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How to become vegetarian

25 replies

Cecelori · 19/09/2020 04:54

Hello so I went vegan keto for about 4 months previously and massively struggled. This time, it isn't about weight or about 'healthy eating' it's purely about the fact since I was young I've struggled with eating meat, I feel guilty and seem to always think of the 'what if this was a human'. I've been at least veggie on and off for the last five years, most of the time I eat meat because of price of meal, I wanted to know genuine meals, non diet meals. I also wanted to know your experience and how to love your new diet? Yes I want to eat eggs, milk, butter for now and anything I didn't know about, I don't like yoghurt anyway, don't eat any seafood or fish, don't eat gelatine ect

OP posts:
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BinkyandBunty · 19/09/2020 05:39

I just stopped eating meat.

I'm a meal planner, so just made a meat free plan for the upcoming week, and that was that.

What sort of food do you like, can we give you inspiration? Do you have a few favourite meat free meals you can start with?

Each week I tend to choose a handful of veg favourites (curries, chili, pasta/pesto etc), grab a meat substitute or 2 to recreate a favourite from the meat days (e.g. burger, sausages), and then scout the internet for inspiration to try 1 or 2 completely new ideas.

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CodenameVillanelle · 19/09/2020 05:49

Just don't buy meat! It's as easy as that. There is no reason to buy expensive meat substitutes (though are they really as expensive as meat? I don't think so)
Get some nice cookbooks if you aren't sure what to cook but really you can make whatever you usually like to eat but replace the meat with a veggie alternative

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Rainbowqueeen · 19/09/2020 05:54

Work out what you need to eat to eat a healthy vege diet, find some recipes and off you go

I recommend the bbc good food site for lots of good ideas. They have a really yummy sweet potato and spinach Dahl. I’d also find a recipe for chilli and a couple of other curries. Also homemade burgers. Try vege quiches and omelettes. Roasted vege couscous salad.
I think it’s really about having the confidence to feed yourself and a good variety of meals so you don’t get bored

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Peacocking · 19/09/2020 16:05

Enjoy searching for all the vegan/veg delights that are in the shops now. Treat it like a treasure hunt and have fun. There are so many lovely animal free foodstuffs available. We went vegan pretty much on a whim in November and haven't looked back. We've tried so many new foods and don't feel at all deprived. We've also drifted into healthier and healthier eating which is a bonus. Ella's kitchen make great healthy lovely foods. Bol are fab too. The ooomph fake chicken is just like real chicken fried up and veganaise is genuinely tastier than egg based mayo. As vegans we have so much choice. Splendid times!

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BonnieTellyLass · 19/09/2020 16:09

Litterally just dont eat meat

At the start of going vegetarian I would google mid week vegetarian meals and plan my weekly shop and meals around that

To start with i did buy meat substitutes but not anymore however may have them once a week eg this week were having fajitas and dh asked for quorn chicken pieces but id happily just have veg and maybe haloumi

If you eventually want to cut out dairy....butter/spread is easy start with flora plant version its lovely
Milk- oat or soy. Oat is lovely is coffee

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BonnieTellyLass · 19/09/2020 16:12

And just re reading your post i love being vegetarian would never go back to eating meat again ever. I find it easy now and satisfying. I feel great. Also i use nutritional yeast on pasta/risotto which is kind of like a vegan cheese substitute and couldnt imagine going back to cheese now so that's helped with weight loss in some way.

Are you looking for some fave tried and tested recipes?

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FippertyGibbett · 19/09/2020 16:16

I’ve just gone back onto meat because I got so fed up of not enjoying my evening meal. I got quite fed up about it.
I couldn’t face another chickpea curry.
I don’t like meat substitutes. I don’t expect them to taste like meat but I do expect them to be tasty !
I hope to try again soon so hope I get some inspiration from this thread.

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Remona · 19/09/2020 16:16

Eh? Just stop eating meat. It really is that simple. You either want to eat animals or you don’t. Don’t make it into a complicated issue as it really isn’t.

There’s plenty of choice for making substantial, tasty, nutritious meals. Vegetables, pasta, eggs, beans, lentils, cheese, Quorn, nuts, soya. I’ve been a vegetarian for over 30 years and have never struggled with what to eat. I don’t think I could ever eat animals again.

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AllPlayedOut · 19/09/2020 16:24

Eh? Just stop eating meat. It really is that simple. You either want to eat animals or you don’t. Don’t make it into a complicated issue as it really isn’t.

It isn't that simple considering the number of animal products that can be found in many foods where you wouldn't expect them, though the OP might want to focus on phasing out meat first. And the OP hasn't had thirty years experience as you have so may find it rather more daunting and may be concerned about meeting all of her nutritional needs.

OP, if you haven't checked out this site then you should do so. It's very information dense but there are a lot of tips, advice and recipes on there. vegsoc.org

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Crinkledbeetroot · 19/09/2020 16:32

I highly recommend this cookbook. I love meat but since getting this book I find I increasingly don't eat it as these recipes are so easy and delicious.

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Crinkledbeetroot · 19/09/2020 16:32
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Bluemooninmyeyes1 · 19/09/2020 17:33

I’m not vegetarian but I’m slowly starting to introduce more veggie meals into our diet. I found that soups were a good place to start as nearly all of the soups we like are meat free. BBC good food is great for veggie recipes- we particularly enjoy veggie chilli, creamy tomato risotto and spicy chilli bean soup. I’m making a tomato and chickpea curry next week which is on there too.

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FrancesHaHa · 19/09/2020 17:33

I also like The Green Roasting Tin cookbook. We (me and DP) stopped eating meat a couple of years ago (DD eats meat). We generally make usual meals (curry/ Thai curry/ stir fry/ tacos/ lasagna/pasta bakes/ shepherds pie etc) with a variety of vegetables and for most meals some form of pulses, nuts, cheese (eg paneer in a curry). I sometimes put in a meat substitute such a quorn fake chicken pieces.

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Lineofconcepcion · 19/09/2020 17:38

I have the Green Roasting Tin book and it's fabulous, some very good recipes. I don't eat meat at home at all but if we're guests I do sometimes because its easier.

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WindsorBlues · 19/09/2020 17:50

I think there's a form you need to fill out?

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VictoriaBun · 19/09/2020 17:56

Start off by looking at the ingredients on things for hidden animal products and buy an alternative if they contain them.
You could also have a mooch through Amazon to see if there are any veggie recipe books that could get you going. Have you tried Shorn or Linda McCartney products before ? If not try the mince first to make a chilli or a spag bol . Then just carry on with introducing things.

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Sexnotgender · 19/09/2020 17:58

I’ve been vegetarian since Christmas and I did it slowly. One meat free day a week, then two etc. Building up my repertoire of meals the whole family would eat.

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Ilovesausages · 19/09/2020 17:59

I’ve tried vegan keto it is pretty challenging!!!

Being vegetarian will feel easy breezy compared with that!!!

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Zampa · 19/09/2020 18:02

I recommend Joe Wicks' veggie cookbook. It's really simple and the recipes are quick.

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CodenameVillanelle · 19/09/2020 18:13

@AllPlayedOut

Eh? Just stop eating meat. It really is that simple. You either want to eat animals or you don’t. Don’t make it into a complicated issue as it really isn’t.

It isn't that simple considering the number of animal products that can be found in many foods where you wouldn't expect them, though the OP might want to focus on phasing out meat first. And the OP hasn't had thirty years experience as you have so may find it rather more daunting and may be concerned about meeting all of her nutritional needs.

OP, if you haven't checked out this site then you should do so. It's very information dense but there are a lot of tips, advice and recipes on there. vegsoc.org


What kind of things contain animals products that you wouldn't expect except for certain sweets and desserts? It's really not that common for ostensibly vegetarian friendly food to have secret meat hiding in it.
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KitKat1985 · 19/09/2020 18:19

Just focus on not eating 'obvious' non-veggie items for now. Many new veggies do rely on meat substitutes for a bit whilst they find their feet.

In terms of moving on to avoiding gelatine etc, to be honest in most shops these days it's pretty easy as most veggie desserts / cheeses etc tend to either have a 'V' symbol on them or just say suitable for vegetarians. The only time I really struggle is in some restaurants for desserts like cheesecakes etc, or when I'm on holiday in destinations where vegetarian foods are less commonplace and less clearly marked. Obviously you can just ask if it really bothers you, but personally I just try to accept in these circumstances that I'll just do the best I can.

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AllPlayedOut · 19/09/2020 20:08

What kind of things contain animals products that you wouldn't expect except for certain sweets and desserts? It's really not that common for ostensibly vegetarian friendly food to have secret meat hiding in it.

I was going to make a list but I'll just post this link which lists them. Some are only an issue for vegans but others aren't suitable for vegetarians either. www.dummies.com/food-drink/recipes/vegetarian-vegan/hidden-animal-ingredients-in-foods/

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AtLeastThreeDrinks · 19/09/2020 20:09

I started replacing the meat with veg or beans, eg chickpeas instead of chicken in a thai slow-cooker curry, spicy veg mix instead of meat in fajitas/burrito bowls. Mushrooms are generally a good substitute for texture/soaking up flavours. If you want meat subs, Beyond products are a great swap –the burgers especially are so meat-like that my long-time vegetarian brother couldn't face them!

I started much like you did, feeling guilty about eating meat, and you gradually just stop missing it. I stopped buying it at home and soon stopped eating it when out. Perhaps the leap to veganism was too big? Most people I know who are vegan have done it over months/years. It's a process!

If you're after meal ideas, next week we're having:

  • Veggie sausages (we love Sainsbury's shroomdogs) with mash, crispy onions and green veg
  • Burrito bowls: rice, refried beans, fresh salsa (avocado, tomato, cucumber, red onion, pepper, a ton of lime juice) and some veg fried in fajita seasoning
  • Greek salad with vine leaves, pitta bread and hummus
  • Arrabiata pasta bake with veg and green salad
  • Dal with rice, bhajis and pickles (Indian food in general is great for vegetarians, so diverse)


I genuinely feel so much healthier, my fruit/veg intake is way up and I've learnt more about lentils than I thought possible Grin

Best of luck with it!
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JoJoSM2 · 19/09/2020 21:01

I just literally stopped eating meat. To get enough protein, I’ll get things such as soya bread or a very seeded bread as that’s got more nutrients. Cottage cheese is good for protein too.

I’m not particularly interested in cooking so my main meal tends to be sth simple like an omelette, veggie meat substitute, daal, bean curries or salads that I buy ready-made.

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FizzyGreenWater · 19/09/2020 21:14

Get to love - if you don't already - 'pot' type meals.

So so much variation, cuisines from all over the world, generally easier, certainly cheaper if meat free, perfect for making a big post and having meals sorted for two nights not one.

Curry
Chili (no need for soya mince btw, pulses are fine alone)
Risotto
Pasta with sauces
Stroganoff
Goulash

etc etc

I'm vegetarian and I love my diet.

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