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scrdofbugs
02-09-2010, 09:54 PM
Is anyone following a plant based diet aka vegetarian?? I have reading and researching all the plant based diets that are suppose to reverse heart disease or protect from it. I have a HUGE family history of heart disease. I am very overweight (+100) and I have slightly elevated blood pressure which I am taking a small dose medication. Plus my blood sugar was slightly raised. Well, everything says that this is suppose to be wonderful for you. I am trying to find some support from someone that has taken this on.

Thanks!

disney_mommy
02-11-2010, 10:06 AM
I have been a vegetarian for over 10 years now. According to numerous research studies, it truly is the healthiest diet you can be on. I can give you some resources that I have found to be very valuable over the years:

PCRM (http://www.pcrm.org/health/index.html) - Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

NutritionMD (http://www.nutritionmd.org/index.html)

Nutrition.gov (http://riley.nal.usda.gov/nal_display/index.php?info_center=11&tax_level=3&tax_subject=389&topic_id=1673&level3_id=6198&level4_id=0&level5_id=0&placement_default=0&test&debugMode=false)

Also note, it is possible to be an overweight vegetarian. I am a prime example! :rolleyes1 If you don't maintain the proper balance of nutrients, your health can suffer. And if you just eat junk food and nothing healthy, you'll definitely be overweight and not very healthy.

If you have any questions, I would be glad to try to help you out. I would love to help more people become veg!

FireDancer
02-11-2010, 11:05 AM
Well, I think the actual health benefits of being vegetarian are much more complex then normally presented. I think a balanced diet which includes meat is the best but there are a couple of things that aren't often brought up in the studies.

Too many ties non-vegetarians aren't getting enough vegetables. In many of the studies I suspect the health benefits of going vegetarian could also be achieved but adding more vegetables as opposed to removing all meat.

In the US, far too often the choice of meat is beef, beef, and beef again. I rarely eat beef but have it from time to time. The majority of my meat intake is chicken and fish. When I do eat beef I try to go with lean cuts of grass fed. It is more but since it is only about a once a month thing for me I don't mind it. I would rather have bison then beef and once I can find a place to get goat I will try that.

I'm not trying to dissuade you from being vegetarian, but if it is for solely health purposes and not moral ones I would look at a balanced diet that includes "good" meat like skinless chicken breasts, salmon, tuna, bison, lean grass fed beef, and cuts like that. I would definitely add more vegetables (especially leafy green ones) because we can all use more but I think the vegetarian/non-vegetarian debate is much more complicated than just good v bad.

disney_mommy
02-11-2010, 02:31 PM
Well, I think the actual health benefits of being vegetarian are much more complex then normally presented. I think a balanced diet which includes meat is the best but there are a couple of things that aren't often brought up in the studies.

Too many ties non-vegetarians aren't getting enough vegetables. In many of the studies I suspect the health benefits of going vegetarian could also be achieved but adding more vegetables as opposed to removing all meat.

In the US, far too often the choice of meat is beef, beef, and beef again. I rarely eat beef but have it from time to time. The majority of my meat intake is chicken and fish. When I do eat beef I try to go with lean cuts of grass fed. It is more but since it is only about a once a month thing for me I don't mind it. I would rather have bison then beef and once I can find a place to get goat I will try that.

I'm not trying to dissuade you from being vegetarian, but if it is for solely health purposes and not moral ones I would look at a balanced diet that includes "good" meat like skinless chicken breasts, salmon, tuna, bison, lean grass fed beef, and cuts like that. I would definitely add more vegetables (especially leafy green ones) because we can all use more but I think the vegetarian/non-vegetarian debate is much more complicated than just good v bad.

I respect your opinion, FireDancer, and will not get into a debate about whether vegetarianism is better or not. However, scrdofbugs was asking for help from someone who has been there before. She specifically says:

I am trying to find some support from someone that has taken this on.

I think this thread should remain a helpful place for her to learn to become vegetarian, not a place where people dissuade her from that desire.

MelanieC
02-11-2010, 02:48 PM
I'm vegetarian and it's definately possible to get all of your nutrients via a plantbased diet.

I recommend checking out the book Engine 2 Diet. It's a 28 day plant based diet for those who want to lower their cholestrol and get healthier. Of course, I believe you should do it as a lifestyle as you can easily get yourself back into the same boat with only a 28 day diet.

http://engine2diet.com/


http://engine2academy.com/

FireDancer
02-11-2010, 07:52 PM
I respect your opinion, FireDancer, and will not get into a debate about whether vegetarianism is better or not. However, scrdofbugs was asking for help from someone who has been there before.

I think this thread should remain a helpful place for her to learn to become vegetarian, not a place where people dissuade her from that desire.

I'm not trying to dissuade anything, jut throwing information out there. I interpreted the OP a little differently. I though she was just looking for information from people who eat healthy regardless of their dietary choices and the "taking it on" was eating healthy, not necessarily vegetarian only. I could be wrong, it wouldn't be the first time, but I always believe you can't have too much information.

scrdofbugs
02-12-2010, 10:19 PM
I have been a vegetarian for over 10 years now. According to numerous research studies, it truly is the healthiest diet you can be on. I can give you some resources that I have found to be very valuable over the years:

PCRM (http://www.pcrm.org/health/index.html) - Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

NutritionMD (http://www.nutritionmd.org/index.html)

Nutrition.gov (http://riley.nal.usda.gov/nal_display/index.php?info_center=11&tax_level=3&tax_subject=389&topic_id=1673&level3_id=6198&level4_id=0&level5_id=0&placement_default=0&test&debugMode=false)

Also note, it is possible to be an overweight vegetarian. I am a prime example! :rolleyes1 If you don't maintain the proper balance of nutrients, your health can suffer. And if you just eat junk food and nothing healthy, you'll definitely be overweight and not very healthy.

If you have any questions, I would be glad to try to help you out. I would love to help more people become veg!

Thank you so much....I picked up a couple books from the library. I made a menu for next week and did my shopping. I know it will be a learning experience. I am trying to focus on vegetables, ww pasta, rice, and beans. I am watching to make sure I get my B12 and I am taking a multivitamin. I found some soup recipes and pasta recipes. Do you have any quick lunches? I need ideas that are easy to pack and eat at work.

scrdofbugs
02-12-2010, 10:21 PM
Thank you!!! I will try and find it at the library. I am very excited to get started eating healthier for my health.

I'm vegetarian and it's definately possible to get all of your nutrients via a plantbased diet.

I recommend checking out the book Engine 2 Diet. It's a 28 day plant based diet for those who want to lower their cholestrol and get healthier. Of course, I believe you should do it as a lifestyle as you can easily get yourself back into the same boat with only a 28 day diet.

http://engine2diet.com/


http://engine2academy.com/

scrdofbugs
02-12-2010, 10:24 PM
I appreciate all help. I am leaning toward a mostly plant based diet becuase from all the research I have done there is not much difference in the cholestrol of lean beef, chicken, or pork. I think I need to focus on veggies, fruits, ww pasta, rice and other protein sources than meat. I think that this my be best for me but I do want to hear everyone's experiences. thank you!!

I'm not trying to dissuade anything, jut throwing information out there. I interpreted the OP a little differently. I though she was just looking for information from people who eat healthy regardless of their dietary choices and the "taking it on" was eating healthy, not necessarily vegetarian only. I could be wrong, it wouldn't be the first time, but I always believe you can't have too much information.

scrdofbugs
02-12-2010, 10:33 PM
One more thing...if anyone could give me some quick meal ideas for lunch and supper. I work outside of my home so I need something easy to pack and eat at work. I have come up with some yummy soup recipes for quick dinners (cooking in crockpot). Also things like bean burritos, veggie fajittas, pasta with veggies. I am nervous for some reason. We ate mostly chicken at home before but we were a BIG fast food family so I know this will be a HUGE adjustment. I am doing oatmeal with fruit or cereal with fruit for breakfast. Lunch ideas I came up with was brown rice cups with beans and salad or veggie chili on baked potatoe. Thanks for all the help!!

FireDancer
02-12-2010, 11:00 PM
One more thing...if anyone could give me some quick meal ideas for lunch and supper. I work outside of my home so I need something easy to pack and eat at work. I have come up with some yummy soup recipes for quick dinners (cooking in crockpot). Also things like bean burritos, veggie fajittas, pasta with veggies. I am nervous for some reason. We ate mostly chicken at home before but we were a BIG fast food family so I know this will be a HUGE adjustment. I am doing oatmeal with fruit or cereal with fruit for breakfast. Lunch ideas I came up with was brown rice cups with beans and salad or veggie chili on baked potatoe. Thanks for all the help!!

There are some low sodium Miso soup bowls out there that are very good. Something I do is make large pots of couscous and vegetables or Quinoa and vegetables. I use broth instead of water for the grains (you can find good vegetable broth out there) and some of my favorite vegetables to dice and put in there are different colored peppers, cucumbers with the seeds removed, tomatoes, onions, and leeks. As for spices basil and mint work really well. You can make a pot full and bring some with you for lunch.

MelanieC
02-13-2010, 10:03 PM
Buy some vegetarian cookbooks. Are you planning on cutting out eggs and dairy too? If you are there are some great vegan cookbooks out there. I don't like "fake" meat products. I enjoy eating clean regular food, just made vegetarian or vegan. Take foods you like now and look for vegetarian or vegan versions. For instance if you like Chili, look for a gret veggie version. I just saw one from Emeril on the food network that I want to try. It had mushrooms, lots of other veggies and it looked really good. If you like lasagne you can try that too. There are vegan and vegetarian recipes out there by the boatload. For vegan they often use tofu and cashews as the cheesy type base.
A healthy lightly fried veggie rice is good. Load it full of veggies like cabbage, peas, shredded carrots, mushrooms, onions, scallions, pea pods, and whatever else you like. Salads are excellent to take to lunch. grated veggies are excellent in a salad (think cabbage, beets, carrots, zucchini, etc) add sectioned oranges, strawberries, etc, add some seeds or nuts (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds, hemp seeds). Make your own dressings with olive oil, balsamic or apple cider vinegar, sea salt, pepper, spices. You can even add a little sweetner like honey, agave, brown rice syrup, maple syrup for little sweetness. I like making my own black bean spread and putting avocado and veggies into a wrap or baking a corn tortilla so it's like a tostada.

scrdofbugs
02-14-2010, 02:33 PM
I cooked 2 big pots of soup today. I made Taco Soup (like chili) and Vegetable Soup. I am trying not to eat eggs because I was eating them every day which I know can't be good for my cholestrol. I am trying silk soy milk and I bought fat free cheese.

The taco soup has: 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1 can of kidney beans, 1 can of ranch style beans, 1 can of corn, 1/2 onion diced, 1 package of taco seasonings, 1 package of ranch dip mix. Mix all together and simmer. I use to put in lean ground beef but I left it out and it taste yummy!!

The Vegetable soup: 1 can of green beans, 1 can of lima beans, 1 can of corn, 3 potatoes diced, 1/2 onion diced, 1 can of white beans, 2 cups of ww pasta (I used shells since that is what I had on hand), 1 can diced tomates with basil. Mixed all up and put in some seasonings. On low in crock pot all day.

I am really excited to be eating healthier and plant based.

Thanks for all the ideas and help!!!

Rose&Mike
02-14-2010, 02:56 PM
I've been a vegetarian for about 7 months now. When I don't have leftovers to take for lunch, my favorite lunch is a mini whole wheat bagel, a piece of fruit, a handful of nuts (whatever we have on hand) and 2 string cheeeses (lowfat mozzarella). That combination really carries me through to dinner.

I don't know if you like veggie burgers, but bean veggie burgers are pretty easy to make and really very adaptable. Once you get the basic concept down you can throw just about anything in there. We eat a lot of beans and put them in just about everything now. Last week we had tortellini and the sauce I made to go over them had black beans, onions, red peppers and a small amount of light cream. It was so good. If you are watching your cholesterol you could easily skip the cream and use some stock or even just mash up a portion of the beans and add some water to get it to the consistency you want.

Good luck! It takes a little while to reprogram your thinking as to what a meal is, but once you get used to it you will find there are tons of really good options!

s&k'smom
02-14-2010, 06:02 PM
I became a vegetarian oh I'd say about 2 1/2 years ago and the best benefit for me is that I have not gotten sick since, I cut out meat. I've had two stressed caused cold (my dad was in hospice and has since passed) and since the new year have cut out about 99% of the dairy in my diet and I feel great. Don't get me wrong their is lots of vegan junk food but a well balanced veggie diet will really give your health a real boost!

disney_mommy
02-15-2010, 10:05 AM
One of my favorite work lunches is tacos. They require a little planning, but are so yummy! I get the Trader Joes brand rice bag and cook that at home and split it into 2 batches. Then I pack little baggies of shredded cheese, sour cream, refried beans, torn lettuce and chopped tomatoes. At work I heat up the rice and beans, and put together 2 taco/burritos. It's quick and easy, most of the work is the prep time at home.

disney_mommy
02-15-2010, 10:10 AM
Also, if you like the veggie patties, you can heat those up at work. Just bring a bun, sliced cheese, mayo, sliced tomato and lettuce. Another yummy!

And don't forget the classic PB&J with potato chips.

3DisneyKids
02-15-2010, 04:26 PM
I have been a vegetarian basically my whole life (age 40 now) with the exception of a few "rebellious" years. And my husband and 3 children are all vegetarian as well.

I can tell you this--none of us ever get sick. Really. Every kid bug that goes around, stomach bug, flu, whatever. We just don't get any of it. We each maybe get a regular cold every year, but that's it. Nothing that would keep anyone out of school or work, etc.

Being a vegetarian today is SO MUCH easier than it was 20+ years ago. Now, you can get most everything you need right in the regular grocery store!

As for meal ideas, there are lots of great websites out there that have meal planners available. Good luck!

NeverlandClub23
02-17-2010, 11:09 AM
I go off and on vegetarian. Most of my meals are without meat but I do like to eat chicken/fish every once in awhile. I eat mainly vegetarian from an ethical standpoint more so than a health one as, like FireDancer said, there are many ways to eat healthy (with and without meat). I was a strict vegetarian for about 2 years and gained about 15 lbs. I was eating a lot of cheese and other junk food in place of the meat I was eating (I've found a balance and have since lost the 15 and another 15).

My Dad had a heart attack at 60 last Summer. I was there when it happened and it was one of the scariest things of my life to see my big strong Dad so scared and in so much pain. Luckily he survived and has completely changed his eating habits (and dropped 40 lbs. doing so). He eats nothing with trans fats, saturated fats higher than 3 grams, doesn't eat anything with higher than a 200mg sodium, and limits his red meat intake to once a week or once every other week (when he was eating it 3-4 times a week and we're not talking good lean beef, we're talking about ground hamburger). In fact grass fed beef has as much Omega 3's as salmon does. Anyways my Dad no longer has high blood pressure, his triglycerides are in the normal range, and his cholesterol is good now too :thumbsup2.

Good luck to you and every little step helps. There's many resources out there. This is what a normal eating day is for me (just me, no one else to feed so I eat a lot of the same things every day until it gets old and then I switch it up):

Breakfast: Muffin (I make chocolate oatmeal muffins on Sunday [using cocoa powder not chocolate chips or anything like that] with a whey isolate protein powder mixed into the batter that you can't even taste)

Lunch: This week I'm eating roasted beets salad (I LOVE beets!) [roasted beets that I roasted on the weekend for the week, walnut pieces, butter lettuce, blue cheese crumbles, and a raspberry vinagreitte dressing]

Snack: Apple with a small amount of honey walnut dip I made on the weekend.

Dinner: This varies by how much time I have but this week I've had tuna fish sandwich with steamed carrots, whole wheat pasta with a garlic onion olive oil dressing topped with tomatoes, stuffed cabbage rolls with wild rice, and tonight I'm having Giada's lemon basil potatoes [cooked redskin potatoes topped with a couple tablespoons of lemon juice, olive oil, and chopped basil...sooooooooo yummy].

I'm more focused on calorie intake (I stay around 1,300) but I do watch sodium, trans fats, saturated fats, and cholesterol (which are EVERYWHERE [ESPECIALLY dining out, take a look at Uno's nutritional menu online :scared1:], especially processed foods which is why I make most of my food from scratch).

bumbershoot
02-17-2010, 05:44 PM
I can tell you this--none of us ever get sick. Really. Every kid bug that goes around, stomach bug, flu, whatever. We just don't get any of it. We each maybe get a regular cold every year, but that's it. Nothing that would keep anyone out of school or work, etc.


You're so lucky! Being veggie hasn't really helped that out at all for me, and DS gets colds etc whenever he's around other sick kids. DH barely reacts to germs, but he sure does bring them home to us!

And DH and I have weight to lose, despite my being veggie since I was around 20, and DH being veggie for about 10 years now after a couple years back and forth. We prove that if you eat too much, even if you're eating GOOD food, and you don't exercise enough, you will gain.


However, my bloodwork, whenever I've had it checked, has always been beautiful. Gorgeous. Lovely. :) So I'm healthy on the inside, even though I have some gunk on the outside (that is getting gone now that I'm exercising again after WAY too long off).

And even when I was omivorous, I got sick all the time.

TxRabbit
03-04-2010, 02:38 PM
Is anyone following a plant based diet aka vegetarian?? I have reading and researching all the plant based diets that are suppose to reverse heart disease or protect from it. I have a HUGE family history of heart disease. I am very overweight (+100) and I have slightly elevated blood pressure which I am taking a small dose medication. Plus my blood sugar was slightly raised. Well, everything says that this is suppose to be wonderful for you. I am trying to find some support from someone that has taken this on.

Thanks!

I've read all the posts. I'm not a vegetarian. In posting what I am posting I am not advocating that you don't become one. We are in the process of "taking on" how we (DH and I) eat to support better health.

For our health issues, we are pursuing a diet that is anti-inflammatory and also resulting in a lower body pH. A non-inflammed body and an alkeline (sp?) body is a much healthier body.

For us, for now, we have eliminated gluten, dairy, and soy, as well as several chemicals (caffeine, alcohol, etc.). We are also reducing our reliance on complex carbs (grains, beans, etc.) and increasing the % of veggies in our diet. The majority of calories we eat come from veggies. We eat two 4-oz servings of lean protein a day, and also make sure that we have 2 servings of a high quality fat (flaxseed oil, olive oil). So, please understand that my comments come from here. I'm eating a TON of veggies EVERYDAY.

Give yourself time to make this transition. We have been in pursuit of this way of eating since the New Year, and we just now got it fully going on. It is a difficult transition to make, to overhaul the way you eat.

Really research your nutrition. You need to know that you are getting all the different vitamins and minerals that you need. A website that I find helpful for tracking nutrients as well as calories is http://www.nutrimirror.com. It is a free site. It will track iron, calcium, cholesterol, etc etc. It's really great to see that you are getting what you need.

Get ready to chop. If you don't already own a great knife that you love to use. Get one. Veggies are so much more enjoyable when you buy them fresh.

Also. Figure out what veggies you really like, what you will have on a regular basis, and prehaps invest in some storage that will help prolong their life in your fridge. Research the best way to store for your area. It's a bummer to throw away spoiled food.

Get ready to be hungry more often. Your body is going to have an easier time with its digestion. Meat takes the longest to digest, so without it, your body will really be hauling. Be prepared. Veggies don't have a lot of calories anyway. A lot of bulk, so that you can eat a TON and get full, but then it's like the old joke about Chinese food (before it became so Americanized), 1 hour later you are hungry again.

By the same token, be sure and drink a TON of water. When you increase your veggies, you will increase your fiber intake and without proper hydration you could clog up the works, so to speak.

Be sure to pick your fat sources wisely. A lot of veggie recipes seem to try to make up for a lack of meat with cheese or soy. They can be really fatty. Watch out.

See if a grocery store near you sells bulk spices. They make look expensive by the pound, but when you buy what you need, it costs very little. You'll want to learn how to kick up the flavor in your food without adding unnecessary fat and salt.

The cookbooks that have helped me with either great recipes as is, or easy enough to tweak for my purposes:

Moosewood Restaurant (Any)
The Whole Foods Market Cookbook

and recently,
The Balanced Plate
Mexican Everyday (I know, weird, but I just got the BEST salad dressing from here...)

I would also recommend that you check out any Laurel's Kitchen cookbook.

And try to embrace what you are doing, not so much as a diet, but as a way of eating. A way of life. People say it over and over again. Lifestyle change. This is the effective way.

And not to be weird, but be sure that you are liking yourself. I recently did something for my own self improvement that just really made me more happier with me as I am. Now I feel more motivated to pursue greater health. It doesn't feel like punishment for having been inactive and eating horribly. No, now it is something that I am doing to nurture my body. See the difference? The attitude will make your change so much easier to maintain.:goodvibes

NancyIL
03-04-2010, 03:53 PM
I think it would be hard to eat a plant-based diet without consuming a lot of refined carbs (rice, pasta, bread). I definitely need to increase my intake of veggies, which I normally get only when I eat a salad. However, I will try to eat more fish (I'll have eaten salmon twice today) and cut back on fattier meats and cheeses. No way do I want to give up meat and dairy.

Good luck!

**After typing above, I went to the kitchen to clean and cut some celery. I'm now eating 2 celery stalks. :teeth: :)

SanFranciscan
03-05-2010, 06:23 PM
I was a vegetarian for ten years, but I decided this month to become a "flexitarian" because I was diagnosed with diabetes in January. It is Type 1 so I have to make sure that my food matches with my insulin. I am still partial to vegan food other things being equal, but I will give taking care of my disease priority because many things vegan or vegetarian are very high in carbohydrates

Those seeking a gentle slide to vegetarianism might enjoy Morning Star, which I still buy. I don't go for the breaded things which are high in carbohydrates in addition to being expensive. However, the soy "bacon" and soy "sausage" are very good. I really like the fact that these soy products aren't greasy. Just looking at the drippings where someone has cooked bacon or sausage is enough to make me feel rather sick. You won't miss meat if you go for everything but meat in your chili.

I care very, very much how livestock are treated. That is why I went vegetarian in the first place. I will consider their well-being when I shop for food. However, given the choice between a high-carbohydrate vegetarian food or maybe some fish, I will not commit suicide for the fish. I never got snippity with non-vegetarians because no matter what I eat something has to die, and how were the farm workers treated while they harvested the plants that I was eating?

I hope you find what works for you in your diet. I am sure a diet of mostly vegetables couldn't hurt anybody though.