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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am brand new to vegetarianism - I had been thinking about it for awhile but was never able to just "wean" myself off of meat so to speak when my boyfriend and roommate live on it. So Saturday I was doing more reading on both the health benefits and more details about the American meat/dairy industry and I just made the decision to go cold turkey (would that be cold tofurkey now? hahaha!) and cut out all meat and dairy out of my diet. I am still eating eggs at home but only because we get them from my roommates coworker who has a few chickens at his house and sells the extras his family doesn't eat. My main concern is that I am getting enough nutrients - I know in general Americans eat way too much protein but I want to make sure I am at least eating a balanced diet. So I am posting my menu from yesterday and today and can everyone give me some feedback? I'd appreciate it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
~Tina<br><br><br><br>
Sunday:<br><br>
Breakfast - pasta salad made with pink beans, carrots, peppers, capers, olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice<br><br><br><br>
Lunch - 2 roll ups made with whole wheat tortillas and vegetarian refried beans, a grapefruit<br><br><br><br>
Snack - Fruit and walnut salad from McDonalds (didn't eat the yogurt)<br><br><br><br>
Dinner - Cous cous cooked with white wine, spinach, carrots, green peppers, kidney beans and olive oil<br><br><br><br>
Monday (actual and planned)<br><br>
Breakfast - 2 slices of bread with peanut butter, coffee w/ milk (using up the last in the fridge)<br><br><br><br>
Snack - sliced cucumbers and carrots w/ hummus<br><br><br><br>
Lunch - Leftover cous cous from Sunday night, orange<br><br><br><br>
Snack - Apple<br><br><br><br>
Dinner - Mini loafs made with lentils, TVP, chopped spinach, sauteed onions and garlic in olive oil, bread crumbs, and seasonings, side of sauteed zucchini and yellow squash<br><br><br><br>
Snack - popcorn
 

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your days look pretty healthy to me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> how often are you eating eggs? If it isn't that often, you will want to make sure you are getting enough B12 in the form of supplements and fortified foods, as it is only available in animal products otherwise.<br><br>
Your dinner for monday sounds really good! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/lick.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":lick:">
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, I actually am using a program to track all my food and noticed that B12 is especially low...I had my boyfriend check my vitamins and they do indeed have a 100% RDA dose of B12 in them and 50% of calcium.
 

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And, don't forget: eating is fun!<br><br>
Don't count too much!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Here are some general daily guidelines for healthy vegetarian eating:<br><br><br><br><b>Raw Vegetables</b> (aim for one pound a day of raw veggies such as various lettuces, spinach, bell peppers, green peas, tomatoes, carrots, celery, cucumbers, snow peas, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, etc)<br><br><b>Steamed/Cooked Vegetables</b> (aim for one pound a day of cooked veggies such as green beans, artichokes, asparagus, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, eggplant, bell peppers, onions, chestnuts, bok choy, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, etc)<br><br><b>Fresh Fruit</b> (at least 4 servings a day of fruits such as apples, oranges, grapes, peaches, pears, melons, berries, etc)<br><br><b>Beans/Legumes</b> (at least a cup a day of pinto, kidney, chickpeas, black beans, lentils, etc)<br><br><b>Whole Grains or Starchy Vegetables</b> (limit to one serving a day if weight loss is desired - corn, potatoes, cooked carrots, sweet potatoes, bread, rice, quinoa, pasta)<br><br><b>Raw Nuts and Seeds</b> (limit to 1 oz a day if weight loss is desired - walnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia)<br><br><b>Ground Flaxseed</b> (one Tablespoon a day)<br><br><br><br>
The above is based on Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book <i>Eat To Live</i> and website drfuhrman.com.
 

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^ Which is not necessarily the sort of diet she wants to be on. I recommend looking at a basic vegetarian food guide for guidance if you're not interested in the Fuhrman program.
 

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Tina - Looks a lot healthier than most!!<br><br><br><br>
I personally would strive for what JJS does and make it as nutrient dense as possible.<br><br><br><br>
Remember to either take Vitamin D or get alot of sun. Most of America has major vitamin D deficiency. Vegan vitamin D is known as D2/Ergocalciferol.<br><br><br><br>
Vitamin D2 is half as potent as its D3 cousin so be sure to take a bit more, say around 1,000 mg of D2 a day if you do not get much sun.<br><br><br><br>
Remember Vitamin D2 is a hormone produced by the body that signals calcium absorption. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to Stomach Cancer.<br><br><br><br>
Anyways, you are eating way healthier than most, Great Job!
 

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Looking again, I would wonder if you are getting enough calcium? The supplementation your vitamin provides is helpful, but you still look a bit short. Look at increasing your consumption of leafy greens and/or adding soymilk or cow's milk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Keelin</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Looking again, I would wonder if you are getting enough calcium? The supplementation your vitamin provides is helpful, but you still look a bit short. Look at increasing your consumption of leafy greens and/or adding soymilk or cow's milk.</div>
</div>
<br><br><br>
Yeah - that is a concern of mine too. I am taking a Women's One-A-Day that has 100% calcium but I want to start experimenting with soy milk and see which one I like to replace my daily milk I was drinking. I also wanting to get a salad spinner so I can do cheaper salad lettuce and have that daily (the prepackaged stuff is so expensive but the heads of lettuce go bad so quickly in my fridge!). Thanks for the insight everyone - Oh and my lentil/tvp muffins were AMAZING!!!!
 

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Since you mentioned your multi.<br><br><br><br>
The calcium in your multi is probably plenty combined with the calcium in your healthy diet. It is the vitamin D that is more important. Also, High dose isolated Vitamin A supplementation has been linked to increased risk of llung cancer. It is always best to not consume any added Vitamin A, it leaches calcium from the bones. You get plenty of Vitamin A from your plant based diet.<br><br><br><br>
Remember, if animal milk was good for your bones then all of america would never get osteoperosis or hip fractures and they would have bones of steel!!
 

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Since you mentioned your multi.<br><br><br><br>
The calcium in your multi is probably plenty combined with the calcium in your healthy diet. It is the vitamin D that is more important. Also, High dose isolated Vitamin A supplementation has been linked to increased risk of llung cancer. It is always best to not consume any added Vitamin A, it leaches calcium from the bones. You get plenty of Vitamin A from your plant based diet.<br><br><br><br>
Remember, if animal milk was good for your bones then all of america would never get osteoperosis or hip fractures and they would have bones of steel!!
 

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And Elijah, lets not forget that dairy products are not even part of the diet of the Chinese and Japanese, who get their calcium from leafy green vegetables.<br><br><br><br>
Americans have a calcium intake that is among the highest in the world, and yet our rate of osteoporosis is among the highest as well. Probably thanks to the dairy lobby, the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance for calcium is constantly going up, but I don't think its making our bones any healthier. There are a number of reasons for this. First off, it does make sense that people like the rural chinese would be more protected from osteoporosis than the average american, just due to the fact that they get more weight bearing exercise. Secondly, the concern with getting your calcium from dairy products is not so much with the quantity it contains as with its rate of absorption. It is my understanding that if you get your calcium from a source that is very high in protein, then the protein actually binds to the calcium and hinders its absorption. I have heard that more calcium can actually be leached from the bones than what is absorbed. This is something that Dr. McDougall has actually been talking about for years.<br><br><br><br>
In any case, dark green leafy vegetables are a great source of calcium, and there are many cultures who do not include dairy products in their diet who do not have the problems associated with Calcium deficiency that we see in the U.S.<br><br><br><br>
As far as the Vitamin A supplementation goes, that has been linked to osteoporosis, and it is interesting to note that Vitamin A is not included in pre-natal vitamins at all. If its enough of a health concern that it isn't given to expectant mothers, I think I'll pass too! Thats why I take a multi-vitamin that contains no Vitamin A, and as you point out we can get plenty vitamin A from our food.<br><br><br><br>
What you say about Vitamin D deficiencies being common is also a good point to make, as this is of course quite well known now.
 

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Very good points Claudia!!<br><br><br><br>
I forgot to mention that the average daily calcium intake for the populations of India, Rural China and Japan is only around 300-400 mg a day and they have much lower rates of hip fractures than Americans.<br><br><br><br>
Bok Choy and Kale are super calcium rich foods!!<br><br><br><br>
Here is a list of calcium content in 100 calories veggies.<br><br><br><br>
Bok Choy - 1,055 mg<br><br>
Turnip Greens - 921<br><br>
Collard Greens - 559<br><br>
Kale - 455<br><br>
Romaine - 257<br><br>
Tofu - 236<br><br>
Milk - 194
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow! A lot of great info! I did not know that about Vitamin A but I will check my multi and see what it has. I tell you what though, after only 3 days I already feel SO much better...mentally, physically, morally - I feel like a new person and I am loving it. Obviously still trying to find a balance and I think I will try and track down some of those leafy greens you were listing, Elijah, I don't think you can go wrong with more leafy greens <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/broccoli.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":bobo:"> thank you thank you thank you everyone.
 
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