Question OF THE MONTH: WHAT'S YOUR BIGGEST OBSTACLE TO BEING A VEGETARIAN?
The ignorance of some people. I don't usually have a problem in restaurants unless I'm with someone who really doesn't understand vegetarianism. Then I get a million questions and comments about being "difficult." Well, I'd rather be difficult than unhealthy!
Overcoming my laziness. It was so easy to keep eating chicken because I didn't have to learn new recipes or try new foods. Fortunately, one of my friends became a vegetarian and inspired me. Now I get excited whenever I find a food or product in the store that I have read about in Vegetarian Times.
Trying to find a drive-thru lunch!
The reaction and comments of family. I have pretty forward-thinking relatives, but for some reason, my vegetarianism (going on eight years now) isn't fully embraced. It's as if I've declared my family's way of life a failure by changing the way I eat.
Other people's lack of knowledge about what a vegetarian eats. Some people think chicken is vegetarian. Others just take the meat out of whatever they are making, such as soup. People get really nervous when they have to cook for a vegetarian and often don't ask exactly what is acceptable and what isn't.
Going out to dinner with friends and family who are not vegetarians. Often there's a very limited selection (veggie burger or kids' mac and cheese) to choose from, especially in this Atkins-crazy society right now. Plus, I've observed that most restaurants assume you must like eggplant parmesan if you are a vegetarian because its the dish that is consistently on menus or suggested as the veg option. I don't know who started diis rumor, but I know quite a few vegetarians who don't like eggplant, my husband and myself included.
Finding time to eat right.
My husband is not a vegetarian and doesn't really like vegetables all that much. I have to constantly vary the suppers I make for him, find new recipes and try new foods. Luckily, he was pretty supportive a few years ago when I decided to become a vegetarian, even when I told him it meant I would no longer cook meat.
Not having time to cook fresh organic foods and balanced meals every day often makes me go hungry. I can't eat fast food or most restaurant dishes, and I refuse to buy excessively packaged products such as noodle bowls or individually wrapped single-serving lunch items. My family worries diat I don't get the nutrition I need. Most days, I just don't eat until I get home, and after a hard day's work, cooking seems like work too. So, of course, there's no lunch prepared for the next day. It's a cycle I hope to break. Relying on establishments to provide veggie-friendly meals that are anything more dian bagels and coffee makes a girl unhealthy, not wealthy, and a bit dizzy at times. …