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Yeah, it's OK.
Between zero money and no ability to cook anything, I'm finding myself eating ham lunch meat because it's the cheapest protein in the stores I've been to.
I can get less expensive if I can get chicken ... even fish seems to be ridiculously expensive here ... and I'm right off the ocean! By a harbor!! Where there are fishermen!!!
Were I able to cook, beans, rice, lentils, would be very inexpensive and help a lot. But I can't cook. Best I can do is only, at most, 3 days a week (at best, not always) reheat a can of beans or do that microwave bag of rice.
So do the best you can.
Also, I've been on a lot of raw vegan sites and teams, and it's amazing how many people are not only not 100% raw ... they're not 100% vegan!
Every little bit we can do to educate people around us about animal cruelty, every bit we can do to eat plant-based foods, every bit we can do to get organic, free range, etc. helps. Even if it's not 100%, whatever animals we don't eat lightens the load!
Also, when it comes to cheap eats, think about using a crock pot / slow cooker.
You can get much tougher cuts of meat, that are much less expensive, and then put them in a crock pot with some water, on low 8-12 hours, and you've got tender meat.
Refrigerate it, the fat congeals and you can throw it out, and boom, it's low fat too!
Think of the native peoples of the world - they eat or use every last bit of an animal they kill.
Yeah, I can't bring myself to eat things like tongue or pigs feet, but still ... as much as the animal that is used, not discarded, honors the animals' death all the more.
"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." - Virginia Woolf
"Don't give up, just keep giving." character Sam on Touched by an Angel, episode Indigo Angel
"Keep Moving Forward" Disney/Pixar's Meet The Robinsons
"There is no problem that cannot be solved by chocolate" - Buffy, the Vampire Slayer
Hi I am new to all this but I did quit meat last July and the the most part dairy, I do eggs and fish and sea food. it is still hard since I don't cook and my wife is not real cooperative. so what I would recommend is don't take back meat For the sack of sanity, but at the same time don't stress if you do eat it, do just meat for now that give you egg dairy and fish. when you are more comfortable without then start eliminating something else, but again don'tstress take your time. as far as the kids go fix them what they like, but with you not eating it it can be a teaching experience where you can start teaching them about proper nutrition. DON'T STRESS
I'm with everyone who has advised to not get stressed about this. It's ok to take baby steps or to stray a bit from what you feel is the perfect diet.
My advice is to continue to focus on your veggies and whole grains as the base of your diet. And cut yourself some slack if you bring some meat/meat products into it.
Compare how you're eating now to how you were eating 6 months ago, 12 months ago, etc. Is it better overall? Then go you!
It can definitely be cheaper to cut meat from your diet, but if you don't keep track of the prices on your veggies, you won't be saving any money. If you're buying vegetables from far away or out of season, those prices can be really high! I know I've experienced that.
By the way, eggplant can go in almost anything. Add it to a stir fry if you want. Or just slice it drizzle with oil, salt, and pepper and bake it in the oven (that's my favourite).
I have to say that I find it cheaper to eliminate meat from the diet because I use a lot of dry beans as a substitute. Although I am trying to eat more fresh veggies than I did before and you have to be careful with what you select. For example I bought 2 small eggplants without looking at the price. Turns out they were 3.39 each. Holy cow. I couldn't believe it. I don't even have a plan for how to cook them because I don't have mozzarella to make an eggplant lasagna. I'm going to start a garden in a few weeks so hopefully this will help with the cost of veggies. Your kids may like to help with a garden. It would be fun and a good way to get everyone off the couch and doing something.
I agree, that's why I'm here. I like being aware to avoid things if I can, but I'm not one to have a fit if I'm in a situation and the only option is off "the list". Changes are easier if they are gradual and are made to work with your lifestyle. Good healthy living!
Ya...I wouldn't get overwhelmed with the all or nothing approach. Just take your time in blending or working towards a complete switch if you want. One thing about veggie alternatives is sometimes the taste is off or they aren't better for you (e.g. hydrogenated oil for the sour cream). There are different types of vegetarianism, perhaps just giving up red meat or pork would be you and your family's start. I was vegan for a very long time and ran into vitB deficiency, which was not fun. I've since added some meat back. Trying out seafood (taste buds have changed later in life again).
I'd imagine you need a really thought out plan for how to raise healthy vegetarian kids. Maybe you can have a family day at a bookstore and while they play or get read to you can be browsing those sort of recipe books and jotting down ideas.
I never look at veg as eating with restrictions. It had opened my eyes up to ethnic cuisine and broke me away from the diet my parents had raised me on (ICK!! which in the end your kids might say that about turkey hotdogs?! who knows?!?!)
The fact is, that to do any thing in this world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in, and scramble as well as we can.
- Sydney Smith
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefor, is not an act but a habit.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
(and we have taken it!)
Don't beat yourself up about it and don't stress. I found it easier to gradually start to cut back on meat as the main protein and then worry about the other stuff. The gradual change was less stressful, allowed me to explore and really try what I liked and was less expensive because it wasn't a shock to my pantry.
Now that I cook primarily vegetarian at home, and have the pantry for it, it is MUCH less expensive than eating meat everyday. In fact, with me being a full time student, my fiance and I are currently on what I call an "enforced depression era" diet until I find a summer job.
I highly recommend checking out FatFree Vegan Kitchen blog.fatfreevegan.com/ for some ideas. (I usually sub milk and eggs back in to her recipes to make them lacto-ovo). SusanV manages to make some really incredibly tasty stuff using no animal products. Her Red Beans and Rice, Smoky Refried Bean Soup, and Skillet Gardener's Pie are staples in my meal plans.
Good luck! Enjoy exploring new meals.
Edited by: CRESIDA at: 6/3/2009 (14:17)
Don't sweat it. Just take things slow. Keep looking here on Spark for more and more ideas. Let all your info that you learn start to direct you in different directions for ideas and you will find it easier and easier as time goes by.
Yes you can! Believe in your vision. Believe in your goals. Believe in your plan. More than anything else, believe in yourself.
D - Decide on an action plan.
E - Every thing is possible if you believe and work at it.
C - Consider your choices carefully.
I - Invite others to join you on your quest to become healthy.
S - Savor the feeling of each victory, big or small.
I - Invaluable lessons sometimes hurt, but are necessary for growth.
O - Optimism o
I started a vegetarian diet like 2 weeks ago and was doing really well! I still am I don't really have a craving for most meats but it's getting very expensive to eat like this! And the kids are getting bored I have run out of food Ideas they like!
I decided last night that I was going to add some meat back in but not red! The kids have been wanting meatballs and turkey dogs and such so I figured I would allow some meat like that into 3 meals a week. Since doing this I really don't fit in the vegetarian groups. I kept finding more and more things that weren't veggie like jell-0 and marshmallows bullion cubes in my cream of mushroom gravy! It was really starting to stress me out!
I am just trying to find a healthy lifestyle that I can enjoy and not be so stressed!
Well Ill stop rambling my son wants breakfast we slept in! lol It's nice for me with him in afternoon Kindergarten!