DH going vegetarian - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 05-19-2010, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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... and I am not. I made a commitment early this year to buy/eat only local, humanely raised meat, and though I've been less than 100% consistent with it, I feel that I'm making progress. For me, it's partly an aesthetic choice, but also a moral/environmental issue. I also wanted to raise some of my own meat, which has just pushed DH over the edge.

DH has been saying that he doesn't get the point of spending that much more to buy local/organic meat, but with one thing and another he's finally confronting the fact that yes, he's eating animals, and someone, somewhere had to kill them. He believes that killing animals is wrong except as a last-ditch survival tactic... hence going vegetarian.

What should I be concerned about for him, nutritionally? He's not the most health-conscious guy on the planet, and would most enjoy a white-starch, dairy, and sugar diet. He likes mac & cheese, french fries, cookies, bananas, etc. I used to cook mostly vegetarian food when I cooked fewer of my meals at home, but tended more towards spicy foods, which he doesn't like, so I can't feed him a lot of my old staples.

In your experience as vegetarians, will he probably be ok on a mostly starch and dairy diet with daily multi-vitamins? He's in his late 20s and moderately active. Also, he read something about estrogen in soy products and now won't touch soy. Are there good alternatives to textured soy protein for working a bit more protein into spaghetti sauce, veg pot pies, etc?
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#2 of 9 Old 05-20-2010, 07:20 AM
 
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beans & lentils and seitan (gluten)

Check out vegan dad and heidi's site and look at mdc foodthreads for recipes if you want to. but if he is a picky eater I would hand it to him to come up with food he'll eat and appreciate.

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#3 of 9 Old 05-20-2010, 02:46 PM
 
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Get some good cookbooks, first of all. My favorites are:

The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook
Vegan with a Vengeance
Veganomicon
The New Moosewood Cookbook

It is easy to get all the protein and nutrients you need when you have a varied, diet, including whole grains.

Seitan is made from Wheat and is a great meat-like replacement.

My reasons for going veg were pretty much the same as your DH's, and I've been meat free for 6 1/2 years now!

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#4 of 9 Old 05-22-2010, 10:39 PM
 
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Well, he may have to start cooking a lot more of his own foods . . .

IME, soy meats are soooo convenient for veg*ns who are not big into cooking from scratch.

If he will still do dairy, then I would say focus on a lot of Mexican (just use mild chile/salsa) and Italian cuisine to start with. That way you're still cooking familiar foods but just omitting the meat and subbing in cheese or beans. From there branch out slowly with more specifically veg*n dishes, like making your own bean burgers or nut loaves. You can, of course, make Italian and Mexican food without the cheese, but IMO it kinda gives some nutritional insurance at first while you/he are still learning about vegetarian meal planning.

to you for being supportive of his choice to go veg!

Happy and in love with my family!
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#5 of 9 Old 05-22-2010, 11:06 PM
 
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If your husband's diet is as bad as you say, he's not any better off including meat in his diet (in fact he's likely better off without it). Diet change can take time, and if he slowly changes his tastes, healthier foods can be introduced and enjoyed.

I would suggest that you tackle this as a team. If you're buying a lot of locally raised meat that's costing more, you could reduce how often you have it, and have vegetarian meals more often with your husband. Or you could cook meals that you can just add the meat to at the end, so he can have his vegetarian version and you can have your meat version (something like tacos: you can have yours with meat, and he could have refried beans or black beans or seitan). Or you could each cook your own meals.. I don't know how your family dynamics work with respect to that though.

I certainly wouldn't recommend a high starch/dairy diet. A good diet would be composed of a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and beans. You can work on adding these things in slowly.

There is a lot of fear mongering about soy out there, but like many things it is safe in moderation (you don't want to rely too much on any one food for nutritional reasons). To be honest though, I wouldn't recommend the processed soy meats except as an occasional thing. Whole soy products (tofu, tempeh, edamame) are less processed and healthier.

Try not to look at this as a negative thing, but rather as a more positive thing. It can be an opportunity for you both to evaluate your current diets and try to improve them (because let's face it, all of us can improve somehow!)
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#6 of 9 Old 05-22-2010, 11:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fyvel View Post

There is a lot of fear mongering about soy out there, but like many things it is safe in moderation (you don't want to rely too much on any one food for nutritional reasons). To be honest though, I wouldn't recommend the processed soy meats except as an occasional thing. Whole soy products (tofu, tempeh, edamame) are less processed and healthier.
I agree. We eat soy, and when we do we eat it in moderation and organic only.

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#7 of 9 Old 05-24-2010, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just wrote a long response but the site keeps logging me out and lost it.

Anyhow, we're working on it, but he doesn't like:
Beans, except for Heinz Baked Beanz, British style, not available here.
Mexican Food
Anything spicy

He likes:
"Easy to eat" (like mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, bland, smooth)
Ramen noodles
Noodles
Rice "except that it always comes with weird stuff on top"

Actual vegetables are kind of hit & miss. The most common ones (carrots, broccoli, potatoes) are OK, and he likes raw mushrooms. Braised fennel went over OK the first time, then he decided that he didn't like it.

I can think of about a half dozen meals we can do at night, but most of them are heavy on the cheese and wheat. Oh well, we're working on it.
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#8 of 9 Old 05-24-2010, 11:58 AM
 
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It's easy to be a junk food vegetarian.. but there is a lot of cuisine out there that he would probably be fine with. 2 good cookbooks that have "normal" vegetarian food, some of it bland/not spicy:

The Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes cookbook
The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook.

You can always sub in recipes veggies that he doesn't like for veggies that he does like (doesn't like spinach? try asparagus, or something like that).

Changing one's diet often leads people to try new things and it opens up a whole new world of food. At least it did for me.

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#9 of 9 Old 05-25-2010, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, I'll definitely check out those cookbooks.

The trouble with DH is that when it comes to food he doesn't want to try new things -- I make him do it anyway, and I keep hoping he'll start to enjoy it more. He'd also never heard of essential amino acids, and doesn't see why he can't just do refined carbs and multi-vitamins.
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