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Vegetarian Diet

Bailey_
August 27th, 2009, 01:52 PM
Didn't want to highjack AncientGirls thread, but have had my curiosity seriously peaked as far as the diet is concerned.

How would one reccomend going about transitioning into this lifestyle? Is it more difficult with a family?

ancientgirl
August 27th, 2009, 02:01 PM
As you read in my thread, I've been having trouble. But, my mistake was to jump into this without being very well prepared. I also did so by sort of just going cold turkey, pardon the pun.:rolleyes:

Looking back, I should have done it more gradually. I think I may have had less issues. By that I'm talking about the way I feel, my health to be more specific.

A good idea may also be to decide what your overall plan is. Do you want to cut out all animal products? Go vegan? Cut out wheat products too? Go semi-veg? That might be a good start, especially with the meat eaters who might be wary.

Bailey_
August 27th, 2009, 02:07 PM
Thanks AG. I've always tossed the idea around after watching my brother cut out meat from his diet years ago, but have never really pursued it - mostly because I'm lazy, and meals seem much easier to make *with* it.:rolleyes:

What is entailed in the diet of semi-veg? I think realistically I'd still keep wheat products, eggs, dairy and the occasional fish.

I have a 15 month old that hates meat - refuses to eat all meat - chicken, beef, fish, etc. I don't know if this is going to change as she gets older, possibly, but I figure if she doesn't like it now - it would certainly not hurt to join her club!

ancientgirl
August 27th, 2009, 02:14 PM
I'm not entirely sure why vegans cut our wheat products, but yeah that's one of the reasons I didn't go vegan.

My main issue was more ethical, so when I buy eggs for instance, I always buy the ones that say cage free or free range. I figure at least they aren't stuffed in some box their entire lives, they are out, roaming and being free.

A lot of people go semi-veg. Mollywog is one. She eats chicken and fish, but no beef. So I think in that case, it's a matter of just consuming less.

As for your 15 month old, I have read about lots of kids, young kids being vegetarian, but in that case you have to be careful, and make sure they do get what they need nutritionally from other sources. I know someone who has been a vegetarian since she was around 11!

Bailey_
August 27th, 2009, 02:18 PM
Yes, I'm the same with the eggs - always buy free-range, but that is about as much as I have ever done.

From your own experience, do you think it would be best to still eat meat then and slowly cut each type out until satisfied, or would that be more difficult to eventually cut all meat out of the diet do you think? My reasons would be ethical, I certainly *like* the taste of meat. Just don't like the thought of what we're actually doing...:yuck:

ancientgirl
August 27th, 2009, 02:27 PM
Yes, I'm the same with the eggs - always buy free-range, but that is about as much as I have ever done.

From your own experience, do you think it would be best to still eat meat then and slowly cut each type out until satisfied, or would that be more difficult to eventually cut all meat out of the diet do you think? My reasons would be ethical, I certainly *like* the taste of meat. Just don't like the thought of what we're actually doing...:yuck:

Yeah, you see, I love beef. I mean to me the best meal in the world was a nice rare steak with some black beans and rice, or shredded salt beef with scrambled eggs and beans and rice. I'm Cuban, where every Christmas we'd either cook or order a pig for holidays. So to say I hate beef and pork and chicken, etc... would be a lie.

My issue is the way these animals are raised and treated to feed us. Nothing that lives, and has feelings should be treated in such a cruel manner, especially for the gain of another living thing. We're human, we do this knowingly, we know better, some of us just don't care.

If I were starting over, doing this from the beginning, I would do it slowly. Start by cutting out beef little by little, eating less and in the meantime, finding other alternatives to cook with and figuring out ways to get the same nutrition without having the death of some animal on my conscience. I'd do it slowly, until I cut it out all together and realize, I'm not missing it because I have other things to satisfy me.

Bailey_
August 27th, 2009, 02:31 PM
THANKS AG!!!:thumbs up Very excited to start doing this. I agree 100% with what you're saying. I saw a few videos from PETA about the way chickens are treated, especially KFC chickens. AWFUL and DISGUSTING and wrong. I have stood up for the way dogs & cats have been mistreated for most of my life, so I don't know why I should let it stop there.

Thanks for the information, we're supposed to do a grocery shop tomorrow so I will let you know how it all goes. (I'm going to basically look at your previous thread and write down some ideas. Anything you suggest for starting out?) I wonder if Kiley (my daughter) will like tofu?? Can't wait to try!

ancientgirl
August 27th, 2009, 02:40 PM
Yeah, my change happened when I mistakenly clicked on a video about factory farming. I wish I could scrub my brain of what I saw, and I could only watch for like 5 seconds! It was just too much. :sad:

There are some tasty things on my thread, many really great suggestions made by the other members.

If you are going to try tofu, I warn you, find some that's seasoned (I find tofu pretty tasteless). You can probably find some that are with lime or bbq style. Or you you get your own, get the firm tofu and maybe do a stir fry with some soy sauce. Also, I suggest you also try Seitan and Tempeh. For me, Seitan is the most like meat, in it's texture. I've bought it before and sauteed it a bit with different kinds of sauces and it's really quite good. One of the things I like about Whole Foods is they usually have some pre-made meal with these. So you can taste it with seasoning and such.

sugarcatmom
August 27th, 2009, 02:47 PM
Veggie power!!!! Woot!
http://freesmileyface.net/smiley/Food/dancing-broccoli-23.gif (http://freesmileyface.net/Free-Food-Smileys.html)http://freesmileyface.net/smiley/Food/mushroom-26.gif (http://freesmileyface.net/Free-Food-Smileys.html)http://freesmileyface.net/smiley/Food/tomato-58.gif (http://freesmileyface.net/Free-Food-Smileys.html)http://freesmileyface.net/smiley/Food/carrots-54.gif (http://freesmileyface.net)http://freesmileyface.net/smiley/Food/onion-56.gif (http://freesmileyface.net)

Here's a great resource for all things vegetarian: http://www.vrg.org/
And a link to more links about humane sources of meat for during your transition: http://www.humanefood.ca/humane.html

Oh, and this is a great one too: http://www.eatwellguide.org/i.php?pd=Home

Bailey_
August 27th, 2009, 02:54 PM
AG, what is seitan made from? I will definitely give it a go! Can you buy it from a local grocery store?

SCM, Thanks for the links! Are you vegetarian?

mollywog
August 27th, 2009, 02:58 PM
cute, Sugarcatmom!

Yes, as AG mentioned, I would call myself a semi-vegetarian. The easiest way to describe what I do/ do not eat is: I don't eat anything with 4 legs!! :laughing: Its mostly a taste thing, although the thought of the cattle industry in general disgusts me. I would like to cut out dairy sometimes, especially after hearing how cows are treated on high-density dairy farms, but I just loooove cheese way too much!! :D
I don't have a hard time finding other things to eat. Even though my husband is a carnivore, he is happy to eat most of the meals I dream up. A good method for broadening your veggie style is to try one new veggie meal per week, and that way you slowly build up your own personal "cookbook".
One meal that both DH and I love is Tofu Stirfry. Buy firm tofu, cut it in 1 inch cubes, then stirfry it in a wok with some garlic, hot sauce, and soy sauce. Remove it from the wok, add veggies, stirfry, scramble an egg in (optional) and then at the end add the cooked tofu. This way its nice and crispy! :thumbs up AG is correct, tofu on it's own doesn't really have much of a taste. Instead, it usually takes on the taste of whatever you cook/ marinate it with.
Start slowly so that it's not overwhelming, but just make sure your body is still getting everything it needs! Good luck!

ancientgirl
August 27th, 2009, 03:02 PM
AG, what is seitan made from? I will definitely give it a go! Can you buy it from a local grocery store?

SCM, Thanks for the links! Are you vegetarian?

Here's a description:

Wheat gluten, also called seitan (pronounced /ˈseɪtŠn/), wheat meat, gluten meat, or simply gluten, is a food made from the gluten of wheat. It is made by washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch dissolves, leaving insoluble gluten as an elastic mass which is then cooked before being eaten.

Wheat gluten, although not as well known, is an alternative to soybean-based meat substitutes such as tofu. Some types of wheat gluten have a chewy and/or stringy texture more like that of meat than most other substitutes. Wheat gluten is often used instead of meat in Asian, vegetarian, Buddhist, and macrobiotic cuisines. Simulated duck is a common use for wheat gluten.

Wheat gluten is most popular in Japan and China, where it was first developed, as well as in the cuisines of other East and Southeast Asian nations. In Asia, it is commonly found on the menus of restaurants catering primarily to Buddhist customers who do not eat meat..


Most markets here now have a health food section and it has a few things for vegetarians. I've always been able to find it though at Whole Foods.

sugarcatmom
August 27th, 2009, 03:50 PM
SCM, Thanks for the links! Are you vegetarian?

Hubby and I both are - Zack since he was a little kid and me since my early 20s. We do eat some dairy, but try our hardest to find humane sources. I must confess I have it easy though because Zack does most of the cooking, and he's a really great cook! Otherwise I'd probably be eating peanut butter sandwiches for dinner every night.

Bailey_
August 27th, 2009, 03:53 PM
Thanks AG for all your help. It's helpful to talk to someone who's done this!

Molly, wow, that sounds really good and easy to make too. Thanks! :thumbs up

SCM, okay, seriously - very jealous your hubby cooks! What do you replace the dairy with??

NoahGrey
August 27th, 2009, 04:00 PM
I too am a vegitarian. Have been for 3 years. Don't eat any meat for ethical reasons. It is sooo refreshing that when we sometimes pick up livestock at large and bring them back to the shelter. They are sent to a sanchuary. Weve had pigs, chickens, roosters, and goats.

The main vitamins that I take are: muti vitamin, calicum with vit D, vit B75 complex, Vit E, Omega 3. I also have ulcerative colitis, so I need these vitamins, not just bcause I don't eat meat, but my body can't absorb nutrients properly, so I have to take extra.

Presidents choice has great veggie products. VERY good. Schneiders also have good products as well. Licks is good too.

Also best resturant so far that has the best veggie burger is Milestones.

ACO22

Bailey_
August 27th, 2009, 04:02 PM
I too am a vegitarian. Have been for 3 years. Don't eat any meat for ethical reasons. It is sooo refreshing that when we sometimes pick up livestock at large and bring them back to the shelter. They are sent to a sanchuary. Weve had pigs, chickens, roosters, and goats.

The main vitamins that I take are: muti vitamin, calicum with vit D, vit B75 complex, Vit E, Omega 3. I also have ulcerative colitis, so I need these vitamins, not just bcause I don't eat meat, but my body can't absorb nutrients properly, so I have to take extra.

Presidents choice has great veggie products. VERY good. Schneiders also have good products as well. Licks is good too.

Also best resturant so far that has the best veggie burger is Milestones.

ACO22

I LOVE Milestones!! Very glad to hear they have a good option. :thumbs up

ACO22, did you become a vegetarian after what you saw with farm animals?

mollywog
August 27th, 2009, 04:22 PM
I'm not big on "chain" restaurants but Milestones is one that I actually enjoy! :thumbs up

NoahGrey
August 27th, 2009, 04:23 PM
I LOVE Milestones!! Very glad to hear they have a good option. :thumbs up

ACO22, did you become a vegetarian after what you saw with farm animals?

Bailey..yes and no, First, it was the documentary called Earthlings Then what I see at work.

Milestones actually has a few dishes that are Veggie.

Alot more then other resturants that I have been too.

ACO22

ancientgirl
August 27th, 2009, 05:43 PM
Hubby and I both are - Zack since he was a little kid and me since my early 20s. We do eat some dairy, but try our hardest to find humane sources. I must confess I have it easy though because Zack does most of the cooking, and he's a really great cook! Otherwise I'd probably be eating peanut butter sandwiches for dinner every night.

:laughing:SCM you are so lucky. There are nights when PB is all I can muster up energy for.

Bailey, I don't want you to make the same mistakes I've made, and I have made some, which is why I'm feeling so crappy these days. But we can all learn how to do things right together. :D

ACO22, I'm not brave enough to see Earthlings.

NoahGrey
August 27th, 2009, 05:58 PM
ACO22, I'm not brave enough to see Earthlings.

It's not a question about being brave, but what really goes on and how are society treats animals in every aspect. It is tough to watch, however by society saying it is to hard to watch, comes the old saying of out of sight, out of mind.

Sometimes what we see and do, make us stonger.

ACO22

joeysmama
August 27th, 2009, 06:01 PM
I am not currently striclty vegetarian or vegan but I have done both of those lifestyles for an extended period of time. I began with becoming vegetarian for humanitarian reasons, and then vegan for health reasons.

I work on a health and nutrition website and there are many people on that site who are either vegetarian or vegan and a number of them are raising young children and are very helpful when it comes to giving advice on feeding young ones, packing lunch boxes etc.

Vegans do not need to give up wheat products. In fact it's very difficult to do that on a vegan diet but there are some people who have gluten sensitivities or gluten intolerance and must be very careful not to have wheat.

I think it's probably against the rules to promote the site I work for here. If someone wants to PM me I'd be happy to answer any questions. In the meantime there are tons of great books on the subject. My favorites are anything by Linda McCartney or Marilu Henner. Debra Madison. Or Deborah, I'm not sure, has a HUGE volume of only vegetarian recipes. There's something called "Where it all Vegan" but I can't remmeber the name of the author.

Also Moosewood Restaurant has a cook book by the same name.

It's very possible to live a healthy lifestyle without meat or other animal products. You just need to be careful that you carefully plan your meals. It's too easy to fall into the trap of eating lots of pasta and desserts.

Balance is key. Lots of fresh whole foods, don't load up on [packaged foods and carbs.

Shop the perimeter of the store where the "real" food is and avoid the stuff in boxes that's all over the center aisles. Some of that is not so much food as it is merchandise.

ancientgirl
August 27th, 2009, 06:06 PM
It's not a question about being brave, but what really goes on and how are society treats animals in every aspect. It is tough to watch, however by society saying it is to hard to watch, comes the old saying of out of sight, out of mind.

Sometimes what we see and do, make us stonger.

ACO22

Oh no, I know what happens. I know it is horrific, but I suffer from depression and anxiety issues. The little bit I saw one time about factory farming was too much for me to take. I still have visions of this cow, falling, not being able to stand up, and being beaten. There's no way I can watch that movie.

joeysmama
August 27th, 2009, 06:41 PM
AG have you ever heard of John Robbins. He's the heir to the Baskin Robbins ice cream fortune but he walked away from that and promotes an animal friendly vegan lifestyle. He wrote a book called Diet for a New America.

It was the first time I ever realized that animals are not raised by a kindly farmer in a humane fashion. Factory farming is brutal !!

mollywog
August 27th, 2009, 06:51 PM
Joeysmama- I have one of the cookbooks you were referring to, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. It's HUGE- 1400 recipes! And has such a huge variety, even side-dishes that you could serve with meat or fish if you prefer. I love trying new recipes from it. This weekend I am making herb Focaccia, and butterfly pasta with chickpeas. yummy!

ancientgirl
August 27th, 2009, 07:04 PM
Joeysmama, I didn't know about John Robbins. I need to look into more books about vegetarian cooking.

Mollywog, oy I love focaccia. I think I'm going to plan for myself a nice menu for the weekend. I've got to get my body in a better place. I felt pretty good today, but I'm still not feeling as well as I should be.

mollywog
August 27th, 2009, 07:16 PM
AG- being a teacher, I have the summers off (ok ok, I won't rub it in :laughing:) so I have had a lot of time to devote to cooking and trying out new recipes! Moosewood also makes good recipes. And the internet is a GREAT resource for veg recipes, not to mention it's free!
Even though I just cook for DH and I, I like to make a meal plan each week. It helps me to buy only what I need at the store, and it also allows me to put some thought into our meals instead of scrambling at 5pm with nothing in the fridge.

joeysmama
August 27th, 2009, 07:25 PM
Okay, can you tell this is a subject I get really excited about?

Here's one of my favorite smoothie recipes, from Louis Lanza's Dairy Free Cooking.

Throw the following ingredients in a blender. 1 banana, 2 heaping Tablespoons natural peanut butter, 1 Tablespoon maple syrup (real maple syrup, not the imitation kind of pancake syrup) 8 - 10 ounces soy milk. (if you do't do soy try almond, rice or oat milk)

Here's another. Good side dish for others at the table and vegans and veggies can make a meal of just this.

5 large cloves garlic
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 large bunch bitter greens washed and chopped (My favorite is broccoli rabe, but you can use kale, or escarole. If you don't like things that are too bitter try it with spinach instead)

Saute the garlic in 2 Tablespoons olive oil, as soon as it softens and before it can brown add the beans in their juice. Saute on low for a few minutes and then add the greens a handful at a time until they wilt.

I ALWAYS double this recipe. I'm happy to eat it with some sliced tomatoes on the side and some crusty bread. That's a meal to me. I sometimes serve it over pasta for the family with a tomato salad on the side. It's colorful and appetizing that way.

Another meal that my family likes is bean patties. They don't really like store bought soy burgers but they really really like bean patties.

Sautee some minced garlic and onion and as soon as they are softened, but not browned add them to a bowl of white cannelini beans. I know people who use kidney beans or black beans for this but my family likes the cannelini the best. Mash them with a hand held potato masher and add an egg and enough breadcrumbs (I use unflavored but you can use whatever you like) to make them into a stiff batter. You want to be able to shape it into patties.

Mold them into patties and fry each side until brown.

joeysmama
August 27th, 2009, 07:27 PM
Do you know that quinoa, even though it's a grain, contains protein. I've made the quinoa muffins from Deborah Madison's cookbook and I make cold quinoa salad with corn, parsley and edamame all the time in the summer. My son likes quinoa hot with cinnamon and sugar as a breakfast cereal.

MyBirdIsEvil
August 27th, 2009, 07:30 PM
There are a lot of vegetarian cookbooks and websites with recipes and information to get you started.

I personally never used any of these, lol. I just researched nutrition in general A LOT. I always ate low meat anyway, so it wasn't hard to cut it out.

I tended to lean towards exotic foods because they were flavorful and most american recipes aren't non-meat based, though there are some (kale, collard greens, beans, etc., but the recipes often tend to be high in fat and need to be modified)

Asian markets are your friend if you can find them. They carry a ton of non-meat based stuff and lots of tofu and soy based products for a good price. Indian stores have lots of different seasonings to help you out. Tofu actually goes pretty good in indian recipes because tofu, as it's flavorless, will absorb lots of flavor. You can also find a lot of different types of rice at asian and indian stores and BELIEVE me when you're not eating meat you will get SO tired of the normal bland american style rice. Also, the basmati and jasmine you usually find at normal grocery stores is unbelievably crappy once you've tried the good stuff. Invest in a rice cooker if you're not good at making rice on the stove.
Also try finding a good fruit and vegetable market. They will have good mark downs and deals and seasonal fruits and veggies. I used to be able to get a ton of stuff for just $10-$15 because they turn of stock often and will mark veggies down before they go bad. Usually the only thing wrong is they might have a bruise here or there but often enough there's not any flaws.

I don't think it's hard to transition into vegetarianism at all as long as you think variety (which you should be doing even with a diet that contains meat). Go to the store like you would for anything else and pick out a nice variety of stuff that doesn't contain meat. For the portion of your shopping where you'd normally by meat either by meat substitutes (veggie burgers etc., tempeh, tofu), or some kind of protein like beans, eggs, cheese, etc..

If you research the nutritional value of specific items you will have a lot easier time. Certain veggies and other items contain a lot of calcium(like cabbage, soy, certain beans, dairy), potassium (beans and dark green or colorful lettuces - stay away from iceberg altogether, it's fairly devoid of nutrition), iron (spinach, green leafy veggies, broccoli).

I wouldn't recommend transitioning completely to animal product free diet because you will have a ton of trouble getting certain nutrients (like b12). Eggs and dairy are a good source of nutrients that you will have trouble getting without meat.

Make sure to buy lots of whole grains. One of my favs is Millet. It cooks up a lot like cous cous (which is a pasta) if you know what that is. You can serve it like you would rice, or put it in soups. Barley is another good one.

lUvMyLaB<3
August 28th, 2009, 09:21 AM
i also do not eat meat, i do eat a bit of chicken but only organic humane raised from neighbors. I love milk, and up until we just moved always had our own eggs. I i now get eggs from a friend. I hate the egg chicken industry and think it is the most cruel. My dh and kids eat meat. I buy a pig and a steer from a neighbor that i know has been raised and processed very humanely. My dogs love when we go to the abbatoir as they give us all the bones and scraps we can carry. I then package them in small packs in the freezer. I guess that is a good thing abouut living in manitoba, always surrounded by family farms and every small town has an abbatoir that will give you free bones and scraps if u bring your own buckets. I want my kids to eat meat, like my pets i think they should and as long as i make sure it is always humane and from a small family farm, i can live with it. My family will never eat deer or any other wild animal, even salmon, i hate the way they rip so many fish out and waste so much. I know it is healthy but that is something i cannot support. Good luck on your veggie adventure!!

mollywog
August 28th, 2009, 09:25 AM
luvmylab- I agree with everything you posted, except one thing (and I don't wan't to hijack this thread into a debate, just curious here)- would you eat Salmon if it were caught on hooks, instead of nets? And why don't you support deer hunting? how is killing a deer for meat any different than killing a cow for meat?? :shrug:

Golden Girls
August 28th, 2009, 09:34 AM
In Montreal the only family friendly farm (that I know of?) is Les Ferme Saint-Vincent (Atwater & Jean Talon Market) I buy Brandi's meat there. I guess until people catch it'll stay expensive but they do offer budget packages. The only product I buy for her at the supermarket is sole & liver but I'm not happy about it

The owner has invited me to his farm hopefully one day I'll go meet his animals out crazing

TwinTails
September 4th, 2009, 05:54 PM
I've been semi-veggie for 7 years now. I cut out red meat and pork after finding out how the animals were treated (at least the place that supplied my local grocery store). I went completely veg for 3 years, but started eating chicken about 2 years ago. I found out that my body does not process non-animal protein, so I have to eat some meat. Now I eat chicken, turkey, some fish.

One of my favorite recipes is Bok Choy Soup:

3 cups veg stock (or 3 cups water & 3 veg bullion cubes)
1 clove garlic, minced (add more if you love garlic)
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
6 stalks bok choy, roughly chopped or torn
1/2 cube of firm or extra firm tofu, cubed
1/2 cup cooked pasta or rice (whatever you like)
1 slpash worster sauce (whatever it is called, if you use it)
1 slpash soy sauce (if you like)
1 slpash lemon juice

Boil stock and veg (not Bok Choy yet) for 5 mins or so. Add bok choy, tofu and seasonings. Simmer on med for 10 mins. Add cooked pasta or rice (or cooked/canned beans if you like). Warm through. Add salt and pepper if you like :)

This is very good stuff! I've had this with rustic bread topped with Asiago cheese. Yummy!