Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday Reflecltions: My Take on Vegetarianism

Something new:

From now on, Friday posts will start with a discussion topic and offer a brief commentary on a gripping health issue that I feel compelled to voice my opinion on.

I shall call this.... Friday Reflections

Starting it off, I want to begin the ever so complex conversation of Vegetarianism. Wow, this has become such a major topic in not only the blog world, but in recent society as a whole. I guess I feel most inclined to speak on this first because it’s something that effects me personally and I constantly struggle to conceptualize my overall feeling on the diet.

Before I begin to reveal my personal stance, I think it’s important to uncover the many different aspects of this particular way of life. There are many types of Vegetarian diets, so going veg doesn’t necessarily mean only eating plants anymore. Here are some of the most common

Vegetarian groups: (Adapated from Self Magazine)

Vegan~ They eliminate all animal foods; red meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs.
Lacto-Vegetarian~ Basic vegetarians; exclude meat, poultry, fish and eggs but do eat dairy.
Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian~ They follow the lacto guidelines but are slightly less restrictive, allowing eggs.
Pesca-Vegetarians~ Lacto-ovo’s who include fish.
Felxitarians~ Mostly lacto-ovo with occasional consumption of poultry or fish.
Fruitarians~ Eat mostly fruit but include some seeds and nuts. Most nutritionists consider this an extreme diet.
Raw Foodist~ Vegans who eat all food raw on the theory that cooking destroys a food’s “living” nature.
Airitarians~ Rumored but never seen. They purportedly have learned to live off the nutrients in oxygen. (Ha, yeah right!)

So those are your basic groups and as you can see, there is a lot of wiggle room under the overall “Vegetarian” umbrella.

I guess if I had to put a label on my own eating habits (although I try not to) I would say that I fall into the Flexetarian category. I eat mostly fruits and veggies with little eggs and dairy and on rare occasion, I will consume something from the poultry family. However, I eat fish…and a lot of it, so maybe I’m more of a pesca-flexetarian?? Who knows. When people ask me if I am vegetarian, I usually just say “yes” because it’s a whole lot easier then trying to explain anything different.

Now, why do I choose to live this you may ask? Well, ultimately, I do this because after many years of trying to figure out what was best for my body, I finally reached the conclusion that this diet works best for me and my body. After years of battling with stomach problems, IBS and abnormal menstrual cycles, I was able to pinpoint my issues with the foods I was or wasn’t eating. Yes, I may have some personal feelings against eating meat, but truly, this doesn’t really effect my decision in not eating it, and I DO eat it on occasion.

No matter where you stand on this issue of vegetarianism, it’s important to remember the reasons why you are or are not eating the way that you do. When it comes down it, the way that you eat should only be influenced by your OWN beliefs, needs and happiness. There are many benefits of living a vegetarian lifestyle. Reduced risk of disease, longer life span, lower cholesterol, it’s more affordable; however, there are also pitfalls in this way of life; anemia, lack of protein, over-consumption of soy which can cause infertility, and calcium deficits resulting in weak bones.

So the point is, do your research, test the waters, and make a decision based on what is best for you and your body. It’s so easy to become influenced by others choices for the wrong reasons. Don’t ever be ashamed or afraid to voice what you really feel about it either. I often find that some people take a slight offense when I tell them that I am vegetarian. It’s almost like not eating meat is un-American or just plain oppressing in this country. But that would be just as biased as being offended when you hear that someone doesn’t drink alcohol, or chooses to only eat Kosher. Just because someone chooses to eliminate something from their way of life does not entail the right to pass judgment on whether it is acceptable or right. Why should our eating habits be any different?

So vegetarian, meatiatarin, or just plain weird-o foodie, we are all eating the things we love, which is what truly matters.

Okay, since I’ve taken up a good majority of your time with that, I won’t spend too much time with the rest….

Just an overview of Friday’s meals because everything was oh so good!

Cinanmon toast crunch and PB’ Capin Crunch!!!

Okay not really, but it might as well have been because that’s exactly what it tasted like.

Friday is fun cereal day!! Organic Valley Cinnamon squares, PB Puffins and Natures Path Multigrain flax flakes with soy milk, blueberries and ½ a diced nanner.
A very fallish piece of whole wheat toast with cottage cheese and pumpkin butter.
And coffee… naturally!

Veggie Wrap- Roasted Red Peppers, avocado, sprouts, hummus and spinach
Carrots and peas
With some excellent reading material. (My Sister's Keeper) I can not put this book down. I must finish it before I see the movie!

And then dinner…

I’ve been anxiously waiting to make this all week!

BBQ Salmon Burgers (with honey mustard and tomatoes)
Grilled Sweet Potato Rounds
Caesar side salad

Everything about this dinner rocked my world!
(As you can see)
And just to show you all a little peak of how our Fro-Yo Fridays look:

It goes a little something like this….

That’s right, I may not be able to bake to save my life, but when it comes to fro-yo, I make one mean looking sundae!

Alright, that about wraps it up. I am so happy for this 3 day weekend. We have so many great things planned from our nephew’s 2nd birthday party, a day trip to Inner Harbor, Kippona (big end of summer festival).
Tomorrow morning is my last long run before my ½ marathon. I’m doing 12 miles and then taking it easy next week with some light and easy runs.
I’m also planning on hitting up the farmers market to score some end of the season produce before it’s too late!

Hope you guys have great plans for the weekend!


  1. "the point is, do your research, test the waters, and make a decision based on what is best for you and your body."

    Amen, amen, AMEN!! I can't tell you how many times I've said this on my own blog - hopefully people will listen to you :-D

    Have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!!

  2. Thanks for your interesting and informative post. I never knew there were so many kinds. But you are correct, we must all do what's right for our own bodies. I think it's great that people eat differently and have different opinions - as long as they don't try to force those opinions on others. Awesome fro-yo BTW! You really rocked it, girlie! Have an awesome weekend.

  3. oh i like this new friday feature! very cool idea. airitarians?! that is pretty absurd. i enjoyed reading your stance on vegetarianism. the eats look great! especially those roasted red peppers.. mm. have a great weekend!

  4. I love these "Friday Reflections". :)

    I have to fully agree with what you said, regarding doing your research and testing things out to see how they work for you. I feel the same exact way. That is exactly why I am trying out veganism for a month. It's something that I've been researching and thinking about for a long time, and something that, health-wise, I've been leading towards more and more with my health. If I choose to maintain a vegan based lifestyle, that's my own choice - I totally respect people who eat however they choose. Heck, I wouldn't even be trying this if I didn't already know how much my body hates dairy!!

    Enough ramblings for me - I agree with your comments, and hope they prompt people to research and not just jump on bandwagons. :) Have a great long weekend!!

  5. Great post, Lauren! It's amazing how wide of a blanket the term vegetarianism covers, isn't it?

    Have a great Labor Day weekend, my friend : )

  6. Mmm I've got something to look forward to every Friday now :) I have been exploring dietary changes recently and so far I'm sticking with seafood, dairy, and I'm a pesca-flexitarian too I suppose, hehe.

    I like the message of your post. Everyone has their own needs and wants. Our bodies are our own and we should be able to make our own decisions without fear of judgement!

  7. I agree 110%! I always tell people to eat what they want - it makes no difference to me whether they're vegetarian, eat meat, vegan, etc. I was never (and it's documented in a baby book of mine) a fan of meat. I don't like the texture, taste, anything! When it comes down to eating, people have to do what they have to do!

    Have a great weekend :)

  8. I can't put a label on myself either. I prefer fruits and veggies and love seafood! But occasionally I'll have a taste of something else. There's no way I could live a life of just one thing always and forever amen. My bod just doesn't work that way. Great post!

    Do you have a gas range? Because you can buy a grill pan and use that during the winter for indoor grilling! :D I have a cast iron one and it's lovely.