7 Life-Changing Benefits of Becoming Vegetarian
October is Vegetarian Awareness Month so we wanted to provide positive inspiration for you to take some steps—little or big—toward a healthy vegetarian yoga lifestyle. If you’re already a vegetarian, here are some reminders of what a great choice you’ve made!
Occasionally there is some confusion about what it actually means to be a vegetarian. A true vegetarian doesn’t eat meat, fish, or eggs. A healthy vegetarian diet is focused on whole grains, beans, and legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, healthy fats and oils, and a moderate amount of dairy products.
1. Increase Your Inner Beauty:
Going veggie makes you more beautiful from the inside out. The toxins and stress hormones found in meat cause you to be more tired, stressed, and irritable. Vegetarian food choices have just the opposite effect. They uplift your mood, enhance your feelings of peace and optimism, and give you lots of exuberant energy.
2. Enjoy Radiant Skin and Hair:
Every year people spend literally billions of dollars on cosmetics and personal care products in their quest for youth and beauty. Yet just by choosing vegetarian foods, you’ll enjoy more beautiful skin and hair than you ever could by purchasing expensive beauty products. Vegetarian foods nourish your body from the inside out, providing invigorating antioxidants and nutrients.
3. Reach Your Ideal Weight and Stay There:
The battle of the bulge has become a serious health problem around the world. Being overweight or obese also causes many people a great deal of emotional, mental, and physical discomfort. Yet just one simple choice—choosing the vegetarian lifestyle—makes reaching and maintaining your ideal weight actually easy. There’s no need to struggle to lose weight. Vegetarian foods balance your body so that you’re more in touch with what actually tastes good and makes you feel good at the same time.
4. Reduce Your Risk of Painful and Deadly Diseases:
Have you ever noticed that virtually every single food to hit the headlines for health benefits is a vegetarian food? Whole grains help you lose weight, ward off diabetes, and cut your risk of cancer. Fresh fruits and vegetables help prevent just about every kind of disease in the book. Nuts and seeds promote cardiovascular health and even help you lose weight. Even dairy products are associated with numerous health benefits such as weight loss, reduced blood pressure, and a lower risk of cancer.
5. Promote World Peace:
Becoming a vegetarian is in harmony with the yoga principle of ahimsa, or nonviolence. Raising animals for food causes untold suffering for no real purpose other than to satisfy people’s desire for meat. While some people make the argument that you have to kill living things even to survive as a vegetarian—and there is truth in this statement—the fact is that animals have a much higher consciousness than plants and experience far greater suffering when killed. Eating a plant-based diet is by far the more compassionate choice.
6. Live Green:
Vegetarian food choices make the best use of our world’s precious resources. They use just a small fraction of the amount of water, land, and fuel that it takes to raise animals for meat. , where animals are raised for meat, are also one of the biggest polluters of our waterways. Simply becoming a vegetarian is the biggest single step you can make to help protect the environment.
7. Pave the Way to Spiritual Happiness:
Ultimately, the greatest and most perfect happiness you can experience is the internal spiritual happiness that transcends all the ups and downs of the material world. Becoming a vegetarian helps to cultivate qualities conducive to spiritual realization, such as compassion, self-control, and peacefulness.
Anger can be very destructive. It can cause physical and mental problems and can even destroy our personal relationships. But you don’t have to let it. You can learn to release your anger through yoga.
Breathing exercises are particularly good for calming down immediately. Just take as many slow, deep breaths as you need to. Yoga sound meditation combined with breathing is even more effective, as the sounds themselves are calming. Yoga asanas also help release tension in both body and mind. So before you blow off steam and hurt yourself or someone else, release your anger with some yoga.
I love being active. Gardening, yoga, entertaining friends and family, and hiking in nature are some of the activities I like to do to unwind and have fun. In order to fit in as much as I can, I follow a healthy, balanced lifestyle that promotes good digestion. The benefits are numerous. Overall vitality and energy, proper absorption of food, clear skin, and quick reflexes all improve with good digestion.
Unfortunately, poor digestion is far too common today. It is linked to a number of health problems, including fatigue, food allergies, poor immune function, peptic ulcers, obesity, and hypertension. But it can be rectified in most cases by sincerely adopting healthy habits. Once you begin to experience better digestion, you will also likely feel more relaxed, have more energy, and look radiant to boot!
Hydrate your body
Adequate hydration is essential to good digestion. Drinking pure water, herbal teas, and fresh juices will moisten the body, transport nutrients, and eliminate wastes. I find that mini fresh juice fasts every now and then give my digestion system a boost and help clear out toxins and wastes that accumulate from environmental pollutants.
Supplement your liquids
Mother Nature makes many wonderful supplements available to us. The juice of the noni fruit, for example, has long been valued by Polynesians as a powerful health and beauty tonic. I am pleased to offer a 100% pure, raw noni juice with no additives or fillers, made from sun-ripened, hand-picked fruits. Noni juice in its purest form like this not only stimulates digestion but can also boost the immune system, fight inflammation within the body, and curb bacteria and parasites from setting up camp inside your digestive tract.
Chew your food well
Make a difference at mealtime simply by sitting down, relaxing, and chewing each bite well. This will reduce the stress on your digestive tract, and your stomach will have more energy to digest the meal. Chewing releases saliva into the mouth, which contains digestive enzymes that will break down food particles further and promote nutrient absorption.
Find good sources of fiber
Nature’s most cleansing, detoxifying foods are usually rich in fiber, which keeps your digestive system humming. Look to fruits, veggies, whole grains, and legumes as ideal sources. If you have the option, choose locally-grown organic foods. They are fresher and free from pesticides and other toxins that can weaken digestion.
The Department of Health and Human Services has declared that September is National Yoga Month. It’s an ideal time for us and our children, families, and communities to learn more about and experience the many benefits that yoga has to offer.
Here are just a few of yoga’s benefits:
Increases strength, flexibility, and stamina
Massages the internal organs
Strengthens the immune system
Join us this year and help spread the word.
Talk to your family and friends
Blog about yoga
Let them know about Wai Lana’s public television show, Wai Lana Yoga
Tell them about the free asana and meditation videos at wailana.com
Send them a yoga DVD so they can practice yoga in the comfort of their homes
To welcome yoga beginners and to reinforce the benefits of yoga in your life, we are offering FREE shipping* on all yoga DVDs, CDs, and mats through September 30, 2009.
*FREE shipping to U.S. delivery addresses in 50 states (including Alaska and Hawaii.)