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Balanced vegetarian diet

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:01 am
by Miroku
Hello,

I want to try vegetarian diet and would be happy if older more experienced people gave me some tips. I mostly tried reading some articles, etc. however those mostly made me scared as I know nothing about workings of the body. So do you have some advice how to go vegetarian especially if ones budget is pretty tight?

If it helps I love marmite. :oops:

Re: Balanced vegetarian diet

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:37 am
by Johnny Dangerous
When I was veg in my 20s I ate a ton of beans and rice with veggies (greens usually), and I bought an Ital cookbook for ideas, some of the recipes were delicious, though the ingredients were sometimes hard to come by. I added egg or cheese/dairy as needed.

Unlike being vegan, if you feel ok I don't think it's exceptionally hard, especially if you are ovo- lacto.

Beans, rice, veggies (lots) occasional egg or cheese when needed.

If you want taste, it's worth learning to make some Indian dishes. Channa Masala for instance has protein, is delicious, etc.

If you're going to be veg, not go broke or drop your standards, learn to cook IMO.

Re: Balanced vegetarian diet

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:06 am
by amanitamusc
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:37 am
When I was veg in my 20s I ate a ton of beans and rice with veggies (greens usually), and I bought an Ital cookbook for ideas, some of the recipes were delicious, though the ingredients were sometimes hard to come by. I added egg or cheese/dairy as needed.

Unlike being vegan, if you feel ok I don't think it's exceptionally hard, especially if you are ovo- lacto.

Beans, rice, veggies (lots) occasional egg or cheese when needed.

If you want taste, it's worth learning to make some Indian dishes. Channa Masala for instance has protein, is delicious, etc.

If you're going to be veg, not go broke or drop your standards, learn to cook IMO.
Good advise imo especially that last part. :twothumbsup:

Re: Balanced vegetarian diet

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:02 am
by DNS
"What do you even eat?" is a common phrase you'll hear from omnivores. As if they only eat meat. I don't know anyone who only eats meat (pure carnivores are lions, not humans). Many people don't realize how much of their food is already vegetarian (I don't mean you, I mean those who use that phrase when talking to a vegetarian). For example, they'll eat spaghetti with pasta sauce, a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and meat balls, not realizing that most of the meal is vegetarian and would be completely vegetarian if they just omitted the meat balls.

When I first became vegetarian, I was eating too much cheese and put on some weight. Then I reduced the dairy way down and the weight went back to normal.

To start you might want to eat some foods high in protein, so you don't feel too hungry or miss any meat. For example, meat substitute type foods, vegan deli slices, veggie burgers, falafel, etc. Eventually, you might find yourself moving to other vegan foods, including salads, stir fry veggies, etc.

Re: Balanced vegetarian diet

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:47 am
by Mönlam Tharchin
:good:

You have a lot of meatless things in your diet already, so you aren't starting from scratch :smile:

Learn some basic cooking techniques, even before you switch over. That'll make life much easier. How to fry something, make a batter, boiling different pastas, dumplings (super easy), making a stirfry, and so on.

Any cookbook worth its salt will explain how to do things like reduce a sauce, or what heat level to use for how long.
I learned so much from "Japanese Vegetarian Cooking", but you do have to commit to a set of ingredients.

If you don't mind swearing, "Thug Kitchen 101" is an amazing guide to vegan cooking, all kinds of meals, every recipe I've tried has been delicious.
There's a cake recipe with no butter or eggs, and it's good!

Beans, rice, nuts, and fruit will become your new best friends. Cheap, versatile, filling.
Nutritional yeast or a decent hot sauce, always good.
If you don't already eat many vegetables, it can take time and experimentation with those.

Premade vegetarian foods at the grocery store are hit or miss, and often expensive.
That said, if you get Boca where you live, they make a good textured vegetable protein.
If you add some spices and fry it in olive oil, there's a decent ground beef substitute.

And look into making seitan. It's a lot like making dough, except you can cook and season it like meat.
I'll share my recipe if anyone needs one.

Much of changing your diet is just changing habits, one by one :smile:
And if you come to have a certain view of animals, going veggie is a good choice, worth the effort.

Re: Balanced vegetarian diet

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:59 am
by Miroku
Thanks for the ideas guys. I just have to state as my pride depends on it, I actually am a decent cook and have been cooking for myself for the last five years. :D

What made me ask this question is mostly that most articles talk about not having enough B12, calcium, iron and some other stuff I do not understand. Plus for some reason most of what is available online seem to speak to vegans mostly? :D Which is nice, but does not really tell the tale of someone who did not give up dairy and eggs.

Thank you for the suggestions tho. Monlam I would love to hear about that seitan recepy!

Re: Balanced vegetarian diet

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:20 am
by Grigoris
Lacto-ovo vegetarianism is actually really easy.

I have been lacto-ovo for over 20 years.

Originally I was training hard at least five times a week.

Now I am 50 years old and still train hard at least three times a week, and still vegetarian, with no health problems at all.

In a pinch (if you are an athlete) you can just take a whey protein supplement and still get all the protein you need, while remaining vegetarian.

Re: Balanced vegetarian diet

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:31 pm
by seeker242
A balanced vegetarian diet basically means a wide variety of whole foods. Can't go wrong with that. :smile: It's not specific but that's the point, a wide variety.

Re: Balanced vegetarian diet

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:24 pm
by Vasana
It all depends on your constituion and health I think. Some people have no trouble while others find it difficult.

Learning about food energetics from a Chinese food therapy and/or ayurvedic/Tibetan-medicine perspective will be beneficial for health, life and for your practice.

Re: Balanced vegetarian diet

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:03 pm
by Johnny Dangerous
Miroku wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:59 am
Thanks for the ideas guys. I just have to state as my pride depends on it, I actually am a decent cook and have been cooking for myself for the last five years. :D

What made me ask this question is mostly that most articles talk about not having enough B12, calcium, iron and some other stuff I do not understand. Plus for some reason most of what is available online seem to speak to vegans mostly? :D Which is nice, but does not really tell the tale of someone who did not give up dairy and eggs.

Thank you for the suggestions tho. Monlam I would love to hear about that seitan recepy!
As Grigoris said, if you are ovo-lacto, I don't think it's that hard to get what you need. I don't think it works for everyone, but almost by default it's a healthy diet, unless you don't cook and just eat fries and Boca burgers all the time.

I'd also say limit your intake of processed fake meat stuff, a lot of those products are not particularly healthy, as well as being more expensive than other ingredients. I do not think highly of them, when I was veg (granted, far fewer products were available then) I cut them out mainly due to to cost, and to the fact that I didn't want this enormous sodium blast every time I ate.

Re: Balanced vegetarian diet

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:05 pm
by Miroku
Okay, thank you very much! Then it is time to try it. The worst thing that can happen is that I will think about what I eat a bit more (or so it seems).

Re: Balanced vegetarian diet

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:56 am
by Thomas Amundsen
Grigoris wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:20 am
Lacto-ovo vegetarianism is actually really easy.

I have been lacto-ovo for over 20 years.

Originally I was training hard at least five times a week.

Now I am 50 years old and still train hard at least three times a week, and still vegetarian, with no health problems at all.

In a pinch (if you are an athlete) you can just take a whey protein supplement and still get all the protein you need, while remaining vegetarian.
:good:

Impressive. Most impressive.

Re: Balanced vegetarian diet

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:40 am
by Knotty Veneer
Would agree with most of the advice here. Eat a varied diet but be sure to include lots of greens. Make sure you get enough protein with lots of beans, lentils, and whole grains. Don't go crazy with dairy. Thre is always a tendency especially when you first go veggie to replace meat with cheese in the diet - that's not healthy. I also would advise to try to stay away from fake meat products and the like - they are often highly processed and not that good for you. I'm sure if you experiment and keep trying new recipes and foods you'll be fine.

Good luck!

Re: Balanced vegetarian diet

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:15 pm
by Sentient Light
If you have access to an Asian supermarket, look for frozen fried tofu in the freezer section, if you are like me and largely unable to cook tofu in an edible manner.

There will be one aisle (at least) that is completely vegetarian, with a few Buddhist companies producing the foods. Look for some stir-fry sauces here, as well as some canned bamboo shoots. In the produce aisle, grab whatever vegetables you like. This is a go-to preparation for me, maybe even throw a cracked egg in there, just stir-fry it up over some rice. If you grab some dry noodles while you're there, maybe some mushrooms and baby corn as well, you can use pretty much the same ingredients with a different sauce and do a fried egg noodle kind of dish (mi xau, lo mein, whatever you want to call it).

Re: Balanced vegetarian diet

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:40 pm
by Bristollad
If you're worried about protein then try to include 2 out of 3 of these:
  • beans/legumes,
  • grains and
  • nuts/seeds
By having 2 out of the 3 together, you will get a better compliment of amino acids. And it's not hard - peanut butter (nuts) on bread (grains), dhal (legume) and rice (grain), houmous (chickpeas-legume + tahini-seeds) etc.

Including milk, cheese, yoghurt and eggs means b12 shouldn't be a problem.

Other than that, a full compliment of all the vegetables you like (as long as you like more than fried potatoes), a colourful variety and you should be fine. Finish off with a varitey of fruit - apples, oranges, berries, bananas etc.

Re: Balanced vegetarian diet

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:01 pm
by Miroku
Thank you all for your suggestions! I am slowly making my way to figure things out and will try to implement as many of your ideas as possible.

There is still one thing tho. That is calories. How important are those? I know that calories can be easily accumulated when one eats enough carbs basically, however there is stil quite a lot that does not make much sense to me. I have tried some calories counting and apparently my usual diet should leave me heavily deficient (2 to 3 plates of food with rice, legumes and veggies per day). This usually according to those machines left me around some 1000 calories and together with some snacks (like bread and apples which I dont have usually but want to have more often) its around 1500, which is still pretty deficient. So I am starting to think this whole calories business is bit strange. Is there some advice if it should be followed or if it is useless? Btw I am 178cm and 77kg so not skinny really.

Re: Balanced vegetarian diet

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:51 pm
by justsit
Miroku wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:01 pm
There is still one thing tho. That is calories. How important are those?
The absolute number of calories is not important in and of itself; it is only important in order to maintain your ideal weight within a certain range. Ideal weight varies by individual, and depends on several factors including gender, height, bone structure, metabolic rate, etc.

If you can keep your weight at an point that is comfortable for you, you should be fine (assuming that you are keeping your diet balanced). You can try keeping track of your weight for a few months, check it every week at the same time of day and same clothing and see how your weight is trending. If you are gaining or losing too much, you can adjust your caloric intake and exercise level accordingly.

In any case, it's important to avoid "empty" calories that provide no nutritional value - junk food, soda, etc.

Re: Balanced vegetarian diet

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:36 pm
by Bristollad
Miroku wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:01 pm
Thank you all for your suggestions! I am slowly making my way to figure things out and will try to implement as many of your ideas as possible.

There is still one thing tho. That is calories. How important are those? I know that calories can be easily accumulated when one eats enough carbs basically, however there is stil quite a lot that does not make much sense to me. I have tried some calories counting and apparently my usual diet should leave me heavily deficient (2 to 3 plates of food with rice, legumes and veggies per day). This usually according to those machines left me around some 1000 calories and together with some snacks (like bread and apples which I dont have usually but want to have more often) its around 1500, which is still pretty deficient. So I am starting to think this whole calories business is bit strange. Is there some advice if it should be followed or if it is useless? Btw I am 178cm and 77kg so not skinny really.
Strange. I have one small plate of food at lunchtime and a bowl of cereal with an orange and a banana (typically) for breakfast and that gives me a deficiit of about 200 calories. Are you doing tons of exercise? Don't forget to make sure you have enough healthy fats in your diet - they are important. Oh and 178cm and 77kg adds up to a bmi of about 24 which is fine.

Re: Balanced vegetarian diet

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:14 pm
by Miroku
Bristollad wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:36 pm
Strange. I have one small plate of food at lunchtime and a bowl of cereal with an orange and a banana (typically) for breakfast and that gives me a deficiit of about 200 calories. Are you doing tons of exercise? Don't forget to make sure you have enough healthy fats in your diet - they are important. Oh and 178cm and 77kg adds up to a bmi of about 24 which is fine.
It is strange. :D I am mostly sedentary with two to three times per week walking as an exercise. And according to the calculators the bazal thingie for me is 1700 and ideal with the movement is 2200-2400 (which is BS I think as my taller fatter and more active friend is trying to get to 2400). I usually make one huge meal with 1.5 cup of cooked legumes and cup or two of cooked rice + veggies galore (as much as my budget allows so potatoes, onions, carrots, frozen veggies, etc.) and some apple or two. Also try to incorporate a milk or marmite each day (marmite when I have bread). And all that usually gets me to 1500.

I have to say that it is enough to fill me and I do not feel hungry nor lethargic or anything to be really honest.

Re: Balanced vegetarian diet

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:16 pm
by Miroku
justsit wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:51 pm
Miroku wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:01 pm
There is still one thing tho. That is calories. How important are those?
The absolute number of calories is not important in and of itself; it is only important in order to maintain your ideal weight within a certain range. Ideal weight varies by individual, and depends on several factors including gender, height, bone structure, metabolic rate, etc.

If you can keep your weight at an point that is comfortable for you, you should be fine (assuming that you are keeping your diet balanced). You can try keeping track of your weight for a few months, check it every week at the same time of day and same clothing and see how your weight is trending. If you are gaining or losing too much, you can adjust your caloric intake and exercise level accordingly.

In any case, it's important to avoid "empty" calories that provide no nutritional value - junk food, soda, etc.
Okay will try to do that. Thanks! :D This has calmed me down a bit.