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Vegetarian Anyone?

I’ve been considering life as a vegetarian recently, and I think I’m going to try it.  I’m going to eat vegetables (obviously) and fruits and beans and tofu (extra firm please) and other vegetarian-like things once I know what those things are. I will still, however, eat egg whites, fish, cheese and other dairy products.

I’m not saying that I’ll do it forever or even a month.  I just want to try it.  I want to know if I’ll miss eating meat or if I’ll feel healthier and lighter without it or if it will be too high-maintenance for me to handle.  I’m curious so I’m going to find out.

Are you a vegetarian?  Have you ever considered it? Do you have any suggestions for me as I start exploring the possibilities?

 

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26 Comments

  • Reply
    Princess Dieter
    August 31, 2011 at 3:17 am

    I tried it. I experimented a bit with ovo-lacto, and for a while tried raw vegan. Did not calm my appetite, though, granted, it was tasty and clean food.

    I do better with a lot of veggies, some fruit, and good protein, without grains (sans the occasinal splurge on a bit of rice). It keeps my appetite calm, which for a former binge-meister and conditioned overeater, is essential to proceed with good eating.

    I would say if you like fish/eggs/cheese/yogurt, then you don’t need to try all out vegetarianism. Be a pescatarian or whatever. Produce and seafood. 🙂 I would recommend leaving out the starchy stuff (grains, taters). Cause I found when I gave those up, my night eating just died away. No night snacky insanity. And, well, that helps, right?

    Best with whatever you choose to do. It’s part of the journey, figuring out what your body really likes and helps you reach your goals. Nite…

    • Reply
      Jane
      August 31, 2011 at 1:51 pm

      Princess Dieter –
      That is a great tip about the starchy stuff and night eating. I am going to pass that along to someone I know who is having a night food problem. Thank you for sharing it.

      Jane~
      Keepingthepoundsoff.com

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 2, 2011 at 12:11 am

      That is great advice…I’ve noticed that I feel far less snacky when I’m not eating processed junk…

  • Reply
    MizFit
    August 31, 2011 at 5:51 am

    **averts eyes** 🙂

  • Reply
    auntiekim
    August 31, 2011 at 6:29 am

    After seeing the movie Food Inc several months ago, DH and I have been seriously considering it. We’ve cut way back on meat but eat free range/grass fed meat whenever possible when we do eat meat. Because I had gastric bypass I need to eat a high protein, low carb food plan. I know that beans are super high in protein, I just have no idea how to actually prepare them. I went on a lot of vegetarian websites for food ideas but it was a little overwhelming. So, researching food preparation ideas is on my to-do list, I just haven’t had a lot of time or energy to actually look into it yet. We’re leaving soon for vacation, so I’ll look at this when I get back. Maybe we can share menu ideas?? Best of luck to you. It’s worth a try, right? It certainly can’t hurt.

  • Reply
    Heather
    August 31, 2011 at 8:37 am

    I am a lacto-vegetarian and transitioning to be vegan.
    The hardest thing for me to give up is Greek yogurt.
    I have successfully removed cheese and dairy milk products from my diet,
    So the Greek yogurt is the last to go.
    I feel AMAZING!
    But as a girl who had dieted for my whole life and been on the low fat train..
    The biggest hurdle for me was adding fat back into my diet.
    And not being afraid of say, 16 grams of fat in a few tablespoons of nut butter.
    When you eliminate 100 calorie packs and junk and meat ( and yep,
    ALOT of vegetarians survive on processed junk, French fries, etc) you have
    to add in fats for flavor and to stay full and satisfied.
    I have put on about 5 pounds since becoming vegetarian,
    But I feel lighter, my digestion has improved, I sleep better
    and I have way more energy!
    Good luck with your decision!

  • Reply
    Ty
    August 31, 2011 at 9:03 am

    I was a vegetarian for 3 months strictly speaking. And these days I usually only eat meat once a day, if even that.

    The 3 months I was doing the vegetarian thing I didn’t feel good at all. I thought it was because I was missing meat so much.

    However after going back to omnivore-ism I realized that it was actually because I wasn’t getting enough fat in my diet. Make sure you get some good fats in! Either by cooking with olive oil/drizzling it over foods, having some full-fat dairy or with nut butters.

    That fat will help keep you satisfied and mentally alert while you’re mostly eating “rabbit food”. 😉

    A word of caution though- technically vegetarians do not eat meat of any kind. That would include seafood/fish. You also wouldn’t want to cook with chicken stock or bacon grease.

    And avoid gelatin. Which, sadly, is an ingredient in marshmallows. (My beloved marshmallows <3)

    Pescatarians eat no other meat except for fish and seafood. I think they also would avoid stuff like marshmallows and foods cooked in animal fat.

    If you are just going to not eat certain meats and not worry about the smaller stuff animal products could be in (and there's a lot. really. lots of fast food places manage to sneak animal by-product into their french fries even!) power to you. I'd just avoid labeling yourself as a "vegetarian" or something because the zealots might stone you. 😛

    Best to you!

    Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    Tricia
    August 31, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Here’s a great blog for vegetarian recipes http://www.greenkitchenstories.com/. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Missy
    August 31, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Read: Crazy, Sexy Diet by Kris Carr and Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Furhman. Those two books will change your life – they changed mine!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    August 31, 2011 at 11:25 am

    I can highly recommend “The Student’s Vegetarian Cookbook” and all of Jeanne Lemlin’s cookbooks. The Student Vegetarian is full of simple recipes that serve one or two and Lemlin’s recipes are slightly more complicated, but perfect for company. I also found using these recipes that my carnivorous friends didn’t miss their meat. Good luck!

  • Reply
    wendy
    August 31, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Are you going to do it along with weightwatchers pp? or seperate?

  • Reply
    Christina
    August 31, 2011 at 11:45 am

    I’ve read your site for a long while now, I just recently discovered Quinoa! It’s extremely proteinaceous and high on the GI. I cook mine in chicken stock or water, and eat wit with roasted veggies, it’s a very filling and complete meal. I hope you try it (and if you do, let us know what you think!)

    • Reply
      Angela
      September 1, 2011 at 10:18 am

      I’m interested in trying Quinoa for the first time…is there a particular brand or kind you would recommend?

  • Reply
    Lyndsay @ Thinspiration
    August 31, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I actually had a friend that decided to be a vegetarian for a month, just to try it. It’s been almost a year now & she’s still going strong! I’ve been tempted to try it myself, just to see how I’ll feel with it.

    Can’t wait to read your feelings on the matter!!

  • Reply
    teresa
    August 31, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    I was vegan for quite a while in college and after. What I learned is that you must eat a wide variety if you want to stay healthy. Since you’ll eat fish and dairy, it should be easier.
    Also, be very choosy with soy products. Many of them are heavily treated with chemicals. I learned that the hard way. It’s also a lot of estrogen if you switch everything to soy. I ended up with a pretty severe soy allergy. But I wasn’t a good vegetarian. I didn’t do all the variety…
    I also tried raw…
    My final conclusion one day as I sat eating raw asparagus and sprouts…(and finally undertanding how an anorexic might be able to look at a plate of food and not want to eat) was that what really matters is eating less. Portions and whole foods. If you were to give up processed foods for a month, I believe you’d feel even better than giving up meat. I finally (and I mean FINALLY) managed it these past 6 weeks and it’s a miracle.
    You can’t eat too much. You just won’t. On top of that, if you do eat meat, you only need a small amount. We just eat way too much when we eat it and that’s what makes it hard to digest and feel heavy.
    Gee. I guess I have more opinions about this than I thought.
    Good luck with your experiment!! Oh, one more caution, although this would be obvious to you…. vegetarians can often eat lots of carbs, pastas and sugar. That, of course, won’t work for us.
    You’re in LA so you sure have lots of choices of places to buy from or to eat.
    My favorite restaurant in Santa Monica http://www.realfood.com/ Real Food Daily

  • Reply
    Losing It In Vegas
    August 31, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    I was a vegan for a few years. Now I am doing a paleo/low carb thing. If you are going to try vegetarian/vegan, please make sure you do some research. While it is an extremely healthy diet, make sure that you are going to get all your vitamins and minerals (especially research your B vitamins!)

    I liked the food, but to be satisfied I had to eat a lot of grains. That was okay before I became diabetic…

    Beware of the “vegetarian” pitfalls. Things that look and sound healthy that really aren’t (just like in omnivorous eating).

    Good luck with whatever you choose.

  • Reply
    Kris
    August 31, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    I’ve done it twice, once for about 6 weeks, and another time for about a month. The fact is, I find that I personally feel better if I eat more lean protein, and limit my white/processed carbs. Right now, I’m eating a lot of chicken, eggs, beans, quinoa, and tons and tons of fresh fruits & veggies; and not eating any bread, pasta, cereals, etc. I’m also limiting rice, white & sweet potatoes, etc.

    Good fats are definitely key to staying full and feeling satisfied though! Nut butters and nuts in general are keeping me from binging on bad snacks.

    Good luck!

  • Reply
    Nina Patricia
    August 31, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    My old roommate try it for a few months but then was sick all the time…then realize she wasn’t getting enough nutrients. Like most have pointed out, just make sure you are eating a wide variety of items so you keep healthy.

  • Reply
    Mandy @ The Fat Girl's Guide to Life
    August 31, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    I hope this comment isn’t unwelcome, but I would feel bad if I didn’t mention it just in case you didn’t know…I recently considered adding a lot more tofu to my diet. I did some research on a few things I had heard kicked around the campfire about it’s benefits. Those “benefits” are far outweighed by the health risks.

    It causes hormone and cognitive problems. A study I read about said that men who ate it 2x per week developed Alzheimers and other dementia problems while the control group that didn’t eat it were fine. Men in this study who ate it only occasionally performed cognitively at levels expected for men 5 years older. Plus it makes a chemical that blocks your body from absorbing all of the protein it’s supposed to have.

    I would do the research myself if I were you because I only read through this once and may have some details wrong. But, again, I would just feel awful if I didn’t mention it to you when you’re considering adding it to your diet.

    • Reply
      Jill
      September 1, 2011 at 9:07 pm

      I agree with Mandy, I’ve also heard not so great things about tofu.

  • Reply
    seattlerunnergirl
    September 1, 2011 at 11:34 am

    I think experimenting is great! The worst that will happen is that you find a way to fit more veggies into your diet, and that’s a good thing. I do have a few thoughts: be careful not to get TOO much soy in your diet – that can be a problem for some. Don’t be fooled into thinking that being a vegetarian automatically means being healthier – you still have to work hard to make healthy, whole, unprocessed choices. And make sure you work on getting at least 50-70 grams of protein/day (my ideal is way higher, but harder to hit when you’re not eating meat!). Oh, and don’t be afraid of egg yolks – they are healthy for you!! Good luck and I look forward to hearing how it goes.

  • Reply
    Jill
    September 1, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    good luck!! one suggestion: Vitamins!!

  • Reply
    Jill
    September 1, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    hey, I haven’t been reading your blog very long. But have ever juiced??? I recommend the documentary “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead” … also “Food Matters”

  • Reply
    Jill
    September 1, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    I have a vegetarian friend who is also a nutritionist. I think that’s what she is – eeks, bad friend I am!!!!. She studied nutrition, health, fitness in school. I can hook you 2 up. She doesn’t have a blog (she’s thinking of starting one actually).

    Her name is Kerrie Rousseau. Tell her Jill DeMarco sent you if you decide to contact her. http://www.facebook.com/ShapeYourBody

  • Reply
    suzie
    September 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    just found this blog and had to comment on this entry

    I am an ethical vegan and do it all for moral reasons but my health has improved so much since switching over. I have very bad stomach issues and feel full ALL THE TIME, and stopping eating dairy helped this tremendously (I guess because I am lactose intolerant maybe?) If being vegan is too much, then start with vegetarian it is absolutely wonderful! and you should read “skinny bitch” that is a non nonsense book which explores both the health as well as ethical issues behind veganism

    I just want to discuss the “tofu” issue. I have never heard of tofu being at all dangerous, I see some a random study cited but I would like to point that meat is absolutely TERRIBLE for you. and even “lean” meat is filled with disgusting toxins and hormones. I don’t want to go on to ethical reasons on a weight loss blog, but trust me, you will be much much healthier to stay away from meat.

    this link provides a lot of useful info on whether soy is bad for you: http://www.savvyvegetarian.com/articles/soy-truth.php

    Trust me, ONE study with no other ones is no reason to count out this wonderful food. I find it vital to a healthy vegan diet. .

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