Veggie for life

Veggie for life

By Luis A. Quibranza III

Friday, November 18, 2011

CALM down, folks. We’re not promoting a death sentence here—assuming that’s how the title strikes the hardcore meat lover at first glance.

Speaking of which, there is a chance that majority of the readers may either know at least one carnivorous dude out there, or could be one himself or herself. The fact is most of us are accustomed to having meat in our diets. Of course, that goes without saying that the degree varies. But admit it: do you really attend town fiestas hunting for the organic salads?

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WELL… some people actually do. Take artist and student Kim Tiangco, for example.

“It’s hard to find food at parties. My friends are considerate enough to order meat-free food for me whenever we go out. I guess the toughest challenge I have as a vegetarian is looking for real food around 12 midnight when I’m out with friends.”

Kim is one of the people who have devoted themselves to being a vegetarian. In it for about five years now, she has learned to embrace the thought of mastering one’s body with utmost discipline.

“It started as a New Year’s resolution. My mom is a vegetarian, and I always wondered why she decided to be one,” she said.

Kim reveals how her curiosity about her mom’s practices finally led her mom to share about the truths of factory farming and the like, which finally pushed Kim into trying it out for herself.

“But I guess the main reason why I decided to become a vegetarian is to have discipline. It’s not easy, but if you practice every day and discipline yourself, you’ll see more than just health benefits.”

Freelance photographer Gilbert Malade Duterte, similar to Kim’s case, has also been influenced by his parents’ practices.

“I’ve been a vegetarian since birth,” he shares. “My parents were both vegetarians since their mid-20s since they joined the Ananda Marga Society. When they got married, they decided to raise their children as full vegetarians. As for me, I always had a choice to be or not to be like them. But later on, I found some great benefits of being a vegetarian as well.”

“I have never consumed meat, poultry, fish or seafood since birth. I get protein from beans, peas, sunflower seeds, nuts and tofu,” he shares, although stressing that he is not a Vegan, as he allows himself to consume dairy products, more specifically cheese.

On the other side of the fence would be Daryl Cataluña’s story. Unlike Kim and Gilbert, Daryl was born to a family where partaking of meat was the norm.

“I was born to a non-vegetarian family. I ate almost anything that a typical Filipino would eat. But things started to turn around last year when I first had my meditation class with Ananda Marga; this greatly encouraged me in becoming a vegetarian and allowed me to see the world in a different light,” reveals Daryl, likening his conversion to a religious turnaround.

Health-wise, all three stand by their answers, that they personally feel a boost in the way their body functions. As Daryl would put one advantage, it would be “feeling lighter and energized even in the midst of stress.”

“(Going) vegetarian greatly improves overall health, like, for example, lowering blood pressure and the possibility of getting cancer. Also, due to the intake of a high-fiber diet, digestive health is improved,” he states.

The disadvantages are also similar. Kim and Gilbert cite the lack of food options in a social gathering, while Daryl cites encountering nutritional deficiencies and degrading physical fitness, if the diet is not planned right.

Anyhow, the old proverb somehow rings true even until the present day. Health is, indeed, wealth and every individual should approach this goal with the best of efforts and intentions when it comes to dining—meat or no meat.

Their ‘veggie menu’


Favorites: Tofu, potatoes and carrots in tomato sauce. In the morning, I eat vegetable sandwiches, cook vegetable soup and fried vegetables, usually potatoes or eggplants for dinner, with a huge serving of brown rice.

Ideal dessert: Yogurt! I make yogurt at home and eat it with bananas or apples.


Favorites: Potato-carrot tomato soup. For breakfast, I normally have wheat bread, soya milk, beans or nuts, peanut butter, brown rice or camote.

For lunch, I go for sautéed vegetables, vegetarian meat dishes like veggie barbecue, vegetarian menudo or afritada and rice. It’s the same for dinner. Drinking more than eight glasses of water a day is also a must.

Ideal dessert: Making desserts is my specialty. The ideal ones are those that have no usage of white or refined sugar, less white cream, and no margarine or lard. These are my personal preferences. Out of the desserts I have already made, my personal favorite is the apple-mango tidbits in strawberry mousse or cream.


Favorites: Vegetarian spaghetti (I have loved cheese since I was a kid) and mixed vegetable soup! Well, ideally fruits and bread for breakfast, heavy vegetarian meal for lunch and light soup for dinner.

Ideal dessert: Macaroni salad—minus the mayonnaise and chicken bits.