Considering transitioning / looking for resources - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 10-19-2015, 07:28 AM
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Considering transitioning / looking for resources

Hi all,

I have for a while now been considering dropping meat from my diet and eating a more vegetarian style diet, mainly to help with losing weight.

My concerns and hesitations are that of I'm sure many people who consider making this dietary change. I am unsure of where to start with regards to properly replacing proteins and consuming a healthy amount of calories.

Aside from being allergic to most fruits and nuts, I am also not that skilled with making my own food (often resort to take-out food) and I imagine a lot more creativity is involved with maintaining a healthy vegetarian diet.

Any 'beginner' resources or feedback / tips from anyone who has transitioned from an extremely unhealthy diet for weight loss would be really appreciated.
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#2 Old 10-19-2015, 08:03 AM
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Hi NewYork,


I've been a vegetarian (vegan) for 24 years. Very little creativity is required. My diet is very simple, and I think this is also true for other people in this forum.


Kaiser Permanente (one of the largest health insurance companies in the United States) recommends plant-based diets for weight loss. They have even published their own plant-based nutrition guide: http://www.kphealthyme.com/Healthy-Eating-Active-Living-Programs/Education-libraries/Plant-Based-Diet.aspx


It's not necessary to consume fruits on a vegetarian diet. Fruits are good sources of vitamins A and C, but these nutrients are also plentiful in several green vegetables (kale, mustard greens, spinach, and others). If you look up the nutrition data, you'll also see that certain yellow vegetables are rich in vitamin A (like carrots and sweet potatoes), and that regular potatoes are a good source of vitamin C.


Most mainstream vegetarian organizations recommend nuts and/or seeds, especially those that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids (like ground flax seeds, chia seeds, or walnuts). Are you allergic to all of these?

_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
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#3 Old 10-19-2015, 08:28 AM
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Hi NewYork,


Low-fat vegetarian meals don't require fancy cooking. I was a vegetarian bachelor for many years, and I never cooked anything elaborate. Here are some easy ones that you might like:


Whole-wheat spaghetti with canned vegetarian chili (available in any supermarket)


Burrito: Brown rice (Uncle Ben's is fast), sliced celery, salsa, canned beans (rinse well before using) and/or canned vegetarian chili, in a whole-wheat tortilla


Red-skinned potatoes: Pierce skin with fork in several places, then microwave (usually takes at least 7 minutes to cook). Eat with a little salt, or with a little ketchup or salsa


Salad: Raw spinach and tomatoes, with a low-fat dressing (like red wine vinegar, or balsamic vinegar). Don't use oil (even olive oil), as it is very high in calories (120 calories in a single tablespoon)


No-salt canned black beans (rinse well before use) + no-salt canned corn. Eat cold or hot


Boiled lentils + brown rice. Very filling! Lentils don't take much time to cook (boil briefly, then lower heat to light boil for about 30-45 minutes)
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_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
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#4 Old 10-19-2015, 09:59 AM
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It might help to start with easy and boring when you cook at home. Greens and grains and beans (or nuts), plus oils and herbs or pre-made sauces for taste, will get you through. Pinto beans and rice plus salsa, tofu and rice plus steamed vegetables, black beans and rice plus fried bananas, especially if you like Mexican and Cuban food (I like it a lot). Canned beans are already cooked so you'd just heat them up, and rice is easy enough to cook if you don't leave it on the stove too long or too hot. You can add cheese and/or fake meat for variety too, without having to learn anything more about cooking than you probably already know. I mostly use brown rice, which takes longer to cook than white rice does. You can make a big batch of it one day, and then heat portions of it up during the week as you go. The grocery stores also have a lot of jars of pre-made sauces in the International aisle that you can add to whatever you've made. Good luck!
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#5 Old 10-19-2015, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David3 View Post
Hi NewYork,


I've been a vegetarian (vegan) for 24 years. Very little creativity is required. My diet is very simple, and I think this is also true for other people in this forum.


Kaiser Permanente (one of the largest health insurance companies in the United States) recommends plant-based diets for weight loss. They have even published their own plant-based nutrition guide: http://www.kphealthyme.com/Healthy-Eating-Active-Living-Programs/Education-libraries/Plant-Based-Diet.aspx


It's not necessary to consume fruits on a vegetarian diet. Fruits are good sources of vitamins A and C, but these nutrients are also plentiful in several green vegetables (kale, mustard greens, spinach, and others). If you look up the nutrition data, you'll also see that certain yellow vegetables are rich in vitamin A (like carrots and sweet potatoes), and that regular potatoes are a good source of vitamin C.


Most mainstream vegetarian organizations recommend nuts and/or seeds, especially those that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids (like ground flax seeds, chia seeds, or walnuts). Are you allergic to all of these?
So glad you mentioned the fruit, David! I see these posts about all these people & their consumption of MASSIVE amounts of bananas.... Ughh, the thought makes me ill. Honestly, I have no sweet tooth whatsoever, I eat NO fruit (except for those amazing tomatoes!), and I have NO cravings for sweets. This wasn't a gradual thing either. I have felt better this past year than I have in MANY years, with not a single setback and not a single nap. I'm so energetic, I can't even sit for more than 20 minutes. I figure I must be doing SOMETHING right... and that fruits are NOT necessary for a truly rockin' vegetarian diet. ;-) I shall also be adding red bell pepper (the BEST of the bell peppers) to my usual culinary add-ins of onion, garlic, tomato, & spinach.

Found this link re: eating too many bananas & feeling like crap.... LOL ----> http://www.med-health.net/Too-Many-Bananas.html

Was also curious about the amount of jet fuel used to transport all this tropical fruit. :-\ BUY LOCAL, if you can, folks!!
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Last edited by MadamSarcastra; 10-19-2015 at 11:51 AM. Reason: Damn typos. **sigh**
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#6 Old 10-19-2015, 10:07 PM
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Thank you very much for the feedback and meal ideas! I'm certainly less overwhelmed knowing fruit isn't necessary and look forward to trying some of the ideas mentioned.
@David3 Thanks for that link and info! I'm allergic to walnuts but the seeds are ok.
@MadamSarcastra that is quite funny regarding bananas haha. Bananas are actually one of several fruits I'm not allergic to but generally doesn't sit well when eating even just one of them.
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#7 Old 10-19-2015, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewYork View Post
Thank you very much for the feedback and meal ideas! I'm certainly less overwhelmed knowing fruit isn't necessary and look forward to trying some of the ideas mentioned.
@David3 Thanks for that link and info! I'm allergic to walnuts but the seeds are ok.
@MadamSarcastra that is quite funny regarding bananas haha. Bananas are actually one of several fruits I'm not allergic to but generally doesn't sit well when eating even just one of them.
I've been on a falafel kick as of late (yeah, there are posts & pics).... But when in doubt, there's always pasta! Having some more tonight, in fact. =) My suggestion: Make a HUGE batch of homemade pasta sauce.... load it up with fresh everything... garlic, onion, bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, spinach, garbonzos (or your favorite bean), whatever the hell you wanna throw in a pot with a little olive oil, give a sizzle, dump a couple cans of crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce (I used only no-salt), give a heavy sprinkling with your favorite herbs & spices (please let it be more than salt & pepper. LOL), simmer on low for as long as you like.... and realize these things get better when reheated. Refrigerate or freeze sauce in meal-sized portions, take out when needed, and all ya gotta do is make the pasta.


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#8 Old 10-26-2015, 10:34 AM
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I was concerned like you when I started. You don't need fancy food, for example I eat lentils + rice and a big avocado salad (avocado, tomato, onion) with some sacha inchi or olive oil on top and salt. It takes 30-40 minutes to cook.
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