I’ve technically been a vegetarian for almost a year and a half, which shows you how late I am on this post. However, I’ve learned so much since becoming a vegetarian that I really wanted to share some of it with you guys. This post got extremely long-winded, so I’m breaking it down into a few parts.
When someone finds out I’m a vegetarian, they ask a lot of questions. Some of the most commonly asked questions are highlighted below:
Where do you get your protein?
It’s a silly question to me, because so many of the foods I eat have high protein and are healthier for me than meat ever was, but I love to educate people about my lifestyle so I kindly answer their questions. My top sources for protein are: beans, tofu, cottage cheese, nuts, veggie burgers, eggs, and protein shakes. I drink the protein shakes only because they taste amazing and help me recover after my workout.
We eat veggie burgers probably once a week or more, I eat eggs almost every morning for breakfast, and I put cottage cheese on everything! I also recently discovered how to choke down Greek yogurt, which is high protein, so that is nice.
Read more about protein over at Lindsay Loves Veggies.
Wait, your kids are vegetarians, too? WHY?
I made the decision to become a vegetarian for health reasons. I loved (LOVED!) meat, I had meat every day. I didn’t discriminate – whether it was pork chops, chicken breasts, or juicy hamburgers, I ate it all. When I had my first colon hydrotherapy session (Google it, I will spare you the details), I realized just how long the meat had been staying in my system. I spoke with the hydrotherapist at length and discovered that I should really not be eating as much meat as I was.
At that point, I decided to stop eating pork and I also cut back on beef. I ended up eating a lot of turkey bacon, turkey burgers, and chicken. I still wasn’t eating a lot of veggies, and hadn’t even considered becoming a vegetarian. The idea was ridiculous to me. I simply loved meat too much.
Second colon hydrotherapy session rolled around, and I realized that my stomach was still just as unhappy with me as it had been before. At that moment, I decided to become a vegetarian. It was only natural to include my children in that decision. I had always made their food choices before, so why not now? My kids were never big veggie lovers, and neither was I. I remember sitting at the table many nights with at least one of them crying over having to eat some (canned.. ugh) green beans. Now, you should see what they eat! My pickiest child had (fresh!) green beans with her lunch today and asked for seconds. My oldest, who hated broccoli, asks me to add it to macaroni and cheese now! It’s crazy! I was also the type that didn’t like veggies, and now I love them! I’ve tried so many new foods since becoming a vegetarian. I love it.
On a side note, my oldest did decide that she still wanted to eat shrimp, so I let her. She’s nearly 11 and I think she’s old enough to help make decisions with her diet.
What DO you eat?
For one, we were eating too many breads and pastas. Oh and cheese! It’s easy to replace meat with those things, but it’s not healthy. So lately, we’ve been more mindful of what we put in our bodies. Some of our favorite meals include:
Most of the food I make, I don’t post recipes for because it’s just so simple! For breakfast I will have something like an omelet – egg, tomatoes, mushrooms, cajun seasoning, and fat free cottage cheese. If I’m really hungry I will make some green beans or something for a side (that’s usually only after a workout). Since choosing a vegetarian lifestyle, we’ve really kicked it up a notch as far as food and flavor go.
You can also check out my Delicious Recipes board on Pinterest. 99.9% of those recipes are vegetarian or vegan.
How do you afford it?
When we first became vegetarians, we were still serving canned green beans, canned peas, etc and never thought twice about it. A few months in, though, that got really boring. And I still refuse to even touch canned vegetables. Yuck. The kids honestly weren’t very impressed, either. So, we started shopping at the Farmer’s Market and getting fresh ingredients. Fresh green beans are 100000 times better than canned! So are fresh peas, tomatoes, and anything else you can think of.
Our grocery bill went up for several reasons, but we agreed that for our health, we were willing to make sacrifices elsewhere (we still don’t have cable!). I was BIG into couponing when we first switched, so our weekly bill had been maybe $60 for our family of 5. That’s really cheap! However, we were eating disgusting food. Hot dogs, lots of noodles, frozen pizzas, etc. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is more expensive, but we feel that it is worth it. It doesn’t have to be SO expensive that you can’t afford it, but yes you are going to pay a price especially when the foods are not in season. We had to pay $2 a pound for green beans a month ago because they weren’t as readily available, whereas we paid $.95 a pound for them today.
If you want to be a vegetarian, you will make it work.