When I was 13, I decided to stop eating red meat. No more burgers, hot dogs, steak, meatloaf, or the like. My mother thought it was just a phase. For a while she kept making the meals I was used to, the ones that she had always served before.
Though it didn’t contribute to my decision at the time, it turns out that the health benefits of a vegetarian diet (or semi-vegetarian) are plentiful. And a vegetarian diet is environmentally-friendly, too. Studies show that consuming a plant-based diet results in a more sustainable environment and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, while improving health and longevity.
My mom finally got sick of watching me push food around the plate, and slowly got on board with serving more vegetarian meals. At the time I still at chicken and turkey, so that pretty much became my dinner every night. That lasted until I came home from college and announced that I was no longer eating poultry either. It was a good thing my mother had a thick head of hair because I’m quite sure she must have pulled much of it out.
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I have never once regretted giving up meat. Nor have I ever been tempted to eat it, despite being at some fantastic-smelling barbecue dinners. The vegetarian diet works for me. Not only is it healthier, opting for more vegetarian meals can also help fight climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The health benefits of a vegetarian diet includes:
- Lower mortality, by up to 20%.
- Reduced risk of colorectal cancers.
- Reduced risk of atherosclerosis (hardening or clogging of the arteries).
- Lower blood pressure and reduced risk of developing hypertension.
- Lower cholesterol levels.
- Reduced risk of heart disease.
- Better weight loss results than dieters on other weight-reducing plans.
- Helping kidney disease patients avoid accumulating toxic levels of phosphorus in their bodies.
- Reduced risk of diverticular disease (aka diverticulitis)
My mom was hesitant about my announcement to cut out meat and poultry because, as a young athletic female, she was concerned about whether I would get the essential nutrients needed to maintain my optimal health. Thirty years ago, there wasn’t much data about vegetarian diets. Back then, vegetarians were just hippies.
Well, the American Dietetic Association has said that vegetarian diets, if well planned out, are healthful and nutritious for all stages of life, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence, and even for athletes.
If you are thinking about starting out on a vegetarian diet, but don’t know quite where to begin, you might want to look into Veestro.com. Veestro sells 100% plant-based, chef prepared, ready-to-eat vegetarian meals delivered straight to your door anywhere in the continental United States. You can purchase individual items or meal packs. They offer weight loss plans as well, where you can substitute 1, 2, or 3 of your daily meals with their organic, non-GMO, preservative-free, 100% plant-based Veestro meals. If you prefer gluten-free, there is an assortment of items available for you too.
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Veestro.com sent me a few days worth of meals to try. I’ll share with you that I am down a bit on the scale (despite a few celebratory glasses of wine that week). My favorite meals are the Red Curry with Tofu and Vegetables, Soba Noodles with Peanut Sauce, Oatmeal Breakfast Pie, and the Veggie Empanadas.
The minimum order is $35. They offer free shipping on orders $199+, as well as one-time and recurring delivery options. Products are shipped frozen in a container lined with 100% recycled EPS foam with just enough dry ice to disappear before you open your package. The vegetarian meals come in either 100% compostable carton trays or 100% recyclable BPA-free plastic trays and pouches.
There are a number of items available that are ideal for kids, such as the Mac n Cheez, Chick’n Nuggets, and our pizzas. Meals can be kept up to 8 weeks in the freezer, or 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
The allergy mom in me also wants to note that you should order with caution if you have allergies or sensitivities to nuts, gluten, soy, sugar, and other food items. They do take precautions to ensure that cross contamination does not occur, but meals are produced in a facility that processes foods containing wheat, soy, nuts, seeds, and vegan sugar.
Are you ready to give a vegetarian diet a try? What’s your favorite meatless meal?
Disclosure: Thanks to Veestro.com for providing meals for me to try so I can disclose my opinion about the service to my readers.