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It has been a week since I began my vegetarian diet. I now realize that boredom with my old diet is one of the reasons I needed a change. I couldn’t face another broiled chicken breast. I am enjoying putting together new recipes and new flavor combinations. I have also found that I am not snacking between meals, feeling quite full on the veggie diet as long as I eat protein with every meal.

Protein sources include different kinds of beans, usually within a salad; quinoa, which is very filling; other veggies have varying amounts of protein and can be combined easily. Dairy such as yogurt, cheese, and milk are always good. I am lactose intolerant, so I must be careful of the cheese. I use Lactaid milk, cottage cheese, and sometimes ice cream, also Lactaid tablets that aid digestion if I want to indulge in the forbidden dairy. That works well for me.

Today I will have bean and corn salad with cilantro and onion, olive oil and vinegar dressing, salt and pepper, plus a green salad. Also on the menu will be a dish I made yesterday and will heat up again. It is a spicy quinoa and sweet potato hot dish, with hot peppers, onion, cilantro, and other spicy seasonings. It was so delicious that I ate half of it right away even though it was only 10:30 in the morning. It satiated my appetite all afternoon until 5 p.m. I do most of my prep and cooking in the morning, so that I can eat my main meal at any time and be more relaxed.

All this may not seem very exciting to some of you, but my teenage granddaughter has encouraged me because she went vegetarian several months ago and has found it very rewarding to a healthy lifestyle. This makes a nice connection for us, and we swap ideas and recipes. We both feel more healthy with better sleep and energy and have both lost some weight. I am sure it is a saving on my budget as well, and there are no greasy pans to clean up. WooHoo!