I could not agree more, I mean about enjoying life. I too live in a social climate and food is everything here. If I dare try to offer my guest nut butter on pressed wafers, there would be no guest. lol.
The difference with me is that I am a absolutely fabulous cook and I am very inventive such as my forum Sara's Soup Kitchen. We are not just about health we are about eating well and eating healthy. My motto is, don't eat it unless it is absolutely delicious. I was not always the best cook and it took trial and error. But I guarantee you that everyone loves to eat at my house.
Yuk, fake meats. That went out with Paul McCartney's wife with her stupid fake chicken on a stick. No foodie eats that junk because it is processed. We don't eat anything in packages or cans.
What we do eat is delicious foods using sometimes expensive items but when you give up the meat you can afford the more expensive things. I just made some absolutely delicious fresh peas on a bed of avocado with cilantro with a dab of raw butter and lemon juice. A side of arugula topped with pomegrante seeds and grapefruit with a dressing of lemon juice and olive oil. Ground dates rolled in balls with a almond in the middle and rolled in sesame seeds. Fresh lemonade with the whole lemon and sweetned with raw honey.
I also have some whole grain pitas that I make with baking powder that have tons of cancer fighting ingredients and deworming. A to kill for meal.
I am not against meat, just fish and non organic meats. I believe that we need to live, love, and laugh,, That is Wolfgang Puck.
The trick to being a vegetarian is variety. Nobody would ever get me to be on a diet where I had to eat fake burgers. I would love to tell you about weight watchers wonderful veggie burgers topped with a red salad of red peppers, red tiny tomatoes, red onions, parsley and topped with lemon and olive oil. Nothing better. No bread involved and a meal in itself.
Is being a vegetarian for everyone, surely not. It is a matter of choice. As you say you want to eat healthy. Try the vegetarian way 2 days a week and see which days you feel better. I did not become vegetarian over night it took a while. It started first with giving up sugar, than white bread and then pasta. It was a gradual change. but I started seeing the changes so I want to do more.