(US-mi) Food for thought: Vegetarians find diet helps maintain vitality, mental health
- Dipping nori rolls in a tahini-dill sauce at the Om Caf in Ferndale,
Ray Merriman declares vegetarian cooking the most pleasing to his
palate and general health.
Then he relishes a plate full of brown rice and vegetables, topping it
off with honey-sweetened apple crisp.
"A vegetarian diet keeps me younger, more vibrant," says Merriman, 60,
owner of Merriman Market Analyst in Farmington Hills. "I need to keep
my mental processes sharp and young when I deal with clients," he
This month Merriman will travel to the Rhine Valley and Zurich for
conferences with investors and traders, assured he'll patronize
fine-dining establishments with fresh vegetables and seafood, a
compromise he accepts to keep his jet-lagged body healthy, his mind
pungent as a daikon radish.
"If I encounter a situation that doesn't support my diet I'll just go
a day without eating. It won't kill me to fast for a day," Merriman
said. "In fact, periodic fasting is good for the intestinal tract."
Strict vegetarians — those who never eat meat, fish or fowl —
represent 2.3 percent of the adult population according to a Harris
Interactive poll conducted for the Vegetarian Resource Group in
Baltimore. About 1.4 percent of the population — evenly split between
genders — is vegan, avoiding eggs and dairy. The number of vegetarians
is up from polls commissioned by the vegetarian group in 1994 when
their ranks included only 1 percent of the population.
Vegetarian or vegan? Your guide to vegetarianism
Vegetarian life-style is healthier, climate friendly
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