New Vegetarian with meat lover husband ! - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 03-15-2010, 04:28 PM
 
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Hi all. I am new to vegetarianism and I have some questions. I have always eaten meat and just recently ( the past 4 months) started changing my diet towards a semi vegetarian diet. I started by slowly taking out red meat then pork and now I eat only seafood and chicken and am trying to end that too. So my question is ...How do/did you all do it? Did you just go cold turkey so to speak and just give up meat all at once or did you slowly take it out of your diet?



Then for what I consider my biggest problem.... I live in a house with three boys and a hubby whos favorite foods are steak ,steak, and more steak ! I have tried many times to get them all to change their eating habits but its proven all but impossible. Since I am the one that started them eating this way , I feel bad that I can't help them to change. My DH insist he will never give up meat .



My 15 year old son is actually the one who talked me into trying to go vegetarian but the constant nag from his dad ( and sadly at times , me) that he wasn't eating enough or he looks tired and wasn't getting enough fuel for his lifestyle ( boxing/ MMA etc.) and soon he was back to meat with a vengence.



So my questions ...Can a vegetarian lifestyle be OK for an athlete like my son ? He is into MMA and hard core sports. Does he need meat to sustain that?



Also to the vegetarians with families that don't want to change do you still cook meat for them ?



I want to help them change the way they eat but I am their mom and feel the need to cook it for them regardless of if I am eating it or not. I don't want to allienate my DH and kids simply because they choose to eat differently than I want us to eat.



Help please
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#2 Old 03-15-2010, 05:26 PM
 
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A vegetarian diet is perfectly capable of delivering all the dietary needs of someone who lives an active life, not only that, but there are a few -vegan- body builders who lurk the forum from what I understand.
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#3 Old 03-15-2010, 05:35 PM
 
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Hi, and welcome! I'm a vegetarian with an omni family. My husband, son (age 11), and daughter (age 9) all eat meat. When I first made the change, I let them all know that I would no longer be eating meat. Prior to making the switch, I ate very minimal portions of meat. It seems like at first, I made a lot of meals that I could take my portion out of before adding meat. Now, I rarely cook meals that require any meat. They understand that if they want to eat it, they will be doing the preparation.

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#4 Old 03-15-2010, 05:57 PM
 
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So my questions ...Can a vegetarian lifestyle be OK for an athlete like my son ? He is into MMA and hard core sports. Does he need meat to sustain that?



k:



Here are some thoughts from Gold Medal Olympian Carl Lewis about being a Vegan/vegetarian athlete. In this video Carl says he was at his peak performance when he was a Vegan.



Also take a look at Vegan Body Building to give you a sense of the performance you can have being Veg*n.



By the way congratulations on you decision to move toward a veggie diet and welcome to the forum.

Vegetarian since February 12, 2007
Vegan since October 7, 2008
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#5 Old 03-15-2010, 06:12 PM
 
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To answer one of your questions... I tried slowly phasing out specific meats, and that didn't work for me. Quitting cold turkey just felt more "official" and less hypocritical. I felt like if I gave myself permission to eat THIS animal, it wasn't a big deal if I ate another animal.



About the family stuff, when we went to family gatherings, I really only found myself tempted if I felt like I was starving. I'd suggest snacking on fruits and veggies A LOT as you transition, so you never feel and like you have to eat meat if it's the only available option, just because you're hungry.

You're gonna make me puke my pants.
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#6 Old 03-15-2010, 11:56 PM
 
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I went cold turkey, just decided one day I was going vegetarian. I still had many items in the freezer that had meat in them and I told myself "well, I already bought them. May as well eat them, so it's not wasted." But once I told myself I was done with meat, that was it. I waited a few days and still hadn't touched those foods so I threw them away.



My husband is still omni, and I just recently switched my daughter to all vegetarian (though I have seen her eat a few pieces of ham at a school field trip once unfortunately) She's only 3. I went veg a little over a year ago, and it was a very abrupt change. We're still working out some kinks, but my house has had a no meat rule for the entire time, I will not touch it. (though husband will occasionally grill out, maybe a few times a year) He only eats meat when he's out now. He's very open about watching documentaries (please show your hubby Meet your Meat & Earthlings which can both be found in this part of the forum, stickied at the top) and I feel those films have helped a LOT.



And your son can absolutely be a strong athlete while eating a vegetarian (or even vegan) diet, as others said. Making sure he gets enough protein and other nutrients is necessary whether veg*n or omni, and there are so many ways to get those nutrients with a veg*n diet.
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#7 Old 03-16-2010, 04:15 AM
 
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I'm new here but thought I would throw in a comment. My hubby is Omni, but much less so than he used to be. He'll only eat meat if he goes out to eat or if it isn't too much trouble. :P



Fortunately, we generally cook our own meals but it's easy enough to cook something that's good for both - if he makes spaghetti sauce, for example, he'll save out a bowl or two for me without any sausage. If I cook something that he's interested in, if he wants meat he can add it himself. I suppose this would be different if I had children, but with adults in the house it's pretty easy to do!
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#8 Old 03-16-2010, 05:31 AM
 
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I am only on day 17, but I live with a hubby and son who are still eating meat.

My son is 9 and has expressed some interest in being "Pescatarian". I have told him that it is his decision and he can eat what he wants to. I am hoping my example will lead him to vegetarianism. My husband has been very supportive (he even told me that he was proud of me last night).

I still cook for them a couple of nights a week. I try to make a lot of whatever it is I prepare for them so that they can eat off of it for a couple of days. My husband also grills for them.

It is a challenge, but you can do it!
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#9 Old 03-16-2010, 06:37 AM
 
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I'm just starting the transition.. DH is not into the whole thing. He doesn't think it's necessary. I think with time he may eat less meat simply because he eats what I cook or he make something himself. If he wants to make himself a real burger when I make black bean burgers, be my guest. If he wants to try something new, he's always welcome. We are on the go a lot though and generally the meal consists of a salad with meat on top. I think he'll be getting deli meat from now on and I will be preparing a bean salad for the top of mine.

For family, just prepare. There are lots of recipes to try that are veggie that they could even have as a side dish with a little meat if they want while it's your main dish...
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#10 Old 03-16-2010, 07:03 AM
 
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For me it was a gradual process, like you starting w/ eliminating beef and pork, next the chicken, finally the fish and now I'm almost rid of the dairy and am headed toward being a vegan w/ my eye on getting more and more raw foods into my diet. It has been such a huge transformation in the way I feel. I still eat a lot, but have lost a total of 34 pounds. I began to feel like I could start exercising again and nothing hurts anymore. My life is better.



This is what made my husband hop on board (*for the most part). He's not totally vegetarian but he does eat a vegetarian diet most of the time. He's lost weight too and feels great. I never got on his case about eating meat and if he wants me to make something for him, I do. He does lots of stuff for me that he probably doesn't want to. That part will be a personal decision for everyone. Some won't allow meat in their homes, some will but their spouses make it themselves. Whatever works for you is the right answer. I don't preach, I do educate.



Your son can absolutely do well being an vegetarian athlete. Check the site listed above and there's a section in the book Becoming Vegan on proper nutrition for athletes. Even if he doesn't plan to be vegan at this point, it's still a very good book to read. It's breaks nutrition down specifically and is easy to follow.



Congratulations to you for starting your journey toward a healthier diet. One step at a time is fine if that's what works for you. Personally, I think the best way to win over the family is to make wonderful vegetarian food and take care of yourself. There is no better proof than living well.
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#11 Old 03-16-2010, 10:54 AM
 
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and I went cold turkey.
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#12 Old 03-16-2010, 12:58 PM
 
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Thanks for all the replies.



When my son had come to me about being vegetarian I immediately wanted to do what I could to help him . But since very little research went into that decision it was so easy for me to get scared and give up. I just fell back on our old ways because it was easier to do that then try to come up with alternatives. My mind was so jumbled and confussed that the only way to quiet it was to push it all away and act like this whole thing never came up at all.



When I first tried going vegetarian I assumed the only thing we would be eating were the few veggies we liked and soy and tofu ( thats what happens when you don't do research) One small book and I was on my way. At first I would literally just eat the veggies I had cooked with my families meal and maybe a salad on the side. As you can imagine I though "how in the world can I /we possibly eat this way forever " ? And because of that I backed down easily . Especially when I thought I was hurting my sons by removing the main source of protein ( atleast in our house) from their diets. I really had no idea that there were so many other natural protein sources out there. That may sound stupid , but its the truth. I had no idea how to cook a well rounded vegetarian meal and got very scared.



But when i decided to research and really try to understand it ,not only for him but for myself, I couldn't keep my mind quiet anymore... I had too many questions and thoughts. A board like this is a life saver when your lost and have no idea what to do! So thank you all for your replies and I will keep learning and reading and lurking .



As for the meat eaters in my house...they will (for now) continue to eat their meat , which I (for now) will cook for them. But my DH did come to a compromise.... 3-4 nights a week we will all eat a vegetarian meal ( a fully rounded meal not just some brocoli on a plate ) and the other nights I will coook for them what they love , its a start.



Thank you all for helping me see there are many ways to go about this. I guess its better to start somewhere then to just keep on living the way I was out of convenience.
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#13 Old 03-16-2010, 01:13 PM
 
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I think it's great there's so many of us just starting out. I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't found these boards.



I transitioned gradually over the course of several years. It started with trying to eat vegetarian for just one day a week. Then it's not so scary, it's just one day, you can go back to eating meat again tomorrow if you want. I think two major psychological barriers people have to trying veg*n is one: I'm going to be hungry all the time/craving meat/never satisfied and two: eventually I will wither away and die. (that one still makes me giggle now when I think about it) By doing it just one day a week, I was able to overcome that barrier and in the process began to educate myself about well-rounded, plant-based diets. Then I started eliminating meat from breakfast, then lunch, etc...



Then one day recently I got a food-borne illness - in fact I think I will title my vegetarian journey, "One Food-Borne Illness Too Many" - and I couldn't eat meat; couldn't stand to look at it or even think about it. After I got better I decided to keep going and just never looked back.



I'm fortunate, I do most of the cooking so the rest of the family is somewhat at my mercy, but they are allowed to bring their own food to the table if they wish. I love it when I make a veg*n dish and they chow down and never even notice there's no meat. Wife is omni but not a big meater, kids too, so it hasn't been a big issue, but we are still adjusting.
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#14 Old 03-16-2010, 05:21 PM
 
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Thank you all for helping me see there are many ways to go about this.

You are very welcome.

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Vegan since October 7, 2008
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#15 Old 03-17-2010, 07:00 PM
 
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Just to clarify, what does DH stand for? I always read "damn husband."

You're gonna make me puke my pants.
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#16 Old 03-17-2010, 07:26 PM
 
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Just to clarify, what does DH stand for? I always read "damn husband."

That seriously made me LOL. I thought it was "darling husband" or "dear husband!" I guess "damn husband" works sometimes too.



To OP, I had a very looooooooooong transition. I wonder if I might have the longest transition of anyone here. FTR, I didn't start referring to myself as vegetarian until I decided to come out publicly about not eating any kind of meat anymore. I'm glad I took my time and figured out a way to get everyone on board so I could be successful.



I have three boys too, and my eldest used to be veg and now eats no dairy and no land animals. The other guys will not give up meat, but most of them will eat veg on occasion, and I think that's good. When any of them cook, they always make veg food for everyone, or make a special dish for me, and I think that's good, too.

"Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, 'There is no "I" in team.' What you should tell them is, 'Maybe not. But there is an "I" in independence, individuality and integrity." Â George Carlin
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#17 Old 03-18-2010, 06:41 AM
 
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Just to clarify, what does DH stand for? I always read "damn husband."



That also made me LOL.. that is one way to look at it!
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