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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! just wanted to say hi and tell you about me. I have considered vegetarianism for awhile, and really think it's a change I want to make. I want to be a healthier happier person, and not only is being a vegetarian good for you, it's good for the environment. I want to do this right, and feel that I will probably need to do it in steps. I don't really eat too much red meat anyways, and I can almost always pass on poultry. I do eat fish, but I'm thinking of gradually eliminating that as well. I have some concerns,though, and wonder if anyone has any advice to help make this lifestyle switch easier and doable. I love vegetables, so I don't think that eating enough of them each day will be a problem, but I don't necessarily care too much for fruit. Is there any way to change this? Many of them just seem too tart for my tastes.

Also, I've been trying to lose weight, (slowly starting to but getting there; I'm only a few pounds overweight), and in the dieting process have started to turn into a bit of a carb-phobic. I avoid them for the most part. Is this bad? should I continue to avoid them or should I try to incorporate them more in my diet? Will going vegetarian help me lose weight? And any tips on curbing cravings (if I would have any), or for dining out and with family (my bf and fam are big meat eaters). I appreciate any advice and can't wait to see how this goes!!! HAPPY HOLIDAYS and cant wait to hear from you all!!
 

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Congratulations on your decision! Isn't it SO hard figuring out what's reallygood for you? Who really knows it seems to change all the time, well at least the fads do. I love carbs but I mostly just eat complex carbs and keep it to around 50% of what I eat for the day. This way I get lots, but not too much, and it's the healthiest version. Other than that I am no diet guru. I lost 30 lbs and have kept it off for a few months now which I think can be attributed to having learned to like to eat the highest quality food available to me. I rarely eat sugar, avoid junk food, etc. I pretty much never eat fruit just because I haven't fond any that I love and I don't want to waste calories on food that I think are just ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by computergirl View Post

Congratulations on your decision! Isn't it SO hard figuring out what's reallygood for you? Who really knows it seems to change all the time, well at least the fads do. I love carbs but I mostly just eat complex carbs and keep it to around 50% of what I eat for the day. This way I get lots, but not too much, and it's the healthiest version. Other than that I am no diet guru. I lost 30 lbs and have kept it off for a few months now which I think can be attributed to having learned to like to eat the highest quality food available to me. I rarely eat sugar, avoid junk food, etc. I pretty much never eat fruit just because I haven't fond any that I love and I don't want to waste calories on food that I think are just ok.
Thanks for responding computergirl! It is REALLY hard to process all this information, but in the long run I think it will be worth it. I will try to stick to the "good carbs",and I'm thinking of making a journal to monitor my progress and make the change easier. Keep in touch and thanks for letting me know what works for you!!!
 

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It really isn't all that hard "figuring out what's good for you" in a general sense. Go here: http://www.vegsource.com/nutrition/pyramid.htm for a copy of the Vegetarian Food Pyramid. It'll at least get you started in the right direction as to what, and how many servings.

That part, at least, is pretty simple.

Getting variety may be harder at first while you learn about how many wonderful animal-free choices are out there.

Carbs are a large part of a vegetarian diet, but if you're somewhat phobic, make ultra sure you're getting them in the form of unprocessed, whole grains and such, thats all.

If you really do not care for fruit, try it in a smoothie or cooked - like applesauce or banana bread. Or try different fruits that you've never tried. Ripe kiwi are very sweet, as are honeydew melons or mangos.

Or, for starters, just add more servings of veggies. Your tastes will probably change as time goes by, and you may come to like fruits, it's not something you want to eliminate from your diet however, as fruit provides many valuable nutrients - it's definitely NOT "empty calories".
 

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Congrats on becoming veggie! Just hang out here and you'll get the 'hang off it".


I have been veggie/vegan for 17 years and I am still continually learning stuff. I would consider myself at semi-pro level but there is always new products and recipes to try!

Check out our Recipes forum esp. when you are not sure what to eat and the Vegetarian, New to Vegetarianism and Vegan discussion are always interesting!

For fruit, I am the opposite, I like fruit more than vegetables. Don't forget that tomatoes and avocadoes are fruits. Persimmions are a very sweet fruit with a mellow taste. Bannanas too. One thing to try it adding some fruit in a veggie smoothy.

And don't let non-veggies make you feel bad about your new choice. You are doing a good thing - no matter how many ways you look at it. Better for you, the animals and the environment!

Your questions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by firegirl365 View Post

I want to do this right, and feel that I will probably need to do it in steps. I don't really eat too much red meat anyways, and I can almost always pass on poultry. I do eat fish, but I'm thinking of gradually eliminating that as well. I have some concerns,though, and wonder if anyone has any advice to help make this lifestyle switch easier and doable.

--Yes, give up meat in steps. I gave up a different kind of meat each month. Makes it a lot easier.

I love vegetables, so I don't think that eating enough of them each day will be a problem, but I don't necessarily care too much for fruit. Is there any way to change this? Many of them just seem too tart for my tastes.

--Just keep trying different kinds. You will end up trying lots of new things, you probably never ate before. I didn't even know how much I loved avocadoes until I was veggie.

Also, I've been trying to lose weight, (slowly starting to but getting there; I'm only a few pounds overweight), and in the dieting process have started to turn into a bit of a carb-phobic. I avoid them for the most part. Is this bad? should I continue to avoid them or should I try to incorporate them more in my diet? Will going vegetarian help me lose weight?

--If you are trying to lose weight, I would slow down on the carbs but you are also switching your diet by going veg which is also very hard on you - You will be doing alot of adjusting in your meals. So don't put to much pressure on your self with the carbs. Once you get a good veggie diet going that you like, it will be easier to focus on losing the weight too. Oh, one thing NOT to do is to replace the meat you give up with dairy products - It is easy to overload on those when you are making your eating choices sans meat (esp. when dining out). And yes, as long as you don't start gorging on veggie junk food and too much dairy, you will lose weight (don't forget to exercise too though!) Since you like veggies, eat lots!

And any tips on curbing cravings (if I would have any), or for dining out and with family (my bf and fam are big meat eaters). I appreciate any advice and can't wait to see how this goes!!! HAPPY HOLIDAYS and cant wait to hear from you all!!

-- There are lots of veggie meat substitutes out there and might satisfy your craving. You can buy them at so many places now. And they make so many kinds! With the cravings though, sometimes it is matter of your body adjusting to not having meat. Once you don't have it for a while, you probably won't crave it anymore. (sort of like smoking). Although, everyone is different. The meat substitutes are there if you get desperate though.

I hope I helped out!
Welcome and Good Luck!
 

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Hi and welcome! You have more chance of losing weight if you don't make the mistake of replacing meat with cheese - stick to plant-based foods and use dairy and eggs sparingly. Avoiding carbs is probably not a great idea (but then I haven't worked out why they're 'bad' in the first place!). If you eat wholewheat pasta/bread and brown rice rather than white stuff you'll get more energy for longer and more nutrients too. If you feel the need for 'meaty' food there's lots of veggieburgers and veggie sausages and so on that you could try, but obviously don't rely on processed foods all the time if you want to improve your health!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for everyone who's responded so far! Alot of good advice and the support really helps! I have a hectic schedule and not much time, does anyone have any quick, simple favorite recipes they recommend?????
 

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Hi, welcome! I just joined and it seems like a really great place for advice and tips. I am Vegan and loving it. I want to lose about ten pounds myself. I am not trying- I eat when I am hungry and I stop when I am satisfied. I am losing gradually, slowly, in a healthy way since going Vegan. I eat tons of carbs as I am not a huge fan of cooking and making veggies is a hassle to me. The only veggies I routinely eat are frozen mixed veggies and frozen peas... and spinach leaf salads. I get a little more fancy when my girl is here to cook. I am also not big on just eating fruits BUT I drink organic top quality fruit JUICES like CRAZY. I am ADDICTED... so that is one way IMO to get fruit
I probably drink a gallon of juice a day when I can afford it. All different kinds... but it is super expensive.
 

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Here is a really great and really easy recipe:

Cheesy Pasta Bake

Ingredients (use vegan versions):

1 box Mori Nu tofu, extra firm

enough pasta to fill an 8x8 pan (hand full)

8 ounces of your favorite marinara

1/2 block of vegan gourmet mozzarella

spices: parsley, basil, garlic

optional: cayenne

Directions:

Cook the spaghetti halfway. You don't want it to be mushy once you bake it.

While that's cooking, drain the box of tofu and put it into a medium/small bowl. Squish with a fork into small pieces.

Add the parsley, basil and garlic (add more of the spices you like best). I mix in a lot of all three. Blend with your fork but don't squish the tofu into too tiny of pieces.

Then, grate your mozzarella. Use 1/3 to 1/2 of a block of vegan gourmet mozzarella. Put aside.

Drain pasta. Put the pasta into the pan. Add all of the tofu ricotta mix. Mix them together.

Now pour your pasta sauce on top of the pasta/ricotta mixture. Pour a little more sauce than you think, so it doesn't dry out.

Mix all three ingredients well. You can even put some of the extra ricotta on top, if you had any left over.

Once you've mixed the pasta, ricotta and sauce so that it's equally spaced in the pan, simply add the vegan gourmet mozzarella on top. Use as much as you like.

It's important to spray the top of the cheese with your Pam or other oil spray. This makes the cheese on top melt smoothly and have a golden color when it's done.

Bake on high, at least 400 degrees (even up to 500) until it bubbles. Don't be afraid to let it cook until it bubbles and starts turning brown.

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 30 minutes

You can also add practically any kind of veggie that you like.

Hope this helps...
 
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