A Wife Loved Like The Church

On Becoming a Vegetarian

Posted on: August 18, 2011

I’ve flirted with vegetarianism since high school. By flirting, I mean, I’d try it out for a while but never fully commit. Over the last few years I’ve given it a lot of consideration. However, Jonathan loves meat and doesn’t find a meal to be complete without chicken/beef/fish. We’ve made some compromises over time with having vegetarian meals throughout the week, but they weren’t always the biggest hits. A few weeks back, I told Jonathan I wanted to go forward to being vegetarian but wasn’t asking him to come along. Just me. Then I got Eating Animals from Kelsey, to help me better explore vegetarianism. I’ll continue making meals with meat for the family, while I cut out my own. I’m turning into Lisa Simpson; a sole vegetarian in a family of meat eaters.

{photo credit}

Currently, I’ve cut meat out of two of my days. I don’t eat any meat at breakfast, lunch or dinner on those days. I’m trying to plan what days to cut out based on how easy it will be to make a vegetarian option for dinner. Meat and pasta? Then I make it a no meat day, since I can easily make a vegetarian option. Fried chicken? Well, I’m southern, so of course I will be eating chicken. By September, I want to be eating 3 days of exclusively vegetarian meals.

I’m giving myself to the end of the year to have a mostly vegetarian diet. Mostly vegetarian because I will continue to eat fish. I’m sure some vegetarians out there will immediately tell me fish is meat and therefore I’m not actually vegetarian. True, true. However, I have some pretty strong feelings about eating fish over other meats. I won’t expound in this post, but will answer any questions someone might have.

Surprisingly, throughout my pregnancy I’ve seen just how easily you can become vegetarian without the sacrifice of vital nutrients. Most people immediately think that meat is their only option for high protein, but that’s really not true. Between beans, yogurt, milk and cheese alone, you open yourself to a huge world of high protein foods. Add in whole grains and in one snack, I can knock back 15 grams+ of protein. Pretty great if you ask me.

I’ve decided to take baby steps toward becoming vegetarian so that my body doesn’t kick into fight or flight and I stand a better chance of making the transition smoother and long lasting. Here’s to becoming a vegetarian!

Are you vegetarian? Or have you ever tried being vegetarian? Do you have any great recipes to pass along?

Visit Alicia at Alicia’s Homemaking for more Try New Adventures Thursday.

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16 Responses to "On Becoming a Vegetarian"

(Katie’s blog stalking friend here) Good for you! We have a great vegetarian cookbook: “Vegetarian Express” by Nava Atlas. It is an old book, so I am not sure if it is still in print, but there are some great recipes in there. And a lot of the recipes you can easily add meat/chicken/fish to for the rest of your family.

There are some days I don’t eat meat, and when I was single and living alone there were probably a lot more of those days. I think I could give up fish and pork for good. But give up Chick-fil-A? Not sure I could do it.

That was supposed to say I could give up BEEF and pork. Fish (mainly shrimp) would be hard.

I was a vegan for a year or so, then started eating seafood again (while still not eating meat or dairy, there is not a word for this – fishy vegan maybe?), then when I got pregnant, I started eating dairy again. I know I could have continued to be dairy free and have a healthy pregnancy but it involves much more nutrition and meal planning, and I just didn’t want to take the chances. I haven’t eaten meat in six years.

I got married last year and my husband does eat meat, although he is pretty great about being open-minded to vegetarian meals. We eat seafood for dinner once or twice a week, and I make maybe two dinners a week with meat for him and meatless for me, so he ends up eating about three vegetarian meals a week. He noticed that he feels much more healthy than he did before (but part of that is probably just because he didn’t regularly make and eat complete healthy meals when he was single!).

It sounds like your husband might be more attached to meat. I strongly suggest stir-fry type meals. You can cook the vegetables in a sauce, meat in one pan and perhaps beans/tofu/something you would want to add to it in another pay and then split the vegetables and sauce into the two protein pans for a few minutes to mix it all together. That’s worked really great for us (but obviously, you can’t do it every night). Also, make your own kind of meals, like tacos, burritos, or individual pizzas work really great!

Good luck. I’m glad you’ve decided to do this over a long period of time because it can be difficult at first!

A couple weeks back, I listened to the book “In Defense of Food,” and a person that eats mostly vegetables and occasional meat (the author suggested less than 1 serving a day) is a flexitarian, or semi-vegetarian. It pretty accurately described how I eat, I just didn’t know it had a name. I’ll go days without meat and not really miss it.

I believe a vegetarian that eats fish is a pescetarian…in case you need a title.

I don’t know how I feel about the option of becoming a vegetarian. My husband would never agree to it for himself. He’s a meat and potatoes guy for sure. So if I did go vegetarian, like you, I’d be going it alone. (My girls wouldn’t think of giving up their chicken nuggets and hotdogs! Lol!)

I think it would be fairly easy for me though, because I love pasta and vegetables so finding meals for myself that I’d enjoy wouldn’t be a problem. I suppose I’d have to spend some time researching the long term health benefits of being vegetarian before making the lifestyle change.

Keep us posted. I’d love to hear how you’re doing with your transition. πŸ™‚

Blessings,
Rosann

We gave up eating meat and dairy about six months ago and love how we feel! We really don’t even miss them. We do occasionally eat fish and shrimp. I have been amazed at the vegan options such as muffins, cakes and dressings that are available where you don’t have to use dairy and they are all so delicious!

Have I told you before that I love your blog? You speak my language πŸ™‚

After watching Food.Inc, my husband and I were both convicted to eat more naturally/organic. This involved new meal planning and changing our grocery budget drastically. No more boxed food I’d get free after coupons!
We had to cut down on the meat we were consuming. It’s been almost 2 yrs since we started our adventure. We now eat red meat once-twice a month. We eat some type of fish/salmon once a week and a chicken/pork/turkey meal twice a week. That’s all the meat we purchase. Our portions were cut drastically, too. Instead of using 4 chicken breasts for all of us, I’ll use two and make larger “side dishes”. we’ve found a number of vegetarian meals even our 3 year old asks for. I mean, who needs meat in a lasagna really?
I used to suffer from severe migraines. Would you believe I haven’t had one since?!? Turns out, preservatives/MSG were the cause of my debilitating days…. And my husband lost 40 lbs. crazy men and their metabolism.
We’ve been talking about cutting our meat consumption even more since we’re coming up with more meatless meal recipes we love. You let me know what kind of recipe you’re looking for and I can email you some of our favs if you’d like.

I could easily go vegetarian. The men in my life….I’m not so sure. I couldn’t do vegan. One thing is for certain—none of us could live without cheese πŸ™‚

Would love to hear your journey and discoveries as you make your transition!

Ahhh… that’s Nikki.

I think Food Inc {along with several other documentaries and books} have been a real driving force for me wanting to become vegetarian. Plus, I figure if I’m not eating meat, it frees us up to buy more free range meats for the rest of the family. And that perhaps the girls and Baby Boy will slowly turn vegetarian when the time comes.

And lasagna without meat? Totally doable! Just made some awesome zucchini mushroom lasagna this weekend that was a total hit.

Also… life without cheese isn’t worth living. πŸ˜‰

So, what does Jonathan think about the idea?
I like the concept of doing it gradually–that seems really smart.
I must say, one of the things I crave most during pregnancy is STEAK, so I can’t even fathom doing this at the moment, even though I love meatless meals, too (Zucchini Parm, anyone?)….

He’s totally fine since it’s just me and that it’s gradual. Not sure what it will look like for date nights and such, since I’ll have to be more mindful of where we eat.

I’m one of those people who needs a little meat in their diet, or else I feel very ill and irritable. With that said, I really need to have more veggies in my diet, and I think having more meatless meals a few times a week would be helpful.

I love your gradual plan! It’ll help you build your recipe repertoire and get some strategies down, so by the time your transition is over, it probably won’t feel weird at all. Although I’m not opposed to eating humanely raised meat, I can’t completely shake the “Why eat meat if I don’t need to?” question. However, since I’m now in a house full of meat-eaters, the convenience factor is definitely a temptation since I’m not ethically opposed. (As you can see, I’m still mamby-pambying around with my decision.)

If there’s not a good vegetarian meal on a restaurant menu, I often order a side salad and baked potato (or sweet potato fries). It doesn’t have a lot of protein, but I enjoy both things and figure that I eat out seldom enough to make up the protein in another meal.

I too have been intrigued by the idea. We were originally created that way! Gen 1:29

As long as you are including dairy products in your diet because you need a steady supply of B12 which is mostly found in meat. People who are vegan and don’t have dairy may require supplements. If you aren’t vegan then dairy will supply your B12. And iron is the other one to watch out for. Otherwise your nutrient levels should be fine.

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