Most non- vegetarians have the wrong impression of vegetarians. They think of vegetarians as skinny, confused individuals who are always on a boring and bland diet of carrot sticks, lettuce, and celery (sSwaying towards the sunlight). However, nothing would be further from the truth. This is just one of the numerous fallacies propagated by some people who consume meat to justify their rather unhealthy eating habits. Albert Einstein once said, “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”
Contrary to popular believe, the vegetarian diet is not limited to only boiled rice and lettuce. There are literally hundreds of different types of vegetables, grains, nuts, fruits, pulses, and seeds that you can use to enrich your vegetarian lifestyle. The list of vegetarian options available in every part of the world is literally inexhaustible. With all these possibilities, who says you can’t be huge being a vegetarian?
Athletes Too Can Be Vegetarians
Another popular misconception states that vegetarianism is a lifestyle for lazy people who have no need for muscle development and energy. According to this myth, it is impossible for one to be a vegetarian and excel in physical exploits such as in athletics. This is a blatant lie. Red meat and animal fat do not enhance the athletic performance of an individual. In fact, they may contribute to excess weight gain. On the other hand, vegetarian meals can enhance the athletic performance of an individual as the diet contains adequate amounts of energy and proteins and the healthy kind of fats.
With proper diet planning, an athlete can get more benefits from a vegetarian diet, than from red meat-based diets. Most vegetarian diets can be described as nutrient- based since they are based on natural plants and grains. As a vegetarian, all you need to do to excel in athletics is to concentrate less on processed carbohydrates such as pasta and pretzels, and include protein rich grains such as beans, nuts, and tofu in your daily diet.
A well balanced diet rich in proteins is more likely to enhance your athletic performance. In fact, a good number of champion athletes in different disciplines are vegetarians. Here is a sample of world-class vegan and vegetarian athletes:
- Bill Pearl who is a former Mr. Universe is a vegetarian
- Killer Kowalski, the famous 320 pound wrestler
- Renowned physical fitness instructor Jack LaLanne is a vegan
- Martina Navratilova, a world tennis champion.
- Others include US Olympic gold medalist Edwin Moses, MMA fighter Mac Danzig, and Carl Lewis, a household name in athletics, are all lifelong vegetarians.
Diversity and richness of the vegetarian diet
Contrary to popular myths by meat-eaters, a vegetarian lifestyle is not as boring or confusing as they paint it to be. Both vegetarians and vegans enjoy a wide variety of delicacies made using tasty and nutritious ingredients. In fact, you can whip up a vegetarian equivalent to all the popular dishes you can think of including burritos, burgers, sandwiches, casseroles, soup, and lasagna. You simply need to replace meat as the basic component of the meal with protein rich combinations of grains and legumes. For example, you get more, and better, nutrients when you skip that meat-based burrito and going for one packed with beans, rice, bell peppers, tomatoes and sour cream. It is not only delicious, but full of vital nutrients and zero animal fat, or cholesterol for that matter.
You can enrich your vegetarian experience by studying cultures that have subsisted on vegetarian foods for ages. For example, try to experiment with vegetable curries, Miso soup, hummus, and all types of veggie fry dishes favored by the Eastern cultures. You simply need to get accustomed to a meatless diets to enjoy a vegetarian diet.
You can even employ your culinary creativity to plan an exciting meatless party that will leave your carnivorous guests asking for more. A perfect menu may include vegetable chili topped with cheese that’s been well shredded, toasted walnuts, and a lime pie for dessert. A vegetarian lifestyle will not only improve your health but will also help in conserving the earth’s natural resources and enable you to lead a more ethical and happier life.
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