Veggie Tale: My big switch to vegetarian

As some of you know I recently made some massive changes to my diet. I cut out meat, severely cut down on dairy, and joined Weight Watcher’s in attempt to shed some of the large amount of weight I’ve gained over the past couple of years.

It hasn’t been easy, but after a few weeks I think I’m starting to adjust. My biggest concerns in cutting out meat and cutting down on dairy were not getting enough protein and calcium. But, I think I’ve found enough alternatives to making getting both easy. I thought I’d go ahead and list some of the biggest food changes:

Skim Milk -> Soy Milk

I like soy milk. Not as much as regular milk, but well enough. It’s loaded with calcium, which is great too. I’m thinking of maybe giving almond milk a go too in the next couple weeks.

Meat -> Non-meat

This has been a little more iffy. I had my first veggie burger, and really enjoyed it. I then tried vegan chicken in a dish, and again, not too bad. Tonight my aunt tried some veggie beef, and, well, it was terrible. But, it’s all trial and error at this point. I would like to try tofu, but I’m not sure what dish would be best as a starter. Maybe a stir-fry. We’ll see.

Cheese -> Vegan Cheese

I’m not sold on this one yet. I’ve heard good things about Daiya, so I found an organic market that sold it and picked some up last night. I tried it this afternoon, and I can’t quite say I liked it. I might have been more put off by the texture than the taste, I’m not sure. I’ll give it another go, but as of right now, I’m not a fan.

Fortified Foods

I switched to Kashi cereal, which is delicious, btw. It contains a ridiculous amount of protein, that I’m fairly certain has more than I was getting while eating meat. Which is excellent. I have a lot more energy than before! I also switched to calcium enriched orange juice. Which seemed really random when I first saw it, but I’m now loving it. I already have a heightened risk of osteoporosis, so I was to get calcium in wherever I can.

Vegan?

I’m seriously considering going full on vegan, at some point. I’ll wait at least 6 months to see if the vegetarian diet makes significant changes, and then consider it a bit more. Money is a pretty big factor at this point, as a lot of vegan products are more expensive. So, maybe I’ll change the consideration from 6 months to when I find employment (at least 8 months away). The idea of completely giving up any products that contain milk and egg products seems daunting at this point, anyway. But with all the health issues I’ve had over the past 10 years, I think it would be for the best to go as natural as possible. Between ulcerative colitis, IBS, anxiety, depression, and my ridiculously high risk of developing colon cancer, I certainly don’t think it will hurt. As long as it’s done healthily. But, again, that’s a long ways off.

Right now is about no meat, and less milk. And so far, that’s been going well!

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