Transitioning to vegetarian, any tips please?(9 Posts)
We buy our meat from local/organic farmers however for ethical reasons I personally would like to move towards becoming vegetarian then vegan.
Does anyone have any tips as to how to do this easily. To be honest I don't really eat much meat now and when I do it's only chicken or turkey.
My dh will still eat meat so really we'll still be buying it which then makes me question if it's worth it but ethically I'm more inclined to give it up altogether.
I get that this can be contentious subject so I've got my hard hat ready!
When you say your husband will still be eating meat do you mean that in a 'insists on meat with every meal' kind of way or is he open to eating some veggie meals too? It just makes life so much simpler if you don't have to prepare seperate meals each night.
He's open to eating some veggie meals but he does like meat with most of his meals, he like me at the moment eats mainly poultry and fish and rarely red meat.
Just stop eating meat? Is there anything more to it than that? If you are not eating much anyway, then the impact on your diet isn't going to be that massive, if that's what is worrying you.
Rose Elliot does some very good veggie cookbooks, if you are looking for inspirations. I really like The Complete Vegetarian...lots of good everyday meals.
This really shouldn't be a contentious subject at all! To be honest I don't think the transition is that tricky - just take it slowly and don't beat yourself up if takes a bit longer/you have a 'slip-up'. I gave up meat ten years ago and fish a year later - I actually haven't wavered or had to eat meat since (apart from when my DM proudly made me a vegan salad with fish sauce, d'oh!)
Keep a gentle eye on your protein intake. You don't actually need much, but it's easy to rely on fake 'meat' like Quorn or fatty proteins like cheese. Try and vary it - eggs, beans, lentils, nuts and even carbs can easily provide enough. Personally I also advise taking a B12, vitamin D and an iron supplement - I struggled with levels of the latter two because I'm very pale, office-based and have heavy periods (sorry if TMI!) - I got away with it for years but had to start taking supplements last year, all very easily rectified.
Beware 'sneaky meats', like rennet in certain cheeses (which means pesto is often a no-no), anchovies in Worcestershire sauce or caesar salad dressing; gelatine in sweets/jelly; isinglass in beer and wine and the aforementioned cheeky fish sauce, which is in a lot of thai food (but can easily be replaced with soy).
My DH isn't veggie, but 7 years together with me doing most of the cooking (I love it!) means he eats veggie at home 100% of the time, and treats himself to 'good' meat like a nice steak or seared tuna when he goes out. He used to eat meat out of habit at lunchtimes - chicken sarnies etc. al desko, but now prefers to eat veggie then too, saving meat and fish for special occasions. He's a big fan of a variety of tasty homecooked meals including beanotto (white bean/mushroom/spinach/thyme/mascarpone/white wine stew); black bean burritos; 'duck' pancakes made with tofu; bean chilli; mushroom/chestnut pies; vegan pho etc!
Best of luck to you - have fun with it! x
I would echo everything SkyLucy said. I would also recommend the use of nuts if you are not allergic. I have a small handful of cashew nuts daily. Do try and include nuts and seeds in your diet and ignore anyone who says "oooh they're fattening". They're not if you eat in moderation and no more so than cheese and certain meats. Watch your iron levels so really go for dishes with green leafy veg, like kale, spinach, brocolli and also up your fortified cereals to include some wholegrain ones, if you don't already do that. Yep, and watch cheeses (rennet), yogurts and desserts (gelatin) and sweets (gelatin) for the hidden animal bits. Who would realise that yogurts, puddings and confectionery have animal derivatives! I don't see anything wrong with Quorn - it's very low in calories and tastes nice in a stir fry - there are other supermarket versions available of the mince type but chicken style pieces - only Quorn, I think. If you eat a balanced vegetarian diet, supplements are not necessary. I've never taken them. With careful planning, you should get everything you need in your new diet - good luck with it.
Thanks for the great info Lucy and minstrel, I do already eat lentils nuts and leafy greens, will add tofu also. I've tried quorn but didn't really like it. To be honest I don't love cooking I find it too time consuming! I'll look for some easy veggie meals to start with that both dh and I will enjoy.
I am in trying to give up/cut down on meat - I am finding it quite time consuming mainly because I am having to move away from my standard recipes that I have cooked for the last 30+ years and think more about what I buy and what I am going to eat. I don't like the texture of quorn and would rather just have veg and pulses and have not had a positive experience with tofu so far. I have found the less I eat meat, the less I want it which is a plus.
I have found putting the veg that I have in the fridge into google often brings up nice recipes - so yesterday I put aubergine and mushrooms into Google and it came up with a lovely recipe for a veggie mousaka (?sp)
Some recommended this for my son - it has some great recipes
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