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  1. #1
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    How I Became a Part-Time Vegetarian

    How I Became a Part-Time Vegetarian

    January 22, 2016
    By Richard Barrow


    It may be a strange thing to say, but I see myself as a ďpart-time vegetarianĒ. There is probably a special phrase for this, but those words fit my situation really well. It all began about five years ago when I started to take part in the annual ten day Vegetarian Festival. This takes place across Thailand in and around October. For ten days I kept a strict vegetarian diet which included no animals products at all. I did it the first year as a challenge, thinking that I wouldnít be able to survive. At that time I couldnít live without my bacon sandwiches or pork chops. But, I survived and actually quite enjoyed the experience. It was really easier than expected as there were many shops selling vegetarian food and they all flew yellow flags. It also helped that I had a Chinese
    community near where I lived.




    The following year was a little easier and each day I looked forward to eating another vegetarian meal. I should add at this point, that during the festival they often have a lot of imitation meat or deep fried products. If you can, it is best to try and avoid these. For myself, if it was a spicy dish, I didnít miss the meat. Around this time I was talking to a friend about how much I looked forward to the annual vegetarian festival. She then suggested that I should do the same as her and be vegetarian once a week on the Wan Phra days. These are the Buddhist holy days much like the Christian Sundays. These are set by the phases of the moon and so fall on different days each week. Up for a new challenge, I decided to go for it. At this stage, I wanít really doing it for health reasons, I was more doing it to give animals a break. At first I planned to do it on Sundays, but soon decided to switch to Wan Phra days. I have an app on my phone that lets me know the dates. By having to think about it each time, made me more mindful.




    It was about a year later when I first saw the movie ďFat, Sick and Nearly DeadĒ that I decided it was time for me to lead more of a healthy lifestyle (see my earlier blog here). My new yearís resolution that year was to make sure I had the daily allowance of fruit and vegetables. I did this mainly through juicing. I know some people disagree with the benefits of juicing, but for me it changed my life. Not only was I feeling great, I also lost a lot of weight. At that time, I was fast approaching being obese. But, ever since I became more aware of the food that I was putting into my mouth, I managed to lose 15 kilos and get down to my optimal weight. This wasnít through diet alone. It was more by making a lifestyle change. The following year I got an UP24 health tracker (see my blog here) and I became more active. So, a combination of healthy heating and being more active meant that I was able to keep the weight off.




    Around this time, I also stopped buying and eating processed food. This included mince meat which I often ate. There are a number of food documentaries that you can watch which will put you off eating burgers and minced meat for life. It worked for me. I am no longer tempted by a Big Mac. I also look at pizzas and ask myself, are there any nutrients in this meal which will be beneficial for my body? The answer, of course, is no. That is not saying I will never eat a pizza again. It is just not my first choice any more. So, between juicing and making sure I eat enough vegetables each day, I soon realized that many days passed without me eating any meat. So, I made a conscious decision that I would stop buying meat at the supermarket. These days, when I cook at home, I donít add any meat. And I donít really miss it.




    The reason that I didnít go full time vegetarian is because I didnít want to be that fussy eater. I think we all know one. We invite some people to our house for a meal or go to a restaurant and there is always one that cannot eat the same food as everyone else. So, whenever I go to eat with friends or if I am on a trip around Thailand, I will eat whatever is offered to me. Whether it be steak or pizza. It makes life so much easier and you wonít get so stressed. You benefit from having a healthy vegetarian diet for most of the time and if more people do this, then maybe less animals need to be reared and slaughtered in the future. Do yourself and animals a favour, become a part-time vegetarian!

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    Marie (23-01-16), Susana (22-01-16)

  3. #2
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    Re: How I Became a Part-Time Vegetarian

    Interesting.....I always ate lots of meat and since I got fat and diet it away I cut out most of the carbs, so now I eat mostly lean meat, milk products and eggs.
    But I really don't like the mass production of animals and have a bad feeling about supporting it with my eating habits. I think I should give it a try again to at least replace some of the meat with some green stuff.....

    Fascinating that the human body can handle such different ways of nutrition from no carbs, to almost only carbs, from almost only meat to no meat at all.

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    Khun Don (22-01-16), Marie (23-01-16), Susana (22-01-16)

  5. #3
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    Re: How I Became a Part-Time Vegetarian

    I eat no red meat or pork-only chicken and fish-the rest is vegetables, fruit, skimmed milk, yogurt -and shredded wheat for roughage.
    Very little potatoes and bread as I have to watch my weight as I have Type 2 Diabetes.

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    Re: How I Became a Part-Time Vegetarian

    No matter how we choose to nourish and fuel our bodies, I think we need to be aware of how those foods are produced. Also, paying attention to how we feel after eating a particular food will definitely help us make healthier choices.

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    Re: How I Became a Part-Time Vegetarian

    I see we were posting at the same time, Khun Don. I eat pretty much the same way, and am trying to avoid diabetes since it is rampant in my family.

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  10. #6
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    Re: How I Became a Part-Time Vegetarian

    Quote Originally Posted by Susana View Post
    I see we were posting at the same time, Khun Don. I eat pretty much the same way, and am trying to avoid diabetes since it is rampant in my family.
    Thankfully mine is diet controlled and I have never liked sweet things -or alcohol.
    Probably diabetes is the least of your problems right now as I see in the news a very big blizzard is heading your way. Stay safe, warm-and fed!

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  12. #7
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    Re: How I Became a Part-Time Vegetarian

    Thank you. Living in the country I tend to keep a well stocked pantry. Fortunately we have a whole house generator as well as a fireplace with gas logs.

    Loss of wifi, however, would be tragic!

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  14. #8
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    Re: How I Became a Part-Time Vegetarian

    I forgot to mention that I've been browsing townhomes in Arizona for a few weeks now. Today it is 76 farenheit/24.444 celsius in Tucson. sigh . . . . .

  15. #9
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    Re: How I Became a Part-Time Vegetarian

    Buy a camper and become a snowbird?

  16. #10
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    Re: How I Became a Part-Time Vegetarian

    No thanks to the camper! My husband owned two RV parks in south Texas when I met him. It was a few years before I moved there full time. Actually, I enjoyed the people for the most part, but I have no desire to live in a camper. Besides, some of them are more expensive than a small townhouse (attached homes). I fell in love with the southwest ~ New Mexico and Arizona ~ and lately have been thinking more about it.

    Check this out, as a sample. All it needs is tile to replace the carpet: http://www.longrealty.com/homes-for-...5614-168214163

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