Lifestyle Update: Going Vegetarian and Dropping “Added Sugar”

My friends will tell you what a bore I can be.

I like things just so. My ideas are like elaborate crystalline sculptures–they can only come out one way, and often, that way isn’t vocalizeable.

When someone is talking to me I close my eyes–so I can focus on what they are saying, and tune out the other voices in my head.

I also close my eyes when I give an answer. I was told that this is an energy saving technique: our visual processing takes up almost 80 – 90% of our brain power, so this is a natural way to boost our ability to think.

A lack of energy resources became a big problem for me this past year.

My daughter was born. There were other things going on to, but as far as providing context, this is the most important detail.

I became a totally different person: a grouch, anxious, angry. So I started making changes.

The best thing I’ve done is have change my diet: I’m now vegetarian, and I’ve become “added sugar” free.

A friend of mine at work, not much older than me, was diagnosed with diabetes. When I heard about it, I still had the nauseating taste in my mouth of much–too–sweet tea in my mouth from a local Chinese buffet.

I decided to make a change that day, cold turkey.

I’ve been ‘added-sugar-free’ for almost 5 months now. I tell you, it’s amazing, but I don’t miss it. I still eat things with sugar in them: fruit, ketchup, honey. I don’t sweat the small stuff, and that’s been a big reason I’ve stuck with it.

Now, I’m barely allured by pastries, cookies, and other desserts.

I’ve also been vegetarian for over a month. I’ll admit, watching “Forks Over Knives” on Netflix was a contributing factor, but it wasn’t the only thing.

I have long had difficulties with eating meat visually. As in–visualizing where the meat comes from.

I told myself “It’s the circle of life” and all that. But it never left me. I said, it’s just part of being alive. I step on microbes, too, and that’s something even Buddhists learn to live with.

But a very important person to me is vegetarian, and he had told me that even he would be willing to eat meat to survive, but that in our current situation, there are plenty of other ways to get your nutrients that don’t include killing an animal. He is also very sensitive to the unethical treatment of animals by large-scale meat processing facilities, and being vegetarian prevented supporting those industries, too.

Motivated by my success at dropping sugar, I went vegetarian overnight.

And I have loved it.

And for me, this is the more surprising lifestyle change. I never thought I’d look forward to avocado and spinach salad with fried tofu, but even as I’m writing this, my mouth is watering.

I got to the point where food didn’t make me excited. I don’t know if you guys have ever felt like that–where eating is a chore, and you feel totally dragged down after you’re done.

Cutting out meat and heavily processed foods had an instant rejuvenating effect for me. I instantly felt “lighter,” more efficient, more clean. I stopped getting cramps and became more regular.

I also looked forward to eating–a big plus in anyone’s quality of life.

Food also has more taste, and I notice the difference spices can make. They are no longer so subtle as to seem to be there just “for show.”

I’ve managed to lose almost 20 lbs this way, and without feeling like I’m sacrificing things I’d rather have. I prefer veggies to meat now, and I despise the way even a taste of soda makes my tongue feel.

This has been a wonderfully encouraging lifestyle change for me, as it was motivated both by concerns about my health, as well as moral concerns. I also no longer enjoyed eating. Now, I enjoy eating more, and I can be proud of how I’m eating because it is healthy and free of many more complications than before.

It has given me even more motivation to make other changes, too.

Have any of you had a similar “surprising” success story to a lifestyle change?


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