Friday, April 13, 2007

STILL VEGGIN' ON!



Over three months ago now, on January 11, 2007, I decided to give a try to a vegetarian diet. I had just consumed a carnivorous meal when I happened to read a column by Bryant Stamford that espoused the virtues of a plant-based diet. On his advice, I purchased The China Study, by Dr. T. Colin Campbell. That book advocates a vegetarian diet, indicating that such a diet can dramatically reduce the incidence of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer. Soon after I began reading the book, I became convinced of the health hazards that are inherent in the normal American diet of meats, eggs and dairy products.

For me, the transition to a vegetarian diet was not as difficult as it might seem. Although I have always loved steak, chicken and fish--and consumed them liberally for 45 years--I've also always enjoyed fruits, vegetables, and salads. Once I swithched to a vegetarian diet, I began to feel better than ever. I started feeling more energetic and healthful almost immediately. Now, having consumed no meat for over three months, I am willing to declare it: I am a vegetarian.

Since I eschewed the consumption of meats and dairy products three months ago, I have lost 20 pounds. At the same time, I have continued my strength-training exercises, and I am stronger than ever. (Well, O.K.--I admit that I might have been a bit stonger twenty years ago, but you know what I mean.) My blood pressure has been reduced very significantly and, although I have not had it checked recently, I would be willing to bet the house that my cholesterol level is way down as well.

As time goes on, I will continue to report on my conversion to vegetarianism. For now, I would encourage anyone reading this post to consider the benefits of adopting a plant-based diet.

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