Mothering Forum banner

Need help with going veg

420 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  NatureMama3
Hey everyone- I'm looking to switch my family to a veg diet due to my Dh's sky high cholesterol level (300) and for general health. I'm looking for ideas on how to do the switch with 2 kids who are very picky eaters. I don't like to cook so we eat out or get take-out alot. When I do cook it's things like fish or chicken with veg and rice so I'm not sure about how to keep up the protein without ODing on tofu (both kids like it so that's a start).

Has anyone else gone veg after years of standard diet? Any ideas and support would be hugely appreciated!
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
I strongly suggest that you start by reading the books The China Study and Becoming Vegan

Even if you don't plan on eating a vegan diet, I think that they help to illustrate how important minimizing all animal protein is for our health. Right now, we have an almost vegan household. I usually cook vegan meals, but we do have cheese available to sprinkle on top, if someone desires. Also, I sometimes use the Quorn brand meat analogues (not often), and I think they have some dairy.

I try very hard to minimize the dairy in my diet. Ds and Dh are more open to dairy and eggs than I am. I will eat dairy and eggs, when at someone else's home or at a restaurant, if it's my only option. Also, there are small amounts of dairy in the processed foods that we sometimes buy, but I really try to limit it.

We have slowly changed our diet over the last 7 years or so from a SAD to a fairly healthy, whole-foods based, vegetarian diet. First most of the processed stuff went, then the hydrogenated oils (back when very few people were talking about them), then the corn syrup, then switched to mostly organic, and then to meat free. Right now, I think we're in the process of becoming vegan. It may take a few years yet, but I think that's where dh and I are headed.

Ds still eats a decent bit of cheese, and while we have cut back on it (and nearly eliminated the eggs he eats), I can't cut him off of it completely. I'm hoping that as he ages, we can explain to him better, why he shouldn't eat it often. He already understands that, if he eats too much, he won't feel very well.

Ds loves tofu (as long as I don't crisp the outside by panfrying in oil). So, I bake it or marinate and then heat in a pan. He loves rice and whole wheat couscous and ww pasta. He eats almond or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on ww bread. He loves broccoli and asparagus and just about any kind of fruit. He also loves the Kashi peanut peanut butter granola bars (they are perfect on the go food, IMO). We make veggie loaf (much like meatloaf) with mashed potatoes (made with soy milk and Earth Balance) and green beans. Sometimes, he'll ask for cheese and crackers and I oblige him, but it is animal rennet free, high quality cheddar. He usually won't eat pasta without a sprinkle of parmesan, although I could probably switch him to a vegan sub without much fuss. Since he is a toddler, I will indulge him with fake chicken nuggets or a fake corn dog every now and then, but I try to keep fake meats to a minimum.

It seems difficult at first, because you are trying to eat healthier, while appeasing everyone's taste buds. I guarantee you that a year ago, we were not eating as healthfully as we are now. I relied much more on meat analogues and adapted family favored recipes. I would introduce 2 or 3 new recipes a week, so that we still had some that were familiar to us. Some new ones were keepers and others weren't. That's really become my method. Although, now our family favorites are yummy veggie dishes and not our old family favorites.

Good luck!
See less See more
Our first serious step toward vegetarianism was to give up meat for Lent. We were eating a lot of convenience foods and restaurant meals at the time, so our diary of the experience might give you some inspiration.

Does your family like beans? They are very versatile. Canned beans are really easy, but buying dry beans and cooking them yourself is less expensive. Rinse off the cooking water or can liquid to almost eliminate gassy effects.

How about nuts? We like to sprinkle nuts on our food (peanuts or cashews on stir-fried vegs, walnuts or pecans on sauteed spinach, etc.) or eat a handful of nuts as a snack. Sunflower seeds are good too.

Nutritional yeast flakes dissolve in oil to make a rich, yummy sauce that tastes sort of like cheese. Try them on buttered toast or pasta with olive oil. In addition to protein, they have a lot of B vitamins, which are hard to find in non-meat foods.

My best overall tip for vegetarian cooking is to plan meals around the vegetables. Buy whatever veggies are on sale and figure out what carbs and protein will go well with them. Don't worry too much about getting enough protein: Most Americans eat more than they need, and many grain foods have more protein than you might think.

Happy eating!
See less See more
Definitely second the recommend to read The China Study.

we use a combo of nuts, seeds, legumes (beans such as pinto and black, lentils, chick peas, etc), whole grains (some wheats are up to 15% protein) to get our protein.

I definitely advise going vegan to lower cholesterol. Also, try using only oils high in Omega-3 fatty acids such as walnut or virgin coconut. My father lost 40 points of his cholesterol recently by switching oils (away from olive) and doing a liver cleansing detox for 1 week.
See less See more
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.