At every meal where a group of people are we always get asked why we are vegetarians.  I used to be a meat eater like most people.  I enjoyed a good ribeye, nice and juicy. I loved drenching my bread in the juices.  Loved a burger, you know the kind that required a handful of napkins cause the flavors were coming out with every bite.  I loved meat.  I made fun of my friends that were vegetarians.  I would tease my friend that was always anemic and blamed her lack of meat diet on it. 

flickr/Martin Cathrae
flickr/Martin Cathrae

Then we adopted a kid that had battled cancer and won.  All of the sudden everything we were doing as a family didn’t seem good enough.  We had to do everything we possibly could to help him fight this and give him the best possible chances of staying in remission.  Our first step was talking to his new oncologist.  I was so excited to hear what our defenses would be.  He was going to tell me how to help our 5-year old battle and battle hard.  Except he didn’t, instead he said there was nothing we could do to help him.  That statement hit hard and I really was blown away by it. I have always been an involved mommy, and now I was told I couldn’t do anything at all to help my son from his cancer coming back.  I could do nothing.

This started my quest.  I started reading books, magazines, and websites.  I started watching documentaries.  I simply started researching what would be best for our family, and I mean just for our family.  I cannot nor will I say that this is what’s best for anyone except us.  I studied so many different things to come to the best plan for our group of kids and mommy and daddy.

After extensive study we did decide to try a vegetarian diet.   We tried it out for a few weeks and I honestly felt so good.  I no longer felt sluggish after meals.  The kids adjusted quickly and our normal meals of meat with little veggies on the side transformed into veggies and fruits in abundance.  The kids started eating things most adults won’t even get near.  I was so proud.

But almost a year later we have decided to put the kids back onto some meat.  Not all.  We are still being very selective.  And at first I felt like a failure for taking them off their vegetarian diet.  But after thinking and praying about I realized some major things.  I have taught them some important lessons.

* We are able to help our bodies

* Try new things, even if it’s scary

* Read labels on your food

* Don’t trust the media, research instead

* Trust your own instinct

* Love the life you have

* And always share your food with others

So now we venture back into meat for the kids.  I have decided to stay a veggie eater.  I feel better, so why go back.  But I am so glad we tried it all out.  The kids have more confidence and eat better now than ever before.  And for lunch today we are having our favorite sandwich, sautéed bell peppers and onions on a toasted French bread with a little mozzarella cheese.  Should have bought more mushrooms, they make it the best.

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