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. Factory farms, 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.
For helpful information on how to live a healthy vegetarian lifestyle, as well as for free vegetarian recipes, see our recipes section. You can also find many more tantalizing recipes and helpful hints in Wai Lana’s Favorite Soups and Wai Lana’s Favorite Juices.