Personal Health Journey: Dabbing into Vegetarianism

At the end of December, my husband came to me with the idea of our family going meatless for the month of January (granted at that moment, we have been eating everything from shrimp to ham with chicken in between). When I listened and processed his proposal for our family to kick start a healthier lifestyle in 2014, I was pretty much on board with the concept of abstaining from meat for one month. Ever since my husband and I met years ago, we have strived to be more health conscious and aware of what we put in/on our bodies. Although we have made many undesirable choices in our diet and eating habits, we at least aim to learn more about ways to get back on track toward a healthier eating lifestyle. He and I have learned so much over the years, and I am so blessed to be married to someone who at least wants to strive toward a fitter life.

Throughout the past year, we both have been researching information on the food industry and the prevalence of GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) foods/plants in a majority of the products we consume (particularly those containing soy and corn). A GMO is essentially an organism whose genetic material has been altered (via mutation, insertion, deletion) using genetic engineering techniques (Wikipedia). Some of the reasons why GMO foods/plants have promoted within the food industry include the following:
  • They have higher resistance to pests and herbicides compared to their natural/organic counterparts
  • They can withstand extreme farming conditions (particularly the frigid/drought environments in second and third world countries)
  • They have increased harvest yield (to aid in reducing world hunger)
  • They have better nutritional value
Sounds very promising with lots of great intents. However, there is a flip side to GMO foods/plants. So much controversy exists today around how the government promotes GMOs as safe and acceptable in our food supply despite researchers claims of how these genetically modified organisms can potentially cause an increase prevalence of cancer, tumors, allergies, gastrointestinal problems, and etc. upon prolonged consumption. I have not found any human studies as of yet on the effects of GMOs on our bodily system, but there are existing studies done on lab rats that show some pretty disturbing effects of GMO consumption. Nevertheless those individuals in support of GMOs claim that the effects of GMOs are very minimal to humans; any study stating otherwise is more likely to be debunked or retracted it seems. At the end of the day, money and politics are two major drivers between the government (FDA, USDA) and biotech companies (ex. Monsanto) and the battle of shedding the truth behind GMOs will be a hard, long one especially for organizations such as Non-GMO Project.

Despite all the manifestations in the war on food quality and consumers' rights (to at least know whether their food is GMO or not through the tough push for US labeling laws), I still have a responsibility as the major chef of my home to be aware of not only my health but my husband's and developing daughter's as well. How my husband feels about our health decisions as a family matters greatly to me and vice versa because our goal as a team is to be the best stewards of our earthly bodies as possible and live as long as it be God's will in great health. With us being eye to eye on this matter, the past month of eating (almost entirely) meatless was not nearly as challenging as I thought it would be even though I did suggest at the beginning of the month that we start off eating 6 days of vegetarian meals with 1 day of meat (preferably organic/non-GMO raised) meals (with veggies and fruits of course!) so it would not feel like we are going into this cold feet and setting shop for failure.

Now that January is completed and we have accomplished our goal, I can say from my experience that vegetarianism is not as far-fetched of idea for me as I once believed. To drive the point further, I have already set in my mind to not eat any meat product but only twice in February at most. I honestly do not miss meat nor do I have a craving for it at all. I ate two little chicken wings from Whole Foods the other day just because it was our "Meat Day" but opted for a black bean burger when we went out to eat (and LOVED it) while my husband devoured a beef burger ( least it was grass-fed! He gets a point for that). 

So many thoughts I would like to share but do not want to drag everything out one single post; I will explain later about my thoughts and experiences from this month and our family's dietary plan going in February.

At this state, I am dancing around making the transition toward becoming a vegetarian. :-)

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