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For any Christians on the board, you probably know that today is Ash Wednesday, which means the start of Lent, which then means that I have to give something up. I have been waiting for Lent to use it as an excuse to become veg*n, and today that day is here, I've decided to give up meat for the first time in my life.<br><br><br><br>
I'm 15, and I brought it up to my mom tonight that I wanted to give up meat for these 40 days, and instantly she shot it down, thinking that as a growing kid, this is just not the right time to try this. She says that I need the meat for the protein and whatnot, but I told her that some veggies contain just as much protein as meat, minus the fats and cholesterol. She still seems to think that that just can not happen...But I eventually convinced her to let me try it, and now she says she is going to try it with me for the 40 days (but I want to keep going!).<br><br><br><br>
Here's the tough part, she wants me to come up with menus, grocery lists and whatnot, she wants to know where I'm going to get my protein and other nutrients, and I CAN'T LOSE WEIGHT! If I lose weight, she will not allow a meatless diet.<br><br><br><br>
So I need your help, I need to come up with a plan that I will gain weight on, and be healthy. I WANT TO PROVE I CAN DO THIS!! Along with the no meat, I will also be exercising and lifting weights, which should help me gain a little bit, but I really need help on things that I can eat that will help me to gain weight.<br><br><br><br>
Any help is so greatly appreciated, thank you so much!<br><br><br><br>
- Kev
 

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Congratulations and kudos on your compassionate choice. As I'm sure you are aware, most people's "give up" during lent merely amounts to a short-term minor annoyance for them. Your giving up meat directly lessens the suffering and exploitation of animals - God's creatures.<br><br><br><br>
Here's a start: <a href="http://www.veganhealth.org/sh" target="_blank">http://www.veganhealth.org/sh</a>. Your mom may be interested in the article. Notice the links on that page for protein and meal plans, even though the meal plans are only for three days.<br><br><br><br>
You may also want to let your mom know that the American Dietetic Association has endorsed vegan diets for all age groups.<br><br><br><br>
In general, a balanced diet consisting of whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables is excessively healthy. One of the biggest advantages of a meat-free diet is all the things you're *not* taking in, such as cholesterol, saturated fats, compounds that are thought to contribute to various cancers, and environmental toxins that accumulate in the animals' tissues and organs.<br><br><br><br>
There are plenty of other web sites that discuss the healthiness of vegetarian diets. Cookbooks, too. Which I have no doubt others will cite.<br><br><br><br>
Good luck!
 

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You know that food pyramid they teach you about in school? Did you know there's a vegetarian version? Check it out:<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.vegsource.com/nutrition/pyramid.htm" target="_blank">http://www.vegsource.com/nutrition/pyramid.htm</a><br><br><br><br>
Also, the American Dietetic Association has stated that a vegetarian diet is at least as healthy as a meat eating diet at all stages of life. Here's their position paper on the subject:<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/ada/hs.xsl/advocacy_933_ENU_HTML.htm" target="_blank">http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg...3_ENU_HTML.htm</a><br><br><br><br>
As a fairly new vegetarian myself, I bought the book "The New Becoming Vegetarian" by Melina and Davis, which has been very helpful.<br><br><br><br>
One of the key things to remember is that everyone thinks that we veg*ns don't get enough protein, but that's really not a concern. Protein is easy. There are other nutrients like vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids that actually do require some planning, so those are what you need to worry about, especially that omega-3. Walnuts are pretty good for that, but I take flaxseed oil as a supplement, just to make sure I'm getting plenty. I also switched to soy milk, mostly because of lactose intolerance, but the brand I buy (Silk) is fortified with B12, so it works well for me, as well as being cruelty free.<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 went veg when I had just turned 14, and now I turned 15 yesterday! (hurray!)<br><br><br><br>
I actually gained weight, but ive become taller too. Im too thin, so my mum really didnt want me to lose weight. Make sure to eat often!<br><br>
My mum has been nagging me about menus and groceries and stuff too, so I just write them for her..Its not that difficult. Anyway Im really bad at writing menus so my mum makes them herself mainly. My main problem is that I hate cooking..I loathe it. Cooking and baking..I only do it at school three hours a week, and I get so bad grades. I wish I would enjoy it, it would be much easier to be veg then.<br><br><br><br>
Well good luck!
 

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Hi,<br><br>
I would highly recommend that you and your mom get a copy of 'Disease-Proof Your Child: Feeding Kids Right', by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. It gives great nutritional information about vegetarian diets, and contains recipes that are geared toward the greater caloric requirements and nutritional needs of young people. This book gets into the importance of what you eat early in life, and how it effects your future health. I can't recommend this book highly enough, as the knowledge that you and your mom would gain about optimizing nutrition through a vegetarian diet is so powerful that your mom might be the one ending up insisting that you never eat meat again! A must read!!<br><br><br><br>
Claudia
 

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Just keep in mind that there are lots of ways to make your old meat-based meals vegetarian. Do you like Italian food? Have a veggie pizza, or put a meatless sauce (with or without soy crumbles) on your pasta. Toss your pasta with veggies, garlic, onion and olive oil. Macaroni and cheese is vegetarian, too. Mexican? Refried beans instead of ground beef is an easy way to change your taco or burrito into a vegetarian version (check the ingredients for lard, though). Chinese? Do a stir fry with cubes of tofu instead of chicken. Burgers? Try one of the many veggie burgers until you find one you like (or make your own!). Try Tofu Scramble or soy sausage with your breakfast, if you want. Once you look around, you'll find a lot of things you already eat are vegetarian anyway.<br><br><br><br>
Congratulations to both you and your mom!
 
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