Being a Vegetarian Doesn’t Mean Being HealthyPosted: February 11, 2011
I learned that lesson the hard way yesterday. Just because I don’t eat meat doesn’t mean that I will automatically always be eating healthier than those who do. We had a long day at work yesterday and so my boss had breakfast, lunch, and dinner catered in. While I’m all for free food, the food we bring in usually isn’t vegetarian friendly. For breakfast I had a bagel from Panera Bread. Even though I didn’t have any cream cheese or spread on it, it was still well over 300 calories and clearly full of carbs. My diet was already suffering and it wasn’t even 10 am yet.
For lunch we had fried chicken with numerous sides. Since I wasn’t eating the chicken, I ate a small portion of potato salad, coleslaw, and pasta salad. I also had two dinner rolls to go with it. Not only did that meal contain many more calories than I normally eat for lunch, but the unbalanced nature of it made me feel sick – and it gave me heartburn.
By the time dinner rolled around I wasn’t remotely hungry, but I knew I had to eat. I had a slice of cheese pizza from Pizza Hut (440 calories), which only made the sick feeling I had get worse. The biggest thing I saw happen to me after I ate such unhealthy and unbalanced meals was that I had no energy. It was a long day to begin with and nothing I ate provided me with any sort of boost.
When I stopped eating meat I assumed that I would be healthier because of it. What I learned yesterday though is that no matter what your dietary needs/wants are, you still have to watch what you eat and make good food choices. As one of my favorite actresses, Emily Deschanel once said, “just because I’m a vegetarian doesn’t mean I can’t sit around and eat French fries all day”. Eating healthy isn’t always easy, but it’s definitely worth it. I think I felt sicker than I would have before I became a vegetarian simply because I’ve been making better choices, but I now know how much better I feel when I eat well.