青少年素食有益健康 (太谷精舍學員 傳持)
我和孩子們改吃素已有十多年了，是從我最小的兒子六个月的時候開始的。有的家長會對我說：“我要讓孩子自己去選擇”，其實我也想過這個問題：“我要現在就 替 孩子選擇素食嗎？”，“是不是應該等孩子長大了自己去選擇呢？”。 但是我馬上就有了答案，無論是選擇素食，還是葷食，我都要替孩子作一個選擇！他們那麽小，還無法表達自己的意願。既然知道素食的好處，我爲什麽不能替孩子 選擇素食呢？
還有家長問我是怎麽跟孩子說要吃素呢？其實很簡單，在美國都是教育孩子動物很可愛，要愛護動物，於是我就問孩子們：“你們 愛不愛你們的哥哥姐姐弟弟妹妹呢？ ”，孩子們都說：“愛！”，我就再問：“如果有人要把哥哥的腿或者弟弟的胳膊拿去吃，你們願意嗎？”，孩子們說：“不願意！”，我就會對孩子們說：“雞也 有兄弟姐妹，它們也不願意；豬它的動物們也一樣不願意，所以我們不要去吃它們的肉，你們說好不好？”，孩子們都說：“好！”。從那時起，我們開始吃素了， 即使是在和別人一起開聚餐會，只要一聽説是肉類的菜，孩子們就會馬上走開。
十幾年過去了，和那時相比，現在的素食原料很多，除了有大量的蔬菜水果，還有很多素食蛋白質的來源。只要注意搭配，是不會缺乏營養的。我的孩子們個個臉色 紅潤，膚色白淨，而且個子都長得很高，我那個從小吃素的小兒子 才十三嵗，就已經一百六十八公分高了。 雖然美國年年都有一、兩次流感發生，但我從來都沒有擔心過，我和孩子們也從來都沒有打過感冒預防針，孩子們也從來沒有因爲流感病倒過。
Being Vegetarian - by Thersa Du (傳開), UC Davis undergraduate
Being conscious about why you eat what you eat.
A vegetarian walks into a bar……a salad bar! *sarcastic laughter*
Many of my friends can’t imagine being vegetarian. Well, I can’t imagine not being vegetarian! But I have to admit being vegetarian is not as easy as it looks. I am fortunate that my mom is a great cook. Lately I have been contemplating about what kinds of thought and attention she puts into whatever she’s preparing. It has made me reflect upon the foods that I eat.
There is an old saying, “You are what you eat.” If this is true, shouldn’t we all spare some extra thoughts to the foods we put into our stomachs? I think being vegetarian forces you to be conscious about why you eat what you eat. It goes beyond just recognizing what makes your taste buds explode and it’s not just about eating no meat. Those who struggle with this idea have trouble picturing themselves being vegetarian. After all, who wants to be doomed to eat salad for the rest of their life? At least French fries taste good—or so you think.
Now the good news is that being a vegetarian is pretty simple when it comes to cooking. No worries of contamination from raw meat or that yucky smelly fish odor. I’m sure if most of my peers were forced to cook their own food their meat diets would be severely limited—because preparing meat is such a hassle. Vegetables are easy in comparison. You peel them, wash them, chop them up, and cook! No thawing, skinning, butchering, and salmonella! If it weren’t for pre-packaged meats like spam and sausages (which we all know are the worst possible parts of meat) I’d imagine more students would be vegetarian.
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My mother loves cooking and she has the knack for it too. She makes it look so easy that I realize I take it for granted. Thus, I will take a moment to recognize and appreciate her talent. Every meal that she makes is full of great love and appreciation. She thinks about what goes into each dish with meticulous care as she balances flavor and nutrition. Each dish is new and unique—even if she is preparing a regular favorite—because to her every dish is a creation, not just another obligation. She can freshen up leftovers by transforming it to a totally new dish. (I still can’t wrap my mind around how she does it!) Because of her cooking, eating vegetarian is never a chore.
So here is what I have learned from observing my mother:
1.Nutrition takes thought. It’s the practice of applying knowledge to cooking. I think we all have enough information about whatis nutritious and good for our health but most of us never use it. What a waste!
2.Know the seasons of fruits and vegetables and learn ways of preparing them. That way you can still have variety without breaking your budget because there are always seasonal fruits and vegetables on sale all the time. Don’t be stubborn, try something new!
3.Cook for someone. Cook together. Food and company makes any meal more enjoyable and you are likely to take more time to make your vegetarian meal taste extra delicious. Enjoy it!
Looking back on all these years, I can say that I have enjoyed being vegetarian. At first I thought I would get unbearable cravings but it was less problematic than I had imagined. Because once you start thinking about what you eat and start eating better, the foods that you thought you couldn’t live without start tasting well… nasty! You start wondering how you could’ve liked this food in the first place. However this is a process that doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to learn, contemplate, and apply your knowledge to realize why you are being a vegetarian. For me, it makes sense. For a lot of other people, it doesn’t—at least not yet?
I do have my mom to thank. Her care and attention to our nutrition has made us strong and healthy. I always thought that being vegetarian gave you an automatic immunity boost because since I had become vegetarian, I stopped getting as severely sick as I used to. But now I realize that without my mother’s care in paying attention to what we eat being vegetarian may not have been as successful. So thanks mom! I love you!
So remember, being vegetarian does not mean you just eat salad. There are plenty vegetarian foods that you can eat that makes you full, healthy, and satisfied. You just have to learn what they are and apply them to your cooking palette. Being vegetarian is easy—once you know how of course.
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