Sara shares the benefits of her January vegetarian challenge
Going completely vegetarian is a daunting concept for those of us who love meat. I really don’t eat very much meat, and I usually save it for the times when I’m eating out. There’s no point in me cooking a steak when someone who knows what they’re doing will do a far better job, not to mention my phobia of chicken germs!
Going vegetarian for just one month can have numerous benefits, both health wise and environmentally. I cook almost exclusively vegetarian at home, with the exception of bacon, which I truly feel I could not live without. I felt well prepared for this small challenge, but it did encourage me to look up some creative recipes on Pinterest.
Reduce the risk of heart disease
A vegetarian diet is generally lower in saturated fats and cholesterol, in addition to having a higher intake of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They all keep the heart healthy and strong.
Lose excess weight
If you are trying to lose weight then a vegetarian diet can help a lot. When following a vegetarian diet, those hoping to lose weight are more successful than those who continue to eat meat.
Live longer and better
According to a long study published in the British Medical Journal, vegetarians outlive meat eaters by approximately six years. The higher intake of phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber strengthens the immune system. They can prevent and reverse many chronic diseases, enabling vegetarians to live longer and live healthier. The vegetarian diet also avoids many hormones, herbicides, pesticides, and antibiotics that are found in meats.
Reduce the effects of climate change
The farming of livestock generates more greenhouse gases than every car and truck in the world combined. Carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide gases generated by manure contaminate the environment and have contributed to climate change. If more people became vegetarian, we could reduce this significantly.
Whether you become vegetarian for a lifetime, a year, a month or even just five days a week, it will make a difference to your health and the health of the planet.
And come February 1, I will once again be enjoying a few rashers of bacon!
Spa, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert, Spa Consultant and Founder of Spa & Wellness Mexico magazine