Thursday, May 6, 2010

Going Vegetarian

This is actually a message I sent to someone who asked for advice on going vegetarian and since I've had this question before, I thought I'd post it. 

I didn't go veg all at once (but my final 'no more meat ever' moment came after reading a Buddist monk's booklet that put every argument for not eating meat all in once place). I cut out red meat, still ate fish and seafood and occasionally had turkey (sub from subway). Then cut out seafood, and after reading the booklet, none at all.

Arm yourself with nutritional info so people who give you a hard time about "not getting enough protien" can be educated. Beans, nuts, dairy and eggs (though I went a while without even eating those), provide plenty of protein. If you are worried about getting enough, just write everything down to keep a tally. Peanut butter/almond butter + fruit is a really yummy snack. It is easy to add walnuts and a little shredded cheese to salads. 

I really like the Quorn brand meat subs- they are meat (obviously) and soy free. I can't eat a lot of soy due to a thyroid condition and most people shouldn't make it thier primary source of protein due to its plant estrogens. Too much is not so good, even though it's reputation as a "health food" makes it seems that way. The quorn brand also goes through a fermentation process, which is good for digestion.   I add the grounds to marinara for pasta dishes. Quorn chick'n tenders are good in stir frys of all kinds. and there are plenty of "beans and rice" versions out there- red beans and rice, black beans and rice, chick peas and quinoa with sauteed veggies + garlic, oregano, little salt, pepper to taste, hummas + sauteed veggies + pasta + cumin, corriander, black pepper, garlic, little salt (super yummy).

I'm also eating gluten free since wheat gives me sinus inflammation and who knows what else is becoming inflamed. So I eat brown rice pastas- Tinkyada is excellent! There is a corn and quinoa pasta from Ancient Harvest that is good, though I eat it in smaller quantities since I think corn is an issue, though a much smaller one, for me too. Also, you need to attend to this pasta when cooking more- stir often- or it doesn't cook evenly. When cutting calories or watching inflammatory-causing foods, carbs, especially pastas and rice, etc. are not helpful. Whole grains are better than refined, but still I try to be careful about watching portions.

Love these cookbooks: Vegetarian (Ultimate Recipes)... available used on amazon and

Basically, any lasting change usually happens when you get well educated on the matter and ease into it. Make small, easier to handle changes and it goes more smoothly.

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