Vegetarian - getting started..

There are many reasons people begin to try a Vegetarian diet. I contributed my story to an online post.

To review the whole conversation with friends comments see:

My start of the conversation is below:

In response to request for Vegi stories....As I remember it - Awhile ago, Hmmm well actually 30+ years ago. We were at the University of Dayton in Ohio and one of our [group, colleagues, team] suggested that she would be willing to cook for us every night in a nearby houses if we agreed to eat vegetarian food at least 3 times a week. We would pay less than what we would have for our Meal ticket from the University. Money was tight and we all liked to be with each other anyway so about four of us said OK. In about a week our cook friend wanted to know if we missed the meat and we said no. She was a great cook who knew how to use cheese sauces to slowly ease us off the meat taste. And so we soon went Meatless.

Of course we had lots of discussions on the subject. A few people in our wider circle were already vegetarian and the book "Diet for a Small Planet" was big seller at that time. At least one of our friends was a strong advocate. So we just slipped into it.  I began to see how much more sense from an environmental and political perspective [sharing resources] vegetarianism made. I was grateful that friends had been instrumental in my gradual change at the personal level.

Then later I learned of the spiritual benefit from readings in various spiritual books and from personal experience.

I was curious years later and asked how the cook was able to get us off the meat so quickly. She said since we were all willing to try , she gave big helpings and lots of cheese sauces. We knew early about combining beans and rice for the protean but it was only years later that the tofu came into such a prominent position. There was a couple of simple cook books that went around. But beans and rice with steamed veggies was something I could manage making and I would throw a can of mushroom soup in with the cooked rice and call it great...  In a few years we became more interested in slowing down and noticing what was in all the food - we experimented with making our own bread. The Tassajara Bread Book ..was a big hit because it was interesting and fun*. I was know in the local area for my rock bread - when I decided to try not using yeast.. and suggested we eat all our experiments to help us digest and better learn from our experiences...mistakes.

It was all part of a learning process where we shared things fully as we discovered. So it was eventually with Hatha Yoga and those of us who began to meditate.."to know ourselves".

btw, In recent years I had a hard time changing from eating so much saturated fat and those cheese related products (ice cream and Pizza). But that is another story. And there is one about fasting that would have to include Sri Chinmoy's cautionary comment about those who believed regular [or extreme] fasting would bring them closer to God...
- Adhiratha

* and there were other food related tools and ideas we picked up from the Whole Earth Catalog.


my favorite NY restaurants are:

- both in Queens (Jamaica, Flushing areas).

My favorite NY health food stores are:

  • Guru Health Food on Parsons Blvd (718) 291-7406
  • Pole-Vision Life-Strength on Union Trunpike (718) 454-3663

The popular breakfast and lunch place in the area::

  • Smile of the Beyond on Prsons Blvd. (718)  739-7453.  I used to live in apartments above and order my oatmeal ahead. To accommodate my rushing lifestyle my friends would add ice cubes that would cool off the oats and honey before I arrived so I could drink or shovel it in from the big bowl and run to the subway. The whole gobble procedure horrified some of the other patrons...but it gave me early morning smiles too..

when I had more time on the weekends. I also loved the toasted corn muffins, the "Aumlettes", vegi-burgers and real mashed potatoes As well as the constant buzz of what is latest happening in area.

"The Panorama of my Silence Heart Cafe" which opened in 2007 is the latest additon to the area. Tbhis very is popular cafe ( has free live music and other cultural events on certain evenings.  They are on Parsons blvd, about as 7 min walk north from the F subway stop or a ten minute walk south from Union Turnpike. Buses run quite reqularly on parsons Bvd if you want to skip the walk. Nice walk from St. John's University or can take the Q-46 Bus West on Union Turnpike to Parsons (and walk south or take the free transfer local bus).

  • Free Wifi
  • Sunday Brunch
  • Exotic Teas
  • Open 7 Days


for some great links on vegetarian diet and stories see

Recent Wall Street Jounal Article: "The Lunch of Self-Transcendent Champions" may be of interest: