In this Issue: March 2020
Body of Evidence
When I was in my 20s, my roommate was a vegetarian. At the time I could not imagine life without meat. I was raised on meat, potatoes and a side salad. Emphasis on the “side”—vegetables were not the star of the show.
My roommate put me up to the challenge: Give up red meat. It
was more difficult than I anticipated, but once I conquered it, I kept going
and gave up chicken and fish too. Now, however, I was starving. Without knowing
how to nourish myself, I started filling up on pasta instead. After all, I
thought, it’s not meat, so why not?
As you can imagine, the results of my new all-pasta diet
weren’t too pretty, plus I was sapped of energy at the end of the day. So I got
a vegetarian cookbook to help me understand how to eat correctly. I learned that
protein-rich foods like lentils were a great substitute for meat. Better yet,
they filled me up! I cooked a lot and enjoyed many of the recipes. But I was
also a single girl in NYC, which meant I ate out a lot too. At the time there
just weren’t any restaurants that focused on plant-based foods. That concept
was still many years away.
So one day, on a whim, I went back to red meat—it was just
one meal—and my body absolutely rejected it. And I mean no bueno, I got very sick. That experience made me think: Eating
vegetables never made me ill!
To this day I don’t eat red meat, although I do enjoy
chicken and fish on occasion. I still prefer a vegetarian diet overall, and
it’s so much easier to eat that way now.
My next goal is to get our boys, who are athletic, to eat
more plant-based foods. Studies show that animal-based products aren’t the best
energy source for athletes—in fact, the reverse is true. Plant-based foods
provide a better source of fuel.
I doubt I’ll change them overnight, but I’ll keep pushing the greens their way. I hope that someday they’ll figure it out, just like I did.
Cyrece and Michael
See all of the March National articles below.