I’m Not Vegetarian-ing Right

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Peep my new layout – I feel it gives the blog more maturity, whereas the the last theme was Pachyderm like my first three years at VCU was a circus, but now I’ve finally found my spot with a tamer theme.

It’s Day 20 of being a lacto-ovo vegetarian. A few days into the new lifestyle I made an appointment to see the campus nutritionist and yesterday was our first meeting. I went in wanting to know how to Vegetarian right and if I was eating all of the right stuff. Turns out I wasn’t.

When I got to the waiting room, it was packed with people. I signed in and grabbed a clipboard, filling out a questionnaire for the nutritionist, with questions such as “Where do you normally eat?” or “How many servings of fruit do you eat daily?” And with these things, you have to answer with total honesty if you want to receive accurate feedback on your dieting habits, although I really wanted to stretch the truth on how many vegetables I was eating.

She asked me about fruit, vegetables, eggs, and cereal. I said I liked them all. I was embarrassed to tell her why I don’t prepare my own food often and if you’ve read my blog post about my uncertainties of the new diet, you’ll know I’m afraid to cook. I told her I wanted to learn how to make omelettes and fajitas and quesadillas. Sometimes I gave too much background story to questions she asked, such as how I came to like fried eggs or the reason I can’t go to the gym is because my sneakers are encrusted with mud (and I’m just too lazy to wash them.)

I told her I was trying this whole vegetarianism thing for a short time, and was counting down the days until November 7th when I can proudly say I was vegetarian for a month. By the look of her face I knew the achievement would mean nothing, because I was neglecting my body the protein and iron it needed. I tried to defend myself saying I had tried tofu at Noodles & Company and sofritas at Chipotle, but she said I needed poultry or beef and that it was OK to break the rules I had set for myself.

The consultation was about 45 minutes long and I left with inspiration, two pieces of paper showing the importance of having a balanced, colorful plate, an instructional pamphlet for how to cook eggs, and an intense hunger because the Lance Peanut Butter and Honey crackers I had in my pocket from breakfast were not holding me over.

The main point I got from the meeting was I don’t have to be lacto-ovo-no meato-any kind of vegetarian to be healthy. I can eat beef and chicken and cheese and even dark chocolate as long as I eat fruits and vegetables and drink a glass of milk a day. I told her and now I’m telling you that I’ve struggled with eating and losing weight ever since middle school and maybe this consultation was the wake up call I needed. I’m not 200 lbs but I’m definitely not 125 either. Honestly, I don’t know what I weigh right now because it constantly fluctuates on weeks when I have a gym binge or when I’m stressed out during finals. Being vegetarian made me think I was eating healthy, when really I was avoiding what my body needed to not feel tired or still hungry all the time.

This may have taken me over ten years to realize, but I’m taking steps toward a better lifestyle, one glass of milk a day.

picture(c)Getty Images

 

 

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