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Going Vegetarian W/O Increasing Grains/Legumes?

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Old 12-03-2010, 06:05 AM   #1
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Default Going Vegetarian W/O Increasing Grains/Legumes?

Hey there y'all! I am a current maintainer (but I was active on 3FC in 2009 while I was losing) but lately I've been trying to reduce animal products overall, not for my health, but just for the ethical concerns with the slaughterhouses (I have no problem with meat on principle, like hunting, but since almost all meat is now from these slaughterhouses, I have decided to just give it up for that reason).

I'm not among the camp that feels that meat is bad for you. I saw my dad do fantastically on Atkins and feel very healthy, and he was only having a problem with lunchmeat, because of nitrates. I think processed food and how the animals are treated and fed and given horomones is the problem, not the meat itself. I do think that we evolved to get our best nutrition from an omnivorous diet, though I don't think we HAVE to eat an omnivorous diet, obviously!

Here's the problem, though. Since I'm not eating meat now (but for ethical reasons), the typical advice seems to replace meat with lots of whole grains and legumes, to get protein, as well as soy.

I don't like eating a lot of soy on principle because of possible health concerns (I know many disagree, this is just my personal decision ), and I'd rather not increase my grains and legumes too much, because I personally am among those who feel that the foods that we ate pre-agriculture tend to be much kinder to our bodies than grains overall (since grains are toxic to us if we don't cook them first). I also disagree with the low-fat idea, and I think that fat can be good for us.

So I guess that would make me an aspiring ovo-vegetarian, because I don't think dairy is particularly good for us either, nor do I find it humane, since the cows would have to keep getting pregnant. (I say aspiring because I might end up still eating small amounts of dairy as a treat.) But when it comes to eggs, I don't have a problem with them in principle if the chickens were raised humanely (which seems to be kind of rare--but truth be told, it almost makes me want a pet chicken! That probably wouldn't go over well, but at least I'd know it was being treated right!).

But I'm not sure how to be healthy if I'm not drastically increasing my intake of grains or legumes, since that's the common recommendation for protein. I'm not planning on cutting them out completely, because I don't think they're too terrible if not eaten in excess (the ones I do keep, I'd like to be whole grains though). But I have bad teeth and grains are like sugar and seem to make cavities worse, so I really don't want to aggravate that either. Right now, the main grain I consume is brown rice. That's probably the one I would mainly stick to overall.

So what would be the best way to cover all my nutrient bases? And what do eggs NOT contain that meat does that I would have to watch out for to still get? And I'm wondering how many eggs a week I would actually have to consume to actually get the right amount of nutrients (taking into consideration I'll be eating lots of veggies and some fruits but not too many grains/legumes). I don't like or dislike eggs, so I'd only eat them for nutrition, so I'd prefer to only eat what I need and no more. Especially with the fat too, I think a lot of problems some vegetarians have is not getting enough fat. What would be a good way for me to do that?

Sorry for all the questions! I'm just trying to figure out what to do, since I almost seem to have the attitude that nutrition is better eating meat, but for my own ethical concerns I don't want to eat it, so I'm trying to figure out how to be as healthy as possible despite this, you know?

I want to be able to follow my morals and still feel I am not being too rough on my body.
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Last edited by megwini : 12-03-2010 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:05 AM   #2
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You're going to have to experiment and figure out what works for you. It seems like some people need lots of protein to fell full, others less.

All whole foods contain protein - even apples and broccoli - so the more of those you eat the better. Try to add some beans with your rice, and you can also incorporate nuts and seeds for protein and fat. You don't have to eat only beans and grains, but some beans are good - give them a try.

See if you like tempeh, which is a fermented soy product and said to be better for you than tofu to add for occasional protein, as well as seitan, which is wheat gluten (obviously a bad choice if you are gluten intolerant).

I don't have much problem getting enough protein, but I eat dairy still and love beans and lentils. Good luck to you, I'm sure you will eventually find a path that works for you!
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:42 AM   #3
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Well if you are eliminating meat, you need to replace the calories somehow. How you do that is up to you. I love legumes so I eat legumes multiple times per day but I don't eat much grains. You can look at increasing your nut and seeds, similar to how raw foodists do it. So you'd eat lots of veggies, fruits, some nuts/seeds and then whatever else you want in your diet.

Is there any reason you wouldn't want to increase legumes?
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:59 AM   #4
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Default some ideas

First of all, i think exactly as you do as far as i am a vegan due to how they treat the animals and kill them. i have no problem stopping at a farm and picking up some brown eggs or eating a hunted deer.

i think it would help you to research "raw vegan" versus vegan. i was just doing some research last night and from what i read (again, i was just googling here, i am not a nutrionist) most vegans who experience protein or other nutritional shortages are the ones who steer away from grains because that really only leaves fresh foods. i am not saying you won't have a success, but there are several supplements you want to take. The following are what i take and i am not a raw vegan, i am just really afraid of nutritional issues:
b-12
vit D
iodine (this is on my list for next store run)
calcium
iron
DHA
All the vegan food pyramids i see have grains as a base. You may also want to consider being a "responsible omnivore" or whatever that term is, there are companies out there with humane slaughter houses/all organic feed fed beef, i don't know much about it, but i hear it exists.

i don't think soy needs to be a major component unless you want it to be, and i saw Dr. Weil on TV saying that soy such as tofu, edamame, soynuts for example are different than "fake meat" soy, and those are the kinds you want if you are going to have any.

As far as fat avocados and nuts are a good source. i don't know about grains being toxic for you i have never heard that??

i have had to do a lot of research as a new vegan, and luckily there is alot of info out there, although some of it is conflicting, you just kind of have to go with what works for you.

also a legume isn't a grain so you should be able to eat legumes and beans which will assist with the protein.
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:32 AM   #5
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Oh and another thing you can look at are psuedo-grains which are grain like in quality but are really seeds. Quinoa and amaranth fall into that category. You can also look at some of the first grains that were adapted by people such as teff and millet.

I'm personally of the belief that our bodies have adapted to grains. It seems we really have only experienced major issues in the last 30 years when processed products were brought into the picture.

Also an interesting book to read is The China Study which is a multiyear, massive study of diet and disease in China.
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by nelie View Post
I'm personally of the belief that our bodies have adapted to grains. It seems we really have only experienced major issues in the last 30 years when processed products were brought into the picture.
I'm a bit torn on it myself, especially considering the Japanese are very healthy and they eat TONS of white rice, which seems nutritionally devoid. Then again, some of the research on grains is showing that aside from fiber, the main toxins in grains are in the outer part that is removed with refining. So who knows if the Japanese are healthy in spite of white rice, or because of it! =P For now I'm just going to take the moderation approach, figuring as long as I'm not excessively eating something, it'll probably be okay. Grains are definitely toxic for us uncooked, though. Most of the toxins are removed through cooking.

On the same coin, Japanese people have a very healthy diet and have been proven to live very long (though that's changing now that they're starting to eat junk food too), while there are so many accounts of many strict vegans who start to get sick and have tooth decay (though there are successful vegans too), which makes me think moderation might be the safest thing for me. I'm just hopefully moderation with eggs, instead of meat, would be okay, since I really don't want to eat meat for ethics.

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Is there any reason you wouldn't want to increase legumes?
Same reason as grains. Because of the toxins they contain. I wouldn't mind eating them, I'd just prefer not to eat tons. It's something to do with phytic acid, and there are ways of reducing it (like souring, soaking), but if not removed, phytic acid can prevent our body from absorbing many of the nutrients the grains contain. It's basically their defense system against being eaten, since plants want to live too, and some animals have digestive tracts that have adapted to phytic acid and can eat grains, even raw, but many people feel ours is still not adapt at handling such foods easily. There's controversy on it though, so don't take my word as law! They definitely do contain phytic acid, though, the controversy is on whether it's really that bad or not. =P

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Originally Posted by foodmasochist View Post
First of all, i think exactly as you do as far as i am a vegan due to how they treat the animals and kill them. i have no problem stopping at a farm and picking up some brown eggs or eating a hunted deer.

You may also want to consider being a "responsible omnivore" or whatever that term is, there are companies out there with humane slaughter houses/all organic feed fed beef, i don't know much about it, but i hear it exists.
You know, I found out recently that chickens lay eggs of all different colors and color is actually irrelevant. Some lay blue and green eggs! I want blue and green eggs! They never sell those though.

Anyway, as for the responsible omnivore thing, I'm not sure, it seems like even the companies that claim to be humane often aren't, so I'd prefer to avoid that for now. It'd be nice if it were true though.
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:57 PM   #7
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I was recently reading that there are a people in the Andes that 70% of their calories come from potatoes and they are incredibly healthy. Of course you can't eat potatoes raw. It was just an interesting study I read and surprised some people since they didn't encounter diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc. Fire has been used for thousands and thousands of years, predating agriculture so I don't personally have a problem with foods you have to cook. Of course there are many people who eat a high raw diet because they would rather do that.

Also, I know lots of vegans but I don't know any of them that are sick due to being vegan or have bad teeth? I actually started developing bad teeth as an omnivore and all my current teeth issues are related to that but I think I've finally fixed my issues from bad dental work, teeth grinding, etc.
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Old 12-04-2010, 01:20 PM   #8
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I think you should replace the meat and dairy with extra fruits and vegetables. I don't like to eat a lot of grains either, although I do think we have adapted to eat them just fine, I don't love eating tons of them as some do.

Your way of eating sounds very similar to Joel Furhman's Eat to Live, except that he discourages added refined fats. You might want to check out some Eat to Live recipes from blog.fatfreevegan.com

If you don't want to cut fats, feel free to add in the fat of your choice to the recipes and throw an egg in where ever you want.

I also agree with Nelie, I don't know of any unhealthy vegans with teeth problems (could it be because they use natural toothpaste?). New studies are shown that a lot about the health of our teeth was determined while we were still developing in the womb combined with how we care for our teeth (regular check-ups and brushing in critical).

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/ - Look at the Eat to Live recipes
http://www.drfuhrman.com/ - Look at his Food Pyramid, it seems similar to what you are describing.
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:22 AM   #9
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Oh and another thing you can look at are psuedo-grains which are grain like in quality but are really seeds. Quinoa and amaranth fall into that category. You can also look at some of the first grains that were adapted by people such as teff and millet.
Maybe quinoa isn't for me. I tried this recipe today: http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=19322.0 and found it excessively bland, even though in all the comments, everyone liked it. There was like... no taste to me, at all, like eating paper. I ended up making it taste okay by adding WAAAAAAY more salt than is possibly healthy. Is there any other way to make quinoa flavorful without making your sodium intake go through the roof? It needs kick, or zest, but tons of salt isn't the kind of kick I want.

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Originally Posted by nelie View Post
I was recently reading that there are a people in the Andes that 70% of their calories come from potatoes and they are incredibly healthy. Of course you can't eat potatoes raw. It was just an interesting study I read and surprised some people since they didn't encounter diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc. Fire has been used for thousands and thousands of years, predating agriculture so I don't personally have a problem with foods you have to cook. Of course there are many people who eat a high raw diet because they would rather do that.
That's really interesting! Do you remember what they were called? I'd be interested in reading about that but was unable to find anything on Google.

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Originally Posted by Wildflower View Post
Your way of eating sounds very similar to Joel Furhman's Eat to Live, except that he discourages added refined fats. You might want to check out some Eat to Live recipes from blog.fatfreevegan.com

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/ - Look at the Eat to Live recipes
http://www.drfuhrman.com/ - Look at his Food Pyramid, it seems similar to what you are describing.
I'm trying to figure out if he wants at least 15% of your daily calories to be from raw vegetables, how that is even possible. That's 300 calories for me. 300 calories of RAW vegetables? @_@ I don't think it'd all fit in my stomach! (The cooked ones are easy, since they shrink when cooked from water loss, after all. )

But hey, that's the toxic hunger guy! I do agree with what he says about toxic hunger, because that's how it is for me. I only feel hunger pangs after I've eaten junk food, so for me, I now realize that those aren't a sign of hunger, but rather withdrawal from the junk food!
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:55 AM   #10
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Default try this

try streit's brand mediterranean quinoa. It is quiona with almonds, raisins, spices and sauteed onion. It gives it enough flavor to be enjoyable, i love it! i *think* i got it trader joes, but i am not sure.

-fm
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:03 AM   #11
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I actually like eating quinoa as/is or covered with a saucy lentil recipe. A good way to eat it is as a a salad with other ingredients.

Here is a good way to try it:
http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/qu...ean_salad.html
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:20 PM   #12
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I'm trying to figure out if he wants at least 15% of your daily calories to be from raw vegetables, how that is even possible. That's 300 calories for me. 300 calories of RAW vegetables? @_@ I don't think it'd all fit in my stomach! (The cooked ones are easy, since they shrink when cooked from water loss, after all. )

But hey, that's the toxic hunger guy! I do agree with what he says about toxic hunger, because that's how it is for me. I only feel hunger pangs after I've eaten junk food, so for me, I now realize that those aren't a sign of hunger, but rather withdrawal from the junk food!
I don't think you need to be exact, it's just an example of a whole foods plan that minimizes grains/beans as you said you wanted to do. Use it as a guideline.

I think it with tomatoes, carrots and lots of greens and other veggies it would be *relatively* easy to get 300 calories worth of raw, assuming you make it a focus of each meal with a salad once a day and then snack on carrots and tomatoes. I read online that a baby carrot has 4 calories...that can easily add up... 25 baby carrots is 100 calories. And grape tomatoes have 2, not so much, but also can add up.

I believe he also recommends a lb of raw greens (probably everyone turns them into a smoothie)...so he may be assuming a lot of calories are from that. I personally don't know how anyone can eat a pound of greens as lettuce hardly weighs anything, but I suppose if you juice it or make a soup you could get there. Juiced lettuce sounds as horrid as eating garbage to me though. LOL. Spinach might be OK.
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:26 PM   #13
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I'm a vegetarian for ethical reasons also, for about 6 years.

Have you ever seen Quorn products? It's a meat-substitute, frozen, products like imitation chicken patties but made with a product similar to mushrooms. No soy.
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Old 12-17-2010, 12:36 AM   #14
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sounds to me like your best option is raw--both bean-less and grain-less! lots of people are super fulfilled with this lifestyle. if nothing else, raw recipes can be a good source for alternative grain-like fixins...those raw foodists come up with the darndest things!

the best thing about a plant based diet for me was feeling free...sounds hokey, but totally true. it seems like you're pretty stressed over trying to figure this out. you should consider setting a time frame for experiencing different ways of eating (ie this month is raw, next month, ovo-veg, etc) to help determine the best option for you for the long haul. feel good about your choice with your convictions and let your body tell you what it needs.
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