So, I'm on a journey to become a vegetarian/vegan. I just finished Skinny Bitch and I'm confused about Vitamin B12. They have a section labeling it as bad or potentially bad because it can come from animal products. So, I guess that's more of a problem for vegans, right? Are vegetarians okay with consuming dairy products? I think I may be a little confused on that section.
Anyways, I'm struggling with nourishing my body. Where I live it's a bit hard to find organic products, but I believe there are a few places around.
Can you share your stories of becoming a vegetarian or vegan? I think that would help a bit. I'm wondering about the brand Morningstar farms, is their stuff good?
Whatever info you can provide for me would help, books, websites, things to buy.
I need guidance, badly.
I am a vegetarian slowly transitioning into veganism. An ovo-lacto vegetarian eats eggs and dairy. Ovo-veg just eggs lacto-veg eats dairy. A vegan eats nothing that is derived from an animal regardless of if an animal died or lived to produce it. This is including things like honey, lanolin, leather, wool ect.
I personally don't really have a "title" that I call myself other than vegetarian because while I avoid eggs and don't drink milk or eat things like yogurt I do occasionally have some cheese. So IDK the title thing is all very personal to each individual. It does make it hard to explain to family though.
I originally became veg for health reasons. We have colon issues that run in the family so I am trying to do what I can to prevent cancer by keeping my body as clean as I can. However, I did begin to waver in my resolve toward the end of last summer and ate meat on a few occasions. All that it took to fix that was to watch a few videos on you tube and documentary or two and I now have a hard time stomaching walking past the meat counter at the store. I can't imagine going back to eating it now. At that point in time is when I cut out dairy and eggs. For the most part anyway, I probably eat cheese once a week or so but can tell it slows down my digestion so I may cut that out too. Since I cut those out my skin has gotten so soft and the little bumps and redness I had on my upper arms are going away.
I don't often eat "meat replacements" like veg lunchmeat or veg burgers since they are pretty processed. I do make a variety of veggie, lentil, bean or tofu burgers at home. They freeze well if you want to keep some on hand but they usually don't make it to the freezer here.
We also have a pretty crappy selection of organic produce here too. Sometimes I make the drive out to Whole foods (45 min) and I also get a delivery from door to door organics. They might have that in your area and the prices are good.
I use nutritional yeast as a vit b12 supplement. It doesn't have much flavor imo, slightly cheesy I guess you could say. I stir it into soups and currys. Sprinkle it on popcorn ect.
Books I love are:
The Vegetarian Family cookbook by Nava atlas- she has a yummy soup cookbook too.
The kind diet- Alicia silverstone
Vegan Yum Yum- Lauren Ulm
The complete Book of Vegan Cooking- Tony and Yvonne Bishop-Weston
Utilize your library!!
Hey Brittany93. Starting a new journey is always scary and filled with doubt. But be comforted by the fact that there is a huge community waiting to embrace you. There is so much information available on the net. When you start something new there will always be conflicting information that leaves you in a tailspin. My advice to you is to take your time and digest the information a little at a time - keep what works for you and throw out the rest. My journey into vegetarianism/veganism started about 7 years ago after the birth of my twin daughters. I had been struggling with the consumption of meat for quite awhile before then, but I think the turning point for me was when my daughters refused to eat any meat, chicken, fish, etc at 9 months of age. Anytime I served a dish with animal products, they either pushed it away or spit it out. Interesting actually!!! However, my husband was devastated by the news of his "girls" becoming vegetarian because he had just bought a huge kick-ass barbeque. LOL...he got over it eventually. And now my once meat-loving husband is about 90% vegetarian. It is a beautiful and compassionate way of living and I could never go back to eating meat. We eat much better now than we ever did. There are a load of websites and books to gather information. Maybe just start with the following websites to get a taste for what they have to offer:
- The Vegetarian Resource Group
- The Vegetarian Society
- PETA - they offer a free vegetarian/vegan starter kit
The following books were my bibles when I started on this journey years ago:
- The New Becoming Vegetarian: The Essential Guide to a Healthy Vegetarian Diet - Brenda Davis/Vesanto Melina
- Raising Vegetarian Children - Joanne Stepaniak/Vesanto Melina
The above books are very scientifically oriented, but they give you a foundation for nutritional awareness of your body's needs.
The following books are a bit of an easier read to start with (don't be put off by the name...they are actually quite well written):
- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vegan Living - Beverly Lynn Bennett
- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Becoming Vegetarian - Frankie Avalon Wolfe
Check your local library for these books and for veg cookbooks. Also, you might want to check out if your city has any local vegetarian groups. They often meet once or twice a month for potlucks and would be a great source of support and ideas for you. I hope that helps. Good luck with your journey!!!