3 Reasons to Be a Part-Time Vegetarian
By Kate Gardner
For part of my teenage years, I was a vegetarian, fueled by a love of animals and french fries. Not eating meat wasn't difficult, even though I'm certain my vegetarian diet was far from healthy (lots of bread, not a lot of vegetables). Fast forward 20-some-odd years and committing to full-time vegetarianism is harder. I'm a busy mom of three kids, only one of whom shares my desire to try a meatless diet.
The answer to my dilemma may lie in part-time vegetarianism. Meatless Mondays (where you don't eat meat on Monday) have grown to include other days of the week. According to WebMD in its article "Be a Part-Time-Vegetarian," part-time vegetarianism includes a wide variety of eating choices. Some people may choose to skip meat once in a while. Others may choose to eat a vegan diet a few days per week. Part-time vegetarianism may not present all the benefits of a totally vegetarian diet, but it still has a lot of worth.
Exposure to new flavors - Cutting meat out of your meal may not mean a big change in your menu, but it does present an opportunity to explore new recipes and flavors. A quick search of the internet can provide a multitude of websites and cookbooks with vegetarian recipes for any palate. Personally, I've discovered some amazing meatless recipes for Indian food.
Health benefits of eating a plant-based meal - Plant products contain no cholesterol, fewer fats, and a ton of important vitamins. And not to worry, switching vegetables for meat in your diet offers health benefits even if you still eat meat some of the time. According to the Mayo Clinic, reducing meat consumption (especially red meat) may lower the risk of heart disease. As well, vegetarian meals typically have fewer calories.
Cost savings of cooking without meat - You might also save a little green when you eat more green. As reported by Money, research shows that vegetarians enjoy a yearly cost savings of $750 by not buying meat. As a part-time vegetarian, you may not save quite that much, but you may find you save some extra money on your grocery bill.
There are a number of reasons you may want to limit the amount of meat in your diet. Maybe you're trying to make healthier food choices or maybe you are working up to a complete vegetarian (or vegan) diet a little at a time. Whatever your motivation, trying on a part-time vegetarian lifestyle might help you achieve your nutritional goals.
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