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I'm thinking of becoming a vegetarian

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Old 06-02-2014, 10:54 PM   #1
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Default I'm thinking of becoming a vegetarian

Hi,

I am considering becoming a vegetarian because I can't stand to see animals suffer, and I also think it would reduce my cholesterol a lot. I do like meat but I know it's so bad for me, except the iron.

I would like to know how those of you who are vegetarian did it. I don't love veggies but I do like fruits. I think I would still eat cheese and milk.

How do you get your proteins?

Thanks!

Amy
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Old 06-02-2014, 11:34 PM   #2
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Hello Amy.

I've been a vegetarian for 10+ years and recently made the switch to vegan.

There are things you can eat besides JUST fruits and veggies. I eat lots of things and have learned to love fruits and vegetables I never did before.

As for protein (which is what every meateater is most concerned about lol!) there is tons of better sources, like almonds, spinach, kale, broccoli, mushrooms, green peppers, cabbage, cucumbers, pumpkin seeds, black beans, and more.

Hope this helped.

Love - D
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:20 AM   #3
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I've been vegan for 7 years I think?

I'd recommend reading a nutrition book or 2, mostly to relieve your fears if anything. The ones I'd recommend would either be Vegan for Her and/or Vegan for Life. I know they have vegan in the title but they are still applicable.

Protein - it is basically in everything that isn't stripped of protein, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains. If you eat a well rounded diet, it isn't an issue.
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:52 PM   #4
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There are so many other protein options out there, and we don't need nearly as much as the USDA would lead you to believe! Tofu, tempeh, beans, and nuts are my favorite ways to get it, but it's really everywhere!

If you are worried about iron, check out The Vegetarian Resource Group website. There are also vegan iron supplements out there, I take Deva brand.

Good luck and feel free to post any other questions or concerns you have!
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Old 06-06-2014, 11:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mars735 View Post
I would so like to give up meat. I'm casein intolerant so dairy is mostly out. I admit I worry about protein deficiency. Do you know if those proteins in veggies and fruit are really available in our human gut? I guess I assumed or read/misread that they were sort of trapped in the fiber matrix and passed out of the body.

Thanks for the info & book recs!
I think there is a lot of misinformation out there. Your digestive enzymes will break up plant based foods so you can absorb the nutrients. I have to say that I know I've built muscle as a vegan and when I was doing some serious weight lifting a few years ago, I was the strongest woman at my gym (that mostly consisted of paleo diet followers). Protein deficiency in general doesn't happen outside of third world countries barring anorexia or a disease that would put you at risk. If you eat a diet that consisted completely of potato chips, I'd say you would be at risk but otherwise it isn't a concern. I'd say eating a varied diet is your best bet.
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:47 AM   #6
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Seabiscut, I commend you! I was inspired to go veg by my future sis-in-law, it's been a process, I call myself a flexitarian because I prefer not to trouble others with preparing seperate food if I am at friends/family for dinner, but all of the meals I make at home, for over a year, have been vegetarian. The combo of beans and rice is a complete protein, if you are going ovo-lacto, egg whites of course are great! Nut butters, but you know, even plant foods like spinach contain protein! Check out the vegan blog, Oh She Glows for a GREAT list of recipes that I use almost daily! Good luck and I am always filled with joy when people consider eating less meat. Better for you, better for the environment, better for animals, and better for all who are inspired by your new lifestyle!!! Kudos!
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Old 06-07-2014, 06:39 AM   #7
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I think tempeh is an acquired taste but I actually quite like it. It actually isn't a processed product, it is a fermented product which may include soy, grains, flax, etc. I've never made it myself but I know many who have. I love tofu but I rarely make it at home, I usually have it when we go out to eat

Personally, I have no issue with faux meat (including those made with soy) but they are more of rarity for me and my husband. Today we are grilling veggie burgers which I bought from the store. I've also made veggie burgers many many times but I don't see an issue with store bought faux meat. Seitan is high protein and you can make it yourself very easily. Most people make it from vital wheat gluten, but you can even make it from wheat flour if you are inclined.

There are lots of cuisines around the world that you can base your meals on. Other cultures have much more experience with vegetarian/near vegetarian meals than us and they are good guidelines. Whether you like Asian, Indian, Ethiopian, Middle Eastern, Mexican, South American, etc - there are a lot of options. I'd recommend looking at your local library for any vegetarian/vegan cookbooks. The other option is to look at blogs.

Here are a few that are reliable in terms of quality of recipes:
http://www.theppk.com/recipes/
http://blog.fatfreevegan.com
http://elizaveganpage.blogspot.com/

And I'll say again, protein really shouldn't be an issue if you are eating balanced meals. I know a lot of vegans who are into weight lifting and what not (vegans eat no meat including fish, no eggs, no dairy) and they have no problem building and maintaining muscle.
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Old 06-07-2014, 02:04 PM   #8
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Thank-you all so much for the info, (especially addressing my protein concern, Nelie).
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:07 PM   #9
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Default Thank you!

Thank you everyone for all of the replies, this is very helpful!

I haven't made the vegetarian switch yet but I'm thinking about it more and I'm going to look at some of the morning star and garden burger products when I shop next, I used to eat them and I found that they were yummy!

I read online on a nutrition site that vegetarians generally don't have as many iron stores and I do have iron deficient anemia. I think though that if I started eating more dark, green, leafy vegetables instead of red meat, that would help my iron stores.

This is very exciting!

Thank you for listening and for your suggestions!

Amy
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:11 PM   #10
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Do you cook in cast iron pans? If so, I'd recommend it. My iron has always been strong and since I've given blood numerous times, it is always checked. I rarely cook in cast iron and I don't take supplements (even the off week BC pills). I know people with a genetic predisposition towards low iron so they have to be careful.
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:17 PM   #11
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sea biscuit are you going to talk it over with a doctor first in light of your anaemic tendency?

I know there are serious pills to help with it. My friend when pregnant had to take something the doctor recommended - insisted upon.
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Old 06-11-2014, 06:56 PM   #12
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Default Hi :)

Hi there...

Nelie, that's a great idea! I used to cook in cast iron pans, but I haven't as much recently. I will think about doing that though, thank you for the tip!
I've been iron deficient for going on close to twenty years and I take an iron supplement orally but when my time of month was very bad, I had to go on intravenous iron therapy and eventually get the IUD. I'll ask a nutritionist and doctor about this, thank you.

Pattience, thank you, I hadn't seriously considered speaking to my hematologist about this but I will, and I may be starting a nutrition support group, so I will talk to them about this. I think the issue for me is twofold, one is wanting to improve my health and the other is that I want to help the welfare of animals. I don't know that I will ever give up meat completely, but I want to reduce my intake of animal products. I envision myself healthier with this change by eating less animal meat, more fish and still some dairy but less actual meat. Also, I am seeing an allergist soon so I will talk to them about food allergies. I've been tested for food allergies and while I came back positive, I don't usually have a reaction.

Have a nice night.

Amy
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:29 AM   #13
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Default update :)

I just want to say that tonight for dinner I had a 'fake turkey' sandwich and it tasted great, better than the turkey and cheese sandwich that I had for lunch. I am very grateful for all of your support, I can now envision myself healthier as someone who eats less meat!
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:34 AM   #14
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Seabiscuit do you want to join in the vegetable dinner club i just started on the food talk forum? We're having roast vegetables with herbs and seeds for dinner. You can cook it any day of the week you want to give you time to shop.

The idea is that its fun for us to try each others ways of cooking vegies and to learn to try new foods and eat in different ways.

Each week a different person would decide we're all going to eat and then after we've cooked our version, we all individually report back on our experience.

Welcome to everyone, vegetarian or not.

Last edited by Pattience : 06-12-2014 at 03:35 AM.
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:55 AM   #15
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Default :) Thank you Pattience!

Pattience,

I would love to join your club on the forum. I will definitely look for it. Thank you so much for the invite, I am very touched.

Take care.

Amy
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