I'm a fellow vegetarian who doesn't like tofu, either! I'm currently on a high protein, low carb plan and I'm using a lot of Morningstar Farms products. The "chicken" strips and the 1/4lb Grillers veggie burgers each have around 23 grams of protein per serving, and they make all kinds of products that I've found to be pretty good taste-wise.
I've had a few false starts, as well. All that matters is that you're trying now!
4/12/13 12:57 P
You are not alone. A lot of us have had false starts and re-starts too!
The big shocker for me was Chipotle/Qdoba burritos. The tortilla, white flour, is loaded with calories. The way I like them, a burrito could come in at 875 cal! Granted, it was two meals, but without the tortilla it was 575. That's with guacamole!
Fitness Minutes: (1,672)
4/2/13 3:39 P
Thanks for the tip on the protein/carbohydrate balance. I've suspected for a while that i wasn't getting enough protein in my diet but tracking my food with Sparkepeople has really highlighted it for me. I'm not a big fan of tofu, awkward for a vegetarian and have been using beans and pulses instead but I'm looking to discover different types of protein. Using Sparkpeople this past week, has made me a lot more mindful of my diet. I'm changing my emphasis to energy rich food with low GI, so that it realese energy slowly. And I've found that healthy snacks have become important to ensure that I'm getting enough energy during the day. It's shocking to discover how many calories are in foods like pizza, so that is motivation for me to consistently eat healthily.
to some degree eating vegetarian means you're going to be eating higher in carbs. you just have to accept that or do a lot of work to figure out a way to eat low[er] carb. personally i keep my carbs above 50% of my calories. one reason is because i tend not to eat meat, so my protein sources are also carb sources. i think one of the big keys in eating higher carb is where your carbs are coming from. if you're eating a lot of veggies, veggies are carbs and good for you and a place where you should be focusing. if you're eating a lot of wonderbread and twinkies you might want to start replacing some of those with better carb sources. love mac and cheese? make sure you're making it with broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, or squash. love pizza? again, load it up with veggies.
if you like eating smaller meals, all you need to do is eat more frequently if that works better for you. i eat about eight times a day, around 200 cals a pop. when i eat three square meals, i get overly stuffed at a meal and i'm hungry in an hour anyways. so eating small, frequent meals works for me. i'm never really hungry and i'm never really stuffed. so if you want to call your 200 cal breakfast good, just add 100 cals to one of your later snacks and call it good. it doesn't matter if you eat eight times or three times, it just matters that your meals together add up to be in your ranges and how you do it works for you.
you should also work on finding easy, tasty and healthy meals. they exist. it just depends on what you like. one of my favorite recipes that i have found in the past few years is the white bean and barley risotto with kale and tempeh from vegan on the cheap. it's a spend five minutes chopping and mixing and in 40 minutes you have a tasty meal with leftovers. and i love it because i can toss in any green in place of kale. i almost never make it with the tempeh, but it's still great. so it fits to what i have on hand [the last batch was 1 cup barley, 3 cups mushrooms, 1/3 cup celery, 2/3 cup onion and 3 cups swiss chard] and it's tasty pretty much every time. another favorite comes from mediterranean vegan kitchen , which is basically cook up some ditalini, drain it, add peas, black eyed peas, a little olive oil and parsley. quick, easy and tasty. and yes, cooking beans from dried can be time consuming, but once you get in the swing of it, it's easy. if you know you'll be home for a few hours tomorrow, you plop some dried beans in water to soak. when you're home tomorrow, you pop them in a pot with some new water and cook for 30 minutes to an hour. drain them and let them cool. pop them in the fridge overnight and the next day you can transfer them to the freezer so they are as convenient as canned. a lot of healthier cooking is looking just a little ahead and doing some things to make cooking quicker. the beginning of last week i knew would be busy. so on sunday i made up a few servings of brown rice and i baked a potato. when i came home on monday and wanted to make dirty rice for dinner, all i had to was start some water and add a serving of lentils when i walked in the door and then went on about my usual get home routine. when i headed back about 20 minutes later the lentils were done so i took some onions and peppers out of the freezer [i buy a bunch of onions, peppers and celery at once, chop them to the size i like and store them in the freezer so all i have to do is toss them in when a recipe calls for them. since everything i use those things in calls for them to be sauteed, i'm just saving myself time and money] sauteed them, added spices, rice and the lentils and i have dinner in about ten minutes of active time. tuesday morning i added oil to a pan, some onions and peppers, sauteed til translucent, added some of that baked potato that i chopped up into pieces, and two eggs and i had tortilla for breakfast, again, in around ten minutes. i also grabbed a chili i had made previously from the freezer and popped it down to thaw so that when i got home on tuesday, all i would need to do was to reheat the chili and either rice or potatoes to go with it. you just have to look a bit ahead and figure out what you can do now to make the busy times a little easier. it's possible and as you find good for you recipes that you like, you'll find ways to make them quicker and easier.
Fitness Minutes: (1,672)
3/30/13 10:03 A
Thanks everyone for your encouragement! I've made a good start today - porridge (oatmeal) with raspberries for breakfast. Not sure what to have for lunch. I noticed in the goals that breakfast should be about 300 calories, and I'm short. I find it hard to balance eating well and eating enough. Instead of driving to the supermarket, I'm going to walk. Starting to feel a bit hungry so think I'll have a snack. Being mindful is a real discipline in itself but I think I need to acknowledge the achievements small as they may be. So day 1 of being more healthy and hopefully losing weight! I was just thinking this morning that it's so much easier to eat tasty but unhealthy food and avoid the issue of being overweight. Easier in the moment that is, but then the shadow of guilt and feeling weak hangs over me. So for today, I'll make good choices and feel good about myself and then see how I get on tomorrow. And I actually do really like alot of healthy food, and half the time after eating fatty or sugary food, I don't enjoy it as much as I expect. So here I go ...
3/30/13 12:26 A
Success is often preceded by many failures. This is true of weight loss as well as many other things on life. Get back to health.
Fitness Minutes: (175,791)
3/29/13 11:32 P
For me, the best thing has been to spend some time getting familiar with what the site has to offer. I joined years ago and didn't do that. I've spent the last month delving into SparkPeople, making small changes here and there while I work out a plan that I'm comfortable with. I'm very happy with where it's taking me. Perhaps you should do something similar and find what works for you. Whatever you do, best of luck to you!
3/29/13 10:02 P
Think over realy hard if you really want to do it in the first place. Ponder if vegetarian is really for you, lifetime. Sometimes a person just is not ready to deprive themselves, at least a little, and, that is what has to happen, eating less, period.
Fitness Minutes: (220,664)
31,107 3/29/13 9:56 P
It took me quite a while to take SparkPeople seriously, but once I did I found the tools and supports very helpful. Start small and work towards making these small changes into healthy lifestyle habits. Good luck!
Fitness Minutes: (104,384)
11,913 3/29/13 8:59 P
The only real failure is if you stop trying!! Remember, baby steps. Don't take on too much at one time. That would overwhelm everybody. Pick 1 or 2 things to start with, then get those down and into good habits. Then pick more.
Good luck to you!!
Fitness Minutes: (1,672)
3/29/13 7:21 P
I joined Sparkpeople in 2011. I have to be honest, I haven't really used it. I've been too embarassed at my lack of motivation. I love food. And I'm vegetarian. Which means I often eat lots of carbs. I try to stick to whole grain but still my portion sizes are big. And my snacks are often unealthy. My weight has crept up. I don't really do any exercise. I've lots of excuses. None of them really valid. I'm hoping this time to stick to my aim to getting healthy. I'm going to give up alcohol for a while and try to cut out sugar, crisps and minimize fried food. A big ask for me. But i'm gonna try.