At first I found veg. substitutes but over the years my tastes gradually changed. I ended up changing the way I eat but it was not deliberate, it was a gradual, natural process over many years. I used to stick things like TVP in spagetti to make bolognase etc. but now I just desire pasta with more natural ingredients. I just like vegetarian food to be itself, not a weak imitation of meat-based dishes.
A little of both, actually. For the most part, I structure my meal around vegetables and starches rather than around meat, but I do enjoy some meat substitutes. I make my own seitan, and I like tofurky breakfast links, sausages and hotdogs.
When I first went veg I kind of did the opposite, I didn't try any meat substitutes because they grossed me out so I basically just learned to try a lot of new foods or eat side dishes. It was only in the past few years when I went to see a nutritionist that she recommended trying things like seitan and tofu.. an d by now my tastes have really changed and when I prepare "meat substitutes" I generally don't want them to actually taste like meat.
I've changed the way I eat, though part of that is also that I went veg at 15, and now I'm 27, and my lifestyle all together is much different. I no longer eat with my family every night, and I control food planning and preparation.
The way I eat is completely different. I cook my own foods now and I actually eat relatively healthy.
I still use substitutes sometimes, but I eat a lot better and I am way more open to trying new things.
I was never made to eat vegetables or fruits as a child and so I always ate junk. Potato chips and chicken nuggets. We went to McD's every single Friday. I was getting close to overweight, and my own health negligence caused a ton of health problems.
I still can't eat fruit, but I do drink Odwalla's fruit smoothies everyday to make sure my body still gets fruit nutrients I need for energy. My allergies have also changed a lot of things so I am always trying to dodge them one way or another to keep myself from being sick.
A little of both for me. Often, yeah, I'll have some kind of Quorn product (fillets or pies or something) with oven chips and some vegetables on the side which i suppose is equivalent to the omni 'meat and two veg' type thing. Other than that I tend to have recipe type dishes with pasta or rice. I didn't tend to have this kind of thing pre-veggie but that was to do with living at home (I was 16 when I went veg). I think if I was still onmi, I would probably still eat things like curry, chilli and pasta dishes like I do now (only probably with meat in!) as opposed to just meat and two veg types meals.
When I first became veggie, I did eat a lot of meat subs - predominantly because I lived in a house with shared cooking, and the other girls didn't really know what to cook for me, but insisted that we all ate together. Wasn't too happy with that, but heyho. Now, when I cook for myself, I tend to use beans and veggies and lentils. My diet has changed hugely - I snack on less junk, I eat a lot healthier (more fruits, veggies, pulses etc), less fatty puds and choccies, etc. I have become more aware of my own health and body image. And I don't think that that is wholly a bad thing!!!
I made the choice to change how I ate. I went 2 weeks without eating any substitutes at all, just so I had to learn new healthier things to eat. I have since allowed a few back in but I still concentrate more on whole grain and veggies for my meals, basing my meal plan on the Vegan Food Pyramid.
I became a vegetarian as a teenager and just added a lot more dairy. When meat substitutes became available I used those. But in the last year I started using only whole foods. Most of the dishes I make are truly vegan, but sometimes I'll make something that traditonally has animal foods ingredients which I substitute with homemade non dairy or beans, tempeh, etc. I liked to cook before but I know we are heathier and the guilt for using dairy is gone, so I enjoy it much more now! And I am falling in love with vegetables in an all new way.
I never ate a lot of meat. I never liked it so i didnt eat much. I buy fake meat now because i like it. I buy veggie hotdogs and corndogs, lunch meat and chiken because its good and simple. Plus its easier for my mom to make a dinner when were all eating the same thing. I just sub whatever meat their haveing to the fake stuff.
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