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Hey everyone,

About a year ago I was indefinitely put on a regimen of medication that causes pretty significant weight gain.

Now a year later I'm sitting probably 30-40 pounds heavier than I'd like to be and now that my illness that will remain nameless is more in check I'd like to start making changes to my diet and exercise routine that could cut down on this as much as possible.

That being said the only meat I really consume at this point in my life is chicken as I hate seafood am not a big fan of beef or steak so I don't really feel that cutting out the meat would be that much of an issue. I am also at a point where I've learned that I know damn near nothing about cooking or cooking healthy meals so I want to try to start to learn this while moving in the direction of a healthy vegetarian diet. My main concern is finding vegetarian meals that I'll enjoy as I am a fairly picky eater. I think that I would like to cut out milk as I'm not a big fan of dairy products and limit my intake of eggs but not eliminate it.

My main questions for all of you are what recommendations would you make in regards to the transition that could potentially lead to a more permanent life choice. And also what are some vegetarian cookbooks and foods you would recommend for me?

Thanks,
kjwaldmann
 

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You said you are a picky eater, what kinds of foods do you already like? Seeing what you like and going from there can be a good start to attempting to make each dish you like healthier. I personally love a lot of vegetable and tofu curries. Instead of milk, they often use coconut milk! Super delicious. I'm a big fan of thai food. Pad thai is also delicious as well as tofu Kee mao. See if you can maybe bring together those ingredients and make it from scratch! Chinese cuisine is also pretty good. Bean Curd Szechuan style is my favorite, but I'm having trouble finding the exact recipe I want that has the peas. If you don't like tofu, try seitan! :) You can find many recipes all over the internet! :)
 

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my son is very selective, and as such, is a lacto-vegetarian (will eat eggs if they are in a cookie/cake or something, but not by themselves)

some ideas-
Peanut butter sandwiches?
morningstar chi'kn patties/nuggets?
campbells tomato soup?
How about cheese and crackers?
Plain cheese quesedilla?
hummus and baby carrots?
bean burritos?
Spaghetti with plain marinara sauce,
cheese pizza.... I could type out quite a few picky eater friendly foods for a vegetarian.

Hope that helps. :)
 

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my son is very selective, and as such, is a lacto-vegetarian (will eat eggs if they are in a cookie/cake or something, but not by themselves)

some ideas-
Peanut butter sandwiches?
morningstar chi'kn patties/nuggets?
campbells tomato soup?
How about cheese and crackers?
Plain cheese quesedilla?
hummus and baby carrots?
bean burritos?
Spaghetti with plain marinara sauce,
cheese pizza.... I could type out quite a few picky eater friendly foods for a vegetarian.

Hope that helps. :)
If this person is trying to lose 30-40 pounds, I'd probably recommend that they don't eat cheese pizza and cheese quesadilla on a regular basis.

OP: Type "Healthy vegan/vegetarian meals" on google. You'll find plenty of websites.
This forum also has a "What did you eat vegan today" thread and, and a recipe section. You can take ideas from there.
 

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lol, jessandria, you are right. I heard "picky eater" and just tuned the O.P's weight issues right out! My "picky eater" son is a skinny 6 year old, so weight loss was far from my mind.

I can personally recommend a starch based diet, I lost 60 lbs, following Dr.Mcdougall's advice and tracking my caloric intake on myfitnesspal. I am not struggling to maintain the weight loss, and seem to sit happily at 118lbs. (Im 5'4)

He has great videos on you tube, and his book "the starch solution" was available through the inter-library loan at my local (teeny) library.

I make alot of vegetable and rice dishes, baked potatoes in many ways, and lots of vegan-veggie bean soups. I try to avoid dairy and eggs, but I do take milk in my coffee.

As for tracking calories, on myfitnesspal I really recommend it. I plan my day on that site every morning.
 

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transition

I would go on youtube and look at videos on animal treatment and health. This kept me motivated to stay vegan until my body adjusted. Also, if you have a craving for non vegan foods such as cake or ice-cream; make the vegan version.

My ig has a ton of vegan recipes. gypsyy_mermaid

and my blog has recipes as well detoxwithdesserts.com

I made the ig and blog to help people achieve a healthier lifestyle and I ended up becoming vegan so I post a lot of recipes to motivate vegans/non vegans to eat more plants.
 

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kjwaldmann;3479785 My main questions for all of you are what recommendations would you make in regards to the transition that could potentially lead to a more permanent life choice. And also what are some vegetarian cookbooks and foods you would recommend for me? Thanks said:
Without knowing what you like to eat, I can't really make too many recommendations for what kind of food I'd recommend. Except to say that the one thing that all dieticians (the ones worth listening to, at least) get behind is a whole foods diet. That means decreasing the amount of processed foods you're eating. I'm not saying I'm against processed foods (because alcohol, chocolate, bread and pasta are my favourite things), but if you make them a smaller part of your overall eating habits, then it's easier to stay healthy.

In recommending how you transition, it does depend on your lifestyle. I went vegetarian overnight, but I have a vegetarian partner and I'd gone 30 days without meat before that. It wasn't a huge shift for me.

Meal planning is a good idea, but don't overload yourself with complex meals, at least in the beginning. Think about the meals you already enjoy and think about what you can replace the meat with. If you enjoy spaghetti bolognaise, replace the mince with lentils. If you enjoy stir fry meals, tofu and chickpeas are my main 'additions'.

I adore Sarah Kramer's cooking books, there's a lot of super easy recipes in La Dolce Vegan (you had better love Italian food :p).

And mostly, don't be too hard on yourself. If you can start out going vegetarian for just half of a day, then slowly increase the veggies and decrease the animals, you'll be making progress.
 

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Keeping it simple in the beginning is the way to go! And learning how to cook and prepare food will help immensely to open your mind to the creative possibilities using simple foods. Shifting away from restaurant/fast food will go a long way for health and weight loss and long term sustainable eating.

I was never remotely overweight, but I remember years ago when I quit smoking and had recently lost my ovaries and uterus at the age of 33 and was slammed into surgical menopause. I had a terrible time. I went through a period of eating more and gained a good bit of weight. I began to diet to lose that weight (ultimately ending up severely underweight) but in the beginning I remember just cutting out all soda pop and commercial juices and my weight just slid off. I stopped eating out and stopped the frozen dinners and really began to learn how to cook. I also began an exercise program with the help of a physical therapist (surgical menopause caused debilitating fibromyalgia like symptoms for me at that time) and joined a fitness center and that accelerated weight loss. That was back when I first started eating more beans, seeds, and lots of fruits and vegetables and way less meat in 2007-2008. I used to drink lactose free milk and it still made me sick so I had switched to plant milk (almond or soy). Back then as an omnivore I went from sugared yogurts to plain Greek yogurt which was the only dairy product I could tolerate at all (if you plan to continue with dairy products in the beginning but want to remain vegetarian you will have to watch for gelatin that is often put into yogurts rendering them nonvegetarian, and rennet in some cheeses that is also nonvegetarian).

I really like this particular website (The Vegetarian Resource Group) because they keep things simple/economical and do a lot of research on food ingredients, nutrition, and so on (they have a registered dietician with a masters degree in nutrition on their staff):

http://www.vrg.org/

Some other sites with lots of recipe ideas and some very simple and economical are these:

http://www.all-creatures.org/recipes.html

http://www.vegweb.com/recipes

I went vegan from omnivore overnight almost four years ago so I approached it differently, however, I was a sort of health nut and loved to prepare food from scratch before and was already eating lots of beans, fruits and vegetables, and non dairy milks and never much of a meat eater. If I had done it more gradually, I imagine I might have started with one or two meals a day all vegetarian or else every other day all vegetarian to start. I did many years ago gradually introduce beans into my diet as they may take getting used to for the digestive system at first, but are incredibly nutritious (excellent source of protein, iron, fiber, magnesium etc). I did make a list of all the foods I ate regularly that were already vegan and built up from there. My favorites at the time were oatmeal, canned pumpkin and banana mashed together, mangoes, lentils (I used to sprinkle lemon pepper on them and have them over brown rice), hummus, baked potatoes and so on. I used to go to the sites I listed and print off recipes that looked interesting and not too hard with weird ingredients and started a 3 ring binder for them. Now I have countless binders filled to capacity lol. I also visited my local library and found lots of vegan/vegetarian cookbooks on the shelves. I would make copies of recipes and make notes of the advice offered in many of them on how to stock a vegan kitchen and what ingredients are commonly used in vegan/vegetarian kitchens. Many of those books have lists of staples and so on, and cooking techniques. If you have a bookstore like Barnes and Noble, that place has practically an entire aisle of plant based and vegan/vegetarian books, whether recipe ones or special diet ones etc.

Personally I have not followed any particular diet plan (such as high carb/low fat, paleo vegan, fruitarian or all raw, starch based etc) but do try to keep a good bit of my food whole plant based and include a wide variety of plant food while also making allowances for packaged processed foods like soy or coconut yogurts, very occasional Lara bars or cliff bars, plant protein powders, tofu, etc. I tried a few specific styles of eating here and there for a few weeks but could not stick with them. I've had to really learn to listen to my body and figure out what I need that makes me feel good and stay healthy. It's taken me eight years of battling an eating disorder to come to a place of knowing what I need and want and find some sort of balance and sometimes I am still a work in progress. If I cut out too many foods and restrict type of plant food it is a recipe for disaster for me. Someone else may need to eliminate all flour or oil etc. Maybe someone else can not have gluten. It's a personal journey. But I faithfully and joyfully stick to eating vegan and have never felt deprived if I open myself up to all the variety of plant foods out there. I just recently discovered kalamata figs. And when I went vegan I learned about snacking on raw jicama which is an awesome refreshing and filling plant food as is without any prep other than peeling the skin.

Best wishes!
 

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Dr. John McDougall's "The Starch Solution" (or "The McDougall Plan") is a very good vegetarian diet for achieving a healthy weight. It focuses on eating filling, satisfying foods. The book is available through your library. Complete, detailed information on the McDougall Plan is also shown here: https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/free-mcdougall-program/


Another dependable vegetarian diet plan is Kaiser Permanente's Plant-Based Diet: http://mydoctor.kaiserpermanente.org/ncal/Images/New%20Plant%20Based%20Booklet%201214_tcm28-781815.pdf . The McDougall Plan and Kaiser Permanente's Plant-Based Diet are very similar, but I think that McDougall provides more in the way of practical information.




These diets are effective because they replace high-calorie foods with satisfying moderate-calorie foods. Although the popular media claims that starchy foods (beans, rice) and fruit are high in calories, a quick look at any calorie-counting website shows that this isn't so. I've listed some calorie numbers below, to illustrate this:


Potato, boiled, with skin: 87 calories per 100 g
Peach: 39 calories per 100 g
Watermelon: 30 calories per 100 g
Pinto beans, boiled: 143 calories per 100 g


Chicken breast, skinless, roasted: 165 calories per 100 g
Ground beef, 90% lean, broiled: 217 calories per 100 g


Calorie data: http://nutritiondata.self.com/


 

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It's tough making food suggestion without knowing the nature of your illness or medications. Something commonly consumed as breakfast for weight loss like grapefruit can cause death based on meds. Can you give a little more details on the meds? I know some things can be embarrassing but for your safety I would recommend a little info since this is a faceless forum.
 
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