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Question about diet

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dragonfly411

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I would basically like to give up a good portion of the meats that I am eating, but not all. I do believe that eating wild game and fish is ok, mainly because they live a healthy, natural life, and they are MUCH healthier for me. I won''t be getting hormones and steroids when I eat them. I mostly want to give up all beef, and pork as I do not agree with the way these animals are handled, and I don''t agree with hormone abuse. I basically want to give up most chicken as well, save the occasional chicken when I am out and there are no other options. My problem is my family eats meat as a basic staple, with beef in spaghetti and chili, ham in the green beans, and they eat a lot of chicken. My SO Has thought of me as wacky when I''ve eaten veggie alternatives, mainly because he just isn''t used to the idea of not eating meat. He doesn''t look down on me, just wonders why, and has even tried some of it himself (he likes the veggie burgers lol). My main reasons for doing this are a) my body doesn''t handle much meat well, it''s one of the things I have food allergies with along with white flours, and eating too much cheese. b) I don''t like how inhumane the treatment of domestic livestock has become c) I''m terrified of the hormones and pollutants going into my body. What should I do? I tend to avoid the options already that include beef and pork as it is. I''m not a big fan of just regular chicken, I like chicken wings at restaurants and really that''s as far as it goes. Any thoughts?
 

AmberGretchen

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dragonfly - there are so many lovely, flavorful, interesting veggie dishes you can make at home. I''m not sure I totally understand if that''s what you''re asking. If you are though, here''s a recent favorite website of mine with excellent veggie recipes: here''s one of my favorites.

I think being a veggie successfully is all about creativity. I''d aim to try as many new veggies, grains, fruits, and alternative protein sources as you can. I usually base my meals around several veggies (I like to stir-fry lightly in olive oil or spray oil like PAM), some kind of whole grain (I love whole wheat pasta, or farro, or brown rice), and some kind of protein (the parmesan crusted tofu in the link I posted is excellent, or you could have low fat cheese, or whatever you like) and then get creative with seasoning - herbs, spices, Asian or Italian sauces, etc...
 

JulieN

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Small fish have less pollutants in them. The higher up the food chain, the more pollutants. Plus, that's a lot better for the environment.

This is the Seafood Watch List: http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/SeafoodWatch/web/sfw_regional.aspx?region_id=0 Many popular things are on the AVOID list. Since you're concerned about pollutants, you should definitely note the farmed ones that are on the AVOID list, since fish like that are as likely to be full of pollutants and hormones as meat is (generally speaking, US-farmed is a better choice than foreign-farmed.)

You can narrow it down to your region to make it less intimidating. I think there are also pocket guides and you can access it on your phone when you're in the store.

Is the problem that you don't live on your own, so you eat with your family? I'm not sure what the problem is, since you say you already avoid beef and pork.
 

dragonfly411

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Thanks guys!!! I definitely am looking for recipes and ideas. I think part of what I am asking too is how do you work it in if you''re the only one planning that type of meal? Do I plan to just cook for myself when they have something I don''t want? Last night was spaghetti night. My family uses a recipe that uses ground beef. Instead of eating that, I used my angel hair pasta, poured about a tablespoon and a half olive oil, with garlic powder, oregano and parmesan, and that''s what I had with salad.

I''m definitely going to look at what you ladies gave me. Thanks!!!
 

dragonfly411

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Ambergretchen - HAHA I love 101 cookbooks. I follow her rather religiously, just have to be brave enough to cook it all now
 

Amanda.Rx

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Well, though call... if you really feel strongly about your beliefs, ask your family if they would be willing to accomodate you. If they are not willing, then you should probably plan to cook separate meals for yourself, which is fine. If you go out to eat, just plan to eat vegetarian or put up with eating the non-wild meats on occasion.

For example, my SO''s cousin is vegan and always comes to the house for thanksgiving/christmas. The rest of my SO''s family is certainly NOT vegan. However, his mother does try to accomodate the cousin. She buys & cooks a "tofurkey" and sets aside some veggies before she adds butter to the rest of them.

If it were me, I would probably not be willing to accomodate 1 person if I were buying all the groceries and doing all the cooking (unless my family member had a life-threatening food allergy or it was my own child and we had discussed their beliefs and agreed on a solution). However, I would not be offended if that 1 person wanted to bring or cook a separate meal.

It doesn''t hurt to ask your family''s opinion, but I don''t think it''s fair to expect them to change their lifestyle to accomodate only you. If you want them to respect your beliefs, you have to respect theirs as well.

On the flip side, I have lots of friends that are vegetarian, and they don''t have any problems finding something to eat. There are a lot of veggie options. Finding wild game might be a bit more challenging, unless you''re friends with a hunter.
 

Loves Vintage

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Date: 2/4/2009 11:08:20 PM
Author: AmberGretchen
dragonfly - there are so many lovely, flavorful, interesting veggie dishes you can make at home. I''m not sure I totally understand if that''s what you''re asking. If you are though, here''s a recent favorite website of mine with excellent veggie recipes: here''s one of my favorites.

I think being a veggie successfully is all about creativity. I''d aim to try as many new veggies, grains, fruits, and alternative protein sources as you can. I usually base my meals around several veggies (I like to stir-fry lightly in olive oil or spray oil like PAM), some kind of whole grain (I love whole wheat pasta, or farro, or brown rice), and some kind of protein (the parmesan crusted tofu in the link I posted is excellent, or you could have low fat cheese, or whatever you like) and then get creative with seasoning - herbs, spices, Asian or Italian sauces, etc...
Amber, That webiste you linked to is awesome! There are a lot of recipes on there that we will try! Thank you!

Dragonfly, Do cook for your family sometimes too? Maybe you can try a veggie recipe that is not too daring? Like a cheese or vegetable lasagna? Or, you can try to work something into the family meal that is suitable for you. For example, if they are having tacos, you can make your own with veggie refried beans. If they are having spaghetti, you can make some of the fake meatballs with sauce in a small separate pot. If they are having burgers, just pop a veggie burger in the microwave.
 

dragonfly411

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Amanda rx - I definitely agree that I don''t want them to change their lifestyle for me. I don''t mind eating chicken from time to time, lol I''m a chicken wing fiend and definitely eat those when I go out as bad as it is. I think I was thinking more like what I did with dinner the other night... turning meals how I need to, or just eating the vegetable dishes when need be.

I definitely want to be able to incorporate some meals, and have done so. I make a mean broccoli and raisin risotto, and they love my spicey mashed black beans over cous cous.
 

Haven

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I think it''s great that you don''t plan on changing your entire family''s diet just to accommodate yourself. I was raised vegetarian because my father is a vegetarian and has been since he was 17, yet my mother would eat steak tatar on a regular basis, if she could. She ate meat when we went out to eat, but our house was vegetarian.

Once I started college my mom started cooking vegetarian for my father, and then meat for the rest of the family. She''d prep sides that were all veggie, then a main dish for my dad, and then the meat dish for everyone else. I think it would be tricky to keep all the utensils and dishes separate and whatnot, but I suppose that after cooking for over 20 years she was used to it.
 

JulieN

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I sort of think the person who cooks for your family should accommodate your diet, if they are up to it. That's what family/loved ones are for... Like, spaghetti...it's really not that difficult to have two pans of sauce going, one of meat and one without. However, I understand that not every family is supportive of some people's diets, thinking that they are just picky eaters or something.

My mom is vegetarian. She cooks veg and non-veg meals for my dad and brother.

Accommodating you whenever possible, like having two different pans of pasta sauce, seems perfectly reasonable to me. Maybe you just need to ask nicely? Offer to help out in the kitchen?
 

dragonfly411

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Thanks everyone for the ideas. I''m definitely going to be helping in the kitchen a lot! I definitely don''t want others to feel put out. I''m really hoping I can help introduce some non meat based meals as well, as it is healthier to have some meals without for everyone. At least I don''t feel like it is completely impossible at this point lol.
 

AmberGretchen

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One other thought about families and meals - I often do this when I go to my in-laws for holidays. I buy the ingredients to make a vegetarian main dish (stuffed acorn squash or lasagna, for example), and my in-laws make their normal veggie side dishes. That way I have some protein and plenty of variety in my meal, and everyone is happy.

I love that website BTW - I tried the artichoke dip recipe the other day - I doubled the soft tofu but otherwise left it pretty much the same, and it is SUPER tasty - I made a half-recipe and divided it into 4 small ramekins, and I''m baking them as-needed, and they are so yummy
 

Itgirl76

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Dec 26, 2007
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I do have recipies but are too lengthy to place on here, when I went veggie (I have been for 5 years) I was pretty lucky because I had 3 other friends who were already and they gave me some great tips. I am a lacto ovo (which means I still eat eggs, milk and cheese basically dairy).

They have told me it is less about recreating a whole menu for yourself but rather substituting items that were meat in your meals.
In spagehetti or chili instead of using ground meat Boca and Mornignstar both make ground beef substitute (Vegtable Protien) you can find it at any large supermarket...I am unsure of where you live I live in Chicago and Domincks and Jewel have it by my house in the freezer isle.

In my chili I add different types of beans chili, kidney and white beans...and the Veggie protien and my family states they notice a difference but can''t tell.
I make veggie lasagna that my friends beg me to make without meat-I just delete the meat and add a lot of fresh veggies and spices and no one even misses the meat...I sometimes grill the veggies prior to putting them in.


TOFU is great because it takes the taste of anythign you add to it. Add it in stir frys...it is really good.
You need to really start getting creative with your sauces and spices as well it makes it a little easier.

I am a fan of Boca Burgers over Garden Burger...you need to do some experimenting with yourself and seeing the brands that you like best.


Here is some veg sites I have been to

http://www.thevegetariansite.com/index.htm


Also most dining places are more than happy to help your dietary needs and in some cases they have a sep. menu.

Good luck!
 

Porridge

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Oct 27, 2008
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Dragonfly, this isn''t for everyone, but I LOVE tinned fish as a snack. Sardines, mackarel, whatever. In brine or sunflower oil (oil is healthy fat as long as it isn''t heated). All that protein fills me up for ages and kills any cravings. It wasn''t a snack I thought I liked until I tried it again. It''s so great for keeping me on track.
 
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