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Switch to Forum Live View Vegetarianism curiosity
10 years ago  ::  Aug 27, 2008 - 11:31PM #1
PinkBubbleGum
Posts: 26
I have read about some people in magazines that say that becoming vegetarian is very easy.  Really?  I don't know what they mean by that.

So I am asking, what do you suggest that I first do at home to start moving towards eating vegetarian way? Is it expensive to live a vegetarian food lifestyle? 

I don't know any vegetarian. I have never seen anyone eat vegetarian way.
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10 years ago  ::  Aug 28, 2008 - 12:08AM #2
DesertKat
Posts: 436
Depends, do you want to go whole hog (excuse the pun) or gradual?

You can go through the house and purge everything that has animal products in it if you want to jump in.  I would also suggest investing in some good cookbooks- I like the Moosewood cookbooks personally- and if you are new to nutrition, some books about vegetarian nutrition.  Some people turn to the prepared vegetarian and vegan foods which can be, well, questionable nutritionally speaking.  Learning to cook for yourself is your best bet, though I admit to be addicted to the vegetarian corn dogs.  You also need to decide what type of vegetarian- lacto, ovo, vegan, etc.

Its not difficult to be vegetarian, though it can be if you are living in a meateating household.

If you want to go gradual, cut one thing out at a time- cut out red meat and become accustomed.  Then go on to, say, chicken.  Gradual change tends to be less a shock to the system so you might avoid a bought of indigestion from a sudden drastic change in diet.

Good luck!
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
Winston Churchill
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10 years ago  ::  Aug 28, 2008 - 10:46AM #3
Earthmomma72
Posts: 34
DesertKat gave great advice. I just wanted to add a couple of websites that I found helpful when I first transitioned to vegetarianism:

http://www.goveg.com/  and http://www.vegsource.com/veg_faq/contents.htm

The first site also has a free "Vegetarian Starter Kit" here: http://www.goveg.com/order.asp

As for the expense, I have found eating vegetarian to be cheaper than eating meat most of the time. Of course one can make it more expensive, but it doesn't have to be that way.

Good luck!
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10 years ago  ::  Aug 28, 2008 - 7:16PM #4
DesertKat
Posts: 436
Not bad for someone who's not even vegetarian.  ;)

And yes, eating meatless can be quite cheap if you don't go over board and don't buy into the prepared food trap.  And it can be very, very tasty as well.  I find my vegetarian cooking is expanding well beyond pastas and stirfries (which are good anyway you cut them regardless) and into new grains and interesting new takes on familiar veg.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
Winston Churchill
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10 years ago  ::  Aug 29, 2008 - 5:10PM #5
ManzanitaBear
Posts: 947
[QUOTE=DesertKat;722199]And yes, eating meatless can be quite cheap if you don't go over board and don't buy into the prepared food trap.  And it can be very, very tasty as well.  I find my vegetarian cooking is expanding well beyond pastas and stirfries (which are good anyway you cut them regardless) and into new grains and interesting new takes on familiar veg.[/QUOTE]
Same here.

That's really what makes being a vegetarian so easy, once you get over the initial humps.  When I was a meat eater, vegetarianism seemed so complicated.  Now, I don't see how anyone could do without it.
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10 years ago  ::  Aug 30, 2008 - 2:01PM #6
hmstrwheel
Posts: 41
I've also found it's a lot easier than I'd originally expected although I'm ovo-lacto-pesci-vegetarian (I eat eggs, dairy and fish), so that's probably easier than having to avoid all of those foods as well.  In the future I may also cut out those foods, but one step at a time, right?  :) 

I've found it's a bit more expensive to eat this way for me, but only because I'm now eating more fresh foods and fewer processed ones, and substituting whole grain options (like whole grain spaghetti) over the cheaper, less healthy ones.  I'm a huge fan of berries and I eat a ton of them, but they're NOT cheap when they're good and fresh.  However, they're way better for me than a snack of potato chips or something, so the trade off is a good one, in my view.

I'm also limited by a complete lack of kitchen space, so cooking is not an easy task in this household.  That will soon be remedied as I'll be moving in September.  Yay!

I wish you all the best!
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10 years ago  ::  Sep 03, 2008 - 5:30PM #7
solfeggio
Posts: 10,753
Yeah, DK is right: If you want to get into the vegetarian lifestyle, just start out slowly and gradually.  That's what we did in our family.  It started years ago with our teen-aged daughter telling us at supper one night that she thought we should become vegetarians.

She gave us a lot of good reasons for this, and we said we would give it a try.  So, what we did was start out by eliminating red meat.  Since we had never eaten pork anyway, that wasn't a problem.  Beef and lamb were our main sources of red meat, so we just stopped buying them at the supermarket.

We did this for some time, until it became a habit, and then we switched to also giving up poultry.  This was harder, because we liked to eat chicken, but we had made the committment by this time, so we did it.

Again, after awhile a thing becomes a habit, and you don't think about it anymore.  Our final step was to give up the fish, which wasn't a big deal, since we didn't eat that much fish or seafood to begin with.

Moosewood cook books are very good.  And I found many good vegetarian cookbooks in the library.  What I do is just Xerox the pages of recipes that I like and use them at home.

Also, it is great that we have the Internet, because you can find many sites that give you lots of good information.  Our family went veggie before the Internet, so we had to get our information the old-fashioned way: at the library!

At any rate, it is easier if everybody in the household goes along with you.  I don't know how I would have managed if my husband had said "no" and insisted on still eating meat, or vice versa.  Fortunately, we all came to this place in our journey through life at the same time.

Our daughter is now married and with a family of her own, and they're veggie, too.
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10 years ago  ::  Sep 04, 2008 - 12:46AM #8
DesertKat
Posts: 436
Oh, and I LOVE The Enchanted Brocolli Forrest.  That is a really fun veggie cookbook.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
Winston Churchill
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10 years ago  ::  Sep 05, 2008 - 3:56PM #9
solfeggio
Posts: 10,753
Yeah, I would recommend The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, too.

But, you can adapt recipes from regular cookbooks, too.  There is no law that says you have to follow the recipes exactly, after all.

Experiment!
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10 years ago  ::  Oct 06, 2008 - 11:46AM #10
Heretic_for_Christ
Posts: 5,488
I also went vegetarian on an item-by-item basis over the course of a couple of months. To what others have said, I would add the following:

1. Do not make the mistake of thinking that a vegetarian meal is a steak dinner without the steak. It is a different kind of cuisine, every bit as satisfying as a meat-based diet.

2. Do what is comfortable for you. If you find that you are "stuck" at being a lacto-vegetarian, fine; stay there for as long as you need to. Do NOT make the mistake of thinking that it is all or nothing (that is, vegan or meat-eater). Vegetarianism is not so much a place to arrive at as a path to be on. Different people will go different lengths at different rates down that path. If you can be vegan, great -- but do not be upset with yourself or bullied by others if you stay at some other stage. You may find that you can go further after awhile; it is even possible that you may go backward at some point. You are where you are on that path; don't feel guilty or bullied about where you are; but do keep in mind that the path goes on, and you can be somewhere else on the path tomorrow, regardless of where you are today -- that is what choice is all about.

3. Also relating to doing what is comfortable for you: there are a lot of terrific vegetarian and vegan products that imitate meat. Some vegans sneer at these things. If you like them, use them (yes, they are more expensive than fresh fruits and vegetables -- ALL packaged and preprocessed foods are more expensive than fresh produce). There is no medal given for Who Can Eat Most Naturally. If you are well satisfied with a diet consisting solely of fresh produce, great! If not, get whatever you need to follow a satisfying vegetarian diet.

4. Finally, a personal opinion -- I did not care all that much for the Moosewood books. The best vegetarian (in fact, vegan) books I have found are by Jennifer Raymond. The dishes are not only wonderful but wonderfully simple to make.

Be on the path, be comfortable, enjoy!
I prayed for deliverance from the hard world of facts and logic to the happy land where fantasy and prejudice reign. But God spake unto me, saying, "No, keep telling the truth," and to that end afflicted me with severe Trenchant Mouth. So I'm sorry for making cutting remarks, but it's the will of God.
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