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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey people!

Bit of background about me. I have recently turned vegetarian (about 6 motnhs ago) It has been great. I feel healthier, less bloated and more energized. My only concern is that in my last blood test my iron, folic acid and vit D have dropped. I have done the transition without any knowledge and that data might be lower than normal because of that as I don´t know how to actually subtitute meat. I also want to start sports again like running and weight lifting (new year, new me stuff).

I would love for someone to give me tips on vegetarian diets, considering that I refuse to eat tofu (not a fan), and to teach me how to keep the veggie up in a healthy way.

I must point out i haven´t gained weight since I turned vegetarian but I do want to lose.

Thank you people
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tofu is minimally processed. It's curds from soymilk, usually curdled with calcium chloride, or nigari, a type of seaweed
Do not want to eat that and do not enjoy. Best soy are soy beans. Got tips for what my threat is about?
 

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Some people rely too much on cheese or other dairy when they go lacto-ovo. The ironic thing I have noticed is for all the criticism vegan diets get, vegans are often more prepared to eat a balanced nutritional diet exactly because of all the hype (with the exception of junk food vegans).

First of all, I don't really understand why your vitamin D dropped if you still drink fortified milk....just know cheese actually isn't all that nutritious, milk itself has more calcium and is artificially fortified with vitamin D. If you don't drink a lot of milk, try drinking D fortified orange juice, spending more time in the sun, or eating fortified breakfast cereals.

As for folic acid, you should get plenty of that from fruits and vegetables, but if your diet isn't widely varied, I will once again point you to orange juice.

Iron: beans, lentils, peas, broccoli, kale, raisins, oatmeal, fortified breakfast cereals. ..eat bean burritos with tomatoes or lentils with spinach. Try different types of beans, and explore Indian dal, and you really might want to open your mind to tofu. Because eating plain raw tofu is about as tasty as eating plain raw chicken, only much less dangerous. Try it pan fried with salt and cayenne pepper, or order it professionally prepared in Thai or Chinese dishes. Sautee kale with garlic and salt and pepper, and eat it on toast slathered with hummus and topped with cracked red pepper.

Or take a vitamin supplement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Tofu isn't a "processed food" anymore than cheese, yogurt or peanut butter are "processed foods" just FYI.
I don´t eat that either. Anyway this is not a thread about how processed a food is. Gonna edit that because it seems it is been misleading you from the actual topic.
 

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I don´t eat that either. Anyway this is not a thread about how processed a food is. Gonna edit that because it seems it is been misleading you from the actual topic.
Read my first post, it was completely on topic.

How about you tell us what you DO eat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Some people rely too much on cheese or other dairy when they go lacto-ovo. The ironic thing I have noticed is for all the criticism vegan diets get, vegans are often more prepared to eat a balanced nutritional diet exactly because of all the hype (with the exception of junk food vegans).

First of all, I don't really understand why your vitamin D dropped if you still drink fortified milk....just know cheese actually isn't all that nutritious, milk itself has more calcium and is artificially fortified with vitamin D. If you don't drink a lot of milk, try drinking D fortified orange juice, spending more time in the sun, or eating fortified breakfast cereals.

As for folic acid, you should get plenty of that from fruits and vegetables, but if your diet isn't widely varied, I will once again point you to orange juice.

Iron: beans, lentils, peas, broccoli, kale, raisins, oatmeal, fortified breakfast cereals. ..eat bean burritos with tomatoes or lentils with spinach. Try different types of beans, and explore Indian dal, and you really might want to open your mind to tofu. Because eating plain raw tofu is about as tasty as eating plain raw chicken, only much less dangerous. Try it pan fried with salt and cayenne pepper, or order it professionally prepared in Thai or Chinese dishes. Sautee kale with garlic and salt and pepper, and eat it on toast slathered with hummus and topped with cracked red pepper.

Or take a vitamin supplement.
I think the vit D dropped because of winter and the less sun I am getting lately. All levels are just slightly lower so nothing too terrible.

When I was eating meat I normally ate meat + veggies + carbs. Since I took out the meat now i find it very difficult to differentiate the three main macronutrients and actually eat them in the right proportion. I don´t know if i am actually explaining myself correctly.
 

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I think the vit D dropped because of winter and the less sun I am getting lately. All levels are just slightly lower so nothing too terrible.

When I was eating meat I normally ate meat + veggies + carbs. Since I took out the meat now i find it very difficult to differentiate the three main macronutrients and actually eat them in the right proportion. I don´t know if i am actually explaining myself correctly.
OK. Well. Try eating quinoa and oatmeal as two of your main carbs, and eat more kale, broccoli and spinach on the side. Unless you have a nut allergy, add them to your quinoa (for example slivered almonds at dinner) or oatmeal (walnuts or hazelnuts). Stock up on beans, lentils, and I guess you can make your own hummus at home (I'm still not understanding why you think peanut butter is processed as long as it's natural and you don't have a nut allergy...putting something in a blender with water or oil or salt or spices isn't the same thing as something being "processed" with chemicals or artificial preservatives, I'm not harping on this but seriously if you drink juice why wouldn't you eat tofu or peanut butter?)...the vitamin D in cereal or orange juice or even milk is not naturally occurring, so you will have to compromise somehow. There's a small amount in egg yolks, but not a lot unless you eat too many eggs.
 

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Tofu is minimally processed. It's curds from soymilk, usually curdled with calcium chloride, or nigari, a type of seaweed
I think some of these irrational definitions of processed come from paleo. Unless they eat raw fish they caught with their bare hands, never use salt or oil, and eat grain they picked from the field and crack raw nuts with their teeth, no human eats something that is entirely free from "processing."If meat wasn't "processed" humans could not chew or digest it and would become sick or die of food poisoning very quickly. Sushi is technically raw but has to be cured. Paleo is probably worse than Atkins for causing this ridiculousness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OK. Well. Try eating quinoa and oatmeal as two of your main carbs, and eat more kale, broccoli and spinach on the side. Unless you have a nut allergy, add them to your quinoa (for example slivered almonds at dinner) or oatmeal (walnuts or hazelnuts). Stock up on beans, lentils, and I guess you can make your own hummus at home (I'm still not understanding why you think peanut butter is processed as long as it's natural and you don't have a nut allergy...putting something in a blender with water or oil or salt or spices isn't the same thing as something being "processed" with chemicals or artificial preservatives, I'm not harping on this but seriously if you drink juice why wouldn't you eat tofu or peanut butter?)...the vitamin D in cereal or orange juice or even milk is not naturally occurring, so you will have to compromise somehow. There's a small amount in egg yolks, but not a lot unless you eat too many eggs.
Those are very useful tips, thanks! Will try.

About the peanut butter, it is just that it is not very common in my country to eat that. In fact we have no cultural background on it, so I am just not used to having it. I do not drink bottled juices either, rather make them myself from fresh fruits and veggies (tastes a whole lot better) About the tofu, I have been reading around and it makes sense that the best soy that the body can get is the most natural form of it. This can be applied to every food actually. I also have mostly only eaten the white blocks of tofu and I seriously don´t like it. I know there are other forms of it but since it has never been part of my diet i don´t want it to become a big part of it (maybe it is just a psychological thing I have). I obviously eat processed food still, but i am very conscious about limiting it to the minimum. So if i did take tofu in my diet it would be a whole lot easier to have meal plans since they would be very similar to what i used to eat, but i don´t, and that is where all the questions come from.

I have heard about eggs and such but i don´t want to take them often either. I am just very confused since I have grown up in a culture where all animal based food is basic for living and I am struggling to make an animal free meal plan.
 

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I think the vit D dropped because of winter and the less sun I am getting lately. All levels are just slightly lower so nothing too terrible.

When I was eating meat I normally ate meat + veggies + carbs. Since I took out the meat now i find it very difficult to differentiate the three main macronutrients and actually eat them in the right proportion. I don´t know if i am actually explaining myself correctly.

Welcome aboard, Didi.

Vitamin D is naturally present in very few foods, which is why dairy milk, soymilk, some breakfast cereals, and some orange juices are fortified with vitamin D. I just take a supplement. Here is more information about vitamin D, from the Vegetarian Resource Group: http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2009issue2/2009_issue2_vitamin_d.php

Many plant foods are good sources of folic acid (folate). Oranges, beans, and vegetables are all good sources. Here is more information, from the Association of UK Dieticians: https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/FolicAcid.pdf

Good question about macronutrients. Many unprocessed plant foods are good sources of protein, but none are strongly concentrated sources of protein. Good sources of protein include beans, lentils, split peas, nuts, nut butters, and seeds. Beans, lentils, and split peas are primarily carbohydrate (~ 70% to 80% of calories), with protein (~ 20% to 30% of calories), but with very little fat (exception: soybeans are rich in fat). Nuts and seeds are primarily fat, with protein, but with little carbohydrate.

More concentrated sources of plant protein include tempeh, protein powders, and the various vegetarian "meats".

To know your macros, you can use one of the free, easy-to-use, online nutrition trackers. Two popular ones are Cronometer ( https://cronometer.com/ ) and MyFitnessPal ( https://www.myfitnesspal.com/ ). There are YouTube videos that explain how to use these.

Food ratios can vary on a vegetarian diet. The Vegetarian Society of the UK recommends this ratio:




Mainstream vegan organizations recommend this ratio:





You might find it useful to make 1 or 2 appointments with a Registered Dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition and in vegetarian/vegan diets. They can help you to plan a delicious vegetarian nutrition approach that is nutritionally complete (and that supports your athletic and weight-loss goals).

In the United States, you can find a local Registered Dietitian through this website: http://www.eatright.org . Just click on the "Find an Expert" button, located in the upper-right-hand portion of the webpage.

In the U.K., you can find a local Registered Dietitian on the Freelance Dietitians website: http://www.freelancedietitians.org/

In New Zealand, you can find a local Registered Dietitian through the Dietitians New Zealand website: http://dietitians.org.nz/find-a-dietitian/

In Canada, you can find a local Registered Dietitian at the Dietitians of Canada website: http://www.dietitians.ca/Find-a-Dietitian.aspx .
 

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Hi Didi,

Could you tell us in which country you live? This would help us to recommend vegetarian dishes that you might enjoy.
.
 

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Those are very useful tips, thanks! Will try.

About the peanut butter, it is just that it is not very common in my country to eat that. In fact we have no cultural background on it, so I am just not used to having it. I do not drink bottled juices either, rather make them myself from fresh fruits and veggies (tastes a whole lot better) About the tofu, I have been reading around and it makes sense that the best soy that the body can get is the most natural form of it. This can be applied to every food actually. I also have mostly only eaten the white blocks of tofu and I seriously don´t like it. I know there are other forms of it but since it has never been part of my diet i don´t want it to become a big part of it (maybe it is just a psychological thing I have). I obviously eat processed food still, but i am very conscious about limiting it to the minimum. So if i did take tofu in my diet it would be a whole lot easier to have meal plans since they would be very similar to what i used to eat, but i don´t, and that is where all the questions come from.

I have heard about eggs and such but i don´t want to take them often either. I am just very confused since I have grown up in a culture where all animal based food is basic for living and I am struggling to make an animal free meal plan.
OK well its actually untrue that eating something in whole raw form is ALWAYS best...while eating whole raw fruit gives you more fiber than juice, some foods actually release nutrients which are more easily absorbed by the body when you cook them. Raw vegans often eat enormous amounts of food and typically "process" grains by spouting them or from making fresh nut milks.

Meat is not a macronutrient. Protein, fat, carbohydrates and calcium are examples of macronutrients. Tofu just has less protein than eating a cup of whole soybeans, but is still an excellent form of protein. Otherwise, tofu may actually be better for some people because it contains more calcium if it's calcium set or fortified. But you know, whatever, eat whole soy beans if you prefer.

I wasn't telling you to eat eggs, I was only offering information. I don't eat eggs. The best natural source of vitamin D is sunlight. People sometimes eat fortified foods for a reason.

The only way to get vitamin D will be in bottled fortified orange juice or milk unless you take a vitamin pill or eat breakfast cereal from a box.

If you are reluctant to eat foods that you are not familiar with, that may be a big part of the problem. Part of changing your diet - whether for health or ethical or religious reasons - is trying new foods.

What country are you from? Have you tried looking up recipes from your culture that have been made vegetarian?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OK well its actually untrue that eating something in whole raw form is ALWAYS best...while eating whole raw fruit gives you more fiber than juice, some foods actually release nutrients which are more easily absorbed by the body when you cook them. Raw vegans often eat enormous amounts of food and typically "process" grains by spouting them or from making fresh nut milks.

Meat is not a macronutrient. Protein, fat, carbohydrates and calcium are examples of macronutrients. Tofu just has less protein than eating a cup of whole soybeans, but is still an excellent form of protein. Otherwise, tofu may actually be better for some people because it contains more calcium if it's calcium set or fortified. But you know, whatever, eat whole soy beans if you prefer.

I wasn't telling you to eat eggs, I was only offering information. I don't eat eggs. The best natural source of vitamin D is sunlight. People sometimes eat fortified foods for a reason.

The only way to get vitamin D will be in bottled fortified orange juice or milk unless you take a vitamin pill or eat breakfast cereal from a box.

If you are reluctant to eat foods that you are not familiar with, that may be a big part of the problem. Part of changing your diet - whether for health or ethical or religious reasons - is trying new foods.

What country are you from? Have you tried looking up recipes from your culture that have been made vegetarian?
When i said natural i didn´t actually mean raw and completely unaltered, I meant least processed food (eg: soybeans instead of tofu, homemade peanut butter instead of bottled one, homemade sweets instead of bought ones)

I did not mean that meat is a macronutrient but it was my main source of protein which is the macronutrient.

I never said that you told me to eat eggs, was just explaining myself on the topic.

I have included loads of new foods like new seeds i never ate, seaweeds, other fruits and veggies that were not so common in my diet. What it seems hard for you to understand is that I do want to enjoy my vegetarianism. If i do not enjoy tofu, i don´t know why do I have to eat it. I am pretty sure I can get my macronutrients (to be clear, protein in this case, not meat) from food i enjoy. This is were all my doubts come from actually.

I am from Spain (which makes me not worry about my vit d much, very sunny in the summer) In my culture almost every dish contains either meat, fish or seafood (sometimes all of them at once) and after more than 25 years eating like that I am struggling on the conversion. I just waned tips, not to have to explain myself all the time (we do that on a daily basis) and being misunderstood. I wanted some help and support since I live in a very cruel society for no animal eaters :D

I am glad you have joined in and gave good tips. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Welcome aboard, Didi.

Vitamin D is naturally present in very few foods, which is why dairy milk, soymilk, some breakfast cereals, and some orange juices are fortified with vitamin D. I just take a supplement. Here is more information about vitamin D, from the Vegetarian Resource Group: http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2009issue2/2009_issue2_vitamin_d.php

Many plant foods are good sources of folic acid (folate). Oranges, beans, and vegetables are all good sources. Here is more information, from the Association of UK Dieticians: https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/FolicAcid.pdf

Good question about macronutrients. Many unprocessed plant foods are good sources of protein, but none are strongly concentrated sources of protein. Good sources of protein include beans, lentils, split peas, nuts, nut butters, and seeds. Beans, lentils, and split peas are primarily carbohydrate (~ 70% to 80% of calories), with protein (~ 20% to 30% of calories), but with very little fat (exception: soybeans are rich in fat). Nuts and seeds are primarily fat, with protein, but with little carbohydrate.

More concentrated sources of plant protein include tempeh, protein powders, and the various vegetarian "meats".

To know your macros, you can use one of the free, easy-to-use, online nutrition trackers. Two popular ones are Cronometer ( https://cronometer.com/ ) and MyFitnessPal ( https://www.myfitnesspal.com/ ). There are YouTube videos that explain how to use these.

Food ratios can vary on a vegetarian diet. The Vegetarian Society of the UK recommends this ratio:




Mainstream vegan organizations recommend this ratio:





You might find it useful to make 1 or 2 appointments with a Registered Dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition and in vegetarian/vegan diets. They can help you to plan a delicious vegetarian nutrition approach that is nutritionally complete (and that supports your athletic and weight-loss goals).

In the United States, you can find a local Registered Dietitian through this website: http://www.eatright.org . Just click on the "Find an Expert" button, located in the upper-right-hand portion of the webpage.

In the U.K., you can find a local Registered Dietitian on the Freelance Dietitians website: http://www.freelancedietitians.org/

In New Zealand, you can find a local Registered Dietitian through the Dietitians New Zealand website: http://dietitians.org.nz/find-a-dietitian/

In Canada, you can find a local Registered Dietitian at the Dietitians of Canada website: http://www.dietitians.ca/Find-a-Dietitian.aspx .
Lovely, this is exactly what I needed! Thank you so much. Will look into it more deeply.

I am from Spain. I do want to find a dietitian specialized in vegans and vegetarians, but no luck yet
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I think some of these irrational definitions of processed come from paleo. Unless they eat raw fish they caught with their bare hands, never use salt or oil, and eat grain they picked from the field and crack raw nuts with their teeth, no human eats something that is entirely free from "processing."If meat wasn't "processed" humans could not chew or digest it and would become sick or die of food poisoning very quickly. Sushi is technically raw but has to be cured. Paleo is probably worse than Atkins for causing this ridiculousness.
Not really no. I have heard about the paleo diet, but not sure what it is about, so not applying it at all (at least conscious). My opinion on tofu comes from medical articles. You should check on Odile Fernandez, a doctor that had cancer and metastasis and actually survived it all by following her oncologist´s indications and changing her diet, based on medical research. She is currently mostly vegan and she is not a supporter of tofu at all, and if you read her books it makes sense. I think the fact that she is a doctor that has gone through a very savage cancer and survived gives it all a whole lot more credit and than the typical 'I heard'.
 

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When i said natural i didn´t actually mean raw and completely unaltered, I meant least processed food (eg: soybeans instead of tofu, homemade peanut butter instead of bottled one, homemade sweets instead of bought ones)

I did not mean that meat is a macronutrient but it was my main source of protein which is the macronutrient.

I never said that you told me to eat eggs, was just explaining myself on the topic.

I have included loads of new foods like new seeds i never ate, seaweeds, other fruits and veggies that were not so common in my diet. What it seems hard for you to understand is that I do want to enjoy my vegetarianism. If i do not enjoy tofu, i don´t know why do I have to eat it. I am pretty sure I can get my macronutrients (to be clear, protein in this case, not meat) from food i enjoy. This is were all my doubts come from actually.

I am from Spain (which makes me not worry about my vit d much, very sunny in the summer) In my culture almost every dish contains either meat, fish or seafood (sometimes all of them at once) and after more than 25 years eating like that I am struggling on the conversion. I just waned tips, not to have to explain myself all the time (we do that on a daily basis) and being misunderstood. I wanted some help and support since I live in a very cruel society for no animal eaters :D

I am glad you have joined in and gave good tips. Thanks!

OK , I am sorry and you seem like a very nice person. My old roommate was from Spain, and she made excellent veggie burgers and vegan pizza, she was amazing. She made burgers from farina, and quinoa or rice, and left over veggies with soy sauce and spices, so much spice, her burgers were delicious! Her pizza had various veggies, on vegan crust with pizza sauce and vegan cheese, but she had no ideals about vegetables, there were corn, peppers and olives, on that pizza. She somehow made amazing vegan food while complementary on mine for smelling so good. If anything she actually didn't have a problem with new cuisine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
When i said natural i didn?t actually mean raw and completely unaltered, I meant least processed food (eg: soybeans instead of tofu, homemade peanut butter instead of bottled one, homemade sweets instead of bought ones)

I did not mean that meat is a macronutrient but it was my main source of protein which is the macronutrient.

I never said that you told me to eat eggs, was just explaining myself on the topic.

I have included loads of new foods like new seeds i never ate, seaweeds, other fruits and veggies that were not so common in my diet. What it seems hard for you to understand is that I do want to enjoy my vegetarianism. If i do not enjoy tofu, i don?t know why do I have to eat it. I am pretty sure I can get my macronutrients (to be clear, protein in this case, not meat) from food i enjoy. This is were all my doubts come from actually.

I am from Spain (which makes me not worry about my vit d much, very sunny in the summer) In my culture almost every dish contains either meat, fish or seafood (sometimes all of them at once) and after more than 25 years eating like that I am struggling on the conversion. I just waned tips, not to have to explain myself all the time (we do that on a daily basis) and being misunderstood. I wanted some help and support since I live in a very cruel society for no animal eaters


I am glad you have joined in and gave good tips. Thanks!

OK , I am sorry and you seem like a very nice person. My old roommate was from Spain, and she made excellent veggie burgers and vegan pizza, she was amazing. She made burgers from farina, and quinoa or rice, and left over veggies with soy sauce and spices, so much spice, her burgers were delicious! Her pizza had various veggies, on vegan crust with pizza sauce and vegan cheese, but she had no ideals about vegetables, there were corn, peppers and olives, on that pizza. She somehow made amazing vegan food while complementary on mine for smelling so good. If anything she actually didn't have a problem with new cuisine.

Just because I don't enjoy tofu doesn't mean I am not open to new cuisine.
 
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