Going Vegetarian

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Angelskates, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    I have decided to change my diet to vegetarian again, specifically lacto-ovo vegetarian, no meat or fish, but still eggs and dairy.

    I was vegetarian for more than 10 years and then began eating meat again several years ago. I have severe iron deficiency anaemia that both taking iron tablets and/or eating meat hasn't conquered.

    I am looking for advice on how best to make the switch. I don't eat a huge amount of meat anyway (no pork, chicken maximum once a week, red meat mostly only when I eat out etc.) but should I take it away gradually?

    I don't eat tofu because I don't like the texture, but I enjoy fruit and veggies a lot and don't have any trouble with a vegetarian diet, except the lack of iron. Any advice on how to best get protein? I had a dietician/nutritionist but she has since left Beijing and I don't want to pay for another one and have to start again with history etc. etc.

    I know there are several vegetarians on the board, and I am looking more for what to expect when I make the change. Are there any side effects? I had pretty major side effects when I started eating meat, and am hoping there aren't too many when I change back again!

    Any good recipes would be greatly appreciated too. :)

    Sorry, I didn't mean to post this in SS, can a nice mod please move to OTBT! Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2011
  2. Jackie Sparrow

    Jackie Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    I stopped eating animals in 2001 and I didn't transition, I just stopped completely from one day to the next. I remember at the beginning I ate a lot of eggs and cheese and I had high cholesterol for a while. But from stopping eating animals I didn't have any side effects at all.

    I am not of great help to you cause I don't have any deficiencies and I don't pay much attention to what I eat. I sometimes crave something; i.e. my body tells me what I need to eat.

    Good luck with the restart. I hope you find a solution to your iron problem. I am glad meat doesn't solve it :p
     
  3. KikiSashaFan

    KikiSashaFan Well-Known Member

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    I haven't eaten meat since I was 8, but I do eat eggs and dairy still.

    I'm not a huge fan of tofu either, although it is okay to bulk up a smoothie since you lose the texture when it's blended. There are some other soy products that are delicious though. Last night I made hamburger helper with soy hamburger and even Mr. Kiki ate it without complaint. I've found most soy products are very good, especially if you put a sauce or marinade on them. If you're not allergic to nuts there are also a lot of nut based meat substitutes, cheeses and such that contain high amounts of protein. I also eat Greek yogurt over the regular stuff, as it has 3-4 times the amount of protein.

    When I first went vegetarian my mom took me to a bunch of dieticians and such to make sure I was still gettting all the nutrients I needed, and the one thing they all said in common was that you can get most things from soy, nuts, dairy, eggs etc, but you should still take a B12 supplement because that's harder to come by without meat.
     
  4. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    KikiSashaFan, I actually hate soy :lol: (unless it's just soy sauce) and am not usually a fan of meat substitutes either...I love Greek yoghurt though, I had no idea it was high in protein.
     
  5. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

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    ^^^No, most soy products are "not good", especially for your health. I think anyone who make soy part of their children's diet ought to be charged with child abuse.

    http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2BpRoa/www.foodrenegade.com/dangers-of-soy/

    ADMIN EDIT: Please refer to Board rules about quoting from external sources

    http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/announcement.php?f=14&a=37
     
  6. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    :rolleyes: Eating too much of anything is bad for you. I've had a dietician or nutritionist for the majority of my life and all agree that soy is very good for you in small doses, like any other food. My doctors agree.

    And BTW, I'm not American and I live in Beijing, so the soy I would be eating, if I liked it, would be Chinese.
     
  7. JerseySlore

    JerseySlore Active Member

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    I'm no vegetarian, but I don't like meat in general so I tend to rely on nuts, cottage cheese, whey protein and eggs for protein. I think it's important to make sure at least some of your protein intake comes from a source other than grain.

    I know China, well actually most countries outside North America can be unaccomodating to vegetarians, so you should be prepared to forego restaurant foods!
     
  8. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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  9. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    Whole wheat pasta and breads tend to have a fair amount of protein (5-6grams for 1 slice of bread made from only whole wheat flour), so that is where i get most of mine. My vegetarian cookbook lists these items as high in protein:

    Eggs
    Cheddar (and other cheeses)
    tempeh
    lentils
    ricotta and cottage cheese
    sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
    split green peas, kidney beans, chickpeas, limabeans
    peanuts, cashews
    Spinach
    barley or bulgur
    peas :)cheer:)
    Whole-wheat bread and pasta (and brown rice)
    Yogurt, particularly Greek
    And some fruits and vegetables but it doesn't specify.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2011
  10. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    I taught in China, and had no trouble at all eating vegetarian while I was there. In fact, I learned to appreciate brussel sprouts and collard greens. :)

    Angel, I just went cold turkey (so to speak...) when I went vegetarian. I'm don't really watch what I eat, so I should probably check that I'm getting enough iron. :shuffle:
     
  11. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    Collard green :swoon:

    brussel sprouts :yikes:
     
  12. KikiSashaFan

    KikiSashaFan Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. I eat soy stuff maybe twice a week at most, usually when I'm making a recipe that contains meat and need a substitute. It can't be worse for you than meat pumped full of hormones and steroids.

    I'm not sure if you can find it where you are, but quinoa is a sprouted grain and an excellent source of protein.
     
  13. JerseySlore

    JerseySlore Active Member

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    I love brussel sprouts. :swoon:
    I know there are plenty of veggie main dishes in China, but you have to watch out for certain types of broth and condiments many of which contain animal-based ingredients. My vegetarian friend once requested a vegetarian noodle soup in Korea, and they just picked out meats from the beef broth. :scream:
    Surprisingly many people fail to understand vegetarianism extends beyond not chewing flesh.
     
  14. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    I realize that. I am not one of those people.
     
  15. JerseySlore

    JerseySlore Active Member

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    I wasn't referring to you. ;)
    I just have seen so many restaurants employ "pick out the bacon bits and make your own vegetarian dish" attitude. My poor friend depended on white rice and soy sauce until she discovered bibimbap.
     
  16. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

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    You are aware that it is possible to obtain meat from animals that are not being fed steroids and growth hormones?

    The key phrase being "in small doses." Not as a main course. Certainly not taken to the extreme intake that the jump-on-the-bandwagon vegans consume it.
     
  17. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    It is possible but difficult and considerably more expensive in most cases. Meat shouldn't really be a main course, either, at least not more than once a week or so if that. If people are eating it as the main course daily, which many do, then certainly soy can be a main course once in a while.
     
  18. Bonita

    Bonita Active Member

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    I went vegetarian cold turkey a few years back. I used to hate all types of beans and now I crave them. I love tofu (especially the naughty kind that comes fried). Boca burgers are my friend. I also eat nuts every day. I don't miss meat at all. I never really loved it and one day thought, why am I eating this? My cats are sad, though, LOL.
     
  19. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    Good luck! I could never do it.

    I saw a television show yesterday with a girl who was a fruititarian. She went around the L.A. area picking fruit that hung over peoples yards and over the sidewalk. She was a complete cook. She wasn't about eating fruit she was about eating FREE and stealing from people's fruit trees. I would dare her to come take stuff of my tree!
     
    bardtoob and (deleted member) like this.
  20. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    I stopped being vegetarian because I found it very hard here (amongst other things, like my iron levels). The Chinese actually don't eat brussel sprouts but I can buy them at the foreign store. They definitely don't seem to understand vegetarianism here :lol: buf that's ok, I like to cook.

    Did you have any side effects when you made the switch?
     
  21. Allen

    Allen Glad to be back!

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    I was visiting my parents a few summers ago. They went to church and I stayed home. I heard the dogs freaking out so I looked out in the garden and found two women picking tomatos and green beans. So, I texted my mom and asked if they had told some people they could pick anything in the garden. Of course, she hadn't. So I opened the door and told them to get out of the garden. The stupid bints tried to argue with me about. They stopped, but were going to take what they had with them. I may have chased them away with a shotgun.
     
  22. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    There's an old legal principle that confers the right to pick fruit from trees overhanging the property that is upheld in Los Angeles called usufruct. There's a website for the city of Los Angeles actually devoted to the principles of usufruct which offers maps to publicly accessible fruit trees called fallenfruit.org

    This is all from Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma. He wanted to get fruit for a meal that was entirely created from foraging and hunting, etc.

    Basically, what she did was totally legal and apparently practiced by many others. I don't know if it's just an L.A. thing or what.
     
  23. KikiSashaFan

    KikiSashaFan Well-Known Member

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    Uhh yeah I am. But it's also more expensive and not everyone is willing to or can spend the money on it. I'm not saying everyone should run out and replace every bit of meat they eat with soy, I'm just saying that it is an acceptable replacement for certain things and definitely isn't any worse "child abuse" than feeding kids hot dogs or other types of processed meats that I bet a lot of kids do have on a daily basis.
     
  24. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    I think that's true in other places. The fruit must be over the property line and freely accessible without damaging anyone's property. I also think overhanging branches can be cut by adjacent neighbors as long as it doesn't result in the death of a tree.
     
  25. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    I would recommend:

    Mixing vegetable protein (beans, tofu, nuts and seeds, etc.) with complex carbs (brown rice, buckwheat, wholemeal bread and pasta). This way you get complete protein.

    Quinoa is a great protein source and has loads of minerals as well. It cooks very quickly. It can be used instead of rice or eaten on its own, cooked with vegetable stock and possibly some veg.

    Nettle tea is a source of iron and aids digestion (the taste isn't great but I got used to it).

    Fruit + nuts or seeds is a healthy, satisfying snack. Plus you get your omega oils from them.

    I take supplements to stay on the safe side as despite all the knowledge shared above, I am lazy and my diet is rather shit. :p

    Solgar has a great multivitamin complex for vegans and vegetarians with lots of B vitamins:
    http://www.solgar.co.uk/product/formula-vm75-180-tablets-E1183.html

    I also take their Gentle Iron supplement, together with a Vitamin C tablet (or a piece of citrus fruit) because iron gets absorbed much better with vitamin c.

    I remember speaking to somebody who was vegetarian and went on a trip to China. He had a piece of paper with "I'm a buddhist" written on it, in Chinese, as they wouldn't understand the concept of being vegetarian if he didn't had that reason. ;)
     
  26. KikiSashaFan

    KikiSashaFan Well-Known Member

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    I love the versatility of quinoa. I make big batches and use it all through the week. It's good with chopped veggies and a bit of salad dressing, but it's also a really filling breakfast mixed with yogurt and toasted almonds. The combos are endless.
     
  27. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    May I ask why you desire to go to a vegetarian diet.

    My humble opinion is that if products are not locally available that both meet one's personal taste and supply sufficient macro and micro nutrients, then a minimal meat diet can be just as economical, ecological, and ideologically satisfying if one recognizes the sacrifice that brought one the meat.

    Throughout most of the human experience, meat has been a food used primarily for a dietary supplement, a feast/special occasion food, and as a rich food for hunter/warrior/athletes and pregnant women. Making a declaration of prohibiting oneself was not necessary. If a person chose not to eat meat when it was available in abundance, it was because the person simply did not crave it. Cravings were an indicator of a nutrient deficiency.

    My best recommendation is start adding all those foods you intend to use to replace meat (legumes- amino acids , whole grains- amino acids and minerals , seeds- both for oils and protein, nuts- both for proteins and oil, and green vegetables- minerals ... and obviously egg and dairy ), then see if your desire for meat decreases accordingly, and do not judge yourself to harshly if you eat meat occasionally. Variety, variety, variety will do you a lot of good.

    BTW, do you like peanut butter or other nut butters. I'm inclined to believe you are from a region that dislikes them in preference to brewer's yeast based spreads.

    Also, you might try cooking with cast iron pots and pans, as it often transfers ionic iron into the food one is cooking.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2011
  28. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    Not that I recall, other than people questioning my decision. ;)
     
  29. *Jen*

    *Jen* Well-Known Member

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    I hate quinoa. I've tried to like it. I've tried to eat it in so many things. I tried to force myself to eat quinoa for breakfast for a week, made with chai tea and a bit of plain yoghurt and fruit. In theory, it sounded wonderful. But I just can't shake the impression that I'm eating bird seed.

    I love legumes, and often put them with brown rice. I also eat eggs quite regularly. I eat soy occasionally, but generally I stick to the legumes, pulses, some nuts, seeds (pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein).
     
  30. heckles

    heckles Banned Member

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    Depends on the soy product. The processed fake meat products, such as the Morningstar Farms mini-corndogs, are full of unhealthy ingredients. Read their labels sometime; pretty gross stuff. If you're eating soy several times a week, it's a good idea to get your thyroid tested.

    If you're going for meat texture, wheat or mushroom protein meat analogs taste just as good as soy brands. Quorn is the probably the best non-soy brand.