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Thinking Of Maybe Going Veggie

I have been an avid meat lover my entire life, I was first introduced to meat when my crazy dad decided to blend up a steak with vegetables in a small portion and feed it to me at the age of like 18 months. From then on I have eaten pretty much any meat I have come across including fried insects, lambs heart, chicken intestine, you name it I have probably eaten it.

My questions are though as follows.
- If I stop meat totally, cold turkey (pun unintended), will I have any kind of WDs?
- What vegetables and fruits will be best for replacing the iron, protein and anything else you gain from meat?
- Also I already eat plenty of fruit and veg, but how much of it really has been tainted due to GMO and crop spraying? I do not have the capacity to grow my own where I live so I have to deal with markets, not super markets but actual markets. Are there are ways to get around this?
matthewmartin

Comments

  • yildunyildun Explorer
    Hi Tom I am a veg head for the last thirty years..was a big meat eater but worked at pest controlled and had visited many abattoirs so went veg .I started by eating one veg meal a week
    Then two and so on...never looked back .nowadays there is plenty of choice about. Qourn,soya
    Etc.

    Cup
    Yildun
    oceancaldera207matthewmartin
  • The issue I have though is where I live, Thailand. They have meat in pretty much every single meal apart from lamb or beef. To a lot of Thai people being the notion of somebody being a vegetarian is something they have never heard of before. I eat out at food vendors mostly as it is easiest and cheapest, I also have vegetables and fruit at home in the fridge, but I have no means to cook anything apart from rice and boiling stuff in water.
  • The issue I have though is where I live, Thailand. They have meat in pretty much every single meal apart from lamb or beef.

    Can you get any pulses, beans etc?
  • Don't get too caught up in it. Cut back, substitute fish for meat where possible. Yilduns advice is good.
    I eat meat once a week, I eat the same as everyone else, no special meals required. Gradually other members of my family are eating less of their traditional diet . . .
    Beans and tofu should be possible for you?
  • Beans and tofu I am sure I could locate, but I wouldn't know what to do with them. I eat pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds but pulses? I literally wouldn't know what to do with them, plus I have no cooker to cook on remember, just eat my vegetables raw and steam rice unless I eat from a vendor which then they decide what goes in.

    I am hesitant to eat fish these days, even though I live in a good fishing town/port. Firstly because the water is not exactly clean and I am not too far down from the ever leaking Fukushima nuclear plant. I may be over worrying there but the sea is not the cleanest of places these days.
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    I have been an avid meat lover my entire life, I was first introduced to meat when my crazy dad decided to blend up a steak with vegetables in a small portion and feed it to me at the age of like 18 months. From then on I have eaten pretty much any meat I have come across including fried insects, lambs heart, chicken intestine, you name it I have probably eaten it.

    My questions are though as follows.
    - If I stop meat totally, cold turkey (pun unintended), will I have any kind of WDs?

    Usually not unless you don't replace it with a balanced veg diet. If you switch to a diet that is not balanced, then it's possible to crave it. But it's usually not a craving for the meat itself, but for the fat or protein or some other nutrient.
    - What vegetables and fruits will be best for replacing the iron, protein and anything else you gain from meat?
    The new four food groups is a good guideline. Although, it's a for a strict vegetarian. If you are still eating dairy, etc, It's even easier to get all that stuff. http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/vsk/vegetarian-starter-kit-new-four-food-groups

    Also, a group called The Vegetarian Resource Group has educational materiel that answers basically every vegetarian question out there. They are a very good vegetarian resource for everything vegetarian, hence the name. :) And they tell you exactly what to do with beans and tofu! :) http://www.vrg.org/

    As for protein, you generally don't even have to worry about it. As long as you are getting enough calories, (AKA eating enough food of whatever) As long as you are eating enough food, it's near impossible to not get enough protein.

    The best course of action is not really to focus on specific foods or specific veggies, etc. but to just eat a wide variety of different kinds of foods from the 4 veg food groups.
    - Also I already eat plenty of fruit and veg, but how much of it really has been tainted due to GMO and crop spraying? I do not have the capacity to grow my own where I live so I have to deal with markets, not super markets but actual markets. Are there are ways to get around this?
    I personally don't concern myself with gmo or crop sprayed food. Although, getting it from a local farmers market, instead of a big supermarket, is usually better when it comes to that sort of thing.

    oceancaldera207
  • An easy trick when you cook rice is to replace half the amount of rice (take one that cooks in about 30 minutes) with lentils (ones that also cook in about 30 minutes). Cook them together with some bay leafs, very tasty. Lentils are rich in protein, the combination with rice allows the body to produce a complete protein (with just lentils, the body cannot do it).
    zombiegirlblu3reecvalue
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    beans, lentils and nuts are good ways to get protein and healthy fats. Because of your younger age, if you are not including those things in your diet you could end up lacking protein. Dark leafy greens and I think beets are good sources of iron. Vitamin B can be a challenge, but you can take a supplement for that and they are really cheap. On average a serving of most fruit or veggies has only 1-2 grams of protein. You probably need more like 70-80 being a younger male. Hard to eat that many veggies in a day, lol. Rice does have a little more protein, brown rice more so than white rice. Whole grain products (bread for example) have more protein than their white counterparts. Dairy can be a good source, especially greek yogurt if you can get that there. Good luck! You'll get the hang of it. I tend to see that people I know have the most success if they gradually phase it out rather than go cold turkey, it gives them time to adjust what they are used to eating otherwise such an abrupt change can lead to failure for lack of knowing what to do/what to eat. But everyone is different and some people do fine with cold turkey. Best wishes!
    oceancaldera207
  • zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifeless in a dry wasteland Veteran
    Are the street vendors always changing or do they tend to have regular spots? I bet you could find some veg-friendly options if you did some digging. I don't live in Thailand, but I recently found out the hot dog vendor I've walked past innumerable times had a veggi dog all along... Who knew? Not me because I never bothered to read the sign... lol. See what assuming gets you?

    There is no way around it though, if you intend to continue to eat out frequently, it will vastly limit your choices. Although, as a weird side note, after years of being veg, when I go to restaurants with more than like 4 veg options... it feels too overwhelming now! Lol.

    The only withdrawals I think you should expect wouldn't be comparable to say, a drug or a real addiction. You might just miss meat on a taste level. But it's just a craving thing though, I've never heard anyone say they got like headaches or any sort of real WD symptoms.

    Green leafy vegetables are good for iron: kale, spinach, swiss chard, etc.

    I couldn't tell you anything about the GMO markets in Thailand. Do they have a system in place for organic labeling like they do in the US? That's really the only way around it here. But also, try not to get too worked up about the small details. If you're suddenly worried that cutting out meat means eating more veggis and they might be GMOs, well, it's likely the animals you eat have been eating GMOs all along... so... yeah. This probably isn't that helpful, heh.
    blu3ree
  • misterCopemisterCope PA, USA Veteran
    I went vegetarian quite suddenly about eight months ago.


    - If I stop meat totally, cold turkey (pun unintended), will I have any kind of WDs?
    - What vegetables and fruits will be best for replacing the iron, protein and anything else you gain from meat?
    - Also I already eat plenty of fruit and veg, but how much of it really has been tainted due to GMO and crop spraying? I do not have the capacity to grow my own where I live so I have to deal with markets, not super markets but actual markets. Are there are ways to get around this?

    1. Not that I noticed. I only ever craved bacon, and only then if I smelled it. However, every time I've had any kind of meat since switching, it has bothered my stomach.

    2. Darker fruits and veggies contain more nutrients. Be careful to get enough iron and B vitamins. Personally, I eat a lot of fortified cereal for this.

    3. I don't know the answer to this, but I'd imagine local markets are a safer place to get your food than supermarkets.

    Also, it's pretty ironic to me that you are having trouble finding vegetarian options in Thailand because, here in the U.S., Thai restaurants are the only place that I've found that offer a completely vegetarian menu (with numerous options, no less).

    Good luck to you!
    blu3ree
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Local markets and supermarkets in Bangkok get all their fruit and veggies from the same place, with the exceptions of supermarkets which bring in fruits and veggies that don't grow in Thailand. The main distributor market is down along the river in Bangkok, and I've been there and watched the stuff unloaded and the small vendors and supermarkets there buying their loads. It's not much different in the smaller cities and towns...usually one or two distribution points.

    There's no shortage of fresh fruits and veggies in Thailand.

    The problem is more in preparing them.
  • I know some vegetarians who still eat bacon! Strange but true.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Jeffrey said:

    I know some vegetarians who still eat bacon! Strange but true.

    I guess I can understand that depending on which primary reason a person is vegetarian.

  • CittaCitta Veteran
    Jeffrey said:

    I know some vegetarians who still eat bacon! Strange but true.

    Well I as a committed and uncompromising carnivore on ethical grounds, have been known to eat a pea.
    So that would be only fair.


    Dandelioncvalue
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Citta said:

    Jeffrey said:

    I know some vegetarians who still eat bacon! Strange but true.

    Well I as a committed and uncompromising carnivore on ethical grounds, have been known to eat a pea.
    So that would be only fair.


    As long as it was only one pea, you're all right!

  • I've found that protein powders really help balance out a vegetarian diet. Soy, whey and brown rice protein are great, and should be reasonably available via mail order almost anywhere. These can help lessen the insulin spikes if carb rich foods, (protein slows absorption of sugars) which is what people usually eat a lot of when making the transition to veg.
    Switching to a high carb low protein diet suddenly may make you feel weak and hungry at times due to blood glucose level swings... A person might think that these feelings are somehow due to not eating meat, but really they can be mitigated by balancing out your carbohydrate/ fat/protein ratios. Make sure you're getting good amount of all three in every meal. It takes a little planning but once you get used to it, it's not difficult.

    zombiegirlJainarayan
  • blu3reeblu3ree Veteran
    edited August 2013
    having gone veggie 2.5 yrs ago although a few times i have eaten chicken since. my body felt like it was growing better muscles, bones especially mind emotions are more easily controlled probably because when a cow is about to be slaughtered at least here in america they are watching their fellow animals get their heads chopped off and crying out in pain thus producing anxiety which taints the meat then the consumer. i do feel weaker some days when i dont eat enough protein but with a little self determination i always pull through. also my immune system has been great haven't been sick for more than 1-3 days. previous years at around winter-spring transition i would somehow always come down with a fever havnt had one since i turned for the most part vegetarian.

    make sure you dont dive into it without researching what the body needs such as iron and b12. eat a well rounded diet not just all grains or all leaves. kale is a huge thing for vegetarians as it has alot of calcium and when the body doesnt get enough calcium it will "eat" its bone marrow causing early osteoporosis. b12 is a vitamin vegetarians may not be able to get much of though their are ways to get it like through sea weed but idk any places that sell sea weed around me so i take a supplement of methylcobalimin which is more highly bio available than the other cyanocobalomin which is a form of cyanide that your body purifies out the cyanide and takes in the cobalimin.

    eat foods that have things in them naturally such as beans contain: iron, packed with protein and fiber. kale: calcium, potassium (vitamin K), and vitamin A. potatoes are great as they have: thiamin, niacin, folate, magnesium, copper, vit. c, iron, riboflavin, vit b6, phosphorus, zinc. quinoa is an amazing grain to eat it has zinc, iron, folate, magnesium, b6, and a minimal amount of calcium. it also has all the essential amino acids your body needs!! also has a buttload of protein! the incas (a tribe that once called south america home) honored it as a sacred crop. ( or so my bag of organic quinoa suggests) but this as well is hard to digest so eating it with ginger tea or something will help.

    some things may be hard to digest like beans and sometimes kale (for me at least) so i like to spice food up with herbs that will help me digest them better such as ginger tea cayenne pepper.

    id recommend getting almonds rather than peanuts or any other nut because almonds have calcium and iron and are healthier than most other nuts also try to find the ones that are NOT roasted because the nuts when they are eaten raw they have a special bacteria in them that help your body digest them better and when their roasted it kills that bacteria. the better your stomach digests stuff the more nutrition youll receive and less likely youll develop ulcers in your intestines. one of the best ways to ensure youll better digest stuff is to chew your food thoroughly and be calm while eating because when you remain in a calmer mood your digestion is stronger.

    id recommend reading the Ayurveda Bible by Anne Mcintyre also go to DRoz.com he has alot of good material for making healthy choices i know you dont live in the US and i am not sure of the situation as far as your local market and the availability of supplements and foods.

    the reason why im saying to read ayurveda bible is because it explains in a good depth what foods go well with each other so you can optimize your nutritional intake.

    no there are no withdrawals from not eating meat lawl. but if you do consume it again you may feel sick to your stomach as mistercope said.
    JeffreyzombiegirlS_Mouse
  • this is very relevant to me. i went vegan almost week ago just out of the blue. shopping for food in regular grocery stores is a little bit of a scavenger hunt but other than that it's great! i haven't been to a restaurant yet, that may be a little more difficult...
  • I also live in Asia remote .Plenty markets .Bought a Chinese made hot pot cooker and with that can do pretty much everything .Vegetable stews ,pumkin soup with garlic tofu etc . Easy .The restaurants here pretty much fry everything to s crisp with transfats and MSG .So now I lost 7 kilos and have more energy .However as Im in an area bombed with agent orange and defoliants by the Americans 40 years ago a bit worried about growing new limbs but nothing yet . An electric cooker here is less than 10 usd so go and get one . Cheers.
  • I've found that protein powders really help balance out a vegetarian diet. Soy, whey and brown rice protein are great, and should be reasonably available via mail order almost anywhere. These can help lessen the insulin spikes if carb rich foods, (protein slows absorption of sugars) which is what people usually eat a lot of when making the transition to veg.
    Switching to a high carb low protein diet suddenly may make you feel weak and hungry at times due to blood glucose level swings... A person might think that these feelings are somehow due to not eating meat, but really they can be mitigated by balancing out your carbohydrate/ fat/protein ratios. Make sure you're getting good amount of all three in every meal. It takes a little planning but once you get used to it, it's not difficult.

    @oceancaldera207 I'm glad you brought this up. It's true that protein and fat will blunt insulin spikes. Protein elicits a glucagon response, insulin's antagonist hormone. I've mentioned here and there that I'm non-celiac gluten-intolerant as well as insulin resistant. Rice and oats don't seem to bother me or make me crave more. Wheat is an absolute trigger for me for overeating. I'm thinking of attempting a lacto-ovo-veg diet (again :rolleyes: ).

    I'm at work now, and will probably get a container of oatmeal (about 1+ cup) and a Muscle Milk r.t.d. shake. I do have a small buffalo chicken wrap for lunch, but I'll add more vegs. to it. And I hope to make some days completely veg. I know it takes baby steps.
    oceancaldera207
  • I wish I could go veg but I am addicted to meat. That coupled with the fact that I am a very picky eater who has never liked many fruits or vegetables makes for a very difficult transition to be a veggie eater. Fruits never taste sweet to me, they all taste tart except bananas for some reason. most vegetables are okay as long as they are covered in olive oil and garlic and roasted or grilled. I have tried some TVP recipes that seem to work for certain types of meat substitutes but its a pain to make. I wont eat seafood. If it smells even the slightest bit fishy i think of a garbage-can smell so I cant get past that. I wish there was a pill to take that could make you get sick when you eat meat, that way you would be forced to eat anything but.
  • I am a vegan since 8 months now. I eat a wide variety of fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts, grains and seeds. I take protein, Algea DHA supplement and calcium (that also includes vitamin D and some minerals) supplement. I think I am doing pretty well. I can put my mind at rest and never look back.

    I thought I would miss my favorite chinese broccoli beef stir fry, but I can still enjoy the same dish using portobello mushrooms to replace beef. And life is good! :)
  • Since the biological/nutritional side of the subject has been covered, I won't comment on that.

    I think your biggest challenge isn't going to be biological but social. That is, if you like being around different people, being a strict vegetarian will introduce tension and division. When there is a social situation with food present, food serves as a kind of a glue that holds those present together, a medium through which they connect. And as vegetarianism is still completely incomprehensible to the vast majority of earthlings, except in India and some Western cities, you'll face some degree of marginalization as an uncompromising vegetarian.

    I experience something similar because I do not drink, ever. While I believe that alchohol is not right for me personally, I also realize that the depth of my socialization is compromised by my unwillingness to drink. There are a lot of groups out there that I cannot fully enter because of my radical stance towards alcohol. I also suspect that if I started drinking I would not stop because I wouldn't be willing to give up that extra intimacy.

    As for meat, I take the Buddha's approach: eat what is put on my plate. And if I'm the one putting food on my plate, than there's no warm-blooded animal's corpse on there. That is my middle way solution. That way I pay my respect to both for-legged and two-legged beings.
  • I have honestly been thinking about going Veggie myself, mainly for health concerns. I have high cholesterol for my age, and terrible blood pressure to boot, not to mention an extensive family history of heart related illnesses. I may still eat some fish or poultry every now and then. I'm also admittedly getting burned out on meat, since my family, despite the health problems, is one of those "MEAT AND A STARCH EVERY MEAL" type of families.

    I don't mind going veggie, my father used to be a vegetarian, and I quickly learned that good food is good food, even if there is no meat in it. I had some vegetarian Thai styled curry a few days ago, on a cold rainy day. It was delicious and satisfying to boot.
    Jeffrey
  • matthewmartinmatthewmartin Amateur Bodhisattva Suburbs of Mt Meru Veteran
    Jeffrey said:

    I know some vegetarians who still eat bacon! Strange but true.

    I eat tempeh bacon, wonder-of-modern-science soy bacon, coconut bacon. Working toward the day when people will have to say pork bacon to be understood by a waiter.

  • matthewmartinmatthewmartin Amateur Bodhisattva Suburbs of Mt Meru Veteran
    edited November 2013

    I also have vegetables and fruit at home in the fridge, but I have no means to cook anything apart from rice and boiling stuff in water.

    To start you might want to eat the same things you normally do, but without the meat. People's food habits are crazy stable once formed. On the other hand, if you do transition to a veg*n diet, it will probably be a life long habit.

    If I was in thailand and doing dorm style cooking, I would
    - soak beans, so they cook faster, maybe several days worth, it takes a long time to cook beans unless you use lentils (1hr -to 1.5 hrs depending on the bean), store the extra beans in the fridge.
    - rice of course. The extra rice gets turned into porridge in the morning. Throwing in a few beans is an asian way to make the porridge more interesting.
    - buy cans/jars of pre-made curry sauce, mix with the beans and server over rice. The curry sauce is the source of oil. If that doesn't exist, I would experiment with different ratios of coconut milk & chili sauce. I was just at a Thai grocer yesterday, can't remember if they had ready made curry sauce.
    - optionally some sort of other plant matter for fiber.

    I think I could live on that indefinitely.

    Oddly, I would have thought being in Thailand is not so much a problem. In the US, I find my self eating 80% of the time at ethnic restaurants, including Thai because they have more vegetarian/vegan options.



  • Invincible_summerInvincible_summer Heavy Metal Dhamma We(s)t coast, Canada Veteran



    My questions are though as follows.
    - If I stop meat totally, cold turkey (pun unintended), will I have any kind of WDs?

    Personally, I did not have any problems, but everyone is different. You may have to wean yourself off by first cutting out red meat, then chicken, then finally fish.
    - What vegetables and fruits will be best for replacing the iron, protein and anything else you gain from meat?
    Not sure if this is available in Thailand, but pretty much any dark, leafy greens are good for iron (esp when cooked). Quinoa and soy beans are good because they're complete proteins and have other nutrients that are found in meat as well.

    As a male vegetarian, the only real thing that I've found needs monitoring nutrition-wise is Vitamin B-12 and maybe Vitamin D. I honestly don't eat in a super-balanced way so I'm not sure what plant-based sources of B-12 there are.
    Also I already eat plenty of fruit and veg, but how much of it really has been tainted due to GMO and crop spraying? I do not have the capacity to grow my own where I live so I have to deal with markets, not super markets but actual markets. Are there are ways to get around this?
    Honestly, probably a lot. But you have to pick your battles, IMO. Eating a vegetarian diet is great in so many ways, it'd be a pity to be turned off due to agri-business concerns.
  • What about the Turkey and stuffing at Christmas ???
  • lobster said:

    Don't get too caught up in it. Cut back, substitute fish for meat where possible. Yilduns advice is good.
    I eat meat once a week, I eat the same as everyone else, no special meals required. Gradually other members of my family are eating less of their traditional diet . . .
    Beans and tofu should be possible for you?

    This is what I do! I have been eating a lot more fish than meat and it has worked wonders. Later down the road, I might cut down my fish intake and add even more veggies. Little by little seems to help me.
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    klmeer said:

    What about the Turkey and stuffing at Christmas ???

    Tofurkey! :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tofurkey

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