Well, to begin with, I know not much about a vegetarian or vegan diet. However, I've always loved eating grains of all sorts and in all forms, while I disliked meat. I just grew accustomed to eating it. Anyways, so my mom found this book the other day, and I have been reading it as well. She still lets me eat what I want, but she is now cooking, like, veggie "meats"- veggie hot dogs and stuff whenever we have things like that, which has been once this week.
While I have never eaten much meat at all (and very limited sorts at that), I ate one veggie hot dog today, and it was difficult for me! I mean, I wanted to try it, and I ate the entire thing. However, I'm not sure if this veggie meat idea is for me. Is there any other way that I can obtain enough protein without having to eat veggie hot dogs and veggie burgers? Like...tofu? Or.. have no idea. Please help! Thanks so much. Any help appreciated!
(By the way, yes, a definite, MEGA, animal-lover. (I have 2 horses and a dog, to be exact); I know, the hypocrisy, but I am trying to let that go!) :)
There's also a book called Becoming Vegan that focuses on nutirition. Really, eat a well-rounded vegan diet with veggies, whole grains (try brown rice and quinoa to start), seeds and nuts, and legumes - beans of any sort (and lentils are especially good sources of iron, protein, fiber, and lots of other stuff). You certainly don't need the fake stuff.
Yes, I am so glad that I decided to begin reading this book; I think that it will really change my life and make me more healthier than I ever thought that I could be. Yes, that's great news! Grains are my absolute favorite. I eat them all the time and will eat all sorts of them. Yum. The only reason that I have been holding off all this time is because people kept asking me how I would get my protein, and I honestly didn't know. What a shame! To me, the idea of giving up meat is absolutely easy. I will just have to learn how make meals without it. =)
It's funny, the most common questions for Vegans and Vegetarians is "Where do you get your protein?" Do a little research and you will soon learn the protein is in everything--like Hazel said--and too much protein is one of the problems with the typical American diet. We do NEED protein, but it does not have to be the focus of every meal. And like I said, protein is present in a lot of vegan foods like grains, vegetables, beans and much more.
Take spinach for example. Did you know that 500 calories of spinach has near equal protein as 500 calories of red meat?! (33 g-34 g) (I learned this statistic in The China Study by Dr. Campbell) Now, you are going to be eating spinach for a long time to eat 500 calories worth, but it goes to show!
I know, right? People would ask me that whenever I even talked about considering becoming vegan, all the time. I believe that if more people knew that you could obtain protein from everything, many more people would abstain from eating meat. I definitely agree that some people take protein way too seriously. I'm actually studying protein in anatomy now (aspiring nurse), so this has peaked my interest. It's quite despicable that I know of some people who eat meat at every single meal; they even put meat in their pasta, without fail! X|
Anyway, not to rant, though, I just find that to be preposterous, myself. Any how, after learning this, I think I might become Pop-Eye. haha Interesting, thanks for the info!
Be careful with overdoing spinach. Eat it, I do on occasion - maybe once a week - and it contains a lot of good things for you, but because of the oxalic acid content in it, it can interfere with absorbtion of minerals, expecially calcium. So, while spinach and chard may have good amounts of calcium, a lot of it isn't absorbed due to the oxalic acid. That doesn't mean never eat them, just don't rely on them for calcium - cook them and eat them with other foods with calcium, as this is supposed to diminish the effect of the acid.
What you'll find is most people will ask you about protein, calcium, iron, and B12. Finish reading TKD, as Alicia addresses all of these. But, you can find other great books and resources online, like the link I sent you. Just become informed (no need to know everything all at once, just eat well-rounded meals while you learn, and then over time you will know more specifically which foods contain what), and then you will have answers for those who ask. Also, animal protein is not the best source of protein and calcium. The China Study, which Lindsay mentioned, is a good read with lots of info.
I can't eat soy or wheat so don't eat the fake meat crap at all and I think I get TOO much protein! I eat beans at least one meal a day, love to thin out some tahini (sesame seed paste) with water and make a sauce that I put on my veggies all the time, love almond butter and eat that for snacks , make humus (more tahini, chickpeas) a lot for snack.......
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