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I am 27yo with a 5yo and a 3yo.

I have been doing a lot of research on becoming a vegetarian. I have found that there are about 4 different levels. Can anybody offer any strong advice on beginning a quest like this? Is this a crazy goal? Any good shopping list guides or recipe guide? PLEASE HELP! I am serious about this, and just need a boost of help and encouragement.

Thanks to all in advance!

Fri. Aug 11, 5:58pm

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This is not an unrealistic goal. Being vegetarian does not mean eating boring food. The most important thing is to make sure you're getting all of the nutrients that you would normally get from meat. Beans (black, kidney, pinto, etc.) are great for protein and fiber, as are whole grains like barley and quinoa. Soy protein is really good for you, and things like tofu and tempeh have a lot of it. If you are new to these things, experiment with different cooking methods so that you're not turned off from the start. For instance, the first time I tried tofu, it was the extra firm kind, cubed and baked in a delicious pizza sauce. This was MUCH better than the barely cooked stuff that has a mushy texture. And the obviously, lots of fruits and veggies are important. Veggies like spinach and broccoli are good because they give you the iron that you would normally get in red meat. Some vegetarian cookbooks that I like the Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites and Quick Vegetarian Pleasures (by Jeanne Lemlin). Also, and have some good recipes. Good luck!

Friday, August 11, 2006, 9:31 PM

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i dont know if you are comfortable eating eggs, but some vegetarians are. They are a great source of protein. if you dont want to eat eggs but miss them in your breakfast, you can get tofu scamble mixes, that are pretty tasty.

Friday, August 11, 2006, 9:44 PM

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Going vegetarian is very easy, if you don't already eat most of your meals centered around meat. Almost all restaurants these days offer a few veggie options on menus, from gardenburgers to portabello mushroom sandwiches. I posted a recent comment in the thread "vegetarian food" with some suggestions. Check it out.

Saturday, August 12, 2006, 10:24 PM

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Why not just try to cook more vegetable oriented meals? ie, don't try to "become a vegetarian" and go cold-turkey so to speak, but just replace the meat in your diet with beans and tofu and vegetables... before you know it, you may become essentially a vegetarian without imposing rules on yourself. If you go too extreme at once, you are bound to drop it. I know exactly 2 long-term vegetarians, and almost everyone else I know was "vegetarian" for about 6 months (and insufferably self-righteous during that short period!). Better to just try to eat better longterm, IMO. Personally, I eat mostly "vegetarian" and have meat just a couple times a week. It's hard to avoid it altogether, I start craving protein. But if you discover great dishes you love with other sources of protein, you'll stop bothering with meat...

Sunday, August 13, 2006, 11:35 PM

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Thank you

Thanks to all for the good ideas! Keep them coming, I'm taking it all in!! I don't consume a lot of meat now, it's just a matter of not knowing what contains animal products. This is what I am concerned with, because I am determined to give it my all and I don't want to claim "vegetarian" then be eating something and not know. I like the ideas of the gradual process, and not cold turkey. Those are encouraging ideas.

Monday, August 14, 2006, 12:27 AM

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Try PETA for some other vegetarian info if you want to learn more about what products come from animals. I was vegan for many years and am still vegetarian and I know that animal by-products appear in many foods you wouldn't even think of (there is gelatin in frosted mini wheats, for example... what the heck is that doing in there?).


Monday, August 14, 2006, 9:14 AM

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In order to determine what kind of vegetarian you want to be, ask yourself why you want to be vegetarian. If it's about cruelty to animals, you might eat no meat, but still eat free-range eggs, or you might go completely vegan. If it's about health, you might decide to still eat fish (a good source of essential fatty acids). It just depends on why YOU want to be vegetarian.

Monday, August 14, 2006, 10:57 AM

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