I am currently trying to adapt to the vegetarian life style. And then hopefully move onto being a vegan. I recently decided enough was enough and I wasn't going to hypocritically call myself an animal lover and keep eating meat (don't want to start a debate over ethics/morals btw). Also I am cutting meat out for health reasons.
I would really love some tips on how you cut meat/dairy/honey/etc out and some good recipes if you guys have any.
Just any advice or insight into the vegetarian life style, really.
I've been a vegetarian for almost eight years. I eat alot of fish, (hate to say that on this site), salmon and halibut are my favorite. Leafy greens and fresh fruit. Also, asparagus, broccoli - and also nuts (walnuts, almonds) are great. Organic raisins, too. And I must say, I do eat eggs. I love my carbs, so all kinds of bread always work for me, sour dough being a favorite. I try to buy organic whenever possible (sometimes the expense is really too much). I try to limit the amount of cheese I eat - it's really not that great for you. I can always find a vegetarian selection in a restaurant. I object to red meat and chicken for health reasons, but also I always envision the poor animal and couldn't possibly eat it anyway. Vegan.com (Erik Marcus) is a facebook friend and web site you might find interesting!
Lacto ovo vegetarian here. I do not eat eggs unless they're cooked inside something, I never eat just eggs. Been this way for 8 years.
Honestly I just stopped eating the stuff. I WAS vegan, for three years, but it took too much out of me. It is a lot of work to be vegan, you need to find alternatives to everything, and the alts are always expensive. I basically lived off soy milk and tofu dogs for the three years. Very bland.
Go slowly, and let your body adjust. I went from all meats, except fish, to stritcly "white" meat (chicken and turkey), to no meat all. If you suddenly stop, you can really mess up your insides, so definately make it gradual. FISH IS A MEAT - some people say they're veggie but eat fish. That's called a pescitarian. You CAN be vegetarian or vegan very succesfully, don't let anyone steer you otherwise!
One thing that really helped - portabello mushrooms. Most veggie patties or hot dogs will contain them. There are a few brands that make veggie patties of portabello, soy, and mozzarella cheese, so delicious. For vegan patties, you could easily make your own. You could just grill a few of them, with some zucchini, and some peppers. You can wrap it in lettuce for a bun alternative. Top with vinegrette. Tasty! :)
If you want to be vegetarian before vegan, that might help you ease yourself into full on veganism. There are quite a few vegetarian friendly products at grocery stores now, so adding proteins has become way easier. Lots of cheese, yogurt, and beans. You can still consume a lot of the food you still eat now. All you have to do, is avoid the meat. Make sure to check labels to avoid any meat products, especially fillers.
And one more thing!! Jello - if you're vegan or veggie, you cannot eat it. It contains bone marrow in the mixture. No one told me this, and I use to vacuum it up because it was a tasty, quick snack.
Some of my family members thought I was vegetarian once, however it's just that I'm a picky eater. It started out from me deciding not to eat turkey on Thanksgiving and then to me hating pork chops and then refusing steak. My issue is with the textures of food, not that I find it horrible to be eating animals. I like to explore foods and I have indulged in vegetarian meals in the past. They sell this soy ground up "beef".. and I added some seasonings (my own special taco blend) and tried making vegetarian tacos and it turned out quite well. It had a different texture than ground beef but it was something I could get over. There's no way I could ever give up my cheese or milk products. I am a big ice cream lover.. and I'm from Wisconsin.. so I'm a natural cheese lover too. Here's a link to one of my favorite recipe sites. They have a lot of vegetarian recipes you might want to check out. ;) I've tried a couple of them and they turned out delicious. http://allrecipes.com//Recipes/every...rian/Main.aspx
It's so great that you are considering a vegetarian lifestyle! I have been a very strict vegetarian (no meat, fish, shell fish, etc.) for over ten years. I've been doing it so long and am so used to it now, but I know it can be hard to start out. And I admit, it can still sometimes be a challenge when going to family dinners, going out with friends, and on holidays like Thanksgiving. But you can get by: if you know people will not be eating veg-friendly food, you can always eat beforehand, or if you're going to a dinner you can bring a vegetarian dish for everyone to enjoy. Luckily there are a lot of restaurants that are veg friendly--most fast food places aren't, but that stuff's terrible for you anyway! But I can usually find at least one vegetarian item on any casual dining or sit-down restaurant menu. Then there are always sub shops and other sandwich type places that usually have some kind of veggie sandwich.
I have recently become interested in veganism; in fact my New Year's resolution this year was to have one day every week where I am 100% vegan (vegan Thursday!). I'd like to go totally vegan some day, but I know I may not have the willpower for it. But at least in the meantime I am cutting down on my intake of animal products. That is the best advice I can give: set realistic goals for yourself. It's much better reduce consumption of animal products and stick to it long-term than to set a goal that is just too difficult to keep up, that will just result in backsliding into a non-veg lifestyle.
Being vegan is much harder than vegetarian--I never knew how many products had dairy in them until I started this resolution! Veganism is also trickier nutrient-wise (vegetarians can easily get all of the nutrients they need from food, but vegans MUST take B-vitamin supplements, as animal products are the only foods that have it in high enough concentrations). But these days, vegetarianism isn't that hard if you really dedicate yourself to sticking with it. Vegetarians have tons of options now more than ever. For example, Trader Joes and Whole Foods are great places to find frozen or pantry meals for days when there is no time to cook. Just make sure you read ingredient labels. The hardest part for me is definitely figuring out what ingredients that don't seem animal based really are (for example, gelatin is made from animal bones, some beers use fish swim bladders in the filtration process, rennet--an ingredient found in many cheeses--is made from cattle by products, etc).
I used to have a subscription to a magazine, Vegetarian Times; they have a website with a lot of recipes. There are a lot of great vegetarian recipes and cookbooks out there. I'm still on the lookout for a really good vegan one since I'm new to trying out the vegan thing. So if anyone else has any recommendations I'd be happy to hear them! (Oh, and about vegans and bread...yeast is similar to mushrooms--not animal-based. So as long as the bread was made without dairy, honey, eggs, lard, etc., bread is perfectly fine for most vegans). There are all kinds of meat substitutes (tofu, tempeh, seitan), as well as store-bought foods that use these meat subtitutes (Gardenburger, Boca, Morningstar Farms, Match, Tofurkey, etc.)
Also, if you're interested in cruelty-free shopping, PETA (I have some issues with PETA, but I still find this resource valuable) has a list of brands/companies that are cruelty-free, as well as a list of known animal testers. The list is far from comprehensive, but it does list quite a few brands.
I wish you the best of luck in trying out vegetarianism/veganism; you won't regret it! Let me know if you have questions!
I have been vegan for 11 years.I eat bread.I make bread.. In fact..
I eat more than my meat eating people I know..
They have a yeast that is full of vitamins called nutritional yeast flakes..It used to be what vegans used as a cheese alternative before companies starting making vegan "cheese" that tasted edible an melts now!haha Just about anything un-vegan can be made vegan..
I was just about to go try that pudding recipe in the "recipe" thread..
Last edited by Littlebittyfish; 04-17-2011 at 10:01 AM.
Littlebittyfish, do you do any baking other than bread?I'd love to try vegan cupcakes or cookies, but I know with baking, if you make one substitution things often don't turn out right. If you have any vegan cake or cookie recipes, I'd love to hear them! Also, is there a good vegan cook book you'd recommend?
OMG wow!! I was not expecting this much! You guys are incredible, I agree it does take a lot of will power. It is going to have to be something I take one step at a time. I will probably start with cutting everything out except chicken and fish, and try to keep those to a minimum.
Thank you guys so so much for all this information, I am bookmarking this page! I will definitely be checking those sites out. I am moving to an apartment near whole foods in the next month so I will probably be going there a lot now lol.
I had no idea jello had bone marrow in it! Vegetarian or not, EW! That is not what I want in my jello lol.
BTW, the link in my signature takes you do about an hour long video of Gary Yourofsky lecturing to a class. It is what gave me the final push into being a vegetarian, and hopefully a vegan one day.
Here is the description: "Gary Yourofsky's entire inspirational speech on animal rights and veganism held at Georgia Tech in 2010. Listen to this amazing speaker who will blow away the myths, fill your mind with interesting facts, and help you make ethical choices for a healthy heart and soul. His charismatic preachy style is one of a kind - a must-see for anyone who cares about nonhuman animals or wishes to make the world a better place."