhealthy choices to fill that hunger-gap and gained 25 lb. I also found it a difficult way to eat, with expensive ingredients that were only available at special stores. It was exhausting shopping and in the end, it seemed like a bit of a money grab.

JP: So you made the switch back to eating meat — how did that happen?

Amy: I wanted to be healthy and feel fit so I started going to the gym. My trainer there suggested that if my goal was to feel energized and build a strong body, then I should try eating meat again. Protein was what was needed.

JP: How has the switch been for you?

Amy: Awesome — I have dropped down to my normal weight and am now building my body weight back in muscle. I stopped smoking and I’m energized and feel stronger. And life’s just less complicated. I do find that I feel ‘judged’ by others sometimes – like I’ve failed or something. But to me, it’s all about having a personal choice in what and how I want to eat. I want to do what makes me feel good and strong.

2 replies
  1. Karen Whalen
    Karen Whalen says:

    I am planning on going on a plant based diet, one that includes protein but not from animals. yes, it is expensive and hard to find the products but it will be worth it.
    It is too bad you were given advice to get your protein from beef when there are so many other options in the plant category.

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