@June232012 – Have you tried coconut milk? I’ve never tried it for drinking (I don’t like to drink any type of straight milk) but I use it a lot in cooking.
I agree with vorpalette, don’t put much stock into information from PETA. PETA is a HORRIBLE organization. They put up a nice facade, but when you really get into their beliefs, they are nut-jobs and their goal is extention of domestic animal (no livestock, no pets, etc.). At one point, I was looking through PETA’s website, and I couldn’t beleive the amount of misinformation (either twisted/partial information, or downright lies). I posted a topic on PETA a while back: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/peta
I don’t have a lot of information on vegetarianism, I eat paleo/primal.
I would say that, in my opinion, you should still try to get plenty of foods like eggs if you are cutting out meat; they will keep you sustained and sated, you won’t be tired in a few hours. Focus on eating the most nutritious foods; like you mentioned, stay away from processed stuff like faux-meat burgers, they are usually full of crap.
“Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” by Weston A Price DDS is a great book, he explored many different traditional cultures (some whose diet was already primarily some, some whose diet was vegetarian) and looked at their health compared to the health of people eating a Westernized diet. The Westernized diet consistantly “lost”, and diets consisting of traditional food came out on top every time, regardless if they were heavy or light/absent on meat. It’s a great inspiration for a healthly real-food diet for every eating philosophy!
(On a side note: I would attribute the appearance of vegetarian children being “healthier” to the fact they probably eat less junk, not necessarily the absence of meat. Meat can be healthy or bad depending on the source. Hot dogs = bad, McDonalds hamburgers = bad, grass-fed pastured beef = good. Most studies lump all meat together, which is very inaccurate. It’s like lumping Gushers and Fruit Roll-ups together with apples and blackberries.)
Also, don’t get down on yourself if your body isn’t cut out to be vegetarian. It works great for some people, but it doesn’t work for everyone. In the end, you need to decide what works best for both you as an individual.
(Not sharing these to try to scare you, I’m sharing because I know a couple people who have tried to be vegetarian that have had trouble with it and feel like they personally “failed” that it didn’t work for them. They shouldn’t have felt pressure like that over something they can’t control!)
You may want to consider the pros and cons of starting this diet while TTC/pregnant, and think about possible tweaks or exceptions you’d make. Remember, the best diet is a diet that works for YOU, not a diet that you only strive to fit into a cookie-cutter model of. (I know plenty of paleo/primal people that eat foods like quinoa, even though it is technically “outside the diet”, because it works for their individual body and health goals. Remember: YOU > cookie-cutter diet.)
Full-fat dairy and fertility – http://www.naturallyknockedup.com/is-milk-affecting-your-fertility/
Don’t use flax. A lot of people, espeically vegetarians/vegans, use it for Omega-3. It actually isn’t Omega-3, it’s ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), a precursor to Omega-3 which isn’t as efficiently used by the human body (it’s great for feeding to chickens to increase the Omega-3 in eggs). I know some dog breeders who had trouble wtih breedings being successful when their dogs were on food or supplements with flax, when the flax was removed, breeding success rates went back to normal. March of Dimes recommends against flax: “You may have heard that flaxseed and flaxseed oils are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Some studies on animals have shown that flaxseed can be harmful during pregnancy. We don’t know enough about the effects of flaxseed on human pregnancy. So it’s best not to use flaxseed or flaxseed oil if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.”
The top 3 things my OB told me when I asked about TTC:
- Prenatal vitamins
- Fish oil
- Eat plenty of meat and/or alternative proteins