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ready to get off the meat, need all your support!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone! I can honestly say I have been dealing with a major contradiction in my lifestyle. I am a reasonably healthy person, I eat organic produce and purified water and avoid refined/whitsugar and flour... BUT I LOVE meat, esp. red meat, the rarer the better. I am beginning to feel I am one walking talking bovine hormone, and I hate it. I know about what is in the US's meat supply in terms of antibiotics, hormones, and otherthings I would never think to put into my body unless disguised as a steak, but I can't stop! I feel like an addict, and to make matters worse I am currently pregnant (due in 1 month!) I certainly am not happy to have exposed my child to such stuff when I tried so hard to remain healthy in every other respect. I also don't want my kids growing up into the insatiable carnivore that I have become. Has anyone else had this problem? How did you give up meat? I even cry when one of my goldfish dies but I eat cow? It makes no sense? Please share your own stories and words of encouragment with this reforming meat-eater! Help!
post #2 of 22
I can so sympathize. I was veg for about 3 years. Then I was hospitalized and dx with cancer ( I barely ate for months previous) they put me on steriods. It really brought my appitite back and I was STARVING! I had lived on a small bowl of cereal and some cantalope for a month at least previous. Well that was it I ate everthing in sight and I haven't been able to stay veg since (been 5 years now). I do feel really bad about it. One of the few things I feel guilty about in life. I've tried and tried and haven't been able to go 100% veg again. We still eat our favorite veg stuff, but I also eat meat too. It was much easier the first time, as all the stuff I read in Diet for a New America and stuff was fresh in my mind. It is not easy now. I went cold turkey (with a few slips) the first time, and after awhile the cravings went away. I also cut out most sugar and fats. My system can't take super rich food and I did much better on the veg diet.

Just got back from Wild Oat, as I really want to go veg again.

I would love to hear some stories too
post #3 of 22
Check out the "Why I went Vegan" stories at www.vegfamily.com/why-vegan/index.htm for some info.

But besides that...

For me it was a one day at a time process. I loved meat, but I wanted to be vegan. I got rid of everything in the house that had animals in it, bought new stuff, made vegan recipes all week, and just took it one day at a time.

I mean, giving up meat for one day is easy. Just wake up each morning and agree with yourself not to eat meat just for one day. Don't even think about the next day.

make a list of all the great veggie things you like to eat and make arrangements to have those on hand at all times. Keep the meat stuff out and the veggie stuff in.
post #4 of 22
We've been vegan almost 2 years. Dh and I hemmed and hawed about it for a while. Every time the freezer got low on meat, we'd discuss it. Wouldn't you know, we made the decision when it was half full!!! We went cold turkey (pardon the expression) and did it for health reasons. We both have family histories of stroke and heart disease, were concerned about the antiobiotics and hormones injected in livestock as well as the threat of mad cow disease We had already given up dairy due to ds's milk allergy, and I had read that animal protein inhibits the absorption of calcium. Wanting to be healthy to raise our young son was a great motivator!! There's a book called Becoming Vegan (I think there's also one called Becoming Vegetarian by the same authors??) that does a good job of explaining how much protein, iron, calcium, minerals, etc. your body needs and what plant sources can provide for them. For the record, I was a BBQ junkie before we made the switch
post #5 of 22
Read "Diet for a new America" by John Robbins and it will be very easy to go vegetarian!!!! another good one is The Food Revolution by j. robbins also. I have also heard about a video called "Meet your meat" that shows you how your meat got to your plate. It is only a couple of dollars i think at Vegan Outreach web site i believe.
post #6 of 22
But how does one feed oneself/family this way?
Sounds like a dumb question, but I need help with more veg recipes!!
post #7 of 22
I just took the vegetarian plunge! I've not eaten meat for about 2 days now. I can not believe how much meat I used to eat! We went to the grocery store tonight and almost everything we usually get I had to get a subsititute. Oh-well. I'm sick of feeling so lazy and tired all the time.
post #8 of 22
Mamajulie, there are some excellent vegan/vegetarian cookbooks out there, and many restaurants offer an alternative to meat and dairy (though not enough do). I love the Moosewood cookbooks, and now I have gone completely vegan, I love "How It All Vegan" by Kramer and Barnard.
post #9 of 22
The two cookbooks that got me started and really keep me going are:

The American Vegetarian Cookbook from the Fit For Life Kitchen by Marilyn Diamond.

Lean, and Luscious, and Meatless by Bobbie Hinman and Millie Snyder, a great transition book because the ingredients are all normal and not too unusual from what you were probably eating before.

Here are some things we eat for dinner:

Veggie Stir Fries
Veggie eggrolls
Potato/lentil stew
Green beans with a peanut sauce
Veggie burgers and fries
Spaghetti and marinara sauce with garlic bread (soy margarine) and salad
Bean Burritos with guacamole
Tostadas (beans, lettuce, tomato, guac)
Steamed veggies
other types of stews
Pad Thai (rice noodles, veggies, peanut sauce)
Veggie lasagna with vegan cheese (that melts and tastes great!)
Veggie pizza with no cheese or vegan cheese

For breakfast:
Frozen waffles
Tofu scramble
cereal with soy or rice milk
Fruit smoothies
Vegan sausage

Hummus on rice or corn cakes (yum!)
popcorn with margarine
Granola bars

Vegan ice cream (Soy Dream and Soy Delicious)
Cookies, cake, candies, donuts, puddings

Just slowly work new recipes into your regime.
post #10 of 22
I've been veg for 5 years and dh started 3 years ago after babies were born. For me it was gradual-first giving up red meat, then poultry, then milk. We are working on cutting out eggs (although we only purchase organic, free roaming).

Vegetarian Express is a book I like because all the recipes are fast and easy-under 30 minutes from start to finish. Its great when you are first starting out.

We are now trying to avoid all sugar and I've noticed that as with meat, once I make the decision, it just becomes a habit and eventually you don't think about it. Then the meat/ sugar loses its appeal-even though I never thought it would.
post #11 of 22
I agree; once you stop eating meat you really lose your taste for it. In fact, it becomes nauseating to see or smell.

I've been veg for 12 years, quit one day and have never regretted it or been tempted to go back to meat eating. The "cold turkey" path isn't for everyone, though, so don't beat yourself up if you can't quit outright. You might check out Diana Shaw's Almost Vegetarian cookbook for a transitional approach. In the mean time, you might want to look for organic, hormone-free, free range meat and chicken so that what meat you do eat is healthier for you and the planet.

Other cookbook recommendations: Nava Atlas' 5-Ingredient Vegetarian Gourmet as well as Vegetarian Express are very kid-friendly and easy. Moosewood Restaurant Cooks Lowfat is one of my favorites. The "bible" would have to be Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone - if I had to have one cookbook on my shelf that would be it.

Good luck! There are so many great reasons to be veg, not the least of which is that good vegetarian food is the yummiest ever!
post #12 of 22
I was very interested in all your answers! Sometimes I consider going vegetarian. We eat cheese, but do not drink milk. We eat meat maybe 2-3 times/week, and I buy hormone and antibiotic free lean beef.

I think dd and I could make the change easy, but dh is the hamburger king of the world. Maybe someday!
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much! Its great to be involved in a support community! I have been meat free for a few days, and feel great! I don't even miss it, and even though dh still eats it around me, I know he is thinking of giving it up as well! Love to all.
post #14 of 22
Congratulations! Take it one day at a time and you won't miss meat in about 21 days.
post #15 of 22
I am trying to go meatless.

I have been scouring for easy recipes and just ordered "Quick Vegetarian Pleasures. I have started by shopping at Wild Oats. I wrote down menus for the next 5 days, 2 of which are completely meatless, one is lentil soup, and one is a bean pot with molasses and i add carrots and cabbage. then, because we are all still big meat eaters, i have bought meat, but i have changed the side dishes. for one dish i am making chicken, that i add diced tomatoes, artichokes, mashed pumpkin and fava beans. i plan on serving it with brown rice. eventually , i want to leave out the chicken completely. this way, no one freaks out in the house.

I have to do something. between my gallbladder and dh constant cold like symptoms, something has to give. The support i get just from lurking this forum is amazing.

post #16 of 22
alot of times the cold like symptoms are related to dairyallergies. Has you husband tried eliminating all dairy from his diet?
post #17 of 22
No, i havent tried eliminating dairy, but i will!!

I never knew about that. any other suggestions?

post #18 of 22
Go for it if you really want to be vegetarian, but if you feel more like it is a sacrifice than a joyful choice, could you at least commit to only purchasing organic meat? It is more expensive so your consumption will go down. We purchase ours from a local farmer so we have all seen the animals and even helped to care for them so at least we are honest with ourselves with what we are eating.
post #19 of 22
Wild Oats market sells organic meat & "free roaming" chicken...but it is soooo expensive! and the packages are so tiny!

I am going shopping tomorrow, and i am using my new cookbook and a few recipes from here to make my list. i have to get a "roast beef" and plan on picking one up at wild Oats, not Sam's.

i dont want to sound totally stupid, but when i was making chicken on monday (delicious with the fava beans, mashed pumpkin, carrots, tomatoes and brown rice!) i had a pang of guilt about eating chicken! i had a visual of the chicken!! I wont even ask if this is normal, because i am sure it isnt...and lets face it, i am a little crazy anyway!!

i do not know where this weird guilt and feelings are coming from. as veg as you all are, vegan too....you arent beating it in everyones head sending us on guilttrips, kwim?

PS its a joyful choice, indeed!
post #20 of 22
There is a saying in the veg community that i have heard that goes "If slaughter houses had glass walls, we would all be vegetarian". I have seen and read enough to have plenty of thoughts of what has happened to the animal(s) when I hear someone say I'll have the chicken, etc. It is so easy for you to be vegetarian when you really know what you are eating. Do a little research about vegetrianism and vegan and you won't want to eat another animal. As for the dairy, mostly from a few friends and family members that had constant runny noses, etc. and there doc said to try eliminating dairy and it worked. Also, there is a web site www.notmilk.com that has alot of info on dairy. If you subscribe to his daily newsletter for a few months you will learn alot. He is a bit of a hot head in the veg community, but he is passionate about his cause and has alot of good factual information. good luck!
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