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Vegetables, kicking and screaming

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by downndirty, Jan 28, 2022.

  1. downndirty

    downndirty
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    So, I've decided to go vegetarian for a few months. I'm consistently 15 pounds heavier, and I'm getting to an age where I can tell my heart needs a break from constant salty and fatty meats. Also, with a few injuries, I'm not lifting much weight, and the protein I need is dramatically reduced. I've agreed to just stop buying meat at the store, and if I get the notion to go out to eat, get what I want on the weekends.

    The trouble is...food is a challenging thing to change. For me, culturally, the meal revolves around a meat: eggs and bacon for breakfast, a ham sammich for lunch, and chicken for dinner. My dad was a steak and taters on Friday guy for 50 years. So, I don't know how to shop, cook or plan for not eating meat. When I've done it before, it was for a meal or two, or when I did it for long-term, it just felt like constant snacking, which I don't want to do again either. I haven't done vegetarian in the US, and when I tried vegan for a few days, I dropped weight like I had run a marathon with AIDS.

    The focus right now is on a bunch of soups: lentil, black bean and some stuff I enjoy eating: homemade salsa, some pasta/pesto combinations, and some salads.

    Focus: How do you change your diet?

    Alt-focus: ever have to give something up for health reasons? What was it? How did it go?
     
  2. bewildered

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    Bumpy bump.

    I think I could easily go vegetarian. I love all sorts of bean, tofu, and egg dishes. One of my favorite meals is lentil curry with a side of saag paneer. I think pivoting towards "ethnic" dishes that are heavily seasoned is the way to go, as there are dishes in other cultures that are already normally vegetarian and not modified as a bastardized, lesser version of a typical dish. Hubs does not have quite the same opinion, so compromises have to be made.

    Not long ago I had to totally, 100% give up dairy for breastfeeding reasons. That. Fucking. Sucked. There are the pure forms, like milk, cheese, yogurt. There are the fun forms, like sour cream n onion stax and chester's hot fries. There are the insidious forms, like the whey powder in commercial granola. Go read some labels, just about anything processed has some dairy product in it. I guess I was slowly losing weight with that diet on my activity level because I am able to eat dairy again and helllllo extra pounds. Dairy is where all the fun is at.

    My biggest personal issue is snacking. I started using our weight equipment yesterday and noticed that I really didn't feel like snacking after that, so maybe if I keep it up I can make some progress. I think I'm eating my feelings. As the tantrums escalate, I act zen and eat another snack. I need to act zen and do a few pushups.
     
  3. Binary

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    Alt-focus: I eat about 70% vegetarian now, because my partner is vegetarian. She doesn't ask me to avoid meat or anything, but it's easier to cook shared meals, so most of my meat intake is during lunch or if we go out to eat.

    To be honest, I really don't notice it much. I still eat meat intermittently, so I don't miss it, and it's definitely cheaper and healthier to reduce the amount I eat. I wouldn't want to go 100% vegetarian but am perfectly satisfied with the amount I eat right now. If I were single, I would definitely eat more meat but almost certainly be less healthy as well.

    A ton of our vegetarian meals are "one-bowl" meals. Things like paella, gumbos, pasta dishes, curries, spanish rice, etc. Some of those things can be just as filling and hearty as a meat dish, which isn't always the case with soups and salads. I agree with @bewildered that one of the problems with trying to go vegetarian is often that people try to eat dishes which are really meat-based, but sub out or omit the meat, which ends up with in a less satisfying meal. There are tons of great recipes out there which lose nothing in the omission of meat, though, so seeking those out is probably going to make you happier.
     
  4. jdoogie

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    Can I ask why you think just removing meat from your diet will lead to weight loss? At its most basic, if you want to lose weight, you need to reduce your overall daily caloric intake, and the easiest way to do that is just by eating less overall, not completely removing a certain aspect of your diet. And if it's a heart health thing, there's plenty of lean meat options that are still calorically low-ish.

    Personally, I've found that it's easier for me to cut out a lot of the overly processed carb-heavy foods and that has been better for maintaining my own weight goals. Things like pastas, breads, pizza, and some rice heavy asian dishes I only eat once every couple of weeks if that. Recently I've been doing a lot of various simple stir-fry recipes with just whatever protein I feel like (again, lean protein sources work really well here) a lot of various vegetables and just enough of a basic sauce to give it some good flavor. Simple, you can basically use anything you have lying around, and if you pay a little bit of attention to the ingredients you want to use for a sauce, you can make them very healthy.
     
  5. Revengeofthenerds

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    I've had to stop alcohol, smoking, and most recently, caffeine.

    Alcohol I quit three years ago for mental health reasons, and it was far and away the easiest. Switched to non-alcoholic beer (and most recently, NA spirits) and I don't miss it. Especially the hangovers, Fuck, that.

    Smoking, once I got covid -- a year ago yesterday -- I had to quit as well. Cigarettes I didn't touch past law school, but I still miss the good cigars. Covid really fucked me up, as I've documented on here, and I've been trying to salvage what I can of my health from it, and smoking didn't fit into that. I still flirted with the occasional cigar, but finally just called it quits for good. This one was the most difficult.

    Caffeine was the most recent, as of about a month ago I believe, Since covid I've become extremely caffeine sensitive, to where I'd get heart palpitations easily (still do on runs longer than 4 miles, so I'm working on that), and thus I had to stop my beloved energy drinks. Noticed my body was still very caffeine sensitive, as in like getting jittery after a morning cup of coffee, so finally I just cut it out completely. It fucking sucked, but whatever. Had to do it for my health, so that's that. Currently drinking a cup of junior mints hot chocolate. Wish it was coffee.

    Good luck on going vegetarian. I think I'd rather get covid again.
     
  6. Aetius

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    I haven't gone vegetarian, but I have made a minor effort to lower the amount of meat in my diet, particularly beef. That's mostly consisted of moving from dishes that are just meat + something else, to dishes that are more of a medley, with a smaller amount of meat spread over a larger number of meals. So replacing a hamburger with a pasta bolognese, or a turkey sandwich with a turkey and bean chili.
     
  7. Kubla Kahn

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    Don’t know about vegetarian but I ate pretty strict keto for about a year and a half. Fallen out of the seven days a week thing.

    Staying with a diet for me has always been making it as humanly possible to keep with. That means finding simplest, quick, and easy meals to make. Complicated recipes with multi day prep are once every 2 months for me. I got a handful of meals I rotate that take an hour to throw together on a Saturday. If I’m real busy I’ll just make a chartrutririri meal. Just jerky, cured meat, 2-3 cheeses, and maybe some pickles. Takes 5 minutes to portion out. Path of least resistance.
     
  8. downndirty

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    Most of my calories were from protein for a while, and it's just not working with a sedentary lifestyle. It worked great when I was lifting, running, hiking, etc. but with a hurt back, and boredom it just means I snack a lot.

    I don't do much dairy, and processed carbs are only on the weekends or if I'm eating out.

    I may ease back into with seafood, and when I get more active again, I'll start eating some chicken. But for now, it's forcing me to figure out how to get most of my calories from plants, which is challenging but hopefully healthier.

    Cutting caffeine would be a nightmare. I like my french press ritual too much. Tea just isn't the same. Alcohol was easy to quit as well, it just made me think more carefully about my Friday nights.

    Oddly, the times I've had to cut sugar have been really hard. It creeps into just about anything not completely fresh.
     
  9. Crown Royal

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    I’m doing full Keto now and only drink water and one coffee a day. No sugars, no starches, no carbs. It sheds about three to five pounds a week if you stick with it.

    And remember. There is no healthy bread, there is no healthy store-bought milk, there are no healthy cold cereals. All those things will make you fat. Quit them.
     
    #9 Crown Royal, Jan 30, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2022
  10. downndirty

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    ...and I bet you're a joy at parties, and your bathroom habits don't traumatize anyone's dog.
     
  11. Juice

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    I don’t really follow a specific diet. I’ve tried keto, paleo and all that stuff. It just boils down to less processed food and less sugar. I try to have a “green” at least twice a day. I cut out desserts and bread during the work week. The hardest thing for me was dropping soda and substituting for seltzer. I don’t drink much alcohol, but I definitely was drinking too much soda. That made a huge difference. Anything carbonated or acidic is garbage for your teeth, but one thing at a time. I'm never cutting coffee. I'm just not strong enough.

    For pasta, though, I highly recommend spaghetti squash.
     
  12. sisterkathlouise

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    Because we used to have meals with friends all the time, and because lots of my friends are vegetarian, we tend towards a pretty veg-heavy diet. I have been eating more meat now that I’m breastfeeding though, because I am a bottomless pit of hunger. 10/10 recommend breastfeeding as diet plan, I’ve never eaten so much in my life and I’m already 20 lbs lighter than when I got pregnant!

    But seriously, stir fries, curries, roasted veggie bowls, soups. All super hearty and satisfying and easy to make vegetarian or vegan, and you can pick whatever grain you feel good about to eat them with, and throw in whatever veggies you have laying around.

    If you have access to any good CSAs, those are fun ways to introduce more produce into your diet and get you out of old grocery buying habits. I like getting forced to be a bit more creative from time to time when they include something I don’t usually buy or cook with.
     
  13. xrayvision

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    I second the spaghetti squash. Shits delicious.
     
  14. Bundy Bear

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    I've been Pescatarian for nearly five years now and as my partner is vegan I don't even really eat that much seafood but like most have said so far it's pretty easy to find different things to cook and there are a multitude of pages out there with different things to cook if you want a challenge. Sweet potato is your friend, better than normal potatoes, and will generally leave you feeling pretty satiated and not snacky afterward. I've also found that if snacking is an issue intermittent fasting will help with that, I'm extremely lucky my metabolism is ridiculous but constant snacking is horrible for the digestive system so if you can restrict the hours you're eating your body and weight will thank you for it.