When I first started this journey into studying The Word of Wisdom I emailed a few friends and family members about their vegetarianism. One of them was my sister-in-law Krystyna who had decided that she was going to try a completely vegetarian diet for a year and see if she could do it. I emailed her some specific questions and I received the following response from her:
I love that you have been studying the Word of Wisdom and encouraging others to do so as well. We had a really good family friend who has been overweight as long as I can remember her, but just lost a tremendous amount of weight in the past couple of years, which is pretty impressive considering she's probably 65 and has been overweight pretty much her whole life. She was telling us about a woman in her ward who had always struggled with the latest and greatest "fad diet" losing weight and gaining it back, etc. Well, this other woman asked out friend Susan how she managed to lose all the weight and keep it off, and Susan's response was that she just studied the Word of Wisdom and really tried to live by it. And it really is exactly what she did. I love that story, especially because of all the issues people have these days with the way they eat and treat their bodies.
Anyway, on to your questions.
I initially started eating a vegetarian diet for a few reasons I guess. First of all, I wanted to see if I could do it. It was a little bit of a challenge to myself and my goal was to stick to it for at least a year. Also, I've always had a deep love for animals, and while I do have a testimony of the fact that God created the earth and everything on it "for the benefit and use of man," I don't agree with the way a lot of animals are treated, ya know? Even still now that I eat meat, I try to buy organic stuff when I can (and when it's not too overpriced haha). Also, like you were asking me, I've heard that not eating meat can be healthy and that vegetarians (and especially vegan vegetarians) are usually thinner on average. So I tried it out... I really loved being a vegetarian because I love cooking, and it really forced me to cook for myself instead of just going through a drive through. It was also a fun conversation starter with people at meal times and I did lose some weight after making the switch. That being said, however, I will say that I was not the smartest vegetarian a) because I didn't have a lot of money to supplement my diet, and b) because I was always busy and on the go and too lazy and/or scatter-brained to remember to take vitamins, etc.
Some negative things I noticed about myself when I was a vegetarian:
--- My hair and nails were growing super slow and near the end of the year my hair actually started falling out a little.. Scary!
--- I never actually missed periods, but my menstrual cycle was definitely irregular.
--- When I was lacking protein I would get sooooooo tired and weak, and often grumpy haha
So... I know a lot of people are vegetarian and have been for years (I have a sister who has been a vegan vegetarian for over 10 years) and are just fine, but the key is that they have to be SUPER careful about what they eat to make sure they are getting all the nutrients their body really needs. Here are two websites that may be interesting to you:
I hope that was somewhat helpful to you. Sorry again that it was so late!!!
I had a received a few replies to my questions and had filed them away in an email folder. I didn't remember too much of what was said until recently. Months ago my hair started falling out like crazy. handfuls and handfuls. drano down the shower drain twice. I kept thinking it was the normal cycle of my hair until I went to a doctor's appointment in late August for a physical (my son's preschool requires that parent volunteers have physicals) and asked for a blood test although it was not required. I wanted to know how my counts were doing since my diet changes.
Well, I got the results about a week later in the mail and the results showed that I was anemic. I was significantly low in iron and was told that I needed to take a supplement to regain my count.
I started putting things together and wondered if the hair falling out had to do with the lack of protein/iron in my body. Other symptoms started stacking up and I started wondering if I needed to make changes.
I debated taking a iron pill. I still may try that, but in the mean time I have had to up my iron and protein in my diet. And so, I have let a little more meat in. I eat it 2, and occasionally 3 times a week instead of the once I was doing before. If you read a little about protein in the side bar links you will learn about combining to make full proteins and such. In my stage of life I cannot let my body get low on iron or protein (baby making years). But 2-3 times a week is still a vast improvement on the every night meat we were doing before with deli sandwiches and other meatsies in between.
I am still working on my balance. The handfuls of hair seem to not be as frequent and I am hoping the iron is coming back up.
This year has most definitely been an experience. I am wondering if any of you have experienced something like this? What changes did you make? I am wondering if my body was telling me things and to not be so drastic.
thoughts? I am open for any solutions or advice.