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DAKOTA106's Photo DAKOTA106 SparkPoints: (10,637)
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8/9/12 5:21 P

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Good afternoon all! I always have the fixins for a green smoothie,I buy fresh fruit on sale,dice it and freeze it,and I make a big pot of veggie soup then freeze in individual size containers.Hope that helps. Diane

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EMILYREGINA's Photo EMILYREGINA SparkPoints: (8,084)
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8/9/12 12:43 P

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MCO girl: I had the same experience... it felt like so much pressure when people would say "why?" like I had to have some dramatic reason to justify the decision. Plus it was always during a meal surrounded by people eating meat and so it's not like it would be appropriate to launch into a whole thing about how inhumanely the animals are "grown" and treated and slaughtered and everything and how I don't feel right being a part of that... as someone looks down at their turkey sandwich or whatever. It's a lose-lose situation socially.

But I tell people the same thing, not to worry about working around my dietary needs, I'll always find something to enjoy or I'll bring my favorite dish! I usually eat a lot of beans too (not right now bc I'm in atkins induction... a challenge bc I have to eat fish and eggs for a few weeks which I don't like doing... but I can't wait to start adding beans back in!)... they find their way into at least 2 of my meals each day. They're so filling and so versatile!

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MCOGIRL's Photo MCOGIRL Posts: 91
8/8/12 4:56 P

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Good for you. I went vegetarian a year ago. I don't miss meat at all. I feel so much better about myself without having the guilt when I eat meat. You will think about the meals alot at first - because you are so used to eating meat - but eventually it becomes second nature and doesn't take effort at all. I do some of the meat substitute. Gardien has a great veggie burger that satisfies my urge for a "burger". I do a lot of beans though too....... I'll make a pasta and add garbonzo beans, or have a rice bowl with black beans, salsa, guacamole...... there are so many good recipes out there. i hated telling people at first that I didn't eat meat anymore. I didn't feel like having to "justify" myself. But now everyone knows..... I think the big thing is that when I eat at people's houses I tell them not to worry about making a meal that is vegetarian for me - I take care of myself.....

EMILYREGINA's Photo EMILYREGINA SparkPoints: (8,084)
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8/4/12 8:09 P

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I see some amazing tips on here. I got weird pressure from some friends, coworkers, and family members at first. One cousin even tried to shove a meaty rib into my mouth because she couldn't understand why I wouldn't just want to taste it. WTF???

Just know it gets better. Everyone eventually accepts it, especially if you don't make a big deal about it. I always bring veg-friendly dishes to share at other people's houses... that I know I can eat, and other non-veggies end up enjoying it too!

~Emily

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MOLLYGEE88 SparkPoints: (203)
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7/29/12 4:51 P

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Is the problem with the people around that eat meat that they harass you for eating meat? I've been veg for 6 years and it nevers stops. Just remember you're doing something awesome!

My suggestion is they are harassing you is don't bring up going veg. If you go out to eat with them, order an already veg option. Don't make a big deal about it. If you're eating at someones house, again don't bring it up, just eat what is veg.

If it is brought up by them, mention that most of their food is vegetarian friendly. A lot of times not-veggies forget that 2/3 of their meals (if they're eating a balance meal of protein/meat, vegetables, and a grain) is vegetarian. I've said this to a friend of mine. I brought up handful of foods that are veg friendly without having to eliminate an ingredient like mac and cheese or salad(usually).

Also, try fake meats to transition into the veg lifestyle. Quorn and Gardien are my two favorite companies that make mock meats. Tofurky peppered is also delicious for sandwiches!

DS9KIE's Photo DS9KIE SparkPoints: (265,880)
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6/24/12 2:13 P

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I go to the library and check out books, I have some recipes on my blog you can try.

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HIKELUV's Photo HIKELUV Posts: 177
6/24/12 12:47 P

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I agree with everything QUIXOTIC-HOPE had to say!

I would add that having a stash of quick veg staples is very helpful until you build up your stash of new or revised old favorite recipes. You don't want to have to go hungry, or eat meat (or dairy or eggs if you are excluding those), for lack of quick, easy options. Sometimes recipes bomb, or you're in a hurry. These foods can bridge that gap until the next meal.

Breakfast may not need any additional provisions, since most breakfast foods are vegetarian and quick and easy anyway.

Lunch and dinner quickies can be jarred sauce and pasta, nut butters, egg salad, tofu salad, bean salads, quinoa salads, canned soup, frozen bean burritos, frozen burgers, yogurt, hummus and crackers, and smoothie ingredients (frozen fruit, fresh fruit, protein powder, etc.).

Once you build up your collection of veg foods that you love it'll be a snap.

Good luck with the transition!





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QUIXOTIC-HOPE's Photo QUIXOTIC-HOPE Posts: 84
6/23/12 3:16 P

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I would make a list of your favorite meals, meals you feel you can't live without, and then find a way to make them without meat (assuming there's meat in them to begin with). The hardest part about starting a new diet is having to give up food that you love, so why not make that transition as easy as possible?

For instance, my favorite meal is spaghetti and meat sauce, so I made it with soy crumbles instead. I can still eat pizza - just with vegetable toppings instead of meat. There are great fake chicken and sausage foods out there. Some people argue that you shouldn't eat these products, as they're still processed and not all that healthy, but I'm a big fan of taking things one step at a time.

Also, I'd try to find ways to include more vegetables and fruits. I've found that chili is a great way to make a filling meal. The one I make includes a bunch of beans and green peppers and tomatoes, but you could easily add more veggies. I've discovered that I like tofu when I cut it really small, marinate it in soy sauce, and then cook it for 30 minutes so it gets a bit crispy.

I've found that having a cookbook really helps. There are great recipes online, but I like being able to hold the book in my hands and know that they're a bit more trusted than a random recipe online. I'd decide what's most important to you (healthy, fast, cheap) and then find a book that fits with that. For instance, I wanted to try more vegan food that wouldn't make me spend all my money, so I bought "Vegan on the Cheap." It's just another way to wade through the sea of vegetarian cookbooks out there.

Good luck! :)

~Katie~
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KESTES200's Photo KESTES200 SparkPoints: (564)
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6/23/12 2:44 P

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Try to look for fruits, veggies, whole grains, and low fat dairy products wherever you go and you'll be surprised how easy it can be to eat vegetarian (even among meat eaters). After all, most side dishes include a vegetable and a carb, so you can simply leave out the "animal flesh" and you have succeeded! Keep me posted and let me know if you need any more advice!

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TJAYGROS SparkPoints: (1,495)
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6/23/12 2:43 P

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It would probably help you if you write what is most "difficult" for you - is the the preparation, food ideas, peer pressure, your longing for certain flavors that you miss in meats, access to certain foods, ect?

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NCLW_1990 SparkPoints: (49)
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6/23/12 2:33 P

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Hello My name is Natasha and I've been wanting to go vegetarian for a while but everyone around me eats meat and I found it difficult. If anyone has any tips and meal idea's I would be very greatfull.

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