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Beginner Vegetarian

aolaniel2aolaniel2 Posts: 1Member Member Posts: 1Member Member
Hey!
I’m new to this app, and also new to the vegetarian lifestyle. I’m currently on my first day of practicing it & I’d like some input! I know there can be a lot of mistakes that can lead me to being malnourished and feeling lethargic. I’d like to avoid this and try to have the smoothest ride with it. Is there anything you guys suggest? Recipes, meat alternatives, etc.? Thank you so much!

Replies

  • LyndaBSSLyndaBSS Posts: 2,842Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,842Member, Premium Member
    Welcome to the community! <3

    If you haven't already, read the stickies at the top of the getting started forum. Very informative and helpful.

    You might want to check out a group called Happy Herbivores. You're likely to gather lots of support and information there.

    Good luck with your journey!
  • Emmapatterson1729Emmapatterson1729 Posts: 704Member Member Posts: 704Member Member
    As above comment suggested, check out the groups. I'm sure there are plenty of vegan/vegetarian groups on here. I used to eat vegetarian, never felt lethargic or malnourished.

    I love vegetarian proteins. My favorites were Sweet Earth Grounds (and Sweet Earth burritos) and original Tempeh!

    The only supplement I took was a sublingual B12 (cheaper than going to my neurologist or OBGYN for B12 shots--long story).

    Got plenty of iron from veggies.

    Good luck!
    edited August 13
  • TrechechusTrechechus Posts: 2,849Member Member Posts: 2,849Member Member
    Happy Herbivores is a great group. Also, feel free to add me if you like!

    Make sure you balance your proteins. Rice and beans (together), soy (tofu, tepeh), etc. Another thing to watch for is your iron levels. The veg community commonly under-consumes iron and it can lead to anemia which might be the lethargy you are talking about. Though, as said above, iron and calcium are plentiful in dark leafy greens. I frequently have issues with lethargy which get sorted pretty quickly when I remember to take my iron supplements.

    Best of luck!
  • Emmapatterson1729Emmapatterson1729 Posts: 704Member Member Posts: 704Member Member
    Agree with above and want to add... Dates, mung beans, and beets all help iron levels.

    I make a broth of water, dates, mung beans, a little brown sugar and cinnamon for flavor, simmer on low for 2 hours. It's a great drink for iron!
  • BarbaraHelen2013BarbaraHelen2013 Posts: 237Member Member Posts: 237Member Member
    I’m vegetarian and I’ve never felt lethargic (not saying I can’t be lazy when I feel like it! 😉) or malnourished.

    I can see you’re in the US though, so I have no idea what specific items you have that I (in the UK), don’t or vice versa. What I can say is that it’s easier these days than it’s ever been to find protein sources. My supermarket chilled aisle (and increasingly the freezer section) is full of vegan and vegetarian foods if you’re looking for convenience style foods. Quorn, Tofu, Seitan, Pea Protein, Soy products, Shroomdogs, various veggie burger styles, Tempeh etc...

    There’s also the more traditional protein sources...beans, eggs, lentils, Greek yoghurt or Skyr, all sorts of fantastic cheeses (feta and halloumi in particular are fantastic at adding the savoury kick you might miss). There’s protein in a lot of vegetables too, plus the iron you need to supplement iron from the beans etc.

    I also use a lot of B12 fortified Nutritional Yeast flakes mostly because it adds that savoury tang to a variety of things without adding fat and as many calories as cheese, and it tastes good! Marmite too, for other B vitamins, but I’m not sure you have Marmite in the US?

    If you don’t use Pinterest simply google vegetarian recipes and the vegetarian world is your oyster (mushroom)!

  • aphrodite16ukaphrodite16uk Posts: 33Member Member Posts: 33Member Member
    I was vegetarian for 28 years and I’m now vegan. I’ve added you as a friend so you can look at my diary if you like. I’m happy to answer questions and share recipes.

    I don’t actually measure my iron intake, but my blood levels have always been fine, except when I had a flare up of Crohn’s disease a few years ago. I don’t think it’s as much of a problem as the meat industry would like you to think!
  • grimendalegrimendale Posts: 2,184Member Member Posts: 2,184Member Member
    I've was vegan for about two years and have been vegetarian for over a decade. +1 for Happy Herbivores group. I take iron, B12, and omega 3 (although my dietitian rolled his eyes a little at the first two, but it seemed a prudent precaution). There are all kinds of great recipes and recipe books out there, and most meat-based recipes can be made veg by just replacing the protein. Try all of them to see what you like and what works best in different scenarios. My big go-tos are tofu (you'll want to invest in a tofu press, and a decent one can be had for about $20), Morningstar veggie crumbles (which sub for ground beef in tacos, chili, pretty much anything), and Worthington's deli slices for lunch. My diary is open, so feel free to poke around for ideas or to add if you like. Good luck.
  • NovusDiesNovusDies Posts: 4,325Member, Premium Member Posts: 4,325Member, Premium Member
    The fact that you know that some people make a mistake with nutrition leads me to believe you will be fine. I would suggest that if you have a weight loss goal in addition to switching to vegetarianism that you set your weight loss goal aside for a couple of weeks and eat your maintenance calories.
  • Emmapatterson1729Emmapatterson1729 Posts: 704Member Member Posts: 704Member Member
    I was vegetarian for 28 years and I’m now vegan. I’ve added you as a friend so you can look at my diary if you like. I’m happy to answer questions and share recipes.

    I don’t actually measure my iron intake, but my blood levels have always been fine, except when I had a flare up of Crohn’s disease a few years ago. I don’t think it’s as much of a problem as the meat industry would like you to think!

    Are you sure it's Crohn's. That's why I stopped eating all vegetarian. My daughter and I were vegetarian, and vegetables and fruits started causing her to have constant internal bleeding.

    With Crohn's, almost all bleed anally after consuming vegetables and fruit. (they cause open sores through the entire digestive tract-from mouth to colon).

    It's not the meat industry. Because she had to be put on a medically bland diet (rice, oils, and oats). Then slowly reintroduce foods to find intolerances through elimination. This took a long time, because everytime a food caused bleeding, we had to start over with oats, rice, and oils. Slowly added salmon, chicken, bananas, avocados, and sweet potatoes into her bland mix.

    Crohn's is an ongoing nightmare. We've tried to reintroduce veggies again and again, always lots of blood!

  • aphrodite16ukaphrodite16uk Posts: 33Member Member Posts: 33Member Member
    Emma, sorry to hear about your daughter. Crohn’s is so painful during a flare up, I sympathise.

    I realise that I’ve been lucky, my Crohn’s is not as severe as some. I wouldn’t be able to eat a lot of raw vegetables, but I’m fine if they’re cooked. Every so often I decide to have a salad, then remember why I don’t usually eat them!

    Dairy causes problems for me. That’s not the reason I became vegan, more that I noticed a difference when I stopped eating lots of cheese.
    I also have to be careful what I eat before running. There are only a couple of breakfasts that I can eat on a running day, otherwise I end up with terrible cramps.

    I hope your daughter finds more foods that she can eat, and stays healthy.
  • Emmapatterson1729Emmapatterson1729 Posts: 704Member Member Posts: 704Member Member
    Emma, sorry to hear about your daughter. Crohn’s is so painful during a flare up, I sympathise.

    I realise that I’ve been lucky, my Crohn’s is not as severe as some. I wouldn’t be able to eat a lot of raw vegetables, but I’m fine if they’re cooked. Every so often I decide to have a salad, then remember why I don’t usually eat them!

    Dairy causes problems for me. That’s not the reason I became vegan, more that I noticed a difference when I stopped eating lots of cheese.
    I also have to be careful what I eat before running. There are only a couple of breakfasts that I can eat on a running day, otherwise I end up with terrible cramps.

    I hope your daughter finds more foods that she can eat, and stays healthy.

    Thanks!!! She's better, with anemia, heart palpitations, IBS (bloat and pain), and acid reflux. Just no veggies! And now, she eats more foods than most with Crohn's.

    Any disorder or disease that causes digestive issues can be a nightmare...I have my share, from missing gallbladder, diverticulitis (excruciating pain), and a lymphatic cystic disease.

    I used to be so proud that I had one of the few kids in America who'd choose broccoli or asparagus over McDonald's any day of the week, lol...

    Sorry, just Crohn's and veggies for most do not mix, you're very lucky!!!

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