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I've started to feel lately that we need to make a move toward something healthier as far as our diet goes. I actually was wanting to go raw, but I don't have a dehydrator or the money to buy one and that's what all the recipes that I've seen call for.

Either way though, I'm worried about protein that we'll miss when we cut out meat. I know that there are other protein sources out there, but are there any good ones? I heard that beans weren't a source of complete protein. I've tried tofu, and no matter how I cook it, it gags me. It's the texture. Maybe I'm doing it wrong but it feels funny and rubbery, even if it tasts alright. I tried 'chicken' nuggets and some brownies recently and I couldn't eat them. I've tried the tofu dogs and it's like I'm eating an eraser. Are there other things that aren't as bad or should I just eat it until it doesn't make me sick anymore?

Any no-meat-ers out there with some tips?

Thanks
Diana
 

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i believe soybeans are a complete protein, i read that in the Farm cookbook. if you are worried about protein you can eat nuts or beans. sounds like you don't like the fake"meat" products so i wouldn't eat them if i were you. you won't stay a vegetarian if the stuff makes you sick. some of that stuff is quite processed anyway.try slowly switching, like if you eat meat 7 days a week go to 3-4. then its not such a shock to you. hope that helps some.
erica
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by quidditchmom
I've started to feel lately that we need to make a move toward something healthier as far as our diet goes. I actually was wanting to go raw, but I don't have a dehydrator or the money to buy one and that's what all the recipes that I've seen call for.

Either way though, I'm worried about protein that we'll miss when we cut out meat. I know that there are other protein sources out there, but are there any good ones? I heard that beans weren't a source of complete protein. I've tried tofu, and no matter how I cook it, it gags me. It's the texture. Maybe I'm doing it wrong but it feels funny and rubbery, even if it tasts alright. I tried 'chicken' nuggets and some brownies recently and I couldn't eat them. I've tried the tofu dogs and it's like I'm eating an eraser. Are there other things that aren't as bad or should I just eat it until it doesn't make me sick anymore?

Any no-meat-ers out there with some tips?

Thanks
Diana

*I* wouldn't recommend going raw. Like you said it requires buying a dehydrator and it could turn out to be too restrictive for you, the vast majority of people fail at maintaining a raw diet. I read in VegNews that there is no validity to the claimed health benefits of raw foodism.

You're right, beans aren't a complete protein, but that doesn't mean they aren't a very valuable addition to your diet, veg or not. Soy is supposedly a complete protein though that's disputed by some. Some people say that it's not good for you because of the phytoestrogens and other things in it and some say it is. It's a pretty controversial topic.

I for one don't see anything unhealthy about *grassfed/organic* meat. It's certainly a more natural food than "tofu dogs". It's more about where you get the meat and how you cook it. So if you want to eat healthier but don't want to lower your intake of protein, limit your intake of the less healthy meat products (namely pork, processed chicken nuggets, fish sticks, etc., and meats cooked at high temps). For non meat protein go for beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, whole grain breads, organic eggs, and dairy.
 

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beans + rice = complete protein.
I'm a lifelong vegetarian who hardly ever eats tofu or fake meat products. A quick and easy protein for me is fresh cheese (think fresh mozarella). I heat one gallon of milk and keep my eye on it. Right as it starts to rise to the top of the pot, I slowly pour 1 quart of buttermilk into it. I try to pour in a circular motion so that it is distributed evenly into the pot. Then I gently pat/stir as the milk turns to curds and whey. Let it cook for about 5 mins on medium heat so that the curds firm up. Then you can fish the curds out with a wire mesh strainer or strain in the sink by pouring into a collander lined with a cheesecloth. If you want to save the whey (high in protein as well) put the collander in a bowl.
Gather the edges of the cheese cloth and twist shut. Then hang it from a cabinet knob with a bowl to catch the dripping whey or faucet for about 30 mins. You can crumble it in a pan with butter and spices or let it hang longer and then slice it and pan cook or bake or grill it. You can also put it in a food processor and pulse it to smooth it out and then season it and roll it into balls. These can be deep fried, pan fried or baked and make excellent meat balls for pasta sauce.
 

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Here's a tip: Go ethnic
Mexican food - black bean enchiladas served with spanish rice and pico de gallo
Greek - big salad with feta and kalamata olives and spanikopitta
Middle Eastern - hummus and pita, falafels (which can be made ahead of time and frozen for quick meal prep)
Indian - rice and dahl and curry veggies and chapatis
Thai - coconut soup over rice, red bean ice cream for dessert
Japanese - veggie tempura, miso soup, silken tofu topped with ginger, green onions and soy sauce (which may have a different texture than you are used to), rice. or sushi! with boiled edamame and egg rolls for appetizer
Italian - veggie lasagna, fresh mozarella salad, garlic bread
 

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Hi there!
Congrats on making a decision to get healthy! I've been vegetarian for almost a year, off and on totally vegan, and now I'm almost 100% raw. I would suggest you check out our lively raw discussion. It's really informative and you'll find answers to a lot of your concerns. There are many people who eat raw who don't use all the "gadgets"...it can certainly be done.

And as far as raw foodism not being "proven"...it's a lifestyle that has been around forever and anyone who eats raw will tell you that all you have to do is experience how great you feel, and you'll be hooked!

I've never felt better in my life! Good luck...
 

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Raw isn't my thing, but I have been a veg for a looooong time and I adore beans! They are an amazing food, packed with fiber and protein. The old adage was that you had to combine beans with other foods in a single meal to make a complete protein; RDs now say that is not necessary (you can eat those other foods within a few days). So if you eat a whole-foods-based, varied diet, protein should not be a problem.

The Vegetarian Resource Group (www.vrg.org) is a great source of information about veg*n nutrition. Not sure how much info there is on raw diets there, though.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mountain
I recommend the Eat to Live book to read. I read it after being veg for 15+ years,and realized I was doing it all wrong!

I'm going to second this suggestion! Very informative book.
 

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http://www.fruitarianvibes.com/Fruitarian_Facts.htm

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Protein shmotein
Vegetarians have been drilled with the age old question time and time again, "but where do you get your protein?" Oddly enough, vegetarians actually consume more protein than meat eaters. (According to Vegetarian Times) The question is about as ridiculous as asking, but where do you get your cholesterol? Americans are dying in masse because of overconsumption of protein rich foods. The World Health Organization recommends that you get about 4.5 % of your calories from protein. Other organization put the figure a little higher, at about 6%. Most people assume that fruit has NO protein. Guess what, most fruits have between 3 and 9% protein, averaging around 6%. The only way to not get enough protein on a fruit diet is to not eat enough. Get enough calories from fruit and you automatically get enough protein. It's as simple as that. People will continually argue that you'll die of protein deficiency on a fruit diet, but the facts are there for those who wish to see them. Don't take our word for it, do your own research and you'll discover the truth for yourself.
P.S. I am not suggesting you become a Fruitarian, just thought this info was interesting.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mountain
I recommend the Eat to Live book to read. I read it after being veg for 15+ years,and realized I was doing it all wrong!
Just curious--what were you doing wrong?
 
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