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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I have decided that I would like to begin a vegetarian diet for the new year because I have been going through some life changes. I have been trying to research different diets and foods on the internet, but there is soo much conflicting information. I have no idea where to even start. I know that I do not want to cut out eggs and milk, and that is as far as I've gotten. I've always had a diet pretty heavy in red meat, and that is the main thing I want to make sure I cut out. If anyone has an tips on formulating a diet or anything like that I would really appreciate it.

Thanks
 

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Congrats for deciding to go meat-free! I went vegetarian overnight, but its different for everyone. I suggest making breakfast and lunch meat-free and then dinner when you're adjusted. Get some staples into your cupboard (pasta, fettucini (sp?) lentils (my fave), wholegrain breads, rice (basmati is a good healthy option) and of course fruits and veggies!)

Are you trying to lose weight or just referring to vegetarianism as a new diet?

I'm sure others will have a lot of info for you. It sounds like this is a completely new area for you (no family/friends who are vegetarian or vegan?)

I find that some recipes when googled can be intimidating as the ingredients may be radically different to what you may be used to, but just start out simple:

- vegetable stir fry with rice

Goodluck!

 

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Going vegetarian is shockingly easy. I wish you'd consider eliminating eggs and dairy, considering those industries torture animals as bad or worse than the meat industry, but I'll speak to your request.

Start with this book, and do not pass go or collect $200: Becoming Vegetarian. This whole thing will be a cakewalk if you buy that or borrow it from a library (and read it... learning by osmosis still doesn't work):
Quote:
Comprehensive and well-researched, this new edition provides everything you need to know about making a healthy transition to a vegetarian diet or maximizing its benefits if already a vegetarian.

Updated with the latest recommendations for intakes of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fats, the authors show how to achieve optimal nutrition for all stages of life. Easy-to-read tables, figures, menus, and food guides help you determine how to meet your nutritional requirements. You'll also learn what plant-based dietary components and factors play active roles in both the prevention and treatment of chronic illnesses.
Also, Being Vegetarian - for Dummies seems popular. I haven't read it myself, but I respect the author quite a bit.

Also (shameless self-promotion), subscribe to An Animal-Friendly Life to keep yourself informed.


Oh, and welcome to VB! :wave:
 

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Congratulations on your decision!

- Try and base your meals on plants rather than relying on cheese/milk and eggs as main ingredients - a little milk or egg won't do you any harm but replacing a lump of meat with a lump of cheese or egg won't do your health any good.

- The main nutrient to make sure you are finding alternative sources of is iron (somebody prod me if there are any other obvious ones), but you can get plenty from beans, lentils, green leafy vegetables, wholemeal bread, chickpeas and probably a load of other things I've forgotten, and eating or drinking something high in vitamin C at the same time that will help your body absorb the iron. Dairy products and tea and coffee can inhibit iron absorbtion, so best to not eat or drink these at the same time as your iron-rich foods.

- Get hold of some recipe books and have fun experimenting
. For quick and easy meals, you could try baked potato with beans, hummus or guacamole, vegetable (and tofu) stir fry, tortillia wraps with beans/peppers/mushrooms/whatever else you want, pasta (preferably wholemeal) and vegetable sauce. There are also veggie burgers and sausages out there you could have in the freezer, but from a health perspective it's best not to rely too heavily on processed stuff like that.

Hope this helps. Good luck and I hope you enjoy it!
 

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congrats on your decision!

I became a vegetarian in August and it was a relatively easy transition (although I have had a few slips). I didn't become a vegetarian over night but I decided not to have any meat in the house, but I'd still eat meat when I was eating out, but no meat in the house (mostly because I don't like touching it or cooking it). That helped me because I was cooking meatless meals and getting an idea of what to do and I did this for several months before I cut out meat altogether.

It's a good idea to read lots of vegetarian cook books, I check them out from the library all the time and look through them for recipes and copy out the ones I really like or think will be good to try. I've also found that library sales, used bookstores, second hand shops, and also the discount section at the bookstore can be a great source for cookbooks - I've found some really unsual ones and also some more main stream books (like moosewood).

If you are in the US you can go to www.vegpledge.com and take the veg pledge and once your finished you'll get a complimentary six month subscription to The Vegetarian Times. I found the magazine to be really helpful and have lots of ideas for meals and menus. Sometimes they have exotic ingredients but lots of recipes have stuff you can find in most grocery stores.
 

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One of the best ways to go veg is to try new recipes! There are tons here, and on vegweb.com.

Good luck to you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all of the suggestions! I will definitely look for the books that were mentioed. I do have another question though: what is the position on eating seafood for vegetarians? I'm not seeking to become a vegetarian because of the animal issues or health issues, I'm doing it because I feel like I need to make some major changes in my life. I had already made the decision not to try to cut out meat altogether in the beginning--thanks for the suggestions on gradually transitioning. I look forward to more advice
 

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Yeah, vegetarians don't eat fish or any sort of seafood. There are people out there who call themselves vegetarian and eat fish, but this tends to just confuse people ands causes problems for vegetarians when they go to restaurants or to eat at people's houses and get offered fish as the 'vegetarian option' (because the host knows this one guy, and he's a vegetarian, and he eats fish), leaving them with nothing to eat... You can just eat fish and no other meat, but it means you should use some other way of describing what you eat/don't eat.
 

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"Boca" burgers are really good...just make them up like a regular burger (even throw them on the bbq). Also, "Quorn" has a great Garlic & Herb Chicken Cutlet (put some pasta sauce and mozarella cheese on top, and bake! - 'chickn parmesan'...it's great by itself too! Anyway, just a couple suggestions.

Bocaburger.com & Quorn.com

I am also really thinking of becoming vegetarian for the new year. I am not one yet, but have experiemented with vegetarian meals, and have friends that are vegetarians. You'd be amazed of all the substitutions they have out there now; there's really no reason to eat meat anymore...I think we should both go for it!
 

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Eating seafood would make you a pescatarian. I'm not being picky here (at least, I don't mean to be), but I'm a little unclear as to the underlying reason for your change. If you explained a little more, then we could tailor to you more specifically
But I understand if the reasons are private.

Well done for making the effort, I hope that you have found a lot of help and suggestions. All the best!

peace,

pirate
 

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Vegetarianism is a manner of eating which does not depend on the death of an animal. Any dead animals are not included in vegetarian eating. O/L vegetarians do eat milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt etc., which are products from living animals. O/L vegetarians do not eat things like gelatine, aspic, which comes from the bones of dead animals (or anything that contains it like marshmallows). Some single cell critters are questionable as to whether they are a plant or an animal-- blue-green alge, yeast, and pro-biotics (acidophilous is the best known) seem like both animals and plants.
 

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Okay, let's start out with the basics. Forgive me if this info is obviose, but I had a hard time learning/remembering all the different terms:

The names:

Flexitarian; very rarely consumes animal bodies, but may consume them on occasion, such as on holidays

Pescatarian; does not consume red meat, white meat or poultry, still consumes sea food, milk and eggs

Lacto-ovo vegetarian; a vegetarian who does not consume any type of animal body, but still consumes eggs and milk; most l-o vegetarians simpally just say vegetarian

ovo vegetarian; a vegetarian that does not consume any type of animal body or milk/milk biproducts, but still consumes eggs

lacto vegetarian; a vegetarian that does not consume any animal body or eggs, but still consumes milk

(if you havn't figured it out, lacto=milk and ovo=egg)

vegan; don't consume any animal product or biproduct, manely including but not limited to animal bodies, cow's milk, eggs etc.

Raw foodest: does not eat anything cooked, manely for health/enviro reasons, at least lacto-vegetarian but sometimes still consuming raw milk

Fruitatarian: only eats raw fruits

Juicatarian: only drinks fruit and veggie juices

(most people who consider themselves to be one of the last three have 85% diets or whatever they are comfertable with. a few are 100% raw/fruit/juice)

The "Forbidden"

This is a list of the major animal products: http://www.caringconsumer.com/resour...ients_list.asp it is lacking some very minor and very major ingrediants, such as steak etc, but has most ingrediants listed. This list was made for vegans, so if you want to bo l-o vegetarian, it won't help you out to much

What you can eat

This list isn't completely vegan, but I havn't found anything that's not l-o vegetarian on it yet: http://www.peta.org/accidentallyVegan/
 

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Starch and 2 veggies is a good place to start, when meal planning.

(getting away from the "meat and vegetables" idea is the hardest, or, at least, it was for me)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bekajoi View Post

Starch and 2 veggies is a good place to start, when meal planning.

(getting away from the "meat and vegetables" idea is the hardest, or, at least, it was for me)
It was for me, too. I grew up with a plate arrangement where at least half was meat and the other half was divided between mashed potatoes and buttered bread. Occasionally, there was a veggie tossed in... usually corn. It was hard to break years of eating habits, but the changes in my cholesterol counts proved that it was worth the effort.
 

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Hello. I'm a vegan and have been at least vegetarian for almost 9 years. First of all, no, you aren't a vegetarian if you eat fish, chicken, etc. I meet people all the time who claim to be vegetarian and it turns out they really aren't; hate that. I would say to stock up on bread, canned beans, pasta, and rice (I prefer brown rice and whole wheat pasta). Lot's of fruits, nuts, and vegetables, too. Use a wide variety with those. Oatmeal, soymilk, cereals, tea, coffee, and olive oil are usually things I consume daily as well. Good luck!
 

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As uncomfortable as I am with labels, it would seem that I've been a "Flexitarian" for quite a few years now - meat is hardly an every day component of our meals.

I have no problem with preparing meatless dinners, and avoid meat substitutes, cheese substitutes, and anything else masquerading as anything else - I don't even like the idea of Decaf.

The centerpiece of a lot of dinners lately has been Squash - Spaghetti Squash, Butternut, Acorn, they're all excellent, as well as easy to prepare.

I'm often finding new elements to add to my cooking - I recently "discovered" a new vegetable, Romanesco. Delicious steamed and served over rice, and with a very interesting appearance, sort of "fractal".
 

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I'm looking to become a veggie also, my mother is a little cautious about it, she is constantly asking me to research ways to be a healthy vegetarian. My school serves mainly meat, so I would have to pack meals for lunches. Do you have any ideas for meals that can be brought to school that are meat-free?
 
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