Living Your Moksha – Week #3 Challenge – LIVE GREEN

15 May

Today marks the beginning of Week #3.  This week our challenge is to GO GREEN.  What does that mean?  Well, for the purposes of this challenge, that means for the next 7 days, your challenge is to eat like a vegetarian/vegan and add more green vegetables to your diet.  Now before you panic, it’s not that bad.  Think about it.  It’s only 7 days!  Who knows…you may find that you actually enjoy this way of eating and may incorporate it into your daily lifestyle eating habits.  Luckily for you, I have posted a link to a previous blog I wrote a few months ago which will help you add more veggies to your day.

If you’re considering giving up meat, you may be confused by the different types of vegetarian diets available to you. Vegetarian diets range from the super restrictive vegan style of vegetarianism to the more liberal flexitarian diet which incorporates limited amounts of meat. Here’s how to understand the different options available to you when you choose to go vegetarian.

The vegan diet
This is the most restrictive type of vegetarian diet. Vegans not only eliminate all animal-based foods but avoid dairy products of all types as well as eggs. While generally considered to be a healthy diet in terms of preventing disease, it takes planning to get enough protein, iron and calcium on a vegan diet, although it’s not impossible.   My advice is to try another form of vegetarianism before attempting to go strictly vegan.  Make it a gradual process while educating yourself along the way.

People who adopt a lacto-vegetarian diet abstain from all meat products, including eggs, but continue to eat dairy products.  The advantage to this form of vegetarianism is you’re less likely to develop a calcium deficiency due to the inclusion of calcium rich milk products.

Lacto-ovo vegetarianism
Lacto-ovo vegetarians avoid all meat but allow themselves to eat both dairy products and eggs. The inclusion of eggs and milk makes it easier to maintain calcium and protein levels and is, in general, an easier form of vegetarianism to adapt to, particularly if you eat out a great deal.

One of the least restrictive forms of vegetarianism is the pescatarian lifestyle where you avoid all meat products with the exception of fish. Many people don’t consider pescatarians to be true vegetarians since they allow themselves to eat seafood. They also consume dairy products and eggs.

Flexitarian is a relatively new term for a type of “on and off” vegetarian who eats a basic lacto-ovo vegetarian diet with the addition of meat products on occasion. This group of vegetarians is sometimes criticized for their lack of commitment to the vegetarian cause. Some flexitarians use this more flexible form of vegetarianism to test the waters and eventually transition over to more restrictive types of vegetarianism. 

Which type of vegetarian diet is right for you? It can be easier to transition to a vegetarian diet slowly by starting out as a flexitarian and gradually reducing meat consumption over time. Some people start by eliminating red meat and pork, followed by poultry, and fish as they become more accustomed to less meat in their diet. You may or may not choose to eliminate dairy and eggs to become a full vegan. Some vegans even take it a step further by becoming raw vegans, meaning they consume no food that’s been cooked or heated.

The good news is there are lots of options when it comes to choosing a vegetarian diet. Spend some time and explore the different possibilities before making your decision. Most of these options are healthier than the traditional American diet when it comes to preventing chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

Now depending on your level of commitment, you may need to determine which type of vegetarian diet would be most suitable to you.  And remember, we are not asking you to make this change for a lifetime.  It’s only 1 week.  Challenge yourself.  If you already don’t eat meat but still eat dairy and eggs, then try to give those up for this week.  I don’t eat meat or dairy but still consume eggs and the occasional seafood dinner.  So my challenge this week is to stay away from those egg whites in the morning and no sushi restaurants for me!!  Remember…if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you!

Good luck and I want your feedback!

Until next time, have a fit and fabulous day.



One Response to “Living Your Moksha – Week #3 Challenge – LIVE GREEN”

  1. VogueVegetarian May 15, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

    Glad to see some health and fitness pros encouraging a plant based diet. Even if you add more plant based foods into your diet, that’s a step in the right direction. I love meat. I thought I could never be vegetarian. Then in support of my sister who was on a quest to lose over 100 pounds, I adopted the vegetarian diet while she juiced for 3 months. I never looked back and have been vegetarian since then. The biggest eye opener for me was the array of delicious recipes you can cook vegetarian. You take out 4 basic meat groups; pork, beef, fish and chicken which you usually use as a the base for whatever you are cooking, and you have a whole new worlds with hundreds of choices. Beans, legumes, grains, and all the amazing things you can do with them. My hubbies biggest surprise was how you don’t miss the meat if you prepare the right meals. It’s not about tofu and lettuce. Really. Good job on encouraging others to go green a bit more.

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