Five Cornerstones of a Healthy Vegetarian Diet

It’s easy to thrive without meat, especially if you keep in mind these vital tips

by Suzanne Gerber • Next Avenue
raw vegetables image

In my almost four decades of being vegetarian, I’ve probably heard every stupid comment and been asked every ridiculous question you could imagine. (A compendium of answers: No, I’m not some religious fanatic, my parents weren’t vegetarian, I don’t miss meat, there are other sources of protein, and I definitely do not want to taste your fried calamari.)
Once, in a restaurant in the Austrian Alps — after a long and what I thought was a successful conversation about wanting “vegetarian soup” — the waitress delivered a bowl of broth with a huge hunk of something animal floating in it. When I brought that to her attention, she smiled warmly and said: “Oh, don’t worry. I won’t charge you for the meat.”
Another time in Prague, after some difficulty communicating our food requests to a “this is clearly beneath me” waiter, we finally finished eating and were handed the bill. Unaware that one of our party was actually Czech, the server announced, assuming we wouldn’t understand, “Well, the worst is behind us.”
And then there was my special birthday in Sonoma County, where before booking the bed and breakfast, I had a respectful chat with the owner about my dietary restrictions (no meat, fish, fowl or eggs). “No problem!” I was assured. “This is California.”
Breakfast on the first morning (I won’t even comment on the thimble-size juice glass or the fact that they ran out of coffee) was white toast with Smuckers and an egg casserole — with ham. I waited a while before inquiring whether there’d be something for me. The hostess scowled and said: “For crying out loud. Just pick the meat out!”
Just one more before I get to my point: When I was editing a vegetarian lifestyle publication, I was asked to appear on TV to promote one of our stories. I’d done this a number of times in my career, and while I’m no fan of the spotlight, I’d had media training and felt comfortable, and proud, to do this for the magazine. But one of the executives — who might actually be the opposite of a vegetarian — pulled me aside and offered to “coach” me for the appearance.
I thanked her and said I didn’t think that would be necessary. “What if they throw a curveball question at you?” she asked. “No worries, I’ve been living this lifestyle so long, I can’t imagine they’d take me by surprise.” And, I reminded her, this was going to be a favorable piece. “But, but … what if they ask you if vegetarians are weird?”
(MORE: The Fiftysomething Diet: 8 Great New Meat Alternatives)

Share Your Thoughts!


Allegiance 01.14.2013

Nice Website!
Very informative Article!
I am extremely inspired with your writing skills as neatly as with the format in your weblog.
Many people will be benefited...
Keep it up!

Glen Fletcher12.29.2012

Vegetarian diet is thought to be good for health and many people prefer it. But I think it wholly depends on your choice and the way your body responds to the nutrients. The author has mentioned very nice points that every people must think of before taking vegetarian diet. Eat healthy and be satisfied with what you eat.

Post new comment

Click to add a comment