Vegetarian Fashionista

About a month and a half ago I decided to change my lifestyle by switching to vegetarian, lacto-ovo vegetarian to be exact. This isn't just a health change, this is also an environment change, animal change and change I am happy with and has made me a better person.

A lacto-ovo vegetarian is a person who eats vegetables, fruits, eggs, nuts and dairy products but does not eat meat, meat is including fish. This happens to be the most popular type of vegetarian. Another types of vegetarians are:

Flexitarian/Semi Vegetarian- a person who chooses the healthy eating habits of a vegetarian but occassionally has meat. You can enjoy those tasty vegetarian meals without actually being vegetarian.

Lacto Vegetarian- a person who is vegetarian who eats vegetables, fruits, nuts and eggs but not diary.

Ovo Vegetarian- a person who is vegetarian who eats vegetables, fruits, nuts and diary but not eggs.

Pescatarian- this is a person who leads a vegetarian lifestyle but still eats fish, since fish is a meat and comes from a living animal/fish this is not a full vegetarian. his is normally considered what is a stepping stone to becoming a full vegetarian.

Vegan- this is a person who does not eat meat, dairy, eggs or processed foods. This is the diet and lifestyle I am leaning more towards and taking the steps to get to. A great book to read for more information along with humor and facts is Skinny Bitch, followed by Skinny Bitch In The Kitch and Skinny Bitch Bun In The Oven.

Raw Vegan- this is a person who eats a raw diet meaning they eat the same as a normal vegan but also eat unprocessed foods that are no higher than 115 degrees in temperature.

I think a lot of people do not have the knowledge of vegetarians/vegans. I have been getting this a lot lately. My family supports my decision, for the most part, but I get comments all the time about eating tofu and I have people who purposely "enjoy eating meat" in front of me, just rude behaviors. I have also went though a Wendy's drive thru and ordered the Apple Pecan salad with no meat, no cranberry's and no feta cheese. In other words just the pomegranate dressing, apples and pecans. When I got to the window the woman said "Here's you salad with nothing on it". Why she felt is was necessary to say that was beyond.

Another incident was at Charley's Subs in a mall food court. I order the veggie sub with no peppers or mushrooms so just onions, lettuce, tomato and cheese, something that is extremely normal at Subway when getting their veggie sub. A customer asked what was being made and the cook said an onion sandwich, false information, so the customer laughed and said "that's nasty, who would eat that". Not only did this make me feel bad but I was feeling guilty for being a vegetarian so I spoke up and said "Sir, I am vegetarian so I do not eat meat, it is NOT an onion sandwich but a veggie sandwich" and he said "Oh". It is things like this that make me realize that people have no idea what a vegetarian is or what it is like. The lack of knowledge turns people into ignorant and intolerant people.

I have had a few good experience though. I went to a Subway and I said I wanted a veggie sub and the gentlemen changed his gloves and I didn't even have to ask. My grandmother makes these amazing cheesy potatoes for like every holiday this Fourth of July she changed them up to make them vegetarian and used a cream of potato rather than cream of chicken. She didn't have to do this and I didn't ask, but she did it anyways. Also shopping with my fiance' last night and he's running around the store scanning everything to see what I can and cannot eat. It is little things like this that make me happy and proud to be vegetarian and not feel like I need to hide it or feel like an outsider. 

After only being a vegetarian for less than two months it is crazy the things I have to deal with. I do not think it is fair that I have to feel guilty or feel as if I am an outsider for something I choose to eat or not to eat. I think that when people do not understand something they attack it and that is wrong. Here are a few links about vegetarians/vegans:

Types Of Vegetarians
Becoming Vegetarian
Vegan Nutrition

These are just a few links that will help meat eaters to understand vegetarians. There are also Apps that help. One I use all the time is "Is It Vegan", if you are unsure if something is vegetarian or vegan you can scan it and it will tell you. Poptarts and marshmallows are NOT vegan or vegetarian and actually have meat used in them to create the gelatin so read, read read ingredients.

As a vegetarian I have decided to make a lifestyle change for me. I have not tried to force anyone else into it or made a meat-eater feel bad for eating meat.  I have also made this change to help me lose weight. Also I do not like the idea of eating an animal after watching videos, reading articles and gaining personal knowledge. The things that the animals endure is horrendous.  I will not go out on a spew to gross people out or make you feel guilty but I will say that I made this choice because of the things I witness and realized and I am happy I did. I feel better, I have more energy and it is better for me.

There are also a lot of people who some wouldn't even realize are vegetarian or vegan that really are. Some of these people include stars like Ariana Grande (vegan), Bill Clinton (vegan), Mike Tyson (vegan), Ellen DeGeneres (vegan) and even Usher (vegan). These celebrities are advocates for a vegan lifestyle and their reasons differ.
Photo: Peta

Vegetarian/ Vegan food is very tasty also. I shop at Whole Foods more for my food choices because they have plenty of options but places like Giant Eagle and even Walmart offer plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, eggs, diary and Tofu. Their freezer sections have food by Amy's that's vegan, vegetarian and even some gluten free. Many restaurants have vegetarian/vegan choices some I recommend are Fresh, Tommy's, Wasabi, Chipotle, Flaming Ice Cube, California Pizza Kitchen and Burger King even has a veggie burger. These are just a few places around the Akron/Cleveland area that offer options. Some places I do not recommend are McDonald's, Applebees (they even cook the tomato soup in beef broth) and any fast food restaurant really.

Not only am I vegetarian but I have what is called IC, Interstitial Cystitis, which is the burning of the bladder lining. Pretty much drinking TWO 2liters of soda everyday for three years can do some damage so I can not eat acid foods and I can not drink acidic beverages. I drink the occasional coffee or wine, sometimes with consequences, but for the most part is is water and soy milk for me. I also am border line Lactose Intolerant which means I can not have milk so I drink soy milk but so far yogurt, ice cream and soft cheese are okay. This something that could get worse or it could get better. In October of 2013 I decided to stop eating red meat for health reasons so becoming a vegetarian was easier for me than most people think. I did not just quit cold turkey, there were already things I wasn't eating or couldn't eat.

Here are a few links that helped me make up my mind on becoming a vegetarian:

Becoming A Vegetarian
Why Go Veg

Here are some links on how to become vegetarian/vegan:

How To Veg
Guide To Veg

Here is a link to vegetarian recipes:

Vegetarian Times

Signed Opinionated Fashionista- Living a vegetarian lifestyle 


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