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Any ideas for trying a vegetarian lifestyle?

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Old 08-24-2009, 11:55 AM   #1
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Default Any ideas for trying a vegetarian lifestyle?

So I've been thinking about trying to go partly vegetarian. Ok. Maybe I'm not sure exactly what vegetarian means so that's why I say partly. I know I'm not going to give up milk or cheese. I'd even like to consider keeping fish and seafood. I eat a LOT of chicken but honestly - only because it's easy. I keep reading about all the hormones in meat and I'm fighting hot flashes and wondering if getting rid of those hormones won't help settle mine. I've been trying to get more soy - silk mostly - but I have not the foggiest idea of how to cook with it and not have a mess or a lot of inedible food.

Any ideas how to start? I already eat veggie pizza, veggie salads, etc., but I know that doesn't replace the protein in my diet the way I need to.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:07 PM   #2
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Lots of info here - http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/vegetarian-chicks-121/
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:29 PM   #3
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Seitain (made from wheat gluten) has as much protein ounce for ounce as chicken.

and it is SO GOOD.

also, tofu has a lot of protein....you just have to be sure to press it (to get the water out) and freeze it before you cook it.

I take my silken, freeze it in the box (because if not it's pretty likely that it will crumble when you try and cut the box open) then after it's frozen I cut it open, let it thaw completely, then cut it in half width wise so that you have two thinner pieces. then I lay down a paper towel and put the tofu on it (careful with handling it so it doesn't break, you might want to use a spatula) then put a bunch of paper towel on top and set a large pot of water on top of all that to press the water out of it. (you may have to change the paper towels a few times over the course of an hour or two)

then freeze it again and then sometimes I make a stir fry with it, I make my veggies, add some sauce, cut the tofu into thin rectangles and coat them in nutritional yeast (comes out MUCH better than flour) and pan fry them in a little oil and add to stir fry.

You can probably coat them in a little olive oil and stick them in the oven to bake as well.

or sometimes I will pan fry it with nothing on it until the outside is brown and crispy and add red peppers, red onions and bbq sauce and make sandwiches

seitan is made of vital wheat gluten powder, nutritional yeast, a little flour, water, soy sauce and any seasonings you like. It can be used wherever you'd use meat pretty much. yesterday I made naked bbq seitan burritos, was delicious! here are some links that might be helpful:

http://vegetariancuisine.suite101.co...to_make_seitan

http://expatlarissa.wordpress.com/20...ckpea-nuggets/ ^^^^these are SOO GOOD

http://vegandad.blogspot.com/2008/06...cky-wingz.html

some of those sites you can just look around and find some recipes but those are my fave recipes from there. I have yet to make the seitan wings but am gonna get right on it!

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Hot-and...fu/Detail.aspx

I'm a lacto ovo vegetarian (eggs and milk) but I don't eat fish (pescatarian)

good luck! I just recently went veggie a little over a month ago and the trick is to not fall into the veggie trap of eating nothing but carbs. I get lots of protein.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:29 PM   #4
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It's OK to take baby steps. It makes no sense to make changes you don't really believe in. Then it's just "restriction" and bound to fail. Start with what you do know you want to do. You may just find that every now and then you are "ready" to make another change, easily, where at another time it might have seemed restrictive and too hard.

BTW, you may like to know a new word - Pescetarian - a person who eats fish but no other meat. It's a great start.
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:17 PM   #5
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I sent you a pm, but I wanted to add that seitan is really good. You can actually make it really easily at home. I love the book vegan vittles. It has a recipe for seitan in it.

I was vegetarian for 8 years, but have eating meat the last few years. I just had my b12 levels tested and it is low, so I'm getting the shots. I was shocked that it was low, especially since I have been eating meat. I also never gave up dairy products. I've since learned that pastuerization kills b12. Nutritional yeast flakes are good and so are raw milk cheeses. Plant sources of b12 don't seem to be absorbed by us very well. I just wanted to give that little warning.

I would also try not to go overboard on soy. It seems like there's a lot of contradictory information on the benefits/dangers of soy. I still eat it, but not as much as I used to.

Tempeh is also a fun product to try if you don't like tofu. I like it crumbled up and mixed with the boca or morning star farms meat crumbles and used as taco meat. It gives a great chewiness.
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:41 PM   #6
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My 13 year old became a vegetarian over a year ago. We had to do our homework to help accomodate her in a healthy manner. I picked up a copy of 'A Teen's Guide To Going Vegetarian.' There is a lot of great basic information there for us newbies. For our family, I've found that whole wheat pastas, quinoa, beans and lentils provide more than enough protein in our day. Try googling vegetarian recipe. Also, don't discount the vegan recipes. A lot of them are delicious!
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Old 08-24-2009, 02:26 PM   #7
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Thanks for everyone's suggestions. I eat meat maybe once per day, some days not at all. Pescatarian is a new word for me, so thanks for that. My husband says he's game to try it but he doesn't want to be hungry all the time or eat a lot of "weird" stuff. This is a man who has lost 125 pounds in the last couple of years and has broadened his scope of eating tremendously. That said, he's still a man. Hard to change sometimes. We'll keep working on it.
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Old 08-24-2009, 02:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wendyland View Post
I sent you a pm, but I wanted to add that seitan is really good. You can actually make it really easily at home. I love the book vegan vittles. It has a recipe for seitan in it.

I was vegetarian for 8 years, but have eating meat the last few years. I just had my b12 levels tested and it is low, so I'm getting the shots. I was shocked that it was low, especially since I have been eating meat. I also never gave up dairy products. I've since learned that pastuerization kills b12. Nutritional yeast flakes are good and so are raw milk cheeses. Plant sources of b12 don't seem to be absorbed by us very well. I just wanted to give that little warning.


I have low b12, and I was tested BEFORE I went vegetarian. so I was eating tons of meat and it was still low. I was told at times it can be genetic. My gma said that she had to take the shots. I am taking a sublingual b12 vitamin supplement and will be restested in about a month. If it's still low it will be time for shots. But I jsut wanted to let you know that sometimes it's an absorbtion problem and not an issue of not getting enough.something about a missing stomache enzyme.
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Old 08-24-2009, 04:31 PM   #9
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My mom and sister are vegetarians (I used to be a long time ago...) and I can tell you that Quorn makes a FAR superior "Chicken" patty for those times when you want something quick and meat-like. It really does taste very much like chicken. I love veggie burgers and my kids don't even realize they aren't real burgers whenever I make them. Unfortunately, I just haven't been able to feed a family of 6 (with 5 of them being growing boys) veggie burgers a lot recently. I'd have to take a loan out to afford enough for one meal!
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:25 PM   #10
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So I went out surfing the net today about vegetarian, pescatarain, etc. and I was amazed at how much of it is driven by PETA, etc. Jeezy I didn't know I would be making a social statement if I quit eating meat. I was just trying to get healthy!

I was also struck by how much focus is on the substitutes. I don't really want a veggie burger - I'd like to take burgers out of my line-up completely. No big white bun, no ketchup, no burger. I get the need to find some alternate foods for protein (although really, if you keep milk and cheese, that's not a problem) but I don't want to quit eating meat but keep eating the same stuff. Does that make any sense at all?
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:29 PM   #11
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lots of great ideas here:
theengine2diet

that's where I got started
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:33 PM   #12
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You don't have to make a social statement with your food choices. I'd recommend any cookbook by Robin Robertson, as well as www.fatfreevegan.com. VegNews.com and Vegetariantimes.com are also great resources.

I think a lot of times the focus is on fake "meat" because it makes for an easier transition for some. There's nothing that says you HAVE to eat this food, or CAN'T eat that food.

I'd also like to say that I make homemade black bean burgers that are to die for, are low in fat and calories, and high in protein and flavor. So you don't have to cut out burgers!
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:48 PM   #13
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I am not a huge fan of the fake burgres and chicken. I only eat the garden burgers because they aren't really trying to be 'meat'. Just a veggie sandwich really. boca is foul.

but seitan is a great protein substitute and can definately be cooked healthy. I make seitan nuggets and patties, they are low in cals, and I Dont' use a big white bun I use an arnolds whole wheat sandwich thin.... and you can find all kinds of ways to use it.
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:49 PM   #14
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also I'm nto making a statement with my food choices, I'm doing int for health don't be too intimidated by the whole 'social statement' thing.

I know it's run by peta, but www.goveg.com has a good 'health' section with the benefits of being vegetarian.

I hate peta. and their newest ad disgusts me.

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Old 08-24-2009, 08:38 PM   #15
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Yeah, ignore the politics if you wish, ignore the fake meats if you wish. Lots of people do.
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