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Old 12-28-2006, 07:13 PM   #1
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Vegetarian Conversion

A member of my family decided to try vegetarian a few months ago. I did not want him to think it was all raw vegetables...etc so I made a paramesan eggplant casserole, new potatoes, and fresh green beans. I noted that we did not have any leftovers.
He mentioned trying vegetarian again. I don't have any problem changing to vegetarian menus.
Should I just start serving vegetarian meals introducing him to new foods. Is there anything else about vegetarian life styles except food preference? He is an athletic type person with a passion for weightlifting, football, and bicycling. Some of the girls in his foods class were vegetarians. Just wondering if there are any Peace and Goodwill exchanges in the life of a vegetarian?


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Old 12-28-2006, 08:11 PM   #2
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I've been vegetarian for the past 20 years ( i became a vegetarian at the age of 18). I kinda did it 'cold turkey' after i was told my cholesterol was too high ( since all the meat i liked was fast food crap). Anyway, with all that said, being a vegetarian can mean different things to different people. Some for health, some for moral reasons, religious reasons...... Then there are the different types of vegetarians. Some eat fish and consider themselves vegetarians. Others just dont eat red meat. Some dont eat meat, fish, poultry, pork ..... but will eat animal products such as cheese, milk, eggs... and then there are the extremes, who dont eat anything that has to do with an animal at all.
SO, i think to answer your question, i think u must understand why this person wants to be a vegetarian. This might help u understand his motives. Also, it would help you in finding and creating dishes for him. For example, when i go shopping, i read the ingredients on the lables. If they contain 'chicken fat, lard, dried chicken meat, beef broth .......whatever' I personally wont use them.
Many people also think that being a vegetarian limits what u can eat. And sure, to some extent, that is true. But, I had once counted all the dinners i make and eat , and figured out i can go about 2 to 3 months without repeating a dish. So, its all about learning new things, being willing to try new things, experimenting with new things, new cuisines, being open minded .
As far as vegetarian meats go ( burgers and things u can find in the supermarkets) Some brands are pretty good ( I like morning star farms, worthington), and others taste like crap. One of the main problems i have is when someone who isnt a vegetarian, tries to make a vegetarian dish. Sure, eggplant parmesian, things like this are universal. But, unless u have tried the vegetarian product, u cant just substitute it for 'chicken, or whatever the package says' just cause the package says its supposed to taste like that . Many products focus on the the look rather than the taste. So, something that looks like chicken, tastes or feels like rubber . MY mom was the worst at this, she once bought me a tofu turkey for thanks giving. It was literally, a slice of tofu shaped like a turkey. I must say, it was the most horrible thing i ever had!!!

I have found that chinese, indian, middle eastern cuisines offer a large variety of vegetarian dishes.

sorry for being long winded about this. I can go on forever.
if u need any specifics, let me know.
By the way, i think i answered your question in here somewhere


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Old 12-28-2006, 08:15 PM   #3
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There are volumes written right here on the web regarding a healthy vegetarian diet. My daughter followed a vegetarian diet for about 6 months. When she began I researched everything I could find so we'd both be sure she'd have a balanced diet including proteins, carbs, fats, sugars, vitamins. Lots of legumes and soy products were listed for the protein part of her diet. Unfortunatley, she doesn't care for many beans and never developed a taste for soy. Without overmuch protein in her diet her colour paled a bit and she tired easire. The only protein she was getting was from eggs, and she didn't care to eat more than 4 eggs a week. Eventually, she passed on the vegetarian diet and eats as she used to.

My son likes to lift weights, as well. Before he'd lift, he'd eat plenty of carbs for the energy. When he returned home, he'd eat proteins to repair his muscles. (I'm quoting him now...he just looked hungry both before and after, to me). If your son wants to follow a vegetarian diet and continue to lift, he'll need plenty of protein to repair the muscles or replenish, or whatever is done after he works out. I'm not sure if simply eating peanuts and soy and other beans will be the most beneficial to a weightlifter. I recall reading something about animal protein being better for the muscles after exercise. I'm not a dietician, but I do have some basic knowledge.

By all means, I am sure you're going to be able to provide healthy, vegetarian meals. Perhaps the next course for your son is to speak to either the school dietician (If they have one), the family physician, a trainer at a local gym, or even the GNC guy. And, again, just google vegetarian lifestyle and you and he will get tons of information.
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Old 12-28-2006, 08:34 PM   #4
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I believe I would have been tempted to stall until a crush developed on a teenage carnivore.
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:20 PM   #5
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if u need any specifics, let me know.

LS: Thanks for the information; Food should taste good.

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Perhaps the next course for your son is to speak to either the school dietician (If they have one), the family physician, a trainer at a local gym, or even the GNC guy. And, again, just google vegetarian lifestyle and you and he will get tons of information.

VB: Thanks for sharing your daughter's experience. Young people can develop some serious eating issues with extreme consequences. His coach keeps a very watchful eye on his students and the GNC guy.

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SL: touche'
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