Becoming Vegetarian in a Meat Eating Family? - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 06-08-2014, 09:10 AM
 
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Lightbulb Becoming Vegetarian in a Meat Eating Family?

Hi! So recently, I've started to look into where my meat really comes from. I watched "Earthlings" which was heartbreaking and than decided to read "Eating Animals", which opened my eyes to factory farming.

Ultimately, all of my research has led me to the conclusion that I want to become a vegetarian. It seems like the only ethical thing to do. The only problem is I live with my family, who eat a LOT of meat.

We eat hamburgers, meatloaf, steak, chicken, lasagna (with meat), etc. This is a problem for a couple of reasons. 1) It's going to be hard to get the nutrients I need because I doubt they will be willing to buy "extra" or separate food 2) It's really hard to be around meat right now because while I really do want to give it up, I'm still craving it.

So any advice on how to get all the nutrients I need and how to deal with any mean remarks made by family members? And how do I get through the cravings? Will the cravings eventually stop?

Thanks for any feedback!
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#2 Old 06-09-2014, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by SarahCares View Post
So any advice on how to get all the nutrients I need and how to deal with any mean remarks made by family members? And how do I get through the cravings? Will the cravings eventually stop?
Its not difficult to get the nutrients you need on a vegetarian diet, for example, if you simply replace the meat in your diet with legumes (beans, soy, lentils, peas) your diet will be more nutritious than it was before.

Food cravings are psychological and will go away as you replace meat in your diet with alternatives.
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#3 Old 06-09-2014, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SarahCares View Post
We eat hamburgers, meatloaf, steak, chicken, lasagna (with meat), etc. This is a problem for a couple of reasons. 1) It's going to be hard to get the nutrients I need because I doubt they will be willing to buy "extra" or separate food 2) It's really hard to be around meat right now because while I really do want to give it up, I'm still craving it.

So any advice on how to get all the nutrients I need and how to deal with any mean remarks made by family members? And how do I get through the cravings? Will the cravings eventually stop?

Thanks for any feedback!
About 1): buying different food for you should not be a problem. If they complain, tell them you have to eat anyway. Some convenience foods (fake meats) might be more expensive than real meat- but some aren't. I've come across fairly satisfying non-meat burgers, but I don't know if you'll like them. I still feel mild cravings sometimes, but I've always liked a great variety of food, so when I gave up meat, it wasn't bad at all.

Meat does taste good to many of us- that's why people eat it. But other things taste good too, even if they don't taste exactly the same. Does you family eat at least some vegetables and fruit? Even meat eaters are better off if they eat veggies too, even though vegetables don't have as much protein or calories as meat..

What foods do you like besides meat? I eat lots of grains and beans; oats are probably my favorite grain, but I eat rice, wheat, etc too.

Peasant (1963-1972) and Fluffy (1970s?-1982- I think of you as 'Ambrose' now)- Your spirits outshone some humans I have known. Be happy forever.
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#4 Old 06-10-2014, 03:15 AM
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You could make a list of foods you like that are already vegetarian. When I went vegan I started with making a list of foods that I consumed regularly and enjoyed that were already vegan such as oats, lentils, sweet potatoes, carrots, bell peppers etc. I based meals and recipes around those while continuing to read tons of vegan recipe books and blogs and learn about how to cook and eat as a vegan. Libraries nowadays have tons of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks and nutrition guides. There are tons of vegan and vegetarian websites also with loads of ideas too. Take an hour and go through the kitchen and make a list of all the ingredients and foods that are vegetarian or vegan, and start there. Most vegetarian food is fairly inexpensive and can be incorporated into your meat eating family's meals. Vegetarians tend to use beans as a main course whereas meat eaters see them as a side dish. A can of beans can run between a dollar and two dollars depending on the size and bean. Dried beans run the same cost but you get way more beans for the same price, you just do more work soaking and cooking them. Potatoes can be dressed with vegetables, vegetarian sauces, beans, nutritional yeast, even ground up nuts as a "parmesan". Peanut butter on toast is as basic as you can get and is vegetarian. Fruits and vegetables are part of everyone's diet as someone said.

I have no idea of your age or work status, but can you go on grocery trips with whoever buys the groceries and offer to pitch in and help with planning and so on? Maybe help prepare meals?

I never had meat cravings but I did crave Greek yogurt for a while. It took a good month for that to go away. I found that using frozen banana, plant milk, and protein powder in my blender helped with cravings and gave me that creamy bland consistency I was after. It wasn't exactly the same but over time I have found that there are many vegetarian foods I crave now and look forward to.

ps I see you found the bean burger thread. Yeah!

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#5 Old 06-14-2014, 04:51 PM
 
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Subbing! For me it should be easier because I'm the mom-my hubby works out of town most of the time, and the kids are small enough to just eat what I make.
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#6 Old 06-15-2014, 10:14 AM
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If you are in a position to do so; start buying your own stuff and preparing your own meals or part of your meals. Even if you can only buy some of the ingredients like vegetables, beans, nuts, rice, and plant based milk and have to make up the difference with some of what your family has that's a start. Not everything they get from the store has meat in it (I hope). And, you can share some of your foods with them, hopefully they will like it and start buying some of those ingredients and products themselves.
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