Planning to become vegetarian on April 25th! - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 03-26-2016, 11:14 AM
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Planning to become vegetarian on April 25th!

So I've been a pescetarian for almost a year now. April 25th will be the 1 year mark. I'm traveling to Europe on the 15th and flying home on the 25th, and will start that day. My family is not so supportive. I live with my parents (I'm still quite young) and they told me I still have to cook fish once I go vegetarian. Obviously I was very upset. I'm giving up fish for a reason! They want me to "contribute to the family", but I can do that with vegetarian meals! Sadly, my grandmother lives with us and is very picky about food. So they want me to make food she can eat. I want to be helpful but I don't want to cook fish anymore. That wouldn't be vegetarian. Any tips?
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#2 Old 03-26-2016, 11:24 AM
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All mainstream health organizations have stated that properly-planned vegetarian diets are healthy. Depending on the nation in which you live, you could try showing your parents these statements:

From the United States Department of Agriculture:
"Vegetarian diets can meet all the recommendations for nutrients. The key is to consume a variety of foods and the right amount of foods to meet your calorie needs. Follow the food group recommendations for your age, sex, and activity level to get the right amount of food and the variety of foods needed for nutrient adequacy. Nutrients that vegetarians may need to focus on include protein, iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B12."
Link: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/tips-vegetarians

From HealthLinkBC (Canada):
If properly planned, vegetarian diets can provide all the nutrients you need. In addition to that, being a vegetarian can actually be better for you."
Link: http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthtop...=zx3391#zx3393

From the UK National Health Service:
"As long as they get all the nutrients they need, children can be brought up healthily on a vegetarian or vegan diet."
Link: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Vegetaria...qanda.aspx#age


In which country do you live? We can send you links to local vegetarian nutrition and recipe websites.

_________

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 03-26-2016, 11:46 AM
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I live in the USA
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#4 Old 03-26-2016, 11:57 AM
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I'm just curious why someone young, traveling to Europe, would be asked to cook for their family? Why fish in particular? Surely others cook, why not have you make something you would like to eat?
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#5 Old 03-26-2016, 12:00 PM
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Depending on what your parents value, you could show them this information:


The following intellectually-successful persons are vegetarian (or were vegetarian, during their lifetimes)

C.V. Raman, 1930 Nobel Prize for Physics
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, 1983 Nobel Prize for Physics
Albert Einstein, 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics
Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, 2009 Nobel Prize for Chemistry
Linus Pauling, 1954 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 1962 Nobel Prize for Peace
Albert Schweitzer, physician, 1952 Nobel Prize for Peace


The following athletically-successful people are vegetarian:

Jan Muller, World Champion Muay Thai Fighter
Bill Pearl, 4-Time Mr. Universe
Joel Kirkilis, Victoria, Australia Regional Bodybuilding Champion
Jake Shields, MMA Fighter: Elite XC Welterweight Champion, Shooto Middleweight Champion, Strikeforce Middleweight Champion
Mac Danzig, UFC Fighter


Statements from mainstream health organizations:

From the American Diabetes Association:

“A vegetarian diet is a healthy option, even if you have diabetes. Research supports that following this type of diet can help prevent and manage diabetes. In fact, research on vegan diets has found that carbohydrate and calorie restrictions were not necessary and still promoted weight loss and lowered participants' A1C”
Link to this statement: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fit...r-vegetarians/


From Kaiser Permanente (one of the largest health insurance companies in the United States):

Research shows that plant-based diets are cost-effective, low-risk interventions that may lower body mass index, blood pressure, HbA1C, and cholesterol levels. They may also reduce the number of medications needed to treat chronic diseases and lower ischemic heart disease mortality rates. Physicians should consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity.”

: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662288/


From the American Heart Association:

“Many studies have shown that vegetarians seem to have a lower risk of obesity, coronary heart disease (which causes heart attack), high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and some forms of cancer.”
Link to this statement: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Gettin...2_Article.jsp#


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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/

Last edited by David3; 03-26-2016 at 12:38 PM.
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#6 Old 03-26-2016, 12:10 PM
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Vegetarian nutrition has really become mainstream. Even the U.S. Department of Agriculture's dietary guidelines, and their “ChooseMyPlate.gov” education materials, now fully accommodate vegetarian diets. The USDA has replaced their old-style "Meat Food Group" with the "Protein Food Group", which includes beans, peas, lentils, nuts, and seeds: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/tips-vegetarians and http://www.choosemyplate.gov/protein-foods . The “Dairy Group” now includes calcium-fortified soymilk: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/dairy-calcium-sources


_________

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/

Last edited by David3; 03-26-2016 at 12:12 PM.
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#7 Old 03-26-2016, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David3 View Post
Depending on what your parents value, you could show them this information:


The following intellectually-successful persons are vegetarian (or were vegetarian, during their lifetimes)

C.V. Raman, 1930 Nobel Prize for Physics
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, 1983 Nobel Prize for Physics
Albert Einstein, 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics
Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, 2009 Nobel Prize for Chemistry
Linus Pauling, 1954 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 1962 Nobel Prize for Peace
Albert Schweitzer, physician, 1952 Nobel Prize for Peace


The following athletically-successful people are vegetarian:

Jan Muller, World Champion Muay Thai Fighter
Bill Pearl, 4-Time Mr. Universe
Joel Kirkilis, Victoria, Australia Regional Bodybuilding Champion
Jake Shields, MMA Fighter: Elite XC Welterweight Champion, Shooto Middleweight Champion, Strikeforce Middleweight Champion
Mac Danzig, UFC Fighter


Statements from mainstream health organizations:

From the American Diabetes Association:

“A vegetarian diet is a healthy option, even if you have diabetes. Research supports that following this type of diet can help prevent and manage diabetes. In fact, research on vegan diets has found that carbohydrate and calorie restrictions were not necessary and still promoted weight loss and lowered participants' A1C”
Link to this statement: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fit...r-vegetarians/


From Kaiser Permanente (one of the largest health insurance companies in the United States):

Research shows that plant-based diets are cost-effective, low-risk interventions that may lower body mass index, blood pressure, HbA1C, and cholesterol levels. They may also reduce the number of medications needed to treat chronic diseases and lower ischemic heart disease mortality rates. Physicians should consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity.”

: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662288/


From the American Heart Association:

“Many studies have shown that vegetarians seem to have a lower risk of obesity, coronary heart disease (which causes heart attack), high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and some forms of cancer.”
Link to this statement: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Gettin...2_Article.jsp#


Just drop the mic
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#8 Old 03-26-2016, 04:55 PM
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What's your cultural ethnicity?? I could be wrong, but I'm assuming you're either from The South, are Latino, or possibly Greek or Italian with this expectations of devotion to family.

Beans and cornbread with greens, and/or tomatoes, is traditional in Appalachian culture, so I learned to make a vegetarian version of my grandparents dish made with pig fat.

Find dishes from your culture and make them vegetarian. Then grandma can enjoy. This should be fairly easy to do if you are lacto-ovo, or even just lacto.
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#9 Old 03-26-2016, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by silva View Post
I'm just curious why someone young, traveling to Europe, would be asked to cook for their family? Why fish in particular? Surely others cook, why not have you make something you would like to eat?
Well fish is the only meat I have been eating in the past year, and my whole family will eat it, so they don't want to lose that option. They could make the fish while I make other stuff, absolutely. I think they're just being stubborn.
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#10 Old 03-26-2016, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Thalassa4 View Post
What's your cultural ethnicity?? I could be wrong, but I'm assuming you're either from The South, are Latino, or possibly Greek or Italian with this expectations of devotion to family.

Beans and cornbread with greens, and/or tomatoes, is traditional in Appalachian culture, so I learned to make a vegetarian version of my grandparents dish made with pig fat.

Find dishes from your culture and make them vegetarian. Then grandma can enjoy. This should be fairly easy to do if you are lacto-ovo, or even just lacto.
Nope for ethnicity. I'm as white as can be, mostly British Isles and German ancestry. I live in New England, not the south. They expect me to do stuff for the family while I'm here. Until I go to college, I have to do my grandmother's laundry and cook some meals and do the dishes sometimes. Not a big deal, they want me to learn adult responsibilities, I just don't want to cook fish anymore.

With foods from my culture, I don't really have one to be quite honest. I grew up with steak as the most common meal. Corned beef and cabbage on Saint Patrick's day. That's about it.
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#11 Old 03-26-2016, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by LedBoots View Post
Just drop the mic
Yes, I know, it was a wordy answer. Just trying to address the parents' objections towards vegetarianism.

_________

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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#12 Old 03-28-2016, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by shaescott View Post
Nope for ethnicity. I'm as white as can be, mostly British Isles and German ancestry. I live in New England, not the south. They expect me to do stuff for the family while I'm here. Until I go to college, I have to do my grandmother's laundry and cook some meals and do the dishes sometimes. Not a big deal, they want me to learn adult responsibilities, I just don't want to cook fish anymore.

With foods from my culture, I don't really have one to be quite honest. I grew up with steak as the most common meal. Corned beef and cabbage on Saint Patrick's day. That's about it.
Learn to make rich vegetarian dishes that meat eaters would enjoy, like heavy casseroles, cheese lasagna or manicotti, omlettes with potatoes, with a salad or other vegetable on the side. People eat "vegetarian food" all of the time, especially if you're not vegan, I honestly think they're being ridiculous. I mean don't tell them that...but if you don't cook every night, why not your turn be Meat Free Monday or something?
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#13 Old 03-29-2016, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Thalassa4 View Post
Learn to make rich vegetarian dishes that meat eaters would enjoy, like heavy casseroles, cheese lasagna or manicotti, omlettes with potatoes, with a salad or other vegetable on the side. People eat "vegetarian food" all of the time, especially if you're not vegan, I honestly think they're being ridiculous. I mean don't tell them that...but if you don't cook every night, why not your turn be Meat Free Monday or something?
In the UK here, it's quite easy to make veggie meals that everyone will eat as we're pretty culturally amorphous food-wise, and have absorbed a lot of influences from veg-friendly cuisines such as Indian and Italian.

These are the kinds of dishes I began cooking when I first explored vegetarian food: pizza, lasagne, spaghetti with tomato sauce, macaroni cheese, cheese and potato pie, quiche, Spanish omelette, root vegetable casserole with dumplings, vegetable biriyani etc.

You could also introduce meat substitutes. One at a time so as not to scare them! Start with veggie mince from the freezer section and put it in a bolognaise sauce. Most people don't seem to mind veggie mince, especially if it's cooked up in a rich tasty sauce.
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#14 Old 03-29-2016, 02:14 AM
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If your parents are being a bit closed off to new menu items you could try approaching the problem from a different angle. You could approach your grandmother instead. I'm rashly assuming that your grandmother has no significant health issues that would make it difficult or impossible for her to change her diet. As your parents are pointing to your grandmother as the picky one ... perhaps it's time to engage with her. Find out if she'd be willing to try an exciting new dish?

Is there any type of cuisine that you think she might like to try? My grandmother was a surprise convert to mexican dishes (she was usually super traditional).

How close is she to her German/English ancestry (if very close try some veggie traditional foods - perhaps a veggie version of a shepherds pie could work? Or spaetzle in a cheese sauce?).

If you're going to college soon you can approach it from the view that you need to learn to cook widely depending on what is available so that you can budget effectively.
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#15 Old 03-29-2016, 07:21 AM
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My suggestion is easy: cook something great that they will for sure appreciate! No need to tell them before what are you cooking, you'll cook for them and you'll make them try something new AND really yummy! You can find amazing vegetarian recipes all over the web. No need to stir up the contrast, just go your own way and show them that it can be both very easy and tasty. And tell them that it's good for their health as well!
p.s. If you are traveling alone, I would take the chance to start going vegetarian when traveling to Europe. You will find out that it's easy and there're a lot of vegetarian places and you may meet a lot of people with your same ideas and belief..and you will come back home with new energy and more powerful!
Good luck!!
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#16 Old 03-29-2016, 11:41 PM
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Yes, I know, it was a wordy answer. Just trying to address the parents' objections towards vegetarianism.
No, I meant that in a good way! A compliment. Like when you've said everything, it can't be argued with, and then you just drop the mic and walk off the stage.

Mic Drop and Drop the Mic are expressions referring to the practice of intentionally letting a microphone fall to the ground as a display of bold confidence following a successful performance. Colloquially, the expressions have also been used to celebrate the delivery of an impressive argument or insult.
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#17 Old 03-30-2016, 04:35 PM
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If your parents are being a bit closed off to new menu items you could try approaching the problem from a different angle. You could approach your grandmother instead. I'm rashly assuming that your grandmother has no significant health issues that would make it difficult or impossible for her to change her diet. As your parents are pointing to your grandmother as the picky one ... perhaps it's time to engage with her. Find out if she'd be willing to try an exciting new dish?

Is there any type of cuisine that you think she might like to try? My grandmother was a surprise convert to mexican dishes (she was usually super traditional).

How close is she to her German/English ancestry (if very close try some veggie traditional foods - perhaps a veggie version of a shepherds pie could work? Or spaetzle in a cheese sauce?).

If you're going to college soon you can approach it from the view that you need to learn to cook widely depending on what is available so that you can budget effectively.
None of us are close to our ancestry. I can't appeal to my grandmother because she is 92, is mostly deaf, and has dementia. As for college, they're planning on putting me on the meal plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spudulika View Post
In the UK here, it's quite easy to make veggie meals that everyone will eat as we're pretty culturally amorphous food-wise, and have absorbed a lot of influences from veg-friendly cuisines such as Indian and Italian.

These are the kinds of dishes I began cooking when I first explored vegetarian food: pizza, lasagne, spaghetti with tomato sauce, macaroni cheese, cheese and potato pie, quiche, Spanish omelette, root vegetable casserole with dumplings, vegetable biriyani etc.

You could also introduce meat substitutes. One at a time so as not to scare them! Start with veggie mince from the freezer section and put it in a bolognaise sauce. Most people don't seem to mind veggie mince, especially if it's cooked up in a rich tasty sauce.
They've actually eaten American chop suey that I made with veggie crumbles. So that's not a problem... They just want me to make something everyone will eat. My little sister is very picky and won't eat most things I make. So it's my little sis and my gramma that are issue.
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#18 Old 03-31-2016, 02:18 AM
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None of us are close to our ancestry. I can't appeal to my grandmother because she is 92, is mostly deaf, and has dementia. As for college, they're planning on putting me on the meal plan.
Sorry to hear about your grandmother's health issues - I can only sympathise with the situation, I know how difficult it can be. I'm not familiar with the meal plan - I'm presuming it's a bit like living in halls where all your meals are provided for you? Would you be able to choose the veggie option?

I wonder if your parents would be amenable to you making veggie alternatives to have on the side for you? So for example if you make burgers - you could make a veggie burger for yourself. If you make chilli con carne - make the base sauce and add it to a mix of veggies for you and ground beef for them. You should be able to make enough of the veggie option that you could freeze the leftovers for use later (or if you plan on eating it quickly just chill in the refrigerator).
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