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Posted: November 4, 2014 9:39 a.m.
Updated: November 5, 2014 1:00 a.m.

The best my body has felt in a long time was last summer when I gave being vegetarian a try. I know that the foods a person eats play a major role in the state of his or her health, but I had no idea that altering my diet would dramatically change how I slept and how much energy I had. It even cut out my occasional night sweats.

Prior to making the decisions to become a vegetarian, I told myself and other people that I could never live a vegetarian lifestyle. One of my good friends is a vegan and I never understood how she could not eat meat. Meat was always the staple food of my diet. There were times when I would eat meat for a meal with no vegetables on the side (I had quite a few unbalanced meals).

A few weeks before summer vacation, another friend of mine began expressing her desire to become a vegetarian. She consulted her doctor and everything before she officially made the transition.

Her one and half week ride on the vegetarian side ended shortly after I started mine. According to her, she gave it up because she struggled to adopt foods that would give her the proper nutrition (mainly protein) as a vegetarian into her diet. I feared the same, but I felt an urge to at least try it, especially after watching videos showing the foul living conditions and harsh treatment of animals waiting to be slaughtered for the food distribution of their body parts.

The transition was rough at first. When dinner and lunch would arrive, I was tempted because I was always around meat eaters. I also struggled with finding foods fit for my diet that I actually enjoyed eating and would fill me up. Many of the non-meat foods in which I discovered were high in protein were not very appetizing to me. I tried snacking on a variety of nuts, beans and seeds everyday for protein but none of it satisfied me.

I got used to my diet about two weeks in and no longer missed meat. My body clearly loved it because I would get a full night’s sleep and wake up well-rested and full of energy. I took advantage of my energy and worked out three to five days of every week.

Unfortunately, after three weeks I came to the realization that I was not getting a proper amount of protein. I gave up fish as well when I decided to become a vegetarian, and fish would have been a main source of protein for me because I find fish pretty appetizing. If I would have kept fish in my diet, getting an adequate amount of protein would have been much easier. After fearing being protein deficient and deep down still desiring certain meats, I gave up the vegetarian lifestyle after a month and a few days.

Over the weekend, I had an epiphany -- a eureka moment. I remembered how great I felt when I got used to being a vegetarian last summer, and I realized that I wanted to get back to feeling that way. I went to the store Saturday and bought a bunch of food (including fish) to start my new diet again. Since I am including fish this time, I suppose that actually makes me a pescetarian -- a vegetarian who eats fish.


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