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Old 06-03-2005, 08:51 AM   #1
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Vegetarian/Vegan ?'s

So I have been thinking A LOT about my diet, lifestyle, health, etc and have decided it's time to make some real overhauls where the food I put into my mouth is concerned. I have a lot of digestive/health issues and I have to attribute that mostly to what I eat, or maybe don't. Anyway, I have been doing some research on becoming vegetarian and maybe eventually vegan.

I guess I am curious how hard the transition is? I like a good steak and chicken breast and am a huge seafood/fish fan... I don't think I want to do this for the animal welfare reasons as much as the fact that the overall lifestyle seems to be a much healthier one than the average "american" diet.

Also, is weight loss synonymous with a veg diet? I haven't been the same since my two kids and maybe cutting out all that crap may help??? So far, it seems nothing else is working in that department, low carb, low cal, etc.

So I'm looking forward to hearing thoughts on this....

 
Old 06-03-2005, 09:13 AM   #2
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Re: Vegetarian/Vegan ?'s

Becoming a vegetarian or vegan doesn't necissarily mean that you'll lose weight or be healthier. Learning to eat properly in general is probably what you need to do. I was a vegetarian for 7 years (13-20). I was a teenager and didn't know how to do it properly. I would just not eat meat. I ate some fish and chicken, but generally I just removed the meat from whatever I ate. I realize now that this was a silly/immature thing to do. I was a teenager and had no clue what I was doing.

My recommendation to you would be to try to limit your saturated/trans fat intake - you can do this by cutting down on the red meat you eat, and replacing it with better protein sources such as fatty fish to get omega-3 fatty acids, beans, lentils, tofu etc. That way you don't need to be fully vegan, but you are incoporating the foods that are the most beneficial for you from the vegan diet.

Basically what I do is only eat red meat once or twice a week. I try to limit my intake of processed meats and foods. I eat a lot of salmon, boneless skinless chicken breast, beans, lentils, chick peas, tofu and that way I get the best of both worlds. I get to have a nice steak once a week without feeling guilty about it, but I'm getting lots of good protein sources.

Does that make sense? This may not be the approach you want to take, but I have found it to work for me. Yes, I'm only 24 and haven't had kids, but I have Addison's disease and take steroids everyday and will for the rest of my life. I'm at a good weight and pleased with it.

Good luck!
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Last edited by tdot; 06-03-2005 at 09:15 AM.

 
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Old 06-03-2005, 03:42 PM   #3
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Re: Vegetarian/Vegan ?'s

If the diet you consume now is "crappy"- too much animal protein, dairy, fats, refined sugars/flours, and overcooked/canned veggies, and you make a fully educated transition to a vegetarian diet that is balanced with enough calories, you will almost certainly lose weight as a result of eating a clean healthy diet--this holds even more true with a proper vegan diet.

DO NOT think that vegetarian/vegan"ism" is an instant panacea for weight loss- although incorporating it into being a lifelong habit offers amazing benefits to your long-run health and will help your body maintain your "natural" weight.

When I first became a vegetarian I did it for my health, having studied nutrition for years it still took me about 18 months to make a full transition away from meat and other "unhealthy" ( ) eating habits I had. I'm now vegan for many other reasons as well.

I do not eat ANY processed foods. I eat a lot of fruit, especially early on in the day, and most of my raw veggies I juice or pulverize in the Vita-mix, this makes undigestible fibers much easier on the digestive tract, not to mention my jaws. I consume a lot of whole grains- cereal grains can be cooked just like rice. Also beans, nuts/seeds, legumes, and soybean products. I love to cook, and I enjoy knowing my body is healthy because of the nutritious foods I put into it. If I season, I use only herbs and spices, sea salt, if ever used. The only oil I heat is extra-virgin olive, I eat this every day along flax oil and an avocado.

Making the switch is not easy, especially if you are cooking for other poeple. If you are able to try it for a week, then do so to see how you feel, it certainly won't hurt you . Starting out it makes it easier if you plan in advance what you are going to eat for a whole day. Ther is a lot of good info on the WWW also. Regards.

 
Old 06-03-2005, 04:46 PM   #4
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Re: Vegetarian/Vegan ?'s

tdot you'r only 24 ..wow you screamed at me along time ago..LOL I thought you were like 62..LOL..ok i said enough..vegetarian or vegan would be a long shot for me.. i eat just about any type of meat put there..mostly organic ..

chow

 
Old 06-03-2005, 06:23 PM   #5
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Datura HB User
Re: Vegetarian/Vegan ?'s

Depending on how fond of meat you are, you may want to quit cold turkey or slowly ween yourself off certain meats.

From personal experience, being vegetarian didn't result in any weight loss.

 
Old 06-03-2005, 07:05 PM   #6
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Jess75 HB UserJess75 HB User
Re: Vegetarian/Vegan ?'s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Losec20mg
tdot you'r only 24 ..wow you screamed at me along time ago..LOL I thought you were like 62..LOL..ok i said enough..vegetarian or vegan would be a long shot for me.. i eat just about any type of meat put there..mostly organic ..

chow
LOL, what did tdot "scream" at you about? And, yah I agree, you don't need to omit meat from the diet to lose weight. Although you could lose weight becoming a vegetarian, but my guess is that it would probably be harder since you need extra protein for maintaing muscle. I know there are other sources from non animal sources but, unless you want to eat a lot of tofu then so be it. I would call my self a semi-ominivore, lol!

Oh, and I forgot to mention, I would guess that it would be easy if you chose the dairy and egg route(lacto-ovo vegetarian).

Last edited by Jess75; 06-03-2005 at 07:22 PM.

 
Old 06-06-2005, 06:13 AM   #7
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tdot HB User
Re: Vegetarian/Vegan ?'s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Losec20mg
tdot you'r only 24 ..wow you screamed at me along time ago..LOL I thought you were like 62..LOL..ok i said enough..vegetarian or vegan would be a long shot for me.. i eat just about any type of meat put there..mostly organic ..

chow
Well I didn't actually scream at you, we were simply having a discussion. I love discussing. My boyfriend says I should have been a lawyer, I love a good discussion. And yes, I'm only 24, but do have 6 years of university and 2 years of being a health professional behind me. Maybe peopel say I'm wiser than my age.

Cheers,
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Old 06-06-2005, 04:10 PM   #8
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Re: Vegetarian/Vegan ?'s

I'm a lactose intolerant meat-eater, and I have a nice & lean body. Lean meat isn't bad- IMO its all the dairy crap that is. My diet consists of fruits (dried & fresh), veggies, lean meat, nuts, whole grain products, quite a few soy products and a lot of water. Absolutely no soda!! Thanks to cutting out dairy and only eating lean meats, my cholesterol is very low as well. (Soy milk and yogurt are great dairy alternatives.) I agree with Tdot, a lot of ill-informed people jump on the vegetarian bandwagon. Make sure you do a lot of research before you jump on it too, because vegetarian is NOT synonymous with thin OR healthy.

Last edited by blondie79; 06-06-2005 at 04:15 PM.

 
Old 06-06-2005, 04:29 PM   #9
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Jess75 HB UserJess75 HB User
Re: Vegetarian/Vegan ?'s

Quote:
Originally Posted by blondie79
I'm a lactose intolerant meat-eater, and I have a nice & lean body. Lean meat isn't bad- IMO its all the dairy crap that is. My diet consists of fruits (dried & fresh), veggies, lean meat, nuts, whole grain products, quite a few soy products and a lot of water. Absolutely no soda!! Thanks to cutting out dairy and only eating lean meats, my cholesterol is very low as well. (Soy milk and yogurt are great dairy alternatives.) I agree with Tdot, a lot of ill-informed people jump on the vegetarian bandwagon. Make sure you do a lot of research before you jump on it too, because vegetarian is NOT synonymous with thin OR healthy.
Yah the dairy is "crap" since you have an allergy! There isn't anything wrong with "organic" low fat cottage cheese and yogurt. They are very low in lactose. There IS some contraversey about cows milk but, it's all a matter of opinion on that anymore.

Last edited by Jess75; 06-06-2005 at 04:33 PM.

 
Old 06-06-2005, 04:32 PM   #10
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Re: Vegetarian/Vegan ?'s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessicca
Yah the dairy is bad since you have an allergy! There isn't anything wrong with "organic" cottage cheese and yogurt. They are very low in lactose. There IS some contraversey about cows milk but, it's all a matter of opinion on that anymore.
Actually, intolerance and allergy are two very different things. Allergy is an immune response; intolerance is the inability to digest. My body quit making the enzyme required to digest lactose when I was about 20. I could normally eat dairy like anyone else until then. Now that I don't eat it anymore, my health and physique has vastly improved (and I was never fat to begin with.) I've been on both sides of dairy so to speak, and that has been my experience.

Blondie

 
Old 06-06-2005, 05:04 PM   #11
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Jess75 HB UserJess75 HB User
Re: Vegetarian/Vegan ?'s

Quote:
Originally Posted by blondie79
Actually, intolerance and allergy are two very different things. Allergy is an immune response; intolerance is the inability to digest. My body quit making the enzyme required to digest lactose when I was about 20. I could normally eat dairy like anyone else until then. Now that I don't eat it anymore, my health and physique has vastly improved (and I was never fat to begin with.) I've been on both sides of dairy so to speak, and that has been my experience.

Blondie
Yah, I knew that, about an allergy and intolorance but I wasn't thinking, lol. ANd you said that dairy was crap, and I said yah for you since you have and intolorance(not allergy, WHOOPS! my bad).

Last edited by Jess75; 06-06-2005 at 05:16 PM.

 
Old 06-11-2005, 02:23 PM   #12
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Re: Vegetarian/Vegan ?'s

I've been vegetarian for over 13 years. I was lacto-ovo, and have now been vegan for several years. I found that when I went vegetarian, I became what I now call "cheesitarian", and replaced a lot of the flesh I was eating with dairy, especially cheese. I probably ate more animal products than most meat eaters, it's just that it was cheese rather than meat, so I didn't get the benefits that I could have from vegetarianism at first. However, when I went vegan and instead of replacing one animal product(meat) with another(cheese), I replaced animal products with foods all from the plant kingdom, I lost a large amount of weight with an ease I had never thought would be possible. If I'm not careful, I certainly can gain weight as a vegan, but it is SO MUCH EASIER for me to maintain a healthy weight now. I have a ton more energy, and I love all the delicious food. Once I made up my mind to do it, it was very easy for me to go vegetarian, and then to go vegan, too.

So, I'd say go for it and try to cut back on animal products however works for you. Just be careful not to fall into the "cheese trap" and you should be on your way to better health!

Also, as you probably know, there's nothing to the "but how will you get your protein" thing. cereal grains, vegetables, peas and lentils, pulses and beans, nuts and nut butters, tahini, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chili, tvp, tofu, hummus, seitan, miso, faux meats (like soybacon, veggie sausage patties, veggie hot dogs, etc), whole grains, nondairy milks, etc. if you're getting enough calories and not living on soda and potato chips (which, btw, aren't a good idea for weight loss. ), it would be pretty much impossible not to get enough protein. most people on a standard american diet get over twice the amount they need, as reflected in a lot of the diseases they come down with, i.e. gallstones, kidney stones, calciium loss from bones leading to osteoporosis, etc.
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Old 06-15-2005, 02:47 PM   #13
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xismybaby HB User
Re: Vegetarian/Vegan ?'s

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdot
Becoming a vegetarian or vegan doesn't necissarily mean that you'll lose weight or be healthier. Learning to eat properly in general is probably what you need to do. I was a vegetarian for 7 years (13-20). I was a teenager and didn't know how to do it properly. I would just not eat meat. I ate some fish and chicken, but generally I just removed the meat from whatever I ate. I realize now that this was a silly/immature thing to do. I was a teenager and had no clue what I was doing.

My recommendation to you would be to try to limit your saturated/trans fat intake - you can do this by cutting down on the red meat you eat, and replacing it with better protein sources such as fatty fish to get omega-3 fatty acids, beans, lentils, tofu etc. That way you don't need to be fully vegan, but you are incoporating the foods that are the most beneficial for you from the vegan diet.

Basically what I do is only eat red meat once or twice a week. I try to limit my intake of processed meats and foods. I eat a lot of salmon, boneless skinless chicken breast, beans, lentils, chick peas, tofu and that way I get the best of both worlds. I get to have a nice steak once a week without feeling guilty about it, but I'm getting lots of good protein sources.

Does that make sense? This may not be the approach you want to take, but I have found it to work for me. Yes, I'm only 24 and haven't had kids, but I have Addison's disease and take steroids everyday and will for the rest of my life. I'm at a good weight and pleased with it.

Good luck!
I'm confused You said you were a vegetarian for 7 years but you ate chicken and fish? This does not categorize a Vegetarian at all. Vegetarians dont eat any animals so how did you eat chicken and fish and be a Vegetarian (just a question)?

Last edited by xismybaby; 06-15-2005 at 02:48 PM.

 
Old 06-15-2005, 03:07 PM   #14
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xismybaby HB User
Re: Vegetarian/Vegan ?'s

Quote:
Originally Posted by picksie
So I have been thinking A LOT about my diet, lifestyle, health, etc and have decided it's time to make some real overhauls where the food I put into my mouth is concerned. I have a lot of digestive/health issues and I have to attribute that mostly to what I eat, or maybe don't. Anyway, I have been doing some research on becoming vegetarian and maybe eventually vegan.

I guess I am curious how hard the transition is? I like a good steak and chicken breast and am a huge seafood/fish fan... I don't think I want to do this for the animal welfare reasons as much as the fact that the overall lifestyle seems to be a much healthier one than the average "american" diet.

Also, is weight loss synonymous with a veg diet? I haven't been the same since my two kids and maybe cutting out all that crap may help??? So far, it seems nothing else is working in that department, low carb, low cal, etc.

So I'm looking forward to hearing thoughts on this....
Hey picksie~ My transition from meat-eater to Vegetarian was quite easy..It was very easy for me because I did it because of the love I have for animals. Everytime I would see meat of any kind (beef, chicken, fish..etc) I would think of the poor animals that had to suffer a miserable life and horrible death. I will admit fish was the hardest to give up though (i love sushi and salmon).

It is a known fact that Vegetarians and Vegans are more healthy than meat-eaters (they have to eat right though)..You cant eat cookies, ice cream, potato chips, french fries..etc...and be healthy. There is alot of health risks that come along with meat-eating, such as Heart disease, clogged arteries, colon cancer, higher cholesterol, higher increase in blood pressure, strokes..etc. So it is wise for anyone to make the transition from eating meat to becoming a Vegetarian.

As for weight loss, well many Vegetarians and Vegans are slim, but its due to how they eat. Just because you dont eat meat doesnt mean you eat right. As I said above, you cant live on junk food. You need to get a high amount of Veggies, whole grains, nuts..etc. As for the protein aspect (every meat-eater I know always says, "how do you get your protein"?) like llamamuffinmama said: You can get protein in almost everything. Soy is one of the best sources of protein, Veggie burgers have just as much protein as regular beef burgers. Veggies themselves have protein, peanut butter has protein..etc. The list goes on and on. As for the people that say chicken is good, well its better than red meat but since the chickens dont have room to move around at all...all that meat turns into pure fat. As for fish (i'd say its the best to eat out of all the animals) the toxins in the water get into the scales of the fish which isnt that great for you either. But if you are going to eat an animal, id say the least harmful is Fish (if you want good fats and omegas drink Flaxseed oil).

In conclusion, I'd say try the vegetarian diet and see how it goes. Get a vegetarian cookbook or get a book about becoming a Vegetarian. It doesnt happen over night so slowly cut out meat to adjust. I guarentee that you will feel much better about your health if you make this life change.

Good luck in whatever you deside to do

Last edited by xismybaby; 06-15-2005 at 03:16 PM.

 
Old 06-15-2005, 03:14 PM   #15
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xismybaby HB User
Re: Vegetarian/Vegan ?'s

Quote:
Originally Posted by blondie79
Actually, intolerance and allergy are two very different things. Allergy is an immune response; intolerance is the inability to digest. My body quit making the enzyme required to digest lactose when I was about 20. I could normally eat dairy like anyone else until then. Now that I don't eat it anymore, my health and physique has vastly improved (and I was never fat to begin with.) I've been on both sides of dairy so to speak, and that has been my experience.

Blondie

I have heard many times that no one is lactose intolerant...has anyone else heard that before?

 
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