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Hi everyone!<br><br>
I've never known anything about the vegetarian way of living other than you don't eat meat but I remember thinking in the past that it must be a very healthy way to live. When I found out many years ago that Paul & Linda McCartney were vegetarians, I may have given this lifestyle a little more thought. However, when Linda was diagnosed with cancer I thought "apparently a vegetarian diet is not as healthy as it's cracked up to be."<br><br>
Vegetarianism never really crossed my mind again until recently ... the past couple months or so. I suddenly started to be "sickened" when I would prepare meat. I was seeing it more as "flesh" rather than something good to eat. A friend in Italy hasn't been feeling well for quite some time & her doctor suggested she stop eating meat. She recommended a book to me which her doctor had recommended to her ... Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. I'm almost half-way through the book & these 2 things ... being "sickened" when preparing meat & my reading this book ... are making me seriously consider becoming a vegetarian.<br><br>
I know there is a lot I don't know but I want to learn. Does being a vegetarian mean I can't eat cheese or eggs or milk? Where will my protein come from? Do I in fact need protein? Can anyone suggest a book (or books) I should read that will answer my questions?<br><br>
I have not been feeling well for the past few months. I am seeing a new doctor who has indicated to me that my hormone levels are all messed up ... some levels being way too high, some being dangerously low. I want to discuss the pros/cons of a vegetarian diet with her at my next appointment but that won't be until the end of October.<br><br>
I have always felt I was doing good for my body by eating organic foods. When going to the grocery stores I have always paid more money for meats, eggs, & butter with labels indicating they are organic, cage-free, or free range. Eating Animals has shown me that these labels do not correspond with my mental picture of healthy chickens & pigs happily roaming about the barnyard & healthy cows contentedly grazing in the pasture. I've read about the breeding issues & the treatment of the animals ... the chemicals & hormones these animals are fed which then pass on to humans. I don't want to be a part of this anymore but I really don't know how to go about changing my way of living.<br><br>
I look forward to participating in this forum & learning how to live my life as a vegetarian. Any suggestions you can give me will be greatly appreciated.<br><br>
Blessings,<br>
Shirlee
 

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Hello and welcome!<br><br>
To answer your questions...There are certain vegetarians called lacto-ovo vegetarians that do still continue to have dairy and eggs while giving up meat. The choice to do this is actually very common. As long as you're eating a good variety of food, protein shouldn't be an issue. Foods such as beans and lentils have plenty of protein and you can get certain amounts from most other things as well. If you're short on meal ideas (I know I was when I first went vegetarian) then you might want to check out the website Vegweb. There are tons of great recipes on there.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":up:">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>sajehill</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2994280"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Does being a vegetarian mean I can't eat cheese or eggs or milk? Where will my protein come from? Do I in fact need protein? Can anyone suggest a book (or books) I should read that will answer my questions?</div>
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Hi Shirlee, welcome & glad to see you are considering adopting a vegetarian lifestyle! Let's see if I can answer a few of your questions for you. You get to decide whether or not you still eat eggs or dairy. If you continue to eat them, you will be a vegetarian. If you stop eating them, you will be a strict vegetarian, not a vegan. If you stop eating and using animal products entirely, then you will be vegan. So for example, my husband and I eat almost an entirely vegan diet, but we don't call ourselves vegan because we still use honey products and whatnot.<br><br>
You shouldn't really worry about getting enough protein unless you lift or something. Most people should shoot for 50-60g of protein a day. There's pretty much protein in everything, but good sources are beans, seitan/wheat gluten, Greek yoghurt, quinoa, etc. A good vegetarian meal is basically whole grain + veg + bean. Last night we ate whole wheat couscous, broccoli and cannelini beans. When I was seriously lifting, I ate 100g+ protein a day without any problems.<br><br>
As for books, I LOVE all of the vegan cookbooks by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. She is seriously amazing. If you get Veganomicon or Appetite for Reduction (AND YOU SHOULD!!) not only will you get some totally awesome recipes, but a little nutritional information as well.<br><br>
And just as a little aside, I think that Lina McCartney's cancer was probably not related to her diet in any way. Yes, a veg*n diet, done correctly, is probably more healthy than one that includes animal products, but we're all people, and and vegetarianism isn't some kind of miracle diet that cures cancer or anything, you know?
 

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Welcome, Shirlee!<br><br>
I'm not a doctor, so I have no idea what might be causing your recent health problems. I do know that you will not necessarily improve your health if you stop eating meat, fish, eggs, and milk- you will want to get a variety of nutritious foods. 15 minutes ago, I bought a vegan brownie from a local vegan bakery and ate it. It won't kill me, but if I ate too many of them, it would have caused me to gain weight. On the other hand, many of my relatives on my Mom's side have had cardiovascular disease, and my near-veganism appears to have done me good: my cholesterol levels are excellent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bright Bird ... Thank you for the information & especially for telling me about the Vegweb site. I look forward to visiting it. I've been wondering what I'm going to eat if I'm not eating meat ... lol! I love soup & will especially be looking for soup recipes : )<br><br>
jennyface ... Thank you also for the information & for explaining to me the difference between a vegetarian, a strict vegetarian, & a vegan. I likewise appreciate the info about the cookbooks. Will check those out on Amazon today. Yes, I know that Linda McCartney's cancer wasn't related to her diet. I was just saying that back when it was announced that she had cancer, my first thought was "so much for a vegetarian diet being healthy." I couldn't even say I believed that at the time since I had never done any research on being a vegetarian. I was just thinking back then that vegetarian = healthy so if she was a vegetarian then she should live "forever" & have no sickness to boot. Of course I know now that there are a lot of other factors that contribute to catastrophic illness no matter how healthy a diet we consume.<br><br>
Tom ... As I stated in my intro, my doctor indicated to me that I have not been feeling well because my hormone levels are all messed up ... some being way too high, some being dangerously low. I am not without willpower or common sense. I don't foresee myself pigging out on vegan brownies & becoming obese. However, I do foresee my hormone levels continuing to wreak havoc with perhaps some connection to eating animals that have been fed a steady diet of hormones throughout their sad lives. Removing those meats alone from my diet should help me feel better & be healthier. As far as health issues like cardiovascular disease, I've always believed that you're going to get what you're going to get illness-wise & therefore if you're meant to get it then anything you do to prevent it is not going to be of use ... but I also believe that we should at least try to do what we can to help ourselves. It couldn't hurt ... unless you practice gluttony by eating too many vegan brownies : )<br><br>
Blessings,<br>
Shirlee
 

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Welcome, Shirlee! Glad you decided to join us, and congratulations on your decision!<br><br>
I think others have answered most of your questions already. Just wanted to add that yes, we all need proteins and yes, like Bright Bird said, just make sure to include one or more daily doses of legumes such as beans, lentils, chick peas, peanuts, or products made from those such as tofu (from soya beans).
 

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I urge you to browse through the thread here called "big list of veg*n links"<br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/newvb/showthread.php?112852-Big***-List-of-Veg*n-Links" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/newvb/sh...of-Veg*n-Links</a>!<br>
You can fond nutrition info there as well as many other resources.
 

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Cutting out processed foods and eating whole foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, etc., can do wonders for your hormone levels. The beauty of a whole food diet is that often you don't have to count calories to maintain a healthy weight! It's important to keep that in mind even going vegetarian, since technically you can still eat all processed foods and still be considered a vegetarian. As a newbie myself, the best thing i've found is to read as much as I can to inform myself on the subject of vegetarianism and veganism. Then you can make a well informed decision how strict of a meatless diet you want to go.<br><br>
Being in healthcare myself for many years (and being passionate about nutrition for even longer!) I can tell you that not all physicians support or understand a vegetarian diet. Unfortunately (at least in the US) being well educated and up to date on nutrition is not required for doctors! I say that only so you aren't suprised if your doctor isn't necessarily supportive of a vegetarian diet. Some of them just don't understand the nutritional benefits of it. That is just another reason why you should make sure to well educate yourself on the topic! :) But it is still important to keep a good working relationship with your doctor, as hormone issues can be caused by other things as well. Welcome, and good luck!
 

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Hello Shirlee, I am a Lacto Ovo (mods correct this for me please) Vegetarian, I consume some eggs and some regular dairy products , but I am leaning towards cutting them out in the near future. I and my husband has health problems and we are watching what we need to eat , so I am eating organic and natural and whole grains and whole wheat, other Grains and oats, canned and dried beans, lentils and legumes and other Veg friendly things. I do bring in some Vegan products to feed us but, not alot right now I am still a new Veg about a year or so and still learning.<br>
I am thinking of getting Eating Animals books and other Veg friendly books for Christmas this year so I can read up on them. Plus cookbooks and ETC.<br>
Just explore right now and experminment with the recipes and list what you like and dislike.
 
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