Wednesday, July 12, 2006

You Don't Eat Meat?

How many times have you heard this: "What? You don't eat meat?!". "What can you eat?" Well, times are changing and main-stream groceries along with most restaurants (even fast food restaurants) have vegetarian choices.

Educating the population is slowing turning the tide. The senior population is catching on to the benefits of the veggie diet. Public eateries now highlight menus with "healthy" choices that are veggie or will gladly make veggie changes. Family gatherings are more open to different types of diets (vegetarian being one of them). Food companies are listening and stocking the frozen food sections in groceries with veggie burgers, veggie ribs, veggie crumble, veggie sausage, etc. There are many types of tofu, soy cheeses and non-dairy ice creams. These foods are processed and not meant to be one's entire food choices; however, vegetarian lunch and dinner plates are becoming easier to put together.

The following list explains the varieties of a vegetarian diet:

Lacto vegetarian: no meat or eggs but consumes dairy
Ovo vegetarian: no meat or dairy but consumes eggs
Lacto-ovo vegetarian: no meat but consumes dairy and eggs
Vegan: no meat, eggs, dairy, honey and avoids all animal products such as leather and fur

The following list is less common practices of the vegetarian diet:

Raw food: usually vegan food not heated over 116 degrees Fahrenheit (46.7 degrees Celsius) - may be warmed slightly but never cooked
Fruitarian: only food which falls off the plant without harming the plant such as nuts, fruit, seeds, beans, tomatoes, cucumber, pumpkin, etc.

Each individual must choose for him/herself the type of vegetarian diet; plus, must be mindful of eating a variety of nutritious food and limit quantity. But, don't forget to have fun, be inventive and experiment with different recipes.

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