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.