Vegetarian and Vegan Food
Ultimate Health Food for a Healthy Diet
A vegetarian shuns eating meat and fish, but will eat eggs and dairy. A vegan vegetarian (pronounced “vee-gan”) avoids eating all animal or dairy products.
I've been vegetarian since 1990, and adopting a vegetarian diet is probably one of the best things I've ever done. Twenty one years later I still enjoy the vegetarian lifestyle, including the great health. Most people still think I'm in my thirties, when in fact (at this writing) I'm forty six years old. Across the board, when I see people who have been vegan or vegetarian for a long time and they are older, they look much younger than their peers. Going vegetarian is what made me get into natural health topics, and I still believe it is one of the very best things anyone can do to improve their health.
I've interviewed a lot of vegetarians for my YouTube channel, and below are the transcripts from those interviews. I went vegan after reading Diet For A New America by John Robbins, and different people have different reasons for adopting a vegetarian, or vegan diet. And in almost all cases, they'll tell you it is one of the best lifestyle changes they've made. So I encourage you to read through what other vegetarians have to say about what made them start a plant based diet, how they get their protein, what they do for meals at home, and what they say to their meat eating friends. Eating vegetarian is healthy, and wholesome, and compassionate. I can't recommend it enough. If you want to learn more about how to eat a vegetarian diet and be healthy, please read my healthy eating page.
Anjee for Health Reasons
I’m 55 years old. I’ve been a vegan for eight years. I was a vegetarian except for seafood for several years before that, and the way I found my way toward veganism was through health reasons. I was having very chronic health issues: some yeast, some Candida, some other chronic issues, consulted a kinesiologist, and he specifically had me cut out most dairy, most animal products. I was still eating seafood. I felt better within three monthsmy health was tremendously improved and stayed improved. The reason I actually finally went completely vegan and adopted an entire vegan lifestyle was that I was on a retreat, and I was at a meditation center, and I was on a quiet moment observing in nature, and I was watching some wild turkeys.
And they were playing togetherand they were like a family, and I could see personality, I could see playfulness, I could see siblings, I could see parent-child, I could see reactiveness and anger and closeness and tenderness. And in that moment I realized and knew that I would never eat any life form other than plant life again.
Well, the way I get my vegetarian protein is that I eat a lot of seasoned nuts, avocados, beans. I don’t seem to have any problem whatsoever getting my vegetarian protein needs met. Oh, my health is excellent. I’m in great shapepeople are often surprised at my age. I’m very lively and I have a lot of energy, and I’m a real go-getter, and I hike and I travel. My energy’s great.
When I go to a restaurant that serves meat, I definitely ask a lot of questions. I often just ask them right out front: “I’m a vegan. What would you suggest for me?” And many times they will say, “Well, we’ll have our chef make something special for you.” It actually happens more and more often. When I’m making my own meals at home, I do a lot of sautéed vegetables; I do some quinoa because quinoa is an extremely high-protein grain. If I want to add some zip and some flavor to it, I might make it a curry flavor, or some coconut milk, something to add a little bit more interesting flavor to it. Being vegan is completely right for me because I really do believe that my goal in life is to live a life that’s for the good of all and the harm of none. Watch her video.
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Oscar Higuera: Weight Loss by Eating A Vegetarian Diet
I’m 27 years old. I’ve been vegetarian for three-and-a-half years, and I was always curious about the roommates that I had in high school and in college. They were vegetarian and I was always pretty interested about what they ate, what their reasons for being vegetarian were, and it wasn’t until after a trip to Mexico that I took three-and-a-half years ago, that I saw the ranch people kill four large pigs. And it was just pretty brutal and I wasn’t able to eat meat then, so when I got back to the U.S., I decided to just go ahead and not continue eating meat, and I haven’t done so for any kind of meat whatsoever for three-and-a-half years. For these three-and-a-half years that I’ve been vegetarian, I have noticed a substantial health improvement:
Mentally, I’m able to concentrate a lot better, and I know that because I was a student before I became vegetarian, and I’m a student now, so I definitely noticed the amount of energy that I have to study more. I’ve lost a substantial amount of weight. I have more energy; I feel better; I’m able to wake up easier, and I have actually better sleep.
Eating vegetarian is right for me because it reflects my lifestyle, the person that I am. It kind of reinforces my ideas about life and every animal species on the planet. I respect life in its entirety. I believe every living thing should have its own autonomy and to its lifespan and to the quality of life that it has. Physically, I appreciate it and I see the difference. I’d just like to say that being vegetarian has changed my life in ways that I never imagined, and I’m really happy that I made that decision for me. Watch his video.
Alina: Vegetarian Food For High Energy and Health
My name is Alina. I am twenty-eight and I’ve been vegetarian for twenty-eight years. I became vegetarian because my parents were vegetarianthey’ve brought me along for the ride. I never craved meat as a child. I was never very curious about how it would taste, but we used to joke around about how I was allowed to order meat at restaurants if I wanted. I always went with the veggie option, though. I’m very healthyI’ve never had a weight problem; doctors are often surprised about how quickly and easily I recover from illness or injury. I have a really high energy level: I teach very young children, and parents are amazed at how easy it is for me to keep up with their kids.
I get my protein from nuts, from beans and rice, tofu, dairy products, whole grains and greens. I was a high school athlete and always had a variety of proteins to choose from. I never had a problem with energy or strengthI still don’t. I’m still athletic and I’m still going strong. I love to eat, and I love to go to the grocery store and bring home all the delicious food to cook. I make things like oatmeal and whole-grain pancakes for breakfast; I make things like falafel sandwiches for lunch. For dinner I’ll make hummus and spinach pies, black beans and rice, scrambled tofu. The hardest part about being vegetarian is deciding what delicious food to eat. You know, I’ve tried meat and I found it bland and uninteresting. They say that vegetarians have more sensitive palates, and I agree. Being vegetarian is right for me because it works. Why should I change it? I’m healthy and I’m happy, and I intend to stay that way. Watch her video.
Sarah Kellet: Depression Gone After Going Vegetarian
I’m 32, I’ve been vegetarian for almost ten years now, and why I went vegetarian is actually a really long story. It started when I was in seventh grade and I did a project about animal experimentation, and realized what we were doing with animals is definitely not for the greatest good. However, there was a part of me that still believed that we needed meat because of my upbringing. And so I went for another, maybe about twelve years after that continuing to eat meat with thewith the understanding that I had that maybe it was part of the food chain, et cetera. Years later I realized I was feeling terrible: I was in the modeling industry and I was on Atkins diet, which is pretty much nothing but meat, and I was pretty depressed and having to use a lot of makeup in order to have color. And I decided that I really wanted to do it in a better way.
I started looking up in nutrition booksI read Fit for Life, and his advice was to just cut back on the meat, to have it once every other day, and what I realized was the less that I had, the less I wanted. And over time I realized that I was feeling much better as well. So that was inspiring. One day came up and I picked up a barbecued piece of chicken from Whole Foods, which I was about to eat, and at that point I was only eating free-range, organic chicken and I had been doing that for about a year, and I realizedI just looked at it, and all of a sudden it was just not looking like food to me. It just looked repulsive. It looked like a bird’s leg, and I just threw it out, and three weeks later was thanksgiving, and I took one bit of turkey just to make sure, and I realized that it was just over for me.
Since I became vegetarian, my health has soared. I had depression problems at one timeI no longer. My eyes actually became brighter. My skin responds to the sun much, much better. There was a combination of thingsI wasn’t just vegetarian at this point because I stopped eating milk and cheese before I stopped eating meat, so I was not just vegetarian; I was vegan and eating predominantly raw foods. And between all of these things, the skin, the elasticity of my skin, the energy levels in my body justit was an unbelievable difference. And I had motivation levels that I never had before, and I could think clearly in ways that I never could before. And it’s just been unbelievableI’ve never even thought about going back to eating meatit doesn’t even look like food to me anymoreand I still am boggled by how and why we do it as a society.
I get my protein from a variety of sources. My favorite place is avocados and it does have a great source of natural protein. There are organic dark green leafy vegetables that are very high in protein. There’s sprouts. There’s legumes, nuts, seeds, and of course all of this I eat raw. There is also spirulina, which I supplement sometimes, and different algaes. And that’s pretty muchoh, coconutsthat’s pretty much it for the most part.
I’m much stronger than the average female, and the reason why is because the protein is actually more absorbable into the system, so it may be less in quantity but what your body can actually use is far more when you’re dealing with a vegetarian diet. Being vegetarian is right for me because it makes me feel great. It makes me excel having high energy levels, and it also makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing in my life. Watch her video.
Vanessa Meier is Vegetarian for Moral Reasons
I am almost 31 years old. I went vegan almost thirteen years agothis summer will be thirteen yearsand I was vegetarian first, about six years before that. So I actually went vegetarian when I was 12, and it wasthen it was all about the animals. I had animals in my backyard and I put it together from the start, and then when I transitioned from vegan it was about me learning that there were other optionsoh my gosh, there’s soy ice cream, and there’s soy milk, and there’s rice milk, and as soon as I realized there were other options, the other products went out. Well, one of the reasons that I am vegan is for the environmental reasons. And, you know, we take a huge amount of food in the form of grainwe take a ton of water, and we feed it to animals to make a really tiny amount of food called meat.
And it just doesn’t make any senseI mean, they say it take about 12 pounds of grain to make just one pound of beef, and 2500 gallons of waterI mean, that’s insane. And the energy output that it takes, andI mean the number-one source of water pollution now, it seems to be coming from factory farms.
You know, I still go for my yearly checkup with my doctor every year and my doctor always tells me that I’m the theoretical “perfect” that she reads about in her textbook that doesn’t actually exist. When it comes to cholesterol, my number’s ideal and she’s never seen that before. When it comes to my iron, I’m always at the dead center of the perfect level. And so, you know, my doctor every year that I’m her healthiest patient, so I’d like to believe her.
You know, when I go to a restaurant that’s not vegetarian, usually I’ll ask the serveryou know, what do you guys do for vegetarians or vegans? Because chances are they’ve come across it, they know exactly what the restaurant can do that’s delicious and amazing and that the chef’s willing to do. And, you know, in the beginning I went through this stage where I almost felt apologetic about it“Oh, I’m so sorry I don’t want to be difficult, but you know, could you tell me what you do that’s vegetarian?” But it turns out that they don’t carethey knowmost restaurants know exactly what they’re going to make that’s vegan, and they get itthey understand. And so I just ask the server right off the bat, and they always give me great suggestions, and it’s usually more than just one optionI usually have a decision to make. So I think it’s pretty easy.
Honestly, I don’t get any peer pressure from meat-eating friends. Usually they’re asking me ways to start introducing plant-based foods into their diet. They’re asking me, you know, “What’s this tempeh thing and how do you cook it?” I have people over for dinner a lot and I have potlucks, and the non-vegetariansyou know, they discover things like quinoa, and it’s“What’s this thing you put in your salad?” and they just want to learn how to make it, so I don’t get peer pressure from other people at allyou know, I don’t put the pressure on. I just live a really positive example and I enjoy food and I enjoy life, and I think people see that and start asking me questions about what I’m eating.
Well, I cook every night. I love to cook, and generally, I cook a lot of, you know, whole organic food. I do cook a lot of grains. I love brown rice. I make beans regularly. I love tempehI cook a lot of tempeh. A day is not complete without kale in my houseraw kale, sautéed kale, steamed kaleany way you make kale, I love it. And I think that kind of sounds maybe boring to some meat-eaters, but I also will make, you know, vegan version of tempeh sloppy joes, and I’ll make enchiladas with potato and kale, and I’ll make pizza all the time. You can make just about everything vegan, and I do, but for my own health I like to stick to something that actually grew out of the ground and hasn’t been processed.
I get my protein from just about everything I eat. When you eat whole foods, whole beans, whole grainsit’s all filled with protein. Even spinach has protein. If you’re eating enough of your greens, you’re getting protein there. I eat nuts and seeds and, you know, there’s protein everywhere. You absolutely don’t need animal protein in your diet. Being vegetarian is right for me for every reason: for my health, I feel better, I’m happier. For my peace of mind, I feel that I’m living a very compassionate life. It justfor the love of the animals, for every reason, I think being vegan is right for me. Watch her video.
Kimiko: Eats Vegetarian Food For Environmental Reasons
My name is Kimiko and I’m thirty-one years old. I’ve been a vegetarian for ten years. The reason why I became vegetarian is because when I moved to Australia, I saw the meat-packing processor the end of itmeaning I walked into a local supermarket and I saw the carcasses being hung in the background, and that’s when I made the connection, that, “Oh, that part of the animal is this packaging.” And after that connection was made clearly like that, I just couldn’t eat meat anymore. After a couple of years being vegetarian, I read Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation. I was appalled by the way that the meat industry operated.