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Is anyone here a vegetarian or a vegan? XP

Talk to me about it... 

How did you start?
Why did you start?
What benefits do you see from this lifestyle?
Do you work out?
If you do, do you still feel that you have enough energy?
What are your main sources of protein?
What, if anything, is difficult about it?

The documentaries/books 'Forks Over Knives' 'Skinny Bi&^h' and 'Fat Sick and Nearly Dead' have been speaking to me, and I'm considering a change.  Any thoughts are appreciated!
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Re: Is anyone here a vegetarian or a vegan? XP

  • edited November 2012
    I am a vegetarian and within the past year became lactose intolerant the lactaid pills used to help, but in the past few months I've been avoiding dairy as much as possible.

    I became a vegetarian at 16 I hate the taste of meat.  Finally my parents let me stop eating it.

    I feel I eat healthier and I found I lost quite a bit of weight when I became a vegetarian and in the past year I've lost almost 5 pounds because I had to stop eating dairy.  Recent weight loss is rather scary too given my size and weight, I am at about 80 right now.

    I work out often and I dance a lot too.

    I feel like I have enough energy, it's been so long I don't remember what my energy was like eating meat.  I don't notice any energy level difference after dropping dairy products either.

    Sources of protein- beans, tofu, quinoa

    Eating out has been quite difficult especially with the lactose intolerant thing.  It sometimes almost gets me in a panic attack mode. I worry about incoveniencing people if I eat over or holiday meals, or going out with friends and making sure I can eat something.  BF is worries more than I do sometimes.

    Anniversary

  • I have been a vegetarian for 7 years.  I started while I was in college.  It was sort of a number of smaller reasons that led to my becoming a vegetarian.  My sister told me I could have her "V is for Vegetarian" shirt if I could make it one month with out meat.  At that point, I was only eating white meat on a very occasional basis.  I have not looked back once, though my sister never gave me the shirt.  I doubt she even remembers this story.  Another motivating factor was that I wanted to eat healthier overall, and having an iron clad excuse to say to no pizza and fast food was extremely helpful.  I had wanted to become a vegetarian when I was younger but my parents would not allow me.  Once I was out of the house, they couldn't dictate my diet.  I am also really icked out by factory farming.  I am a big animal lover (except spiders, they can all die). 

    Off the top of my head, I'm not sure exactly what health benefits I have seen.  I am about 10 lbs lighter than I was pre-veg.  But I'm not sure if that is the cause or not.  I have not had any major/minor health problems since becoming a vegetarian. 

    I work out quite a bit.  Usually 5 days a week.  Running (3-6 miles per run currently, planning on a half in the spring) and weight lifting.  I have not had any problems with feeling like I don't have enough energy.  I do make sure to eat back calories after a hard work out, usually aiming for something with a fair amount of protein (protein bar or muscle milk or real food). 

    My main sources of protein are fake meats (Boca, tofurky, morningstar, lightlife), tofu, seitan, beans, nuts, protein supplements after working out.  I do eat eggs, but it is very rarely.  I do not really like them and I really can't get over the idea of eating chicken periods.  Like danser, I am also lactose intolerant.  I am lucky that I can eat some cheeses without being sick.  I drink soy milk instead of regular milk.  Oh and whole grains also have a fair amount of protein.  The bread I buy has 5g per slice.   

    After 7 years, not a lot of things are that difficult.  All of my friends and family know that I am a vegetarian, so it usually isn't a huge deal.  I also always offer to bring veggie burgers or something else for myself.  If I don't know what is going to be available, I tuck a protein bar in my purse just in case (very helpful for weddings).  One thing that can be difficult is verifying that vegetarian options are really vegetarian.  For example, vegetable soup made with chicken stock is not vegetarian.  If we are going out to eat, I check the menu online to see what is available for me to eat. 

    Sorry this is so long!  Let me know if you have any questions! 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Also, since you mentioned Skinny Bi&^h and I know this comes up in the book, I also do not drink any caffenaited beverages.  I love that I do not need coffee to wake me up.  I just am awake all by myself.  Cutting caffeine was a great decision! 

    Second also, when I first became a vegetarian I was not very concerned with gelatin.  Now I do not eat any gelatin either.  This was actually a fair amount of work to cut out.  It is in a ton of foods that seem vegetarian: cereals, pop tarts, marshmallows, medicines, candy, yogurts.  Super annoying. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_is-anyone-here-a-vegetarian-or-a-vegan-xp?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:6c26089a-8714-4927-8d9c-4981a9ba36b0Post:6d4f950d-1cdf-4eef-a4d5-a11bfe8b741b">Re: Is anyone here a vegetarian or a vegan? XP</a>:
    [QUOTE]Also, since you mentioned Skinny Bi&^h and I know this comes up in the book, I also do not drink any caffenaited beverages.  I love that I do not need coffee to wake me up.  I just am awake all by myself.  Cutting caffeine was a great decision!  Second also, when I first became a vegetarian I was not very concerned with gelatin.  Now I do not eat any gelatin either.  This was actually a fair amount of work to cut out.  It is in a ton of foods that seem vegetarian: cereals, pop tarts, marshmallows, medicines, candy, yogurts.  Super annoying. 
    Posted by lovelyheather[/QUOTE]
    I don't do caffeine either.  I rely on my own natural energy or sometimes lack their of. <div>
    </div><div>I still sometime eat gelatiin I don't go out of my way to avoid it but I don't actively seek out gelatin products with it either.</div>

    Anniversary

  • thejucheideathejucheidea East Nashville, Tennessee member
    Tenth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I think that if more meat substitute things were gluten free, I'd probably just go vegetarian, but as it stands now, I eat mostly beans, nuts, tofu and tempeh for protein with eggs and a little chicken and turkey a couple times a week.

  • leia1979leia1979 member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2012
    I've been pescatarian or vegetarian for more than ten years now. If you're not familiar with pescatarian, it means that the only meat I eat are fish or shellfish. I was full-on vegetarian for awhile, though.

    How did you start?
    My junior year of college. I went to a Catholic school, and although I'm not Catholic, I gave up meat at lent along with some friends. However, I had already not eaten beef since I was about 14.

    Why did you start?
    I was a member of PETA in college (sort of, because they're a little extreme for my taste), and I feel like animals that are raised for food lead terrible lives before being killed. I'm okay with fish because I don't think their lives are quite so bad...but that's just my rationalization because eating fish makes it a heck of a lot easier at restaurants and is good for my cholesterol.

    What benefits do you see from this lifestyle?
    I didn't do it for health, and I actually weigh more now, but I think that has to do with being over 30 than my choice to cut out land animals from my diet. For the record, I was about 115lbs when I started and weigh 127 now, so given that I'm almost 33 instead of 21, that's not bad.

    Do you work out?

    Yes, I take dance classes twice a week, but that's only been for the last two years.

    If you do, do you still feel that you have enough energy?

    Absolutely. For awhile, I danced for four hours on Thursday nights.

    What are your main sources of protein?
    Faux meat, beans, dairy, and fish. I only eat fish maybe twice a week, so it's largely soy-based faux meat. I have fake chicken nuggets, hot dogs, meatballs, etc. I also get stuff with tofu at work because our cafeteria defaults to tofu for vegetarians. I like tempeh (better than tofu), but I don't buy it often. Not many places carry it.

    What, if anything, is difficult about it?

     It can also be frustrating to go to a restaurant and have really limited options. That's why veggie restaurants are so amazing--I can order anything on the menu! Sometimes I pre-eat before going places because I know they won't have anything for me, or you get really creative with side dishes. At first, the smell of fried chicken was really tempting, but these days, I find the smell of some meats gross.

    Keep in mind, you can choose how strict you want to be. For example, I do still eat ramen, which uses a pork broth. But I get it without the actual pieces of pork. I think the best way to get into it is to start gradually. Have two or three days a week be your meat-free days. Or you can do like I did and cut one type out at a time.

    If you have any questions, I'm happy to talk about my experiences!
  • How did you start?
    Why did you start?
    What benefits do you see from this lifestyle?
    Do you work out?
    If you do, do you still feel that you have enough energy?
    What are your main sources of protein?
    What, if anything, is difficult about it?

    I used to be a vegetarian back in highschool. I just decided I wanted to try it because the only red meat I ate at that point was cow meat from my grandpa (free range) and deer meat which the guys got hunting. I ate cafeteria meat sometimes too.

    I noticed within weeks that my system felt cleaner, heathier and that I had a lot more energy. Making this change also made me want to work out more and eat heathier because of how dropping meat made me feel. So I started to running and feel in love with it.

    My main source of protien was nuts, tofu and protien drinks.

    I can't really remember why I stopped being a vegetarian, I really loved it. Probably because I felt bad for the food inconvenience to my mom. I still hardly eat meat. Hm maybe I should start considering becoming a vegetarian again. Thanks for posting this, it's got me thinking.
    image Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • How did you start?
    I was actually raised vegan (my parents are hippies).  I had my first taste of ice cream at age 15 and couldn't go back.  I try and limit dairy though. I have been working on expanding my diet to include organic, non fertilized eggs and some fish.  I'm not a huge fan of either though.

    Why did you start?
    I didn't have much of a choice.  Haha. 

    What benefits do you see from this lifestyle?
     I've stayed vegetarian for a multitude of ethical, environmental, and health reasons. 

    Do you work out?

    Yup.  I run 15-20 miles a week, do yoga, and weight train.  I used to dance competitively too.  

    If you do, do you still feel that you have enough energy?
    100% 

    What are your main sources of protein?
    Beans, soy (which I limit, since it's pretty bad for the environment and heavily processed soy has been linked to some nasty stuff), nuts, pasta (especially the PLUS kind from Barilla), quinoa, etc.  

    What, if anything, is difficult about it?
    I've started feeling very limited.  There are lots of foods I've never tried, although I've had chicken and steak, there are lots of dishes I haven't tried.  
    Also, travelling can be a pain in the butt.
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