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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!! I'm Becca, 26yr old female, and reside in the Syracuse NY area. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd contemplate going vegetarian, but here I am!

Just some background on my situation first. I've been in Syracuse for 2 years - I moved here from Hawaii. While in Hawaii, I was super duper active, always in the gym, hiking, snorkeling, swimming, etc. I did a strict bodybuilding diet and got into the best shape of my life. Shortly after I accomplished all those goals, I ended up getting the new job in Syracuse and decided to pack up my life and move across the country. The first year-ish here was fine - I was still keeping up with my routines and while I did gain some weight, was still in control of everything.

My second year here, I've let everything completely slip away. Between visiting friends/family, having them visit me, traveling for work, bbqs, festivals, etc - I just sort of gave up on everything. Overall, I gained about 30lbs from my most in-shape time...I've never weighed this much in my entire life. I tried to get back into my old bodybuilding routine a few months ago but was seeing no results because I had so much extra weight. I'm very disappointed in myself.

With that, I decided to do a detox cleanse that I had done previously in Hawaii for a few days... only this time I'm doing it for the full 3 weeks. I'm constantly drinking supplements, whether it's my drink mix, juicing my own veggies, making my soups, etc. I was planning on doing this to jumpstart whatever my next step was. While I'm doing the detox, I've been reading The China Study which I knew would completely change my outlook. While I'm only halfway through the book, I know I'm leaning towards vegetarianism for my health, if nothing else.

So, here I am! I've started my research and am just trying to gather as much information as possible. I honestly don't know if I can give up meat altogether, but I do see myself limiting it if I don't give it up (maybe once a month or so). I feel like the next natural step after this detox is to go veggie and I'm ready to gain back control of my health, my weight, and my life.

I really know nothing about vegetarianism, so I'm really a clean slate at this point with an open mind! Thanks for reading my story and I welcome any advice, comments, etc. I'm glad to be here!!
 

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Good morning!

I'm new here, too. I never Never NEVER thought I'd go vegetarian/vegan (leaning vegan). If you want to continue your research, Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer is really good.

Good luck!
 

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I recommend The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone.

When you feel like you want meat, check out some of the great vegan/vegetarian fake meat options at your local grocery store. Wal-Mart carries Morningstar Farms and Boca brands in the freezer section. Your local health food store may have some great options as well.

www.thekindlife.com
 

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This thread has a lot of links worth looking at: http://www.veggieboards.com/newvb/sh...of-Veg*n-Links!

I second Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. This is a good book on why to choose a vegetarian, vegan, or nearly-veg diet. But there's nothing in there to help you stay healthy. It's all about how animals become meat.

Keep reading The China Study. There's an eating guide about 3/4 of the way through. It's one page and just has some simple recommendations.

I also think you should get a cookbook. A good one to get started is The Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook by Neal Barnard and Robyn Webb because it will help you get on the right track and eat a well balanced veg diet. Many cookbooks are just a collection of recipes and they might be great recipes but that doesn't help you eat a healthy diet. This one has nutritional information, a shopping list, meal plans, etc. so it will really put you on the right path.

You might also want to check out the Engine 2 Diet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow, thank you all for the replies! This is AWESOME info!! That link has so much to get me started! I've actually eaten alot of Morningstar burgers in the past and I absolutely love them - sometimes even prefer them to real meat burgers. I was looking up their website and Boca as well and saw all those meat crumbles and various non-meat sausages and such - looks like I'll have lots of options!

I do have some questions regarding food if anyone cares to answer:

1. What are some everyday dishes that you typically cook? I'm not talking pulling out the recipes and such. I definitely will pull out recipes a few times a week, but I want some simple options that won't take long.

2. When looking through recipes, I feel like alot of the main dishes are either some sort of casserole or sandwich. I'm so used to eating a meal like chicken with a side of veggies and a carb. Are there recipes for things like that where they're not all thrown together in one dish?

THANK YOU!!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeccaD View Post

Wow, thank you all for the replies! This is AWESOME info!! That link has so much to get me started! I've actually eaten alot of Morningstar burgers in the past and I absolutely love them - sometimes even prefer them to real meat burgers. I was looking up their website and Boca as well and saw all those meat crumbles and various non-meat sausages and such - looks like I'll have lots of options!

I do have some questions regarding food if anyone cares to answer:

1. What are some everyday dishes that you typically cook? I'm not talking pulling out the recipes and such. I definitely will pull out recipes a few times a week, but I want some simple options that won't take long.

2. When looking through recipes, I feel like alot of the main dishes are either some sort of casserole or sandwich. I'm so used to eating a meal like chicken with a side of veggies and a carb. Are there recipes for things like that where they're not all thrown together in one dish?

THANK YOU!!
A super easy thing to do is just substitute the "fake" meats for your familiar main dish meat. For example, Gardein chick'n strips with fries and a veggie and a salad. Or the Boca or Morningstar burger with a baked potato and a veggie. Or sometimes I just eat a variety of veggies with no "main course". You can pretty much do anything you want!!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeccaD View Post

I do have some questions regarding food if anyone cares to answer:

1. What are some everyday dishes that you typically cook? I'm not talking pulling out the recipes and such. I definitely will pull out recipes a few times a week, but I want some simple options that won't take long.

2. When looking through recipes, I feel like alot of the main dishes are either some sort of casserole or sandwich. I'm so used to eating a meal like chicken with a side of veggies and a carb. Are there recipes for things like that where they're not all thrown together in one dish?

THANK YOU!!
I make a soup, stew or chili almost every week. Depending on the type, I can use it as a base for many different dishes. Lentil soup can be used with chunky veggies, some coconut milk, curry over brown rice. Chili over salad greens; a slotted spoon for subs. Brown rice and red beans.
I really have gotten into one bowl dishes!

I love 1000 Vegan Recipes, or any of Robin Robertsons cookbooks. 1000 recipes in particular has many burger type recipes that lend themselves well to her gravies. I find everything easy, flexible, with ordinary ingrediants. If you're okay with wheat, get some wheat gluten-it binds the beans, tofu or whatever, and gives a firmer texture. It's not necessary though, grains particularly oats get together.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeccaD View Post

2. When looking through recipes, I feel like alot of the main dishes are either some sort of casserole or sandwich. I'm so used to eating a meal like chicken with a side of veggies and a carb. Are there recipes for things like that where they're not all thrown together in one dish?
Try seitan (if you can find it at your grocery store) with BBQ or some sort of gravy. Or the chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon-I always quadruple the recipe when I make them, and still they are gone in a matter of days. Glorious culinary perfection <3
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Awesome, thank you all so much for all the food tips!! I cruised through the organic/veggie section of my grocery store today just so I could see what kinds of foods I'd be working with and how much variety they have. I'm fortunate enough to have a grocery store that has about 3 aisles dedicated to all this fun stuff!

If anyone has any more advice for a soon to be convert, please feel free to send it my way! I'm just trying to learn as much as possible before I start the transition in a few weeks.
 
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