The Richmond Register

Lifestyles & Community

April 23, 2013

To be or not to be a vegetarian

Table Talk

RICHMOND — While becoming a vegetarian isn’t for everyone, I hear from others who tell me they’d like to become vegetarian, but it seems too hard, or they lack the knowledge to become one.

In January, I had my yearly check up and found out I had an increase in some levels that indicated I might need to take cholesterol medicine.

I hate taking pills, so I bet my doctor I would become a vegetarian and see if I could get some of these levels in a normal range.

It was hard at first, giving up all the different types of meats and fats and looking at how to fix items I still could enjoy. So I started with the simple things. Remember to keep it simple, and it will challenge you more to try new things. Here is the first item I tried.

MEDITERRIAN SALAD

INGREDIENTS:

2 large tomatoes

1/3 cup chopped red onions

8 large pitted black olives, sliced

2 tablespoons Feta Cheese dressing (I have listed this below)

DIRECTIONS:

Arrange tomatoes, red onion and black olives on salad plate.

Drizzle dressing.

FETA DRESSING

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp dried basil, chopped

2 tbsp feta cheese

Whisk all ingredients together.

Makes about 1/2 cup

Vegetarianism is not for everyone. If you are devoted to having meat all the time, you might not be interested. But there are some reasons for some of us to consider it. Here are a few:

No fat, reduced chances of food poisoning, better for the environment, help with weight loss, more nutrition, more energy.

If you are considering going vegetarian, I would suggest that you have a check up from your doctor and get more information before starting this new way of eating. By all means take vitamins, especially the B’s.

Speaking of vitamins, one time I decided I needed to really look at taking a better variety of vitamins. I went to the store and got some really good all-around loaded ones. I was taking them for about a week when I realized that I had gotten them mixed up with … you might have guessed … the dog’s vitamins. I had taken them for about a week. I really did feel like jumping up and down in the back yard.

When you look at changes in your way of eating, do it very slowly and simply. I started out trying new vegetables and dairy products I had never tried before. Here is a simple soup recipe.

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