VeggieBoards banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I have a few questions about being a vegetarian. First of all, I am not currently a vegetarian, but I am thinking about becoming one. First of all, I'm underweight for my age, 17, and I was wondering if being a vegetarian would be a bad thing because of this? My second question is, do you have to plan your meals in order to make sure you're getting all the vitamins, etc..... that you need? Another question I have, is there a certain place you go to get food and other stuff? I don't know how to cook, and I think my mom will make me if I am going to become a vegetarian, so I will have to learn how to do that as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
344 Posts
Being a vegetarian shouldn't necessarily be a problem as far as your weight goes. Maybe you could find a vegetarian nutritionist who can give you advice on gaining weight on a vegetarian diet.<br><br>
I don't know anyone, vegetarian or not, who doesn't need to plan their meals in order to be healthy. It doesn't have to be hard, though. Eat a variety of healthy foods like fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, beans and whole grains.<br><br>
You can shop at regular grocery stores for all your foods. Depending what you're making, some ingredients may be hard to find at a regular grocery store, like tempeh, miso, and nutritional yeast. You should be able to find those in a health food store if you're interested in using them.
 

·
Riot Nrrrd
Joined
·
3,180 Posts
1) I'm underweight too. My pants size is actually smaller than when I was in high school (I'm 41 now)! There are plenty of high-calorie vegetarian foods. The bonus for us underweight folks is we can indulge in them <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> Lots of nuts and such. I don't really think about it in reality. I eat 4-6 slightly smaller meals (but only slightly smaller) instead of the more common breakfast/lunch/dinner. There's really not a one size fits all plan that works for everyone though.<br>
2) I have a few vague guidelines I try to follow but don't do spreadsheets and try to hit arbitrary magic intakes though like some folks do. Just doesn't work for me. The important thing is to have at least some understanding of nutritional issues. The US government's guidelines aren't perfect but make a decent place to start (<a href="http://www.mypyramid.gov/" target="_blank">http://www.mypyramid.gov/</a>). PCRM has done up a starter plan that's a good read (<a href="http://pcrm.org/health/veginfo/vsk/index.html" target="_blank">http://pcrm.org/health/veginfo/vsk/index.html</a>). Vegetarian Resource Group has a number of guides that make for good reading (<a href="http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/" target="_blank">http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/</a>)<br><br>
The important thing is to listen to your body!<br><br>
3) Currently I do most of my food shopping at a mainstream grocery store chain and a little bit through online mail order. My favorite place to shop though is a good old-fashioned hippy style co-op, with ethnic stores actually aimed at an ethnic community my second favorite.<br><br>
Good luck with your eating adventure!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay, thank you both for your answers. I'm checking out the sites that you linked right now Dave, and they look very helpful, thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,609 Posts
If you're concerned about nutrition and eating the correct number of calories, it might be a good idea to use Sparkpeople.com when you first start. You enter your daily food intake on there, and it gives you feedback about your diet. It's predominantly a weight-loss site, but I see no reason why you couldn't use it to also gain weight. It's also not a bad idea to take a multivitamin anyway. Places like Whole Foods sell vitamins and supplements that are suitable for vegetarians (some vitamins contain fish products or gelatin, which is made from dead animal).<br><br>
I can only speak to my experience in the US, but many mainstream grocery stores do have lots of vegetarian options, especially the higher end ones. Whole Foods and Trader Joes are absolutely wonderful places, as would be your local coop if you have one. (Trader Joe's is probably the cheapest of these great stores, if money is a concern.) Places like Walmart will not have many specialty vegetarian products, but they still have pasta, rice, beans, etc...<br><br>
My advice to you would be eat lots of whole grains, beans, nuts. This includes things like pasta, chili, pizza, rice and beans, vegetarian burritos. Peanut butter and other nuts are high in fat, but also high in protein and other beneficial nutrients. (So, they have lots of calories like junk food, but they aren't junk!) Many of our members on this site, who have been vegetarian and vegan for years are actually trying to lose weight. The idea that vegetarians are skinny, pale, and sickly is a complete myth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,293 Posts
In terms of weight, what I've seen is that it tends to regulate people's weight a little; some gain, some lose, but as long as you're eating reasonably healthy foods you shouldn't notice an unhealthy difference in your weight.<br><br>
On the side of meal planning, some do it, some don't. I don't, but I am aware of what's in my food and I try to eat a variety; limiting my bread-like products to once a day, fresh fruit as snacks, a decent serving of fresh vegetables with at least one meal. You don't have to plan everything to the last detail, just be aware of roughly how much you're taking in in terms of calories, protein, carbs and fat. Everyone, not just veg*ns, should be doing this. There's nothing magical in meat that's going to stop all the problems of a bad diet. If anything, it makes them worse.<br><br>
For food, it depends on where you are. If you're in the US, I'm not gonna be a whole lot of help there.<br><br>
On the cooking front; that's what happened to me. Went veg at 14 and instantly found myself cooking my own meals. Best way to learn. You'd be surprised what you've probably already picked up about cooking; googling some simple recipes is a good place to start. Basic pasta dishes and soups are probably the easiest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,995 Posts
I made the jump straight to veganism.<br>
I was TERRIFIED that I didn't know enough about nutrition and balancing my meals!!!<br>
I bought a book called "Becoming Vegan" ... There's also "Becoming Vegetarian."<br><br>
I was shocked. Only about 15% of the information in there was unique to me as a new vegan. The remaining 85% of the book was important information that EVERYONE should have! Why didn't they cover this in those nutrition classes in high school? I didn't know how important it was to eat nuts and seeds!<br><br>
I highly recommend that book.<br><br>
Also, vegetarian does not equal weight loss. If you are already underweight, then you just need to make sure you cover all the vegetarian foods groups, and that you make sure you consume the same amount of fat and calories as a meat eater.<br><br>
There's a TON of fried vegetarian dishes that are rather high in calories.<br>
Heck, right now I'm eating a giant bowl of spaghetti. I'm not losing any weight here!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,026 Posts
This is just for people your age: <a href="http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/teens" target="_blank">http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/teens</a><br>
Please click and read the info. It's pretty simple to be a healthy vegan teen. Just requires a bit of knowledge <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,097 Posts
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Drethos</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2875647"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Hello everyone, I have a few questions about being a vegetarian.</div>
</div>
<br>
*cracks knuckles*<br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">First of all, I am not currently a vegetarian, but I am thinking about becoming one.</div>
</div>
<br>
Not a question :p<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">First of all, I'm underweight for my age, 17, and I was wondering if being a vegetarian would be a bad thing because of this?</div>
</div>
<br>
I gained like 60 lbs the first year I stopped eating meat. Vegetarian =/= skinny.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">My second question is, do you have to plan your meals in order to make sure you're getting all the vitamins, etc..... that you need?</div>
</div>
<br>
You should really consider studying up some on plant based nutrition and make sure you get certain nutrients, yes. There are a variety of good vegetarian starter kits online you can order basically for free. Many of them are online and you can look at them there.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Another question I have, is there a certain place you go to get food and other stuff? I don't know how to cook, and I think my mom will make me if I am going to become a vegetarian, so I will have to learn how to do that as well.</div>
</div>
<br><br>
There's really no reason you shouldn't be able to find everything you need at the local supermarket.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top