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Going Vegetarian! (As of 12/1/14) :D


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So yesterday was my first full day as a vegetarian!!! laugh.pngAbout two months ago, the dog that I had for as long as I could remember passed away, and since then, I haven't been able to look at meat the same way.sad2.gif I don't know why I've been feeling...guilty? wrong? eating meat, but I honestly haven't been able to eat a meal with meat in it without feeling terrible about myself afterwards. And on top of feeling better about what I'm eating, losing some weight wouldn't hurt, either! yay.gif

If any of you guys are vegetarians/vegans/are knowledgeable about vegetarian diets, do you have any advice for maintaining a balanced, healthy, vegetarian diet?

And if you are a vegan/vegetarian/plan on becoming a vegetarian/vegan, when did you begin the diet? How have you felt after being on it? And anything else you'd like to share about it. biggrinsmiley.gif

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If you're doing vegetarian, not vegan, keeping a balanced diet isn't too hard, since you can use dairy and eggs as a source of protein. Nuts and bean are also good sources of protein, especially if you're cutting out all animal products.

Also, just generally, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Asian diets are well suited to adapting to meat free needs.

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Jor pretty much covered everything I was going to say, except one thing: Don't be too upset if the pounds don't shed right off. Going vegetarian does not necessarily mean that you will lose weight, especially if you naturally eat more carbohydrates. BUT, kudos to you for feeling better about what you eat! That is always, always a good thing! Good luck on your new food journey!! :D

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I've been oh fuck I've been a vegetarian for almost half a year jeez time flies!. Anyways as said above nuts,eggs are good protein. Tofu is lovely but the texture is not everyone's cup of tea.Goodluck ! :)

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I was strictly vegetarian for nearly six years, vegan for around a year towards the middle of that period. I recently started eating some fish/poultry again to supplement a still-mostly-vegetarian diet. It's been a really positive choice for me, so I hope it goes well for you! Cutting out beef and pork, in particular, did a lot of good for me, health-wise.

I can't make any universal decrees on behalf of all of of veg-kind, since everyone's dietary needs are different, but I can tell you about a few things I ran into:

Issues with iron absorption early on-- most likely because I was drinking a stupid amount of coffee and not eating enough fruit (Vitamin C helps with iron absorption). Being more responsible with my caffeine habits and getting more Vitamin C/iron (or foods with both, like leafy greens and broccoli) helped a lot.

Protein always comes up, too. Beans, chickpeas, lentils, nuts, and seeds are good for that. If you're cool with eating animal products, then things like yogurt, cheese, and eggs will hook you up with delicious proteins, as well.

In general, though, it is pretty easy to eat a balanced diet that doesn't include meat. That said, if this is a drastic dietary change for you, being especially attentive of how you feel when you do/don't eat certain things will be really helpful!*

*Sorry for being Captain Obvious here. Just mentioning it because I was an irresponsible adult who did the BREAD-AND-BREAD-ALONE thing when I first started doing this. :lol:

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*Sorry for being Captain Obvious here. Just mentioning it because I was an irresponsible adult who did the BREAD-AND-BREAD-ALONE thing when I first started doing this.

You mean humans can't survive on carbs alone?! Shit! XD

The iron thing is a really good thing to bring up, actually. I know a lot of people who have run into that problem when going veggie.

A quick search turned this up, which you might find helpful JQL.


A nice key point in there is that vegetables like broccoli and bok choy are high in both iron and VC so they're especially good in a meat free diet! And as Icarus mentioned, leafy greens are generally high in iron and just generally good things to have in your diet. Keep in mind though that not all leafy greens are created equal, a good general rule of thumb is that the darker green, the better. Iceberg lettuce for instance, is mostly just carbs and doesn't offer much in the way of vitamins or minerals, whereas spinach is pretty high in a number of important nutrients.

Also, I don't know what you're diet has been like previously, but most people eat a very small range of the number of vegetables that are actually available, so if you don't already, I highly recommend branching out from just the "standard" veggies. Kale, Swiss Chard, and the aforementioned bok choy for example are all really great additions to any diet. Farmers markets are a great place to find exciting new veggies, and the people selling them are usually a lot more knowledgeable about what to do with them then your average supermarket grocer, and more willing to answer questions and offer advice.

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I am not vegetarian or vegan myself. My sister has been vegan for many years though so I know generally how she eats. There have been many great suggestions above. I think the biggest hurdle is getting yourself accustomed to the many staples of a veg diet, beans, lentils, tofu, etc, if you don't already eat those things.

I would recommend going to your doctor and getting your bloodwork checked every now and then as well to see what is lacking in your diet. Multi-vitamins are convenient but whether they are effectively absorbed is debatable. If you are only deficient in one or two vitamins/minerals you are better off just supplementing those.

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I'll be in the minority on this one, but I had a somewhat negative experience with it. After some research, I discovered that my body simply isn't wired for this type of diet and once I accepted that, I was fine with it. I didn't feel very good while I was on it, nor did I lose any weight, but that certainly doesn't mean it's a a bad way to eat. It's actually a very healthy eating style and I would recommend. But sometimes, your body chemistry can't hack it and if that's the case, it's okay. :yes: I was just one of those people.

That being said, I do want to share one rather unpleasant thing that happened to me when I was doing it. I'm not a biologist, so this may come out wrong, but I believe you need certain enzymes in your system to break down meat proteins specifically. Once you stop eating meat, your body doesn't produce the enzyme to the degree that it used to. I don't think this is "bad," but I do think it happens. (Someone explained it to me once, but I can't remember the specifics!) So, if you suddenly eat meat again, you won't feel very well. Contrary to what some say, it's not that the meat is poisoning your body, it's that your body doesn't recognize it any longer and can't break it down properly. So, bad things happen. The same type of thing will happen to you if you don't regularly eat veggies and you suddenly start eating a bunch. Your body will go, "OMFG?!?!" and might give you some unpleasant (temporary) side-effects. I can say THAT from experience, for sure. :lol: I used to be a very poor eater.

But I think you'll like eating this way, if your body can deal with it. Just eat good things and eat enough of them. If you can consult someone who's an expert in nutrition, it's worth it. :yes: I hope it works out for you!

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I was a vegetarian for 6 months my senior year of high school lol. I don't really like the taste of meat, so I decided to try being a vegetarian for a week and ended up loving to make my own food all of the time haha.

I honestly don't care that much about nutrition and stuff. I've been part of the fad crowd and gone on random like weeeee juicing fast it's so heathy woohooo no sugar for a year it's so healthy... But I don't care about any of that. I think as far as health goes, exercise trumps diet and makes a bigger difference to your health. And I think your body is underestimated, and really it can do a lot more then you think it can with or without the perfect amount of protein or antioxidants. I'm no scientist at all. I just get tired of "what's healhy" changing like every 5 years lol. I just eat what I enjoy and I'm freakishly healthy, and have never been unhealthy despite changing my diet over the course of my life.

So anywayyy I was always told not to eat too many eggs when I went veggie. People told me to eat like 3 a week or something. I also was told that you shouldn't worry about protein, it's seriously in absolutely everything. Basically, I say eat what you enjoy. If you experience some kind of problem that could be caused by like low or high levels of something, then I would figure it out. But I think for most people, your body is capable of maintaining its health.

I'm just super easy going and carefree lol. And it's worked out for me with no stress and no hurt in my wallet and no negative effects to my knowledge.

I ate a lottttt of pasta when I was a vegetarian. And soups and veggie sandwiches and stuff like that. I know everyone says carbs are evil and make you fat but it never affected me, I guess I just have a high metabolism.. I ate a lot of weird stuff cus I like a lot of food that requires meat, but without the meat lol. Like I love hot dog buns all yummed up without the meat in it. I love just plain stuff like potatoes or rice with salt and butter. I adore oasta and hate meat in it lol. I don't like meat on pizza. I love sandwiches made the same way as meat sandwiches would be, just without the meat lol. Makes the cheese so much bolder mmm. I actually never ate salads, I just recently started liking them. But they take too much preperation to me xD

Edited by Boba
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Boba, let me say that I respect your attitude about not letting fads control you and I think it's a smart way to think. However, you are absolutely right to say that you must have a high metabolism because the average person can't carb-load and stay slim, especially not as they age.

If you're going for fitness, it's actually mostly diet that makes the difference. In fact, it's about 80% diet and 20% exercise. You are very much what you eat. I know vegan and veggie trainers that are just as fit as the meat eaters, but if you're eating poorly, all the exercise in the world won't make you healthy. I'm a big proponent of clean eating, no matter what your lifestyle, so while you may be able to eat pasta and bread and pizza all the time, most people have to enjoy those things in moderation. :yes:

If you're going vegetarian, it's even more important that you eat unprocessed things because potatoes, white bread, and white rice may give you quick energy, but they spike your insulin and cause most people to feel fatigued or just blah about two hours (or less) later. Sprouted grains, sweet potatoes, brown rice, and quinoa are much better choices.

Edited by Geist
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