Handling all kinds of meat was what I did when I conducted cooking classes or when I developed recipes for different companies. I had to frequently test new meat recipes as most of my clients were non-vegetarians whose clientele were predominantly non-vegetarians. Though, I cooked meat and chicken, my preferred meals were vegetables with fish as an occasional treat. In my younger days, meat and fish were a treat once or twice a month! I had never missed meat in my diet which used to be mostly fish when dining at restaurants.
Over the years, I had tried to be completely vegetarian several times but somehow, the universe would suddenly send me a client who wanted to develop non-vegetarian recipes or who wanted me to conduct non-vegetarian cooking classes. The money was tempting as I was working hard to earn a living. I would then change my mind and go back to cooking meats.
Come end of 2022, I took a vow that I was going to be completely a lacto-ovo vegetarian. I talked to my husband into becoming a complete vegetarian so that it would be easier for me not to stray again. He was already almost a pescatarian like me and therefore it was easy for him to give up the fish though he could not give up his dairy produce. I needed my cakes and pastries and for the time being I would include eggs in my diet. Though I authored a book GREAK BAKES NO EGGS, more than 23 years ago, I prefer cakes and pastries with eggs.
I cannot see myself turning back to my non-vegetarian food days as I am all set on a goal, and nobody is going to stop me! Some of my business associates are already asking me if it would hurt my business as a consultant chef, culinary educator, and food content creator. The answer is, maybe a little, but I am giving priority to my preferred lifestyle and believe the universe will give what I deserve abundantly.
Being a chef, it is easy for me just to cook interesting meals from vegetables. I realize that most of my favourite restaurants have lots of dishes that are suitable for vegetarians. Most cafes and food courts have something for the vegetarians and you can pop over to any restaurant to find non-meat dishes that can fill up the stomach. Until now, when someone is treating me to a meal in a restaurant, I have not had a problem. I can survive, I no longer listen to some of my vegetarian friends telling me that they have very little options when eating out with me. Let me now explain why I have become a vegetarian:
- A daily proper well balanced vegetarian diet has lower risk of dying from heart diseases compared to meat eaters. Some friends have told me how, when they went on a low-fat vegetarian diet, they were able to lower the cholesterol and even reverse heart diseases. A diet containing more vegetables and fruits is also associated with less cancer risks.
- This may sound silly, but I am telling myself that that I might be able to lower my weight.
- Plant based diet is high in antioxidants and phytonutrients. It means you can slow down the aging process. Don’t get me wrong. I do not want to live to a hundred years but at least I can have a better skin tone as I age.
- I am concerned about animal welfare and the use of hormones and antibiotics on animals. I am afraid of animal viruses and parasites such as salmonella, worms, and toxoplasmosis parasites. I feel that if people can feel the pain of their pet dogs and cats, they should also understand that the animals in the farm feel the same pain too. I have done enough harm to all the chickens, goats and cows that were used in my cooking classes, restaurant and for personal consumption. I am feeling guilty now. Moving on I want to be more compassionate to my animal friends and will not exploit them further.
- There are so many kinds of vegetables, fruits, spices, nuts, herbs, and greens in the world. I have so much to explore and to cook, eat and enjoy. Why harm the animals?
Though, I have changed my diet, I have not changed my profession. The Vegetarian Guru is formed to create awareness on vegetarian cooking, to develop plant-based recipes and to conduct vegetarian cooking classes.
The Home Dining scene atmosphere has changed to presenting only plant -based meals which is well received by my regular diners.
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