Vegetarian from birth to 32. Since so many adults and children are attempting to become vegetarians these days I thought I would share my own experiences of growing up a vegetarian.
I was raised from birth to be a lacto ovo vegetarian. This would be the most similar to a vegetarian diet in India. It means that in addition to vegetables, nuts and fruits I have eaten milk and cheeses and eggs. This kind of vegetarian diet is fairly easy to maintain in a warm climate. It becomes much more difficult to be a vegetarian in colder climates where more calories are needed to stay warm. But in places like California, Hawaii, Arizona, Florida and places like this a lacto ovo vegetarian diet will do just fine. One must also be careful at higher altitudes in getting enough protein to keep warm, especially in places like Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Denver which are all above 5000 feet in elevation. I believe Santa Fe is over 7000 feet high.
The most important thing about being a vegetarian at any age is to get enough protein and to not eat too much cheese or synthetic meat products made from soy as these are very binding and cause constipation.
When I was 10 years old after never having even tasted meat I tried some chicken soup and had flu like symptoms for over one week as a result. So I didn't even try to eat any meat until I was about 15 after that experience. Also, I had heat prostration at age 9 and childhood epilepsy at ages 10 to 15 and whooping cough that I almost died from at age 2. My parents didn't believe in shots so I never had any until I was required to have a tetanus shot at age 15 because of a dog bite. However, I have studied about this and even without shots one acquires what is called Herd immunity from associating with all the other school children that I was with in public School and in my last year of high school, a private school.
I sometimes wonder if my childhood epilepsy wasn't caused in part by not eating meat. I grew very fast from ages 10 to 15. For example at age 12 I was 5 foot 2 but at 13 I was 5 foot 10 and by 15 I was 6 foot 3 inches tall and by 21 I was my present 6 foot 4 1/2 inches tall. So with shoes on I'm between 6 foot 5 and 6 foot 6 inches tall depending on the soul of the shoe or boot. When I visited my doctor he gave my B-12 shots in the posterior as he felt I wasn't getting enough B vitamins. Now, I take a B-complex tablet every day to maintain mental and emotional balance. I think this may also be related to not getting enough b-complex in meats as a child.
I have noticed that being a vegetarian that as a male I tend to have less violent thoughts or that violence is more easily controlled by being a vegetarian. Also, being a vegetarian accentuates telepathy and the development of psychic abilities. It is also good for developing, intellectually and spiritually. Also, by not eating cow or pork for example one does not develope things like hardening of the arteries even in ones 40's or 50's. However, I find it very hard to be a complete vegetarian at age 59. It seems hard to keep a diet that keeps body, mind and soul together that is completely vegetarian. However, I have a friend who is a professional musician who tours around the world doing concerts still, who has been a vegetarian from birth like me and who has never even tasted meat once in his life. He and I have cross country skied together since 1976 and downhill skied together since the 1980's on Mt. Shasta in Northern California.
However, much more study and diligence is necessary in becoming a vegan vegetarian. A Vegan eats no milk or eggs or any fish or any kind of thing that flies, walks or swims or moves except in the wind.
There is also a third category that I consider myself kind of crazy. It is called being a fruitarian. I have met a few people who tried this but the woman I met who did this lost her period and the man I knew of who did this died so I wouldn't recommend this.
I have also heard of people who eat nothing but usually still drink water that are called Breatharian. I have never personally met anyone like this that I know but very unusual things happen in India among Yogis so I must say here that it is likely possible for 1 in a million people to be a breatharian and never eat anything as an adult. Though most of these people ate until they became adult yogis. I am told they live off the prana in the air.
These last two categories aren't very useful for most of us, however.
Some of the most useful things for lacto ovo vegatarians like I was raised are baked potatoes, skin and all, milk, butter and cheese. Since a potato is only one of two vegetarian type things that people can live on alone and stay healthy baked potatoes are very important to every vegetarian diet that most people would attempt. The second thing that one can live on in an emergency by itself is coconuts. However, in order to survive on them you must eat them directly from the tree in all stages of development from pure water to hard copra out of the shell. However, coconuts are very laxative in there effects so this diet might be unpleasant in that way.
So while I was growing up for dinner we usually had some form of potato every day for dinner. So let's say Monday we would have baked potatoes, Tuesday we would have scalloped potatoes with cheese and Thursday we would have mashed potatoes. In addition to this we would have a salad which would either be romaine lettuce with tomatoes with dressing or the same with grated carrots or little cut up pieces of celery. Sometimes we would have pickled beans with the salad. In addition we would eat corn, peas, carrots or some other vegetable steamed with a steamer. You can buy metal steamers with legs and holes in them to steam vegatables in a pot with a lid on it.
If you are a vegan vegetarian and are a raw foodist then you would cook nothing you eat. I have tried doing all these types of diets except for fruitarian(though I have fasted on water, lemon juice and maple syrup or honey for up to 7 days at a time. Watermelon fasting cleans your arteries from buildup so a watermelon fast for up to 4 days a year is very good for your health. If you need a heart bypass operation and are in good enough health to do it a 30 day watermelon fast will eliminate in most cases the need for a heart bypass operation. A 6 month brown rice fast will also do the same thing.
I found I did not feel balanced after about 4 days when I eliminated milk products from my diet. Therefore, I believe that milk and milk products have been the primary source of protein my body has lived on most of my life. I am still about a 95% to 97% vegetarian and don't eat any cow. If I do eat something it is just a little maybe once a week or less and that would be turkey, chicken and once in a while bacon. If someone is fixing prawns, crab or lobster once or twice a year I might have some.
When I had an angiogram in 1998 the doctors were very jealous of me. They said I had the cleanest arteries and veins of any patient they had ever seen. So though I did have a heart virus I didn't die because I didn't have any clogged veins or arteries. So even at 59 years old I still snow ski, ride a bicycle, motorcycle, hike long distances in the mountains and swim and I still snorkel whenever I go to Maui or Hawaii.
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