My usual favourite local foods such as Char Kway Teow and Roti John suddenly began to taste much too salty, revolting even. With the encouragement of a friend who works as a food nutritionist, I made up my mind to turn vegetarian.
Right now, I enjoys chewing on raw carrot and fresh celery sticks infinitely more than feasting on a sizzling slab of greasy steak.
When I was a little girl, my mother would force-feed me with yucky broccoli and spinach, amongst other tasteless vegetables.
In order to outwardly express my displeasure, I would protest out aloud and sometimes even cry out of frustration. Mummy’s well-meaning actions actually had a negative impact on my nutrition as I developed a phobia for veggies.
Growing up, I avoided anything green or leafy like the plague. A plate of Hainanese chicken rice minus the parsley and spring onion garnishing became my staple food. My only source of dietary fibre came from drinking fruit juices and ingesting multi-vitamin supplements.
Fortunately and perhaps miraculously, I slowly grew to enjoy vegetables during my adolescence, but I still preferred the taste of meat. Over the years, I became less and less fussy about including significant portions of selective fruits and vegetables to compliment my diet of complex carbohydrates and animal protein.
The recent “Eat Healthy” campaign headed by Mediacorp artistes Zoe Tay and Tay Ping Hui, advises the public to consume no less than two portions of fruit and two portions of vegetables everyday.
I made the conscious effort to heed that simple advice by incorporating more fresh organic vegetables and fruits into my daily meals.
Countless scientific research and studies have shown that vegetarians live longer, healthier and more productive lives. They have lower incidences of heart diseases, diabetes, obesity and all types of cancers. Similar research also suggests that human beings might actually be herbivores.
Our digestive systems, teeth and nails are more suited to a diet of fruits, vegetables, plants and nuts. Choosing to turn vegetarian not only benefits our bodies, it also does good for our environment and shows compassion to animals.
So do the right thing today. Join the ranks of great icons such as Mahatma Gandhi, Carl Lewis, Brad Pitt and Sir Paul McCartney, and make the evolved decision to become a vegetarian.
The Vegetarian Society of Singapore is the only registered vegetarian society here. It is a non-profit and non-religious organisation operated entirely by like-minded volunteers, and is also a recognised member of the International Vegetarian Union.
The society’s primary objectives are to promote vegetarianism through research and education, whilst linking individuals and organisations that have shared belief in the principles of vegetarianism.
Log on to their website at www.vegetarian-society.org to find out more, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.