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understandably most members here seem to talk about how happy they are with their lifestyle choices and eating habits. also i dont expect there are any members here who regularly eat all kinds of meat. so i was wondering, what are peoples concerns about this kind of lifestyle? any health, culture, or other worries that are associated with something which is deviant from social norm?<br><br><br><br>
for my part, i am concerned about a few things. one, i am concerned that i may still not be eating a balanced diet, whereas i felt at least more comfortable with my balance when i was eating meat (because i understood how to balance that more than i do with substitutes). im also more vigilant of meat by products and find myself nervous and sometimes (overly?) cautious about what products im using. i dont want a lifestyle choice to dominate my life.<br><br><br><br>
additions? comments?
 

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Balance? Well, my sister tries to make sure each meal has 1/3 protien, 1/3 carb and then 1/3 veggies and fruit, or something like that. She is ovalacto, so at breakfast she'll have egg whites, toast with butter, and some fruit and soymilk. I am a strict veggie so I have, baked beans with toast, fruit and soymilk. Or, tofu scramble, a small bowl of cereal and soymilk and a peice of fruit.<br><br><br><br>
Also, if your nervous about by products.. make things from scratch and freeze it. Like soups, "patties", pizza's, and etc. Vegweb.com has tons of great recipes.<br><br><br><br>
I know, it can be frustrating when something looks ok to eat but then has some weird chemical name in it.
 

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How long have you been a veggie? It gets easier and more "natural" as you go along. For now, I would suggest you do more research. Look up vegetarian nutrition, and how it is a healthier diet. Make sure you know how to keep your self healthy, and feel good about it!
 

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If you're concerned about eating healthy, check out the book "Becoming Vegetarian" by Melina and Davis. It covers all the nutrional stuff that you need to know. It also has a chart that I photocopied and used for a week to help me get used to this, where it helps you keep track of how many servings you need of things, starting with the obvious (grains, fruits, veggies), but also including more obscure vitamins that you might not get enough of without planning for them (vitamin D, B12, omega-3 fatty acids).<br><br><br><br>
As for the title of this thread, my only real concerns over vegetarianism are social. It's difficult to fit in socially when you have a hard time eating at friends' houses or going to restaurants with them.<br><br><br><br>
--Fromper<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/juggle.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":juggle:">
 

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I don't really worry about it right now but I may when I have kids. "Uh-oh, Junior's not walking yet." "Uh-oh, Junior's shorter than most of the kids in his class." That type of thing. I know it's somewhat of an irrational fear and part of being a first-time parent. Especially considering the things most other parents will be feeding their kids. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/spew.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":spew:">
 

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Nutritionally, there are few worries. If grains, beans (including soy), and vegetables are in your diet regularly, you should be fine. I second Fromper's book recommendation if you feel like more detail. Even if you are not going vegan, use cheese and eggs sparingly - they are not that healthy, and sometimes people use them to substitute for the "missing meat" when they go vegetarian, which is not a great idea.<br><br><br><br>
Social problems are more significant for a lot of people, although I have to say this has not been a problem for me. Friends and family are not at all bothered by my choices, and it's surprisingly easy to eat vegetarian at social occasions, if you are willing to clearly state your requirements and/or bring your own stuff (for potlucks, say).<br><br><br><br>
I'm also a person who doesn't stress about trace ingredients and small amounts of by-products. Purity is not central to my reasons for being vegetarian.<br><br><br><br>
One problem that some people face is shifting their cooking repertoire. Most of us have a set of favorite dishes we rely on from day to day; when becoming vegetarian, those need to be modified or replaced by totally new recipes. This was not a problem for me, as I'm a creative cook and have always been drawn to ethnic dishes of the sort where the meat isn't central anyway. But for some people, I think this is a source of stress for a few months at least.<br><br><br><br>
All in all, I find being vegetarian to be one of the least problematic life choices I've made. I hope you do too!
 

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For me, the biggest concern was getting the right nutrition out of a new diet. If you're not 100% what you should get in a balanced diet, then find out on your own through GOOD sources (not sites that sell things, but places you and the rest of society would rely on). If you do not know exaclty how much of everything you are getting in what you eat, then you need to start tracking. Then you need to keep on counting and tracking until it becomes second nature to you. That will take some time. Also, I'm planning on doing some bloodwork in a month or so just to make sure I am not off kilter anywhere, and adjust accordingly.<br><br><br><br>
That should help you get started.
 

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When I went veg, I used fitday.com for awhile (a couple of months worked for me) to track what I ate each day. That way I could see how much protein, carb, fat intake I had. Once I got used to what meals should be, I stopped paying so much attention. It was a little hard at the beginning but now I don't worry about it. (I've only been veg seven months, so not decades like some, but my doctor thinks everything's fine and I even requested bloodwork to make sure--all is good!)
 

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From my point of view, there is no reason a vegetarian would need to "track" the nutrition of every meal, any more than an omni would. It's actually easier to get an appropriate balance of carbs, fat, and protein on a vegetarian diet than on an omni diet. It pretty much takes care of itself, unless you have very unusual cravings.
 

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Actually, what Seusomon said about it being easier to get a balance of fats, carbs and protein on a vegetarian diet is dead on accurate from what I am seeing so far. I track daily not only for fat/carb/protein and calories, but also to make sure I am simply balancing things out to make sure I am getting all of the goodies I am supposed to get each day. Otherwise I could fall into a trap of eating too many beans and not enough grains or something else like that. As the days go by it is getting almost second nature, after just a few weeks. I jsut try and get grains at every meal, and include fruits and nuts or seeds at breakfast, beans or peas at lunch, and assorted vegetables at dinner. Pretty dang easy, and very complete.
 

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I know it's difficult for some vegetarians and vegans to eat a healthful diet if they don't like or aren't familiar with a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, whole grains, etc. For instance, there's the classic situation of the teenager who decides she wants to be a vegetarian and then subsists on pizza and cheetos. But if you're willing to read a little bit about nutrition and eat a wide variety of foods, you should have no problem meeting your nutritional needs. In fact, your diet will be much healthier than the typical omnivore.<br><br><br><br>
As for social concerns, it really depends on how much you care about what other people think of you, what the people in your life are like, where you live, and how you react to people who comment on your diet. In other words, if you live in a small town where everyone hunts, there are no vegetarian options in local restaurants, your loved ones have never met a vegetarian and scoff at the very idea, you crave social acceptance, etc., it would probably be very difficult for you cope socially. If you live in a place where vegetarian/vegan food options are available, the people you spend time with are open to lifestyles different from their own, you don't really mind being "different" from others, etc., it's not difficult at all.<br><br><br><br>
I know it's not difficult for me, but I live in a town with plenty of vegan food options. Also, most of my friends, family and aquaintances are educated and open minded, and even if they aren't veg themselves, they respect my choices. Not to mention that I've always been a bit of a weirdo and so I'm used to not being like everyone else. It's just another little thing that makes me "deviant from the social norm," as you say. But then being the "social norm" in every way sounds completely horrible to me.<br><br><br><br>
Just read a little bit about being a vegetarian and give it a try. It can't hurt!
 
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