Help a veggie wannabe out, please! Couple questions from a newbie…

posted 1 year ago in The Lounge
Post # 16
Member
462 posts
Helper bee
Post # 17
Member
12 posts
Newbee

Hey ButternutPoppy,

Congrats on trying veggie lifestyle!  I would 100% recommend Dr. Fuhrman’s “The End of Dieting” for a comprehensive look at how to maximize nutrition on a plant-based diet.  His “Eat to Live” is also really great-they both have recipes and go deeply into the health benefits of going veg! It’s really eye-opening. 

Best of luck!!

Post # 20
Member
125 posts
Blushing bee

I found that the best way to transition to a plant-based one was to make all of the foods I enjoyed in a plant-based version. Pizza, lasagne, cake, curry, chile, risotto etc. I just searched for recipes online, and did some experimenting on my own to find versions that I enjoyed as much or more than the meat version. 

As for the nutrient side of things, you will need to take a B12 supplement, as a couple of other posters have mentioned. B12 is only produced by bacteria, and since we clean and sanitize all of our food now, none of it contains B12 by the time it reaches our plates, without supplelmentation. Farmed animals are fed B12, which is why animal products contain it. A sublingual form (which you spray under your tongue) absorbs better than tablet forms. 

Supplementing for vitamin D is also usually a good idea, though this is true for both meat eaters and vegetarians/vegans. 

Unless you have a thyroid condition, soy allergy or soy sensitivity, then you do not need to worry about your soy intake. Soy contains phyto-estrogen, not real estrogen, which has no proven ngative effects on the human body unless it is consumed in copious amounts. Dairy, however, does contain actual estrogen, progesterone and bovine growth hormone. So if you’re worried about hormones then I’d worry about dairy.

Tofu is my personal favourite “meat substitute”, though it took me a while to learn how to cook with it properly. 

https://cronometer.com/ is a website that allows you to track all of your macro and micronutrients. I’d recommend tracking for a week or two, to get a good idea of what nutrients you are lacking in your diet. Alternatively, there is an app called “Daily Dozen”, which allows you to track the food groups you need to consume each day on a plant-based diet to consume all of the nutrients you need. I used cronometer initially, and it gives a much more detailed picture of your nutrient profile, but daily dozen is much easier to use, so you might prefer it once you are used to a plant-based diet.

The following website offers support, advice, videos, recipes etc. to help people transition to a plant-based diet:

https://www.challenge22.com/challenge22/

 

And here are a few of my favourite sites for plant-based recipes:

https://minimalistbaker.com/

http://ohsheglows.com/categories/recipes-2/

https://www.thegardengrazer.com/p/recipes.html

https://www.forksoverknives.com/recipes/#gs.twz3BB0

 

Best of luck OP! It can be tricky at first, but you’ll get the hang of it pretty fast. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

Post # 21
Member
33 posts
Newbee

That’s awesome that you want to shift toward a more plant-based diet! I was vegetarian for 10 years and now vegan for the last two. Two websites I found helpful are: forksoverknives.com and ohsheglows.com. I think Forks over Knives also has an app with a meal planner.

As for meat substitutes — I’m not sure if you live anywhere near a Trader Joe’s, but their soy chorizo is delicious, filling and pretty inexpensive too. I also enjoy Quorn vegan burgers (some of their products have egg whites), Gardein anything and Amy’s Quarter Pound Vegan Burger. My fiance makes a great vegan shepherd’s pie using Beyond Meat or Morningstar “meat” crumbles. If you enjoy fish, we make a chickpea “tuna” salad (chickpeas, Just Mayo, mustard, celery, onion, carrots) that comes super close. 

Post # 22
Member
379 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Check out http://www.ohsheglows.com for some wonderful recipes.

 

I like Quorn products for ‘meat replacement’-they are soy free 🙂  

Nice job going veg!

Post # 23
Member
379 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Another vote for  http://www.ohsheglows.com for some wonderful recipes.

I like Quorn products for ‘meat replacement’-they are soy free 🙂  

Nice job going veg!

Post # 24
Member
9042 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

ButternutPoppy :  If a vegetarian eats enough of the right things then they do not need to take b12. I am vegan and my b12 levels are fine due to eating things like nutritional yeast and products like marmite/vegemite. Some cerals and nuts also contain b12. The best advice is to see your doctor (and get tested) and if you are lacking then decide if you need to take supplements (which often aren’t vegetarian) or if you should speak to a nutritionist who can help you make smarter choices. I see a nutritionist twice a year after having my bloods checked in order to shape my diet.

A lot of the weightloss/calorie counter sites have good information about how much protein, iron, etc are n foods. Some allow you to input what you ate to give you a daily total and allow you to add products using the nutritional label on the packaging.

 

Post # 25
Member
2802 posts
Sugar bee

j_jaye : I agree. Supplements are great if you can’t find it in natural sources, but there are certain things you can get it from. 

I have a sensitive stomach so B vitamins make me throw up and iron pills make me nauseous and constipated. I just tossed nutritional yeast on pretty much everything and ate as many leafy greens and legumes as I could. Mind you that was also part of the reason I stopped being a vegetarian – i couldn’t handle supplements and I hate cooking so my levels got way out of wack

Post # 26
Member
276 posts
Helper bee

ButternutPoppy :  I agree with the the pp – focus on naturally meat free foods before seeking out the imitation stuff (however a soy corn dog is certainly a treat!).  A grilled portobello with swiss and caramalized onions is much more decadant then a veggie burger!  I will say, my dh makes a phenomenal vegan chili with the aformentioned crumbles that is so incredible, his meat devouring parents prefer it to the real stuff!  But there are so many healthy, flavorful, and balanced meals which simply omit meat that, unless you have a craving, you won’t miss/care to substitue it!  I have been a veg for many years now, and while Darling Husband is not, he is the main cook in our house and finds it easier to make a veg dinner for 2 than two seperate dinners every night. There are so many options and variety, he doesn’t really missed the meat and only will cook something carnivorous when I am away or order something out. While I don’t have any recommendations, invest in a good cookbook or two – browse Barnes and Noble and find books that speak to you.  I think you are going to be wonderfully suprised how palate pleasing being a veg is!  I do take a multivitamin, but always have.  I have never come back deficient on any routine blood work!

Post # 28
Member
3425 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

And just so you know with B12 – Meat only has B12 because the animals receive the supplement. So you’re basically getting the vitamin secondhand. It makes more sense to take it ourselves, anyway. Also, Reddit is a great resource for vegetarianism and veganism!

Post # 29
Member
379 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

ButternutPoppy :  That sounds amazing!!  Where is a vegetarian butcher??  

 

We had ‘Beyond’ veggie burgers for dinner tonight and they were pretty good.  They did taste (and look) pretty meaty. Interestingly I realized that I’d just as soon have a veggie tasting veggie burger-doesn’t need to be ‘convincing’, I like the other flavors too 😉

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