The selected reading from Becoming Slender For Life for this week is Real Life As A Vegetarian. Sometimes non-vegetarians will make it a big deal that I don’t eat meat and I don’t eat dairy. But, honestly, its not a big deal and its actually pretty easy. You see, I purposefully choose to eat healthy and be at my healthy weight. I purposefully choose to be different than the 65% of the US population that is overweight and sick. Self hypnosis makes choosing health easy.

Real Life As A Vegetarian

It is becoming easier to be a vegetarian. More and more restaurants and even fast-food places are offering meat- and dairyfree alternatives. You can get a rice and bean burrito with no cheese or sour cream at Taco Del Mar, a salad and a potato at Wendy’s, a veggie sub on whole wheat at Subway, and pasta with tomato sauce and veggies in most restaurants. The produce sections in grocery stores are now filled year-round with a vast variety of fresh produce, and most stores carry whole grains, beans, rice and legumes.

Two common challenges to avoiding meat and dairy are being a guest in someone else’s home and eating hotel banquet food. Sometimes you can put in a request for steamed vegetables and a potato or rice even at the last minute in a hotel, but when you show up as a guest in someone’s home, the choices may be meat and veggies in cheese sauce. Oh well, you do the best you can.

Beware, though—there are still a lot of overweight vegetarians. Most vegetarian recipes call for olive oil and often cheese. Overweight vegetarians are also often living on packaged foods—yes, those refined flour/sugar products. Instead of stocking up on grapes, carrots or garbanzo beans, they turn to crackers, cheese, peanut butter and bread.

Another problem for vegetarians and vegans is rigidity—getting locked into diet mentality. That’s why I love the term flexitarian. As a flexitarian, you focus most of your foods on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Meat—if it’s eaten at all—is something that’s saved for special occasions, holidays and occasional meals in a restaurant. As a flexitarian, you’ll find it easier to roll with the punches and adapt to life’s circumstances without guilt, failure and having blown a diet.

Bruce, who was morbidly obese, finally found relief with Slender For Life™. He discovered being a flexitarian was the way to go for him. “I eat mostly vegetables, but I didn’t give up meat entirely. I find that when I’m home, eating only vegetables is fine. I do not feel deprived. I really only eat meat as a guest or in restaurants.”

Eating healthy is not difficult. It can be simple. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains can taste good and be delicious. An eating strategy based on fruits, vegetables and whole grains should never be boring. There are limitless ways of preparing and enjoying these healthy foods. It’s easy to fall off this program if you don’t understand how to prepare tasty, satisfying meals. One of the first things you should do is buy a really good vegetarian cookbook or even take a cooking class if you can find one that follows these principles. (See the Appendix for recommended reading.) Also, there are many excellent websites with vegetarian and vegan recipes.

Sally, who has had great success, offers some tips for cooking vegetarian meals. “With low-fat, meatless cooking it becomes crucial to season your food well to bring out the natural flavors. This is a great time to start an herb garden or invest in some new herbs and spices for your pantry. Look especially at the wonderful blends that are available—just be sure to check for sugar and high sodium content. I remember when I first gave up meat, I found my meals so bland. But after trying a lot of new spices, my food is just as tasty as ever.”

Becoming a flexitarian is one of the best things you can do for your health. Now is the time to take back the power we’ve given to food, to people and to circumstances.

Another advantage of eating well is eliminating your guilt over not eating well. And that leads to lots of other good feelings. Imagine the pleasure of looking at your plate and realizing that all your food choices are good for you.

From Becoming Slender For Life,
second edition, pages 150 – 151

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