When you first started? and is a vegetarian diet mostly carbs? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-09-2010, 12:06 AM
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Question 1. When you first started your vegetarian life, did you find yourself fixing your own meals, often? Was it difficult to sit and plan out what you're going to make, etc.? Is this just a new lifestyle/pace I'm going to have to get used to?



I've lived a somewhat fast paced life and would eat whatever was handy and quick (every morning before work all I'd have is a cup of chocolate Silk soymilk and that held me off til about lunchtime). These vegetarian entree's seem to be taking up more time because it's hard to find the time to prepare. And to have fresh produce on hand every week is sort of costly...



Question 2. how do you guys 'spice up' your meals? Filling, yet healthy?



I've been finding lately (only on day 8 of the lacto-ovo life) that I've been consuming more carb friendly meals, especially middle eastern dishes (my fav). Hummus, pita bread, falafel (friend hummus, bad, i know), basmati rice... etc. It's not like I'm training for a marathon and I know athletes need carbs.. but I'm afraid all these beans, breads and pastas on the vegetarian diet could get a little dangerous. You can only eat so many vegetables before getting full AND getting grossed out... it could also be that i need to learn to LOVE vegetables <--- not a fan of vegetables, but I'm determined to end 2010 without eating meat.
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#2 Old 01-09-2010, 12:16 AM
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I tend to eat a lot of carbs, just because I like them (I'm a pasta freak). As long as you have a variety of food, you shouldn't have to worry about health dangers. Learning to love vegetables is a good start, although I'm more of a fruit eater myself. Just try different things, you'll be surprised at what you like. Good luck!

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#3 Old 01-09-2010, 12:28 AM
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It can get a little carb centric. You do need to make sure you eat a varied diet, high in complex carbs. If you eat a good variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes and whole grains you'll be fine. I know when eating on the run it's easy to just do the carb thing, but you'll feel better if you balance it out a little. Especially with Veggies. Lottsa veggies- They technically are carbs, but they are high volume, low cal, high in nutrients. If you eat a few servings of veggies with your hummus, pita, rice, beans, whatever, you'll be getting more nutrition, and also feel full faster without overdoing it. I find it easiest to do simple whole foods. Beans + rice + veggies in any combination works well for me, and has all the things you need, and with a few spices, you can make almost infinite combinations of food.



It does get easier. You'll find after a few months, it comes more naturally, and you'll have developed an arsenal of quick, easy, tasty meals to make. After a few years, it's as natural as breathing.

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#4 Old 01-09-2010, 12:44 AM
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It's not the amount of carbs you need to focus on but your ratios. My ratio is 70% calories from carbs, 20% from protein and 10% from fat. Carbs are not evil and I hate the way the media has demonised them in recent years. Carbs are our fuel, it's what our body runs off and we need them! You can check your ratios by using a food diary logger such as www.fitday.com. It will tell you how much you're getting of each macronutrient (carbs, protein and fat) as well as micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). It might take a while at first to put in all your food, especially if you eat processed food that isn't in the database, but you only really need to do it for a few days of "typical" eating to see where you might need to change things.
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#5 Old 01-09-2010, 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Earthling View Post

It's not the amount of carbs you need to focus on but your ratios. My ratio is 70% calories from carbs, 20% from protein and 10% from fat.

Exactly. People are SUPPOSED to eat mostly carbohydrates. The average meat eater only gets 16% of their calories from protein. Even if they get 40% from fat, which is very bad, but pretty close to what people are eating if they don't pay any attention, they still get 44% of their calories from carbohydrates. They would be much better off to eat in the proportions you do Earthling, even if they don't give up meat. The trouble is, it is almost impossible on an animal-based diet to do this. That's why it is so unhealthy. Too much fat.

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#6 Old 01-09-2010, 03:40 AM
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it does get easier as time goes on. You have to find a system. As suggested in other threads, can you cook up several meals on a day off or on a weekend, so you'll have meals prepared throughout the week? I personally thoroughly enjoy reading through a cookbook, like it was a great novel! I love searching for new recipes, but that may not be everyone's cup of tea, so back to finding several really good recipes you can make up and have on hand.



Another thing about the carb issue. There really are differences in white flour products and whole grains. The whole grains have more fiber, which will keep you feeling fuller longer,and are better for your colon health. Too much over processed, packaged anythings, aren't good for you, because you are usually getting too much sugar and salt too. Stick with the brown rice vs white rice, and lots of veggies.



As far as spicing up meals.....I love my cumin! That was a new cooking spice for me in the past yr, and I LOVE it! I made a dinner last night, that was lentil brown rice cakes with cilantro cream (made with yogurt sauce), southwestern salad with chopped up avacado, with a creamy avacado drsg. I would have never come up with those things on my own, so thank goodness for recipes. That was a fantastic meal, with terrific flavors! But I like cilantro anyway.

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#7 Old 01-09-2010, 06:31 AM
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I've never met a carb I didn't like.

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#8 Old 01-09-2010, 07:47 AM
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I found that snacking helped me a LOT with curbing my carbs.. baby carrots, apples, utz plain chips (bc they are gluten free), rice cakes (with peanut butter or jam on top).. eating some of these things throughout my work day helps me eat less for lunch and dinner, even if it is pasta or pizza.

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#9 Old 01-09-2010, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by LyricGaia View Post

I've never met a carb I didn't like.



:Nod:



I agree!
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#10 Old 01-09-2010, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by LyricGaia View Post

I've never met a carb I didn't like.



Same here!



The time management can be a pain - have handy portable snacks on hand that you like. (I've never heard of hummus being bad for you, unless it's all you eat, but that's any food.) Also, don't worry about making elaborate complex meals, like synergy said, beans & rice & veggies is a quick meal if you have the beans and rice already prepared - and those are both really easy foods to make huge quantities of and have the time. (Or cheat and use canned, make sure to rinse - still high in sodium but the convenience can be worth it.) And it's flexible thanks to herbs, spices, and sauces. One day those beans and rice are Mexican when you add salsa, chilies, and some quac, the next they can be Asian with some peanuts and soy sauce. Go Italian with tomatoes, basil, and if you're lacto-ovo, mozzarella. And what's been said about carbs - the RIGHT carbs are your friend!



And, yah, you are going to have to learn to like your veggies. I'm impressed that you've made such a big commitment regardless of your preferences. Way to go!!! Best of luck maintaining it.
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#11 Old 01-09-2010, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Midnight Angel View Post

I tend to eat a lot of carbs, just because I like them (I'm a pasta freak).



Imma pasta freak too!!
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#12 Old 01-09-2010, 01:48 PM
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I get most of my carbs from fruit, about 83% of my caloric intake is carbs. It's perfect.
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#13 Old 01-09-2010, 02:04 PM
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Carbs, in general, are NOT evil. Its the simple, over-processed, stripped down, white carbs that are evil! Beans, veggies, whole grains (real whole grains, not just those that are pretending to be whole for the sake of advertising), and fruits are all carbs but very, very healthy and chock full of vitamins!
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#14 Old 01-09-2010, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Quat2009 View Post

And to have fresh produce on hand every week is sort of costly...



EVERYONE, veg or omni, should be eating fresh fruits and veggies as the mainstay of their diet. If you want to stay healthy, there's no getting around eating fruits and vegetables. You can buy frozen veggies if you're looking for a longer shelf life and lower cost, though they aren't nearly as good as fresh. (Canned tend to be gross and oversalted and mushy though so I'd avoid those)



Quote:
You can only eat so many vegetables before getting full AND getting grossed out... it could also be that i need to learn to LOVE vegetables <--- not a fan of vegetables, but I'm determined to end 2010 without eating meat



I have never eaten so many veggies that I'm grossed out, and I eat tons of veggies. I think that's a personal problem, not a problem inherent to vegetarianism.

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#15 Old 01-09-2010, 05:16 PM
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Hmm I love veggies, fruit and carbs. My favourite snack is carrot and celery sticks with hummus. I'm also a carb freak but don't feel so bad about it since not eating meat.
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#16 Old 01-09-2010, 05:19 PM
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mmmm.....homemade bread! Love those kind of carbs too!

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#17 Old 01-09-2010, 09:04 PM
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got it, got it and got it



Thanks all.



I think I was worried about having to make these elaborate breakfasts, lunches and dinners, when really, I know I could (and other people) get by with just snacking throughout the day.
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#18 Old 01-09-2010, 09:11 PM
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Imma pasta freak too!!



me too....yummers
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#19 Old 01-09-2010, 09:13 PM
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i'd marry carbs if i could. but when i have been eating a lot of carbs and not enough fresh veggies my body feels sluggish. with my S.A.D. my body craves carbs. so i have to remind my self to eat lots of veggies as well. otherwise i'd live off pasta and breads.
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#20 Old 01-10-2010, 12:02 AM
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I think people are getting starches mixed up with carbohydrates. Fruits and vegetables are mostly carbohydrate, with some protein and some fat. Some fruits are high starch, like squashes and plantains, and some are not, like apples and oranges. Some fruits are higher in sugar too, like watermelons and dates, and some are low sugar, like strawberries and citrus. Vegetables too are higher or lower in starch; leafy greens and stuff you can eat raw are lower in starch than potatoes and fresh corn on the cob. Grains of course are mostly starch, and even beans are higher in carbohydrate than protein. People do need a good balance of starchy and non-starchy unprocessed carbohydrates to feel their best.

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#21 Old 01-13-2010, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Quat2009 View Post

got it, got it and got it



Thanks all.



I think I was worried about having to make these elaborate breakfasts, lunches and dinners, when really, I know I could (and other people) get by with just snacking throughout the day.



Glad it seems simple now! Buying lots of fruit, veggies and nuts and carrying a snack box with you is a good start
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#22 Old 01-20-2010, 06:29 PM
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It's only carb heavy if you make it carb heavy.
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#23 Old 01-21-2010, 04:47 PM
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I cook almost all of my own food. I'm making tortilla's right now for homemade vegan burritos.

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