Newbie Here! Am I Doing This Right? - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 09-09-2014, 01:13 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: USA
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Newbie Here! Am I Doing This Right?

I come from the South where everything is deep fried, BBQ'd, and sweet! Along with being raised in a super small town in the middle of nowhere. (Closest grocery store was 35 minutes away.) As you can imagine, I was very uncultured and was not aware of most food options other than meat, oil, and sugar. I've always been on the chubbier side and have both severe IBS and thyroid problems, which did not help with the weight. One day I got really sick and lost 20 pounds in two weeks. I'm 5'2 and I weight 140lbs which was the smallest I've ever been! A few months later I moved out on my own and gained 40lbs, weighing at 180lbs. This, this is the heaviest and biggest I've ever been. When I was in middle school I told my family I was going vegetarian because I loved animals too much for them to be stripped of their lives. Obviously, being in middle school, I basically was laughed at and had to eat whatever mom cooked that day. Which is understandable, especially since I've always hated vegetables. I gave in cause I knew I was powerless. Eventually I just forgot about the idea, I was still supportive of animal rights and not abusing animals, but didn't realize exactly what I was eating either. When I moved out, I decided to look more into vegetarianism. After gaining the 40lbs, I knew I had to do something. I slipped into such a dark depression and was always angry. So I decided to try T25 and eat better. I was doing T25 everyday along with taking Garcinia Cambogia, metabolism support, muscle aid, and coconut oil pills. At the time I worked at Subway so I would usually eat salad or a 'grilled cheese' and that was all I'd eat. Sometimes I'd eat steak for protein. After 3 months of doing this, I saw no results whatsoever. I didn't really feel better and I certainly didn't look better. So I gave up, discouraged and depressed. I stopped taking the pills, went back to eating whatever, and stopped exercising. I did however add Xenadrine 7x pills with Garcinia Cambogia, Raspberry Keytone, and Green Coffee Bean to my diet. After about two months I got the courage up to try again and was doing eons upon eons of research on bing, google, tumblr, pinterest, etc. on belly fat, vegetarianism, animal rights, thyroid problems, and everything else in-between. With my head held high, I decided to go full vegetarian while adding iodine and removing soy AND being on a budget. I quit taking the Xenadrine and noticed I gained two inches around my waist, but I think that was mainly water weight. So now here I am and I'm not even sure if I'm doing this right. I've cut out meat, and that's basically it. I don't exercise, though I've thought about getting into yoga again. I want to list everything that I have in my kitchen that I eat and see if there's anything I should add or change.

Activia yogurt, Danon vanilla yogurt, yoplait light yogurt, chia seed powder, vanilla whey protein powder, lightlife bologna, lightlife sausage links, tofurky, ricotta, mascarpone, laughing cow cheese, babybel cheese, parmesan, watermelon, bananas strawberries, apples, mott's applesauce, spinach-artichoke hummus, tostino's salsa, egg beaters, hidden valley ranch, tortilla wraps, cheddar taco shells, vegetarian refried beans, lays baked chips, banana honey nut cherrios, quaker fruit instant oatmeal, nature valley baked oatmeal squares, organic coconut oil, olive oil, nacho chips, iodized salt, panko bread crumbs, corn, almonds, cliff bars, kind bars, PB Crave cookie peanut butter, quaker rice cakes, bear naked granola, stevia in the raw, matcha/green/chai/black teas, hamburger buns, whole grain oat bread, bisquik, dried pastas, coconut milk, nesquik, lemonade, filtered water, pumpkin toaster strudels(it's fall, c'mon.), Quorn brand sausages and chicken, cheese pizza rolls, organic lemon frozen yogurt cookie sandwiches, welch's sparkling pumpkin pie juice, welch's watermelon juice, sweet leaf teas, pumpkin spice hersey kisses, potatoes, croutons, olive garden dressing, guacamole, annnnd I think that covers it. WHOOO!

With this as my main diet, is this working for me or are there things I should add/remove to help my body? I know the pumpkin pie items and the pizza rolls are a no-no, but like i said, it's fall. Also, I'm on my cycle and was craving the pizza rolls. As for the Nesquik, I've had an addiction to it for 5 years where I drink a little every day. I literally can never get rid of it, it's too perfect.

When I go out to eat, I'll get either pasta, salad, taco pizza, spinach alfredo of some sort, wrap/pita, or a fruit cup/parfait. All without meat of course.

As I said, I don't like veggies. I've tried and will continue to do so, but I am just not a veggie person. I do hate chunky tomatoes, that's for sure. Anyways, this is long enough. Basically am I doing vegetarianism right or wrong? What can I do to improve?

Thank you so much for reading thus far and please no mean comments! <3


P.S. I may have sounded like I'm doing this just to lose weight. I'd be lying if I said "no I'm not" because, with my health conditions, yes I do believe this is one way to help me with my health and weight. But also, I've been very passionate for animals and have been a voice for many things from declawing felines to beating animals to posting cruel pictures/video to my social media networks for awareness. I had dreams of becoming a veterinarian until I found out I'd have to put some animals to sleep. One of my cat's is a stray and the other is adopted for pete's sake. And quite frankly, I don't feel like eating cow feces and supporting cruel slaughtery. It's better if the meat's local and free-ranged but no meat is the best of all. So please don't falsely accuse me and state that I'm doing this only for my weight when that is indeed not the main reason.
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#2 Old 09-09-2014, 05:38 PM
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Whether you are doing that for weight loss and/or for the animals either way the dairy is not doing it the right way. Dairy cows are very abused and then slaughtered and the milk products are low energy fat, made for a low energy fat animal to grow up to be real fat.
You could benefit from cutting out white flour products and processed sugar.
Aim for as much non-processed whole plant foods and as much raw as possible as the ideal goal.
It may be that you don't like vegetables because (1) there is ways to prepare them so they are delicious (2) commercially grown produce can tend to be not tasty and poor texture. So organic may make a difference along with a good preparation strategy. Where are your legumes? Are you good at using spices? Learning to prepare whole foods so they taste good can be important, fun and rewarding.

Caring about our health is caring about our very state of being and future which is a very good thing to be seriously concerned about making the most of.

 

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#3 Old 09-09-2014, 07:08 PM
 
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Welcome, you have had a rough road, but now you are on to a good path. You say you are just nt a veggie person, and i bet you have just not had much experience with them. If you have had a diet of salt, fat, meat etc. it can be pretty addicting. Give it time.

Every time you give up a food, you will need to find something healthier to eat instead. Go at this slowly and you will see changes.

Keep coming back and asking questions.
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#4 Old 09-10-2014, 04:34 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Bunbury Western Australia
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It is not just what you eat but also that some foods can become very addictive. Dairy is one of those foods. Could you remove any dairy foods from your eating for 2 weeks. You will find you crave it and it might be tricky but by the end of 2 weeks you will feel better and be sure that it is a problem. Sadly often the food you most like is the food you need to remove as it is an addiction.
Keep reading and researching. You will find your path, well done for your steps so far.
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#5 Old 09-10-2014, 05:16 PM
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Many processed foods have hidden ingredients. I remember seeing this 'quinoa and veggie black bean wrap' at Starbucks once that had over 40 ingredients! I am allergy-prone and there is no way I would not react to that. If I just made a wrap at hime with quinoa and black beans and veggies, I would have no problems.

If you are used to this diet of very processed foods though, it can be hard to go cold turkey. Maybe focus on trying some small improvements and over time, they will add up to better health and diet overall. For example, you could cook real oats in the microwave instead of instant ones, and add a handful of fresh berries for the fruit content. Or stir in some canned real pumpkin and a few spices if you want pumpkin stuff because 'it's fall.'

Another one is pasta sauce. You could get some canned jars of pureed vegetables (for instance, baby food brands have many that are just plain vegetables and nothing else) and stir it into the tomato sauce. Or you could put a handful of greens into a fruit smoothie. Once it is blended and in a non-clear container where you won't see it, you won't taste it or know it's there.

I started with small changes like this and it did grow into an increasingly more healthful and made from scratch diet over time. But ultimately it is a choice and if you choose to keep eating the junk, your results will be less than if you are willing to try new foods and learn to cook a little.
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#6 Old 09-10-2014, 05:41 PM
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There's a lot of dairy in that list of food you have there.

I'm not going to talk to you about the morals of dairy because quite frankly, this is the vegetarian side of the board and you eating dairy as a vegetarian is totally your choice!

BUT.... It's probably not healthy to have it in those large amounts. Maybe see if you can minimise some of it (plus, parmesan unless it's vegan parmesan, has rennet in it. I personally don't eat bi-products of animals, things like rennet, tallow, gelatine, ect. So if I were you, I'd swap out the parmesan at least for something that doesn't contain rennet. OR, try some Nutritional Yeast instead of parmesan)

The next thing I'd look at, if I were you, is the processed stuff. I'm NOT going to tell you not to have strudels in your house because I'm not a sadist!!!! But, if there's a way for you to instead of having 'cheese pizza' that's ready to go, maybe just have some pizza bases instead. That way, if you want pizza, you have to make it yourself. And then instead of just putting cheese on there, load it up with olives, capsicum, spinach and onion!

I've been reading "Vegan For Her" by Vergina Messina and JL Fields. The most striking part, so far, that she talks about is not cutting out foods, but just adding more 'good' food to your plate. I think it's a smart move when transitioning. (I'm not vegan, but I cut out dairy for health reasons- I have a chronic bowel disorder- and moral ones. So, I'm pretty much plant-based these days and wanted to know how to get all the good stuff from food ).

I'd definitely recommend you get her book 'Becoming Vegetarian'. It's got some great nutritional stuff in there.

Oh and finally, good on you! It's hard to go vegetarian in a place where the culture runs counter to it. But you're doing it and I think it's awesome!

Just remember to be kind to you as well and to absolutely ask us anything and everything about vegetarianism!
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#7 Old 09-10-2014, 05:56 PM
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I second what the others have shared. BTW, if you are trying to cut down on soy, many of the processed products you listed there (cliff bars, granola bars, tofurkey, lightlife etc) have soy in them. I also have hypothyroidism but I can still eat non gmo soy (organic tofu, tempeh, etc) in small to moderate amounts without any negative effect on my thyroid. I don't eat a lot of the commercial processed stuff but on occasion, about once a month, I might have a cliff bar. As far as the dairy, have you been able to find almond milk in any stores there? I know it is becoming much more popular around the U.S. and could replace milk. You can order vegan protein powders online also. Vegan Essentials is an online store that has a lot of vegan types of products including cheese substitutes you could try.

Check out Forks Over Knives for help in how to transition to a more whole foods vegan/vegetarian diet. And be careful with all those supplements. They can interfere with any medications you might be on and are hard on the liver.

Also, while getting your diet straightened out is very important, exercise will do wonders for you as well, especially balancing your thyroid hormones and increasing metabolism. Even a brisk walk outside for 45 minutes a day (or 15 minutes two or three times a day) would get your endorphins going and help so much. I have been a regular exerciser for about six years now and I can attest that it has helped balance my thyroid and improve functioning exponentially. I went through surgical menopause in 2005 and it was so traumatic for my body, mind, and spirit. Exercise helped lessen the chronic pain I used to have.

Best wishes on your journey! Small steps. You will get there!
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#8 Old 09-10-2014, 06:38 PM
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Welcome Xivilaye!

While I agree with the posters about dairy I don't think it's right, or encouraging, to come down so hard when you're doing so fabulously!
It definitely takes time to rearrange your thinking about food. Time to change how you cook, how you shop, how you think to put foods together and use seasoning. And what you want to use.

It gets easier. It gets better, and more natural.
You may find vegetables are far more appetizing when prepared differently.
You should make a point to limit your dairy, even if only to help the IBS.

I did notice you said quacamole. Avocado is one of the foods people hear use to sub for cheese.
Do you eat any beans or lentils? How about hummus?
You're on a great path!
This forum is so full of resources and so many helpful people.
Please don't be put off by criticism. You're doing great.
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#9 Old 09-11-2014, 10:20 PM
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Welcome Xivilave. It's so grand to see such wonderful advice up here for you....see, you've got lots of people who are here for you.
Going vegetarian, especially after the foods you've been brought up to have, is absolutely wonderful but not easy.
I'm pretty much in agreement with the others - it seems like your dairy intake is perhaps on the "too much" side. You can still have it, but really try to limit it if you're wanting to lose weight.
The processed food also won't be helping at all. However, I agree with those who say "take it slowly". Being a vegetarian (a healthy one) or vegan is a lifestyle and a journey one goes on.
Make it fun by learning about whole foods and finding recipes - get adventurous. Try one new thing a week - like lentils ... learn about them and try a few different recipes.
Also see if there are other vegetarians/vegans living close by who can help you with the cooking.
As for you not liking veggies ... I agree with the others who suggest you perhaps learn how to cook them differently - YouTube is brilliant for learning to cook.
Good luck - you're awesome - and to be able to address more that one reason for going veg is a bonus.

Being a healthy vegan is definitely the
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#10 Old 09-14-2014, 12:53 PM
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Mod post: Stop posting pro-vegan messages when someone is only seeking to be vegetarian, it's rude. We dont tolerate the opposite in the vegan forums, and we won't tolerate it here.

Quote:
"You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.”
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#11 Old 10-01-2014, 02:52 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
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Thank you sooo much! I got a little bit off track (still didn't eat meat though!) when I visited my parents but now I feel like I'm doing a lot better than when I posted this! Again, thank you so much for being so nice! :3
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#12 Old 10-02-2014, 03:56 PM
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Welcome, Xivilaye!

Myself, I don't see anything wrong with processed foods sometimes, but it would probably do you good to try a few things you haven't before. I had always liked meat and fish, but I had always liked vegetables and fruits too, and plain oatmeal was always my favorite breakfast. (It still is).

As others have sort of touched on, even the tastiest vegetables can be kind of nasty when they're prepared in certain ways. What vegetables have you tried so far, how were they prepared, and what didn't you like about them- texture (you mentioned you don't like chunky tomatoes), color, smell, flavor...? There might be some vegetables you'll never like at all no matter how they're prepared, but that's okay. There are so many different favors and textures, you're almost sure to find some that you like.

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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