Fear I am turning into a junk food vegetarian, help! - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-08-2013, 12:38 PM
 
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I am so proud to be vegetarian for 11 months at this point, and hoping to be vegan one day.  But I feel like I have fallen into the 'junk food vegetarian' zone.  Many days I am too tired to cook, I am eating a lot of frozen, processed foods.  I have actually gained 15 pounds since last summer! sad.gif

 

I guess I need some inspiration or ideas or success stories (lol) or just someone to listen to me whine.  I am making my own homemade seitan burgers today, and I did make a batch of Isa's chickpea cutlets so I have a "stash" of those types of things in the freezer.  The problem is, as crazy as this sounds, for a vegetarian I seem to be sorely lacking in the fresh vegetable department! 

 

Any tips for those short on time? 

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#2 Old 07-08-2013, 12:46 PM
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You could set aside a "cooking day" and cook a bunch of healthy meals that you freeze or put in the fridge. Soups, chilies, bean burgers and stir fries work well. This and a meal plan for the week are good ways to manage your time in the kitchen. If you make enough meals to freeze then all you need to do is make a big salad bowl twice a week to add some extra veg in to your diet.
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#3 Old 07-08-2013, 02:17 PM
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Well, part of it is mindset. Even though we're all busy individuals, we have to allow time for ourselves and our health. So one step to prevent yourself from becoming a junk food veggie is to stop buying so many convenience items and limit yourself to one item per week. (like Boca burgers).

 

I like Katie's idea of a cooking day. I usually have two cooking days per week (Monday and Thursday) and I cook a meal (like a soup, stew, or a casserole dish) that can last several days. I also like to prepare my own "convenience items" at home.

 

I make pizzas with a hummus base on pitas. And then I put a bunch of veggies on like olives, zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, kale/spinach, etc. Then I set them on a tray, cover them, and put them into the freezer. After they are frozen, you can then wrap each one in wax paper and then toss them into a freezer-safe bag. When you want something quick, but healthy, you can take them out and pop them into a oven at 375 degrees until toasty and warmed through (if you want a crisp pizza) or into the microwave (for a soft, yet quick pizza). Here's a picture that I posted on VB last week. 

 

*

 

Another idea for making your own convenience items is make your own burritos. Soak black beans (or pinto beans) overnight and then cook them on the stove. Mash them coarsely and then add them to whole wheat tortillas along with brown rice, corn, and maybe bell peppers if you like. Then fold them up, put them on a trap, freeze them, and when they are frozen, wrap them individually in wax paper and toss them into a bag. 

 

For convenience breakfast, try this idea that Berlie17 here on VB passed on to me: make breakfast cookies! The way I make mine are to mash bananas until they are very mushy and then add rolled oats, chopped or ground nuts (optional), raisins (or other small dried fruit), natural fruit preserves (I like cherry), a dash of salt, cinnamon, and splash of almond milk. After that I combine them and then form cookie shapes. I then put them into the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes and then I shut the oven off and leave them in there for 10 minutes more. The resulting cookies are dense, chewy, and delicious. Additionally, they have no added sugars, no added oils or fats, and are low-sodium, so they're good for you. If you make a bunch, you can freeze some of them properly and then pop them into the microwave or toaster oven if you want to warm them quickly. 

 

Hope these ideas helped!

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#4 Old 07-08-2013, 02:35 PM
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You can make 12 burritos at a time and freeze them. They cook in a microwave in 3 minutes. In mine I use a Knorr Spanish rice mix, vegetarian refried beans, Pace picante sauce and chopped green chilis. Put the mix on the tortilla, roll it up and pin it with a toothpick. If you are vegetarian you can add grated cheese. I use Mission tortillas because they freeze well and still taste good. Super easy and very good for you.
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#5 Old 07-08-2013, 04:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aristede View Post

 

 

For convenience breakfast, try this idea that Berlie17 here on VB passed on to me: make breakfast cookies! The way I make mine are to mash bananas until they are very mushy and then add rolled oats, chopped or ground nuts (optional), raisins (or other small dried fruit), natural fruit preserves (I like cherry), a dash of salt, cinnamon, and splash of almond milk. After that I combine them and then form cookie shapes. I then put them into the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes and then I shut the oven off and leave them in there for 10 minutes more. The resulting cookies are dense, chewy, and delicious. Additionally, they have no added sugars, no added oils or fats, and are low-sodium, so they're good for you. If you make a bunch, you can freeze some of them properly and then pop them into the microwave or toaster oven if you want to warm them quickly. 

!

This sounds so good!  

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#6 Old 07-08-2013, 04:54 PM
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This sounds so good!  

 

Thanks! There were delicious indeed and I got other members of my family (the omnis) to eat them too! When I told them that there were no added sugars or oils, they were impressed and said they tasted good. This forum is a great place for exchanging recipes and ideas! 


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#7 Old 07-08-2013, 06:41 PM
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try eating more raw foods, that way you don't have to worry about cooking.  Green smoothies for breakfast or chopped fruit is a good start.  :)

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#8 Old 07-08-2013, 08:06 PM
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Salads.  You need not even eat greens if you don't want them.  Go to the farmer's market or grocery and pick out whatever appeals to you.  Be sure to pick several different colors.  Include anything--fruits, berries, seeds, nuts, vegetables, marinated beans, cheese, hard boiled eggs, cooked grains or pasta, croutons, tortilla straws, Bacos, etc. 

 

Make or buy the most awesome tasting salad dressing ever--whatever you like.  One of my favorites is homemade ranch dressing with fresh dill.  Salad dressing is SO easy to make and it tastes so much better than the bottled stuff.  It makes you look forward to lunch.

 

Next get yourself a nice hunk of your favorite bread.  Corn bread, banana bread, baguette, etc.  Whatever floats your boat.  Spread with margarine and wrap.

 

On the weekend, wash and cut up all your veggies.  The night before you go to work, put some salad dressing in the bottom of a big portable bowl.  Put the juiciest stuff in the bottom, followed by the greens, and topped with the eggs/pasta/croutons.  Pack yourself a nice napkin and silverware, along with something tasty to drink and a little fruit for dessert.

 

When it's time for lunch, turn your bowl upside down so the dressing starts to drip down.  Meanwhile, warm your bread up in the office microwave lightly. 

 

Now lunch will taste awesome and you will eat enormous amounts of vegetables voluntarily.carrot.gif

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#9 Old 07-09-2013, 06:59 PM
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Get a cookbook.  Get a few.

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#10 Old 07-09-2013, 09:45 PM
 
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Easy recipes I make all the time: black bean soft tacos(topped with avocado, homemade pico), served with either a side salad or mexi rice. I make simple veggie spaghetti by using nates meatless meatballs, tomato basil sauce, and chopped/sautéed bell peppers mushrooms and onions. Salad or garlic bread are perfect accompaniments! Amy's lite and lean dinners are great, or any frozen dinner 400 calories or under. I try to eat 3 meals a day between 4-500 calories and a snack under 200. I've lost 25 PDs this year! If you are anything like I was I was binge eating Ben and Jerry's, tons of fried tofu crap, and basically making poor decisions eatin out(not to mention those sinful morningstar corndogs and annies mac n cheese!!). Those thinfs are fine in moderation; like once a week most. As for ice cream ive learned to buy the tiny ones, you feel no guilt eating those! Cut meals in half when eating out; saves you money(leftovers) and calories.
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#11 Old 07-09-2013, 09:48 PM
 
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Also; fiber is key to losing weight. Make sure to eat 5 a day fruits and veggies! Frozen veggies are awesome steamed or sautéed, even microwaved are delicious! Another easy low cal meal I forgot to tell you about is veggie or cheese raviolis; cook them with frozen peas in tomato sauce. You can also buy a low fat tomato soup, put a bunch of mixed veggies(1/2 cup) and cook it to eat with a smart grilled cheese(1 slice of cheddar on whole wheat bread, pref with little margarine or butter---yogurt spread is amazing)
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#12 Old 07-09-2013, 09:49 PM
 
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Last post I swear-- vegetarian times has cookbooks and all their recipes are free online. Get inspired and adventurous in cooking! My fav cookbooks are trader joes vegetarian, moosewood and the vegetarian times magazine. Veg times lists calories for all meals smiley.gif
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#13 Old 07-10-2013, 12:57 AM
 
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I hear this all the time regardless if you are vegan, vegetarian or omni - I don't have time to cook yet they have time to watch TV for 3 hours a night (not talking about TS but in general).

Most meals I make take 15mins max. My go to meals are chana daal, pasta with veg n Tom sauce, stir fry, African rice and beans, vegetable fajitas. So easy and so tasty.

At work I get called extreme due to my veganism but then when I get my food out they all surround me saying 'mmmmmm looks and smells amazing!'
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#14 Old 07-10-2013, 07:25 AM
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In my early teen years I was a junk food vegan sad.gif I ate mostly bags of chips and vegan chocolate bars and French fries and vegan frozens within 3 months I was up 15 lbs I did not look chubby and I went from 100lbs to 115lbs I'm average woman height 5'4 so I kept on eating the same way until 3 months later I was 130lbs and that is when I decide to put the French fries down and eat more fruits and veggies no more processed foods and I exercise each day if not possible I do extra the following day even if I just walk a mile or two no more video games and chips all day Lol now I am a healthy weight of 107 lbs on a small frame .... I eat 90% raw now and yes less cooking involved and smoothies for breakfast everyday smiley.gif kick the junk to the curb and have chocolate etc in moderation wink3.gif
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#15 Old 07-10-2013, 08:32 AM
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#16 Old 07-10-2013, 10:37 AM
 
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I'm new to all of this, but green smoothies are going to be a huge help for me, to get in the veggies! Today my smoothie had cucumber, collard greens, spinach and kale, along with strawberries, blueberries and a banana (plus raw honey and plain whole milk Greek yogurt). Super filling and I used it as lunch. My goal is to have a green smoothie every day, to get the veggies in broccoli.gif And no matter what veggies I add, it tastes like banana lol.

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#17 Old 07-10-2013, 12:36 PM
 
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Thank you all for the wonderful suggestions!!  Really, really appreciate it!  I love to cook, have many cookbooks, but lack of time always does me in - I think that the idea of establishing a "cooking day" is a great idea.  I will have to spend some time going through all your thoughtful responses and see what I can prepare in advance and come up with a schedule.  smiley.gif

 

Ponyboy, I understand why you might say this, but I can assure you this is not me, lol - I probably don't watch 3 hours of TV per month.  Like many others on here, I work full time, I attend school full time, and I am single mother to three children. While my kids are pretty good at eating meatless meals occasionally, they aren't vegetarians and often I am cooking for them, then find myself eating side dishes and snacking way too much.

 

Aristede, as you mentioned, I really need to make my health a priority regardless of my hectic schedule.  I need to make some changes!

 

Thank you all!

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#18 Old 07-10-2013, 01:23 PM
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Creating menus with allocated bulk cooking & freezing days are great ideas.

The other things I always plug are whole-grain salads and vegetable soups & stews.

Both can be knocked up under 30 minutes and both can happily store in the fridge (or taken to work in pots & flask) for several days at a time to be eaten whenever.

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#19 Old 07-10-2013, 02:31 PM
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That is an awesome idea IckenNoodleSoup and for added time use a crock pot for some Veg*n healthy meals soups/stews.... wink3.gif
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#20 Old 07-11-2013, 06:38 AM
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I do a lot of cooking that requires very little hands-on approach. A favourite of mine is filled bell peppers. Just cut a bell pepper in half, fill each half with pre-cooked rice, quinoa, lentils, beans etc., and some veggies like onions, garlic, carrots, greens... Top the things with a sauce or cheese (vegan for me) and put it in the oven for about 20 minutes on 350 degrees F. A whole meal with basically 5 minutes of preparation if you already have cooked grains or beans in the house. Or you could leave off the grains altogether and use canned beans. Even simpler. 

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#21 Old 07-12-2013, 05:31 AM
 
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I'm not as short on time as I am absolutely lazy when I am eating in training. I eat a lot. I try to keep stuff in the fridge cooked in bulk so I can just eat leftovers. So lentils, avocado, some salad greens.... Lots of my meals lol like that.
I'm tapering now so I have free time and I crave junk but I try to go with sunflower seeds or frozen blueberries when that gets out of hand.
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#22 Old 07-12-2013, 05:35 AM
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Know what you mean about keeping stuff in the fridge! I have a giant box of steamed carrots in there and every time I pass the fridge, I grab a handful. Makes me eat my veggies, I suppose? :P It also makes me very lazy about actually making anything else... It' already 2.30pm and I just realized I've just had carrots for lunch shocked.gif I'll make a nice dinner to make up for it! Have some sweet potatoes in the fridge that I'm planning on baking and filling with sundried tomato hummus, caramelized onions and homemade vegan cheese. Probably along a side of greens, as I have yet to get those in today...

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#23 Old 07-12-2013, 05:42 AM
 
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Know what you mean about keeping stuff in the fridge! I have a giant box of steamed carrots in there and every time I pass the fridge, I grab a handful. Makes me eat my veggies, I suppose? :P It also makes me very lazy about actually making anything else... It' already 2.30pm and I just realized I've just had carrots for lunch shocked.gif I'll make a nice dinner to make up for it! Have some sweet potatoes in the fridge that I'm planning on baking and filling with sundried tomato hummus, caramelized onions and homemade vegan cheese. Probably along a side of greens, as I have yet to get those in today...

Dinner sounds good!

I keep brown rice, lentils, kidney beans, prepped salad, a large bowl of fresh fruit, bulk size storage jars of cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, a few different oils and a freezer full of oatmeal pancakes and veggies and fruit for smoothies. I also like to add vega one, vega sport protein to stuff. I even set my coffee pot at night!

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#24 Old 07-12-2013, 05:43 AM
 
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That is an awesome idea IckenNoodleSoup and for added time use a crock pot for some Veg*n healthy meals soups/stews.... wink3.gif

Oh yes looooove my crockpot!

I make a simple soup, its roasted garlic, white beans and veggie broth blended together with fresh sage. Yum.

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#25 Old 07-12-2013, 05:45 AM
 
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try eating more raw foods, that way you don't have to worry about cooking.  Green smoothies for breakfast or chopped fruit is a good start.  :)

yeah smoothies are fantastic to adding calories and saving time :)

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#26 Old 07-12-2013, 02:02 PM
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Oh yes looooove my crockpot!

I make a simple soup, its roasted garlic, white beans and veggie broth blended together with fresh sage. Yum.

 

I have yet to buy a crockpot. I've always enjoyed stirring my cauldron of soup or stew over the stove and then I leave it to do other things. I'm going to look into the possibility of getting one, because many of my friends (omni and veg) praise the usefulness of crock pot cookery. 

 

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#27 Old 07-13-2013, 09:26 AM
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Oooo and love cauldrons ! I have a lil mini one I use to burn fragrant herbs and dried flowers especially during autumn ....
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#28 Old 07-13-2013, 01:24 PM
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Oooo and love cauldrons ! I have a lil mini one I use to burn fragrant herbs and dried flowers especially during autumn ....

 

Autumn is my favorite season! I don't actually have a cauldron (but a nice Dutch oven; I like to pretend it's a cauldron). I love the smells of herbs and flowers. It makes for such a warm feeling, like a fire on the hearth (not that I've ever had a hearth, but I imagine it so). 

 

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"Now listen, I know you've got to think about your image, 'cause image is important to you, because of course your friends are gonna dictate your actions through the rest of your lives, and I wouldn't want you to step away from them and become an individual, that would almost be too much!"...

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#29 Old 07-14-2013, 09:10 PM
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Yes with a hot mug full of apple cider to sip on a cool fall night .... I cannot wait for summers end :/ Lol I know plenty who will perhaps disagree ....
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#30 Old 07-14-2013, 09:26 PM
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Not me! Fall, winter, spring and summer are my seasons in order of favorites.
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