Thursday, October 11, 2007

My vegetarian menu

Acquiring a degree in nutrition didn't make me live off vegetables and low-fat yogurt alone. As you know I've been a vegetarian these past 12 years, but besides that, I eat everything, following the principles of variety, moderation, and small portions. Yes, I do indulge in ice-cream, butter on my bread, and other delights, just not every day.

A question I've been recently asked is how I get all the nutrients I need, without eating meat and fish. Vegetarianism has become so natural to me that I sometimes forget how deeply it's ingrained in people's minds that we can't live without meat. Personally, I'm convinced it's only a matter of habit; there is no specific and unique ingredient in meat and/or fish that you can't get in a healthy and balanced vegetarian diet. No, I'm not advocating vegetarianism for everyone, but I think I can be pretty sure to say there aren't any risks involved – if you keep your diet healthy and complete.

Sure, if meat is your only source of high quality protein, and you stop eating it without substituting it with anything else, nothing good will come out of it. But normally, vegetarians aren't supposed to experience any sort of deficiency; it might be more challenging for vegans – and vegans will probably have to resort to supplements – but it is still entirely possible to be healthy on a vegan diet too.

I do hope to post more vegetarian recipes soon, as time allows. For now, I'll share with you a sample of my typical daily menu during the week.

Breakfast:

1 slice of bread with cream cheese or butter
Cup of coffee with whole milk and sugar
A small slice of cake or a cookie
Yogurt (whole milk) – sometimes with granola and honey

Snack:

Apple/pear/peach/other fruit

Lunch:

Canned beans soup
1 slice of bread
Rice with mushrooms (*main dish variations: vegetarian lasagna, vegetarian pizza, lentils and pasta...)

Snack:

Yogurt/fruit/granola bar

Dinner:

Salad
Scrambled eggs
1 slice of bread + a slice of cheese

* Later in the evening, I usually have a cup of tea with a cookie or two. When it's hot, I have a glass of buttermilk. During the day, between meals, I drink plenty of water – and nothing but water. Only rarely I'll drink fresh-squeezed juice or a smoothie, but no canned store-bought juices, and no sweetened drinks, even if they are almost calorie-free. Water is the best!

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

While this looks great, it is only for one day. Is there OTHER proteins that you consume other than eggs? And beans? Sorry...this menu looks so boring, it discourages me!! And that's alot of cake for one day (I'm not high into cakes and cookies for 'fillers'.) Appreciate the post, though.

Anna S said...

Hi anonymous,

Sure, it's just for one day - there are variations!

My main sources of protein:
- beans, peas, lentils
- dairy products: milk, yogurt, buttermilk, hard cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese
- eggs

Katy-Anne said...

Lol I couldn't be a vegetarian and I don't believe that it's God's design for us. It was His original design until man sinned. I am careful with meat though and for a long time I was semi-vegetarian. I think there is a lot of dangers with meat, and I like to buy hormone free meat to escape those dangers. Please don't think I'm saying it's bad to be a vegetarian, because I don't necessarily think that. I think it's ok so long as you aren't doing it because of "the poor animals that die". That would be unbiblical. But to do it because you choose to because you believe it's healthier or whatnot is fine.

I notice that you eat whole milk instead of low fat. I personally HATE low fat milk. In fact, I read somewhere that it really isn't healthy. Do you know anything about that? My husband will only drink low fat milk and he thinks it's somehow helping him but I don't think so, I think it's just a way for milk companies to make more money...I don't see any benefit to it whatsoever. Do you have any information about that?

Thanks.

Anna S said...

Katy-Anne,

I'll start with your question about whole milk.

Personally, I too think that whole milk is better than low-fat milk; several studies have shown that some nutrients are better absorbed from whole milk, whole milk tastes WAY better (at least to me), and frankly, it would make much more sense to cut down on other products which are more calorie-rich. Normally whole milk has, what, 3% or 4% fat? It's not that much.

About being vegetarian; for me, it comes for a number of reasons:

1. I think it's healthier.
2. I believe a lower consumption of meat would allow us to use the earth's resources more wisely, with lower amount of waste.
3. It saves money.
4. Eating meat simply grosses me out.
5. Yes, one of the reasons I'm vegetarian is because I believe it reduces the amount of pain in the world. We are allowed to eat meat, yes, but not *commanded*, isn't that so? And if I can, by such a minor - to me - change in my lifestyle, lower the number of slaughtered animals, why not? I'm happy I can. For some people, it might be hard and I don't judge their decisions, but I'm happy I can thrive so well on a vegetarian diet.

This is actually something I pondered long and hard. Is it godly to try and reduce, at reasonable effort, the suffering of animals? Yes, I believe it is. To me, it's a part of being merciful. What do I mean by 'reasonable effort'? If I walk down the street and see a cat trapped somewhere, I'll stop and let him out. What would it say about me if I walk by and leave him there, when I can so easily help? But I won't give up my house for stray cats to live in, nor will I waste all my family's money on feeding stray cats. To me, being vegetarian is as easy as stopping and letting the trapped cat out. To someone else, it may be as hard as giving up their house for stray cats to live in. Do you see what I mean?

I want to stress that this is my *own* personal conviction, which I don't impose on anyone else.

Anna S said...

PS: Oh, and something rather important: while God, indeed, doesn't tell us not to eat meat, there are many places in the Bible where we are commanded to treat animals decently. See Exodus 23:4-5: "If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again.

If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him."

Exodus 12 - Sabbath rest for farm animals: "Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed."

Deuteronomy 22:10 - "Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together."

Proverbs 12:10 - "A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel."

So, while it's allowed to eat meat, it's not allowed to treat animals poorly and make them suffer.

Do modern animal farms treat animals decently? Usually no. It's a very cruel industry.

I can't afford free-range meat and poultry. I can hardly afford free-range eggs, and that's why I'm currently debating with myself if I should/can actually become a vegan.

Please note, again, that I'm not criticizing anyone who may have other convictions on this matter. I only told a bit about my own debates with myself, because you brought it up.

Buffy said...

Although I am not a vegetarian I agree that treating animals with cruelty is unacceptable. Also I wonder if the commandment about eating meat was made at a time when animals were intensively farmed like there are now. I think not. I bet they led much more normal 'animal' lives. I can understand why people become vegetarians when they consider issues such as intensive farming, slaughterhouse conditions, transporting of animals in cramped conditions etc. My compromise is to try to buy organic meat which is not poisoned with anti-biotics and hormones and generally the animals are treated much better.

Julia said...

I've been reading your blog for a couple months without commenting until now. I admire what you're doing with your life and your willingness to try new ideas. You are more conservative than I am, but I respect what you have to say and you give me some food for thought.

I just wanted to say hello from another vegetarian. My parents raised me almost entirely vegetarian. They didn't know much about nutrition, so they took me to Burger King for chicken nuggets and fish sandwiches occassionally because they weren't sure if it was bad for a kid to entirely cut out meat. When I was 9 I decided not to eat that stuff anymore. So I've been completely vegetarian for 20 years, and my 8 and 6 year old children have been since birth. I continue to be vegetarian for the exat same reasons you are. I've always thought if I did eat meat I would prefer something that lived a normal life outside a factory farm like deer or even free range cattle.

I was confronted on my ways in church once by a group of older women. I generally kept quiet about my food choices, but didn't keep it a secret either. They wanted to be sure I was a vegetarian for health reasons, not because I think animals are as good as humans. I tried to explain it is for health reasons and I'd prefer to not kill animals. I tried to explain it's not about animals being as good as or lower than us, but it's about them being under our protection. I don't think meat eating is bad, but I am strongly against factory farming methods, which is where most of our meat comes from. I should have brought up the fact that we could feed more people if we ate less meat, but I was put on the spot and I forgot.

Anna S said...

Julia,

Hi there, and thank you for commenting. I appreciate your support. You're absolutely right - no one said caring about cruelty to animals means we think animals are as important as people. But God clearly frowns upon cruelty to animals, and quite explicitly forbids it.

Kathleen said...

Anna,

Thanks for the glimpse into your life ;). I'm really looking forward to some vegetarian recipes!

AnneK said...

Your diet is almost entirely like mine. Except that mine is a lot more spicier. (all those Indian spices) I was thinking I was a weird one because I only drink water (no tea, coffee, alcohol, no soft drinks even) now I am in good company :D I make almost entirely vegetarian food because I enjoy it (I am not a vegetarian myself) and also hubby is a vegetarian. There are many veg variety food and I don't think I am missing anything in life. Except maybe cholesterol and diabetes. LOL

Do you eat soy btw?

Anonymous said...

We eat a lot of venison, & I have started buying the free range chickens. They ARE more expensive, true, but they are delicious, & I appreciate the fact that they are raised in a healthy way. I'm not sure I could be a vegetarian....I enjoy the taste of meat...or at least, I'd have to have cheese, butter, eggs, fish. But there are a few fine vegetarian dishes that I make, & my family has never complained about the lack of meat at that particular meal. If somebody came to my house, who I knew was a strict vegetarian, I would never try to sabotage them, by sneaking in some meat here & there. Likewise, I would feel put out, definitely, if somebody wanted to lecture me on the "evils" of eating meat. Above all, I'm thankful the good Lord saw fit to place on this earth so many wonderful things to eat! Whatever our persuasion, we are so blessed to have a choice in the matter!

Brenda

Anna S said...

Annie, we do use spices a lot, too, especially when Grandma cooks - lots and lots of Hungarian paprika!

Yes, I do eat soy - but not ready-to-eat frozen soy foods.

Re4mdmom said...

Where do cows get their protein? Where do elephants get their protein? Elephants are the largest land mammals on earth and they are herbivores. They get their protein by eating raw greens, basically. In fact, they get all their nutrients from a plant-based diet. They are vegans. (Not sure if they consume mother's milk, but that wouldn't disqualify them because they aren't consuming the milk of another species).

It is a total myth that the best sources of protein lie in animal products, including dairy and eggs. The quality of protein is so poor in meat and is not easily assimilated by our bodies. If you want protein that your body LOVES and knows what to do with, eat greens, nuts and seeds. Raw nuts won't make you fat- their fats are amazingly healthy for our bodies. You can actually make DELICIOUS cheese and ice cream out of nuts. I've made all kinds of herb cheeses and a few different types of ice cream out of cashews. Who knew?? I was amazed!

Most Americans consume way too much protein already- its not difficult at all for an informed vegetarian, vegan or raw vegan (eating only raw fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds) to get all the protein and most definitely all of the nutrients we need from a plant-based diet, even without dairy and eggs. The only supplement a vegetarian might need is B12 and even that is debated in veggie circles.

Above Rubies has some great articles on nutrition. I don't agree at all with their belief that there are still "unclean meats" which Christians should not consume, but many of their articles are very informative and encouraging.

Anna, there really is something to be said about being vegetarian to help out others in our world. Over 840 million people on the planet don't have enough food to live a normal life. We use 2/3 of our agricultural land either raising cattle or raising the corn to feed them. Over 60 percent of US grain is used for livestock. Imagine if we took that land to raise grain that could feed HUMANS??

Obviously, I am a very passionate vegetarian. I'm passionate about health and a lot of times I get zealous and over-excited. However, i most definitely believe that everyone should eat according to their conscience. If you want to eat meat at every meal and nothing else, more power to you!! I just think that vegetarianism is something to be informed about... and Sally Fallon is terribly misinformed about vegetarianism, so I wouldn't trust Nourishing Traditions any farther than I could throw it. Read The China Study to learn more...

Terry said...

My husaband is a vegetarian, and I've never met a burger I didn't like. However, in the interest of simplifying my life in the kitchen, our entire family eats meatless meals 3 or 4 days a week. More often than not, beans are the staple of the meal because they are such a wonderful source of fiber and protein. Like you, we drink water with every meal as well. My kids love water. When their friends want soda, they prefer a bottle of water. Of course on weekends I can't resist making a pitcher of iced tea to accompany our Sunday dinner. We don't eat as healthily as we probably should, but we're making progress.

USAincognito said...

I thought vegetarians couldn't eat anything that was dairy or eggs either since it technically came from an animal?

Julie's Jewels said...

Wow!! It is neat that you can keep this kind of diet. I am not a big fan of meat but I do like it. I can do without it. I don't exactly eat it a lot but I do eat it. I mainly like it in casseroles or soups. But my husband is one of those that thinks he has to have meat with his supper every night. I've tried to get by without it and he always has a comment about it.

Julie's Jewels said...

Oh yeah....and you're right about the water....it is the best!!!

Coupon Addict said...

Awesome post Anna! Thank you for the menu. It sounds like you eat really healthy with out deprivation. By the way I am in process of chaning my blog. I just wanted to pop by while I am still known as the coupon addict. Stop by and see some of the new changes. So far I have my new domain name!

Anna S said...

USA, that's vegans :)

Karen said...

You eat more than I do! *Cries* Yet I probably weigh twice as much. It's not fair! That's it, I'm going to a doctor!

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for awhile now and I didn't know you were vegetarian! I became vegetarian as a teenager and so did my husband. Our reasons have varied over the years (health, animal cruelty, etc), but mostly I think we just don't like meat all that much.

We eat a lot of Indian food (lacto-vegetarian) mostly since American/European food doesn't seem to lend itself to vegetarianism as easily. Although I learned how to make a lot of American foods vegetarian by subscribing to the vegetarian menu plan at savingdinner.com for awhile.

There are some Christian vegetarian groups: http://www.all-creatures.org/cva/ for example. Some of what they say is controversial.

~Erica

Jordin said...

This is a very interesting discussion! I'm definitely not a vegetarian, but I'm intrigued by it. I just can't imagine not having a good steak or grilled chicken every now and then! ;)I guess it's just the way my parents cooked as I was growing up.

I do try to have vegetarian meals at least 2x a week--but that's just to save money. I think I would have to work VERY hard--and use a lot of will-power if I ever decided to become a vegetarian. :)

Is N.P. a vegetarian? If not, how will you two work that out when you're married?

Kyla said...

I still eat meat but I am very careful about what type of meat I eat. I only buy hormone free beef and chicken and when I can I buy free range chicken. We also eat very little dairy and that is all organic. One thing that I would suggest is buying organic milk and cheese so that you can avoid the massive amounts of steroids and hormones in cow's milk. It costs more but is completely worth it. Have you read Diet for a New America by John Robbins? Its one book my dad suggests to all of his patients and one that you would probably enjoy. In fact, I haven't read it in years and I need to order my own copy!

Mrs. Brigham said...

I was a vegetarian at a point several years ago, but did not do well on the diet at all. :o( My naturopath advised me to follow a "nutrient dense diet" in order to regain my health after nutrition deprivation from years of undiagnosed celiac disease. Perhaps in the future I might be able to try going "veggie" again! A good 75% of the food we consume is fruits & veggies, and the rest is protein and grains. Our meat, eggs, and dairy are all free-range/grassfed/organic/wild, and typically locally purchased, and we do eat many meatless meals throughout the week. Sean eats a fair bit of tofu & tempeh, but I am severely allergic to soy, so many delicious dishes are now off limits for me. Hopefully food allergies will not be in the baby's future...with wheat, gluten, and soy already gone, I would hate to be meal planning with more allergies/intolerances involved :P

It's nice to see that I am not the only oddball who drinks only water! :o)My mom did not allow us to drink sugary juices or pop growing up, and I do intend to do the same thing with Peapod.

Anna S said...

Re4md Mom,

Thank you for your insight! I loved hearing from you!

You point out something very important: many people fuss about vegetarians not getting enough protein, but in fact, most people eat more protein than they need.

I do want to say, though, that it might not be entirely accurate to compare us with herbivores, because we simply don't have the same digestive system. For example, cows can digest cellulose very well, so they live off grass - we can't do that. Our stomach is designed differently, our enzymes and digestive bacteria are different.

Jordin,

N.P. isn't a vegetarian; we made an arrangement that when we marry, he will cook meat/chicken for himself, and I'll cook everything else.

He doesn't mind eating vegetarian food most of the days, though, especially when it's hot.

Kyla,

I haven't read it, but now I'll put it on my to-read nutrition list! :)

Michelle said...

Yes! I highly recommend Fascinating Womanhood! Its an excellent book.

As for vegetarianism, I used to be one - and by the time I got married I was so unhealthy and weak. I was also lactose intolerant all my life. My belief is that there is a reason God told Noah to "take, kill, and eat" when he got off the ark.
I started eating meat and because of that, gave my stomach the enzymes it needed to digest lactose.
There's also a much higher risk for vitamin E deficiency in vegetarians. You be careful, y'hear? : )

Anna S said...

Michelle, I always joke about how I went to get a degree in nutrition just so I can have enough authority to claim my diet is healthy for me ;)))

I do believe God created our bodies differently, though. What works for me might not work for you. For example, I've never been lactose intolerant.

Michelle said...

Another thought I might add - God does command to eat meat. Like I said, he told Noah to take, kill, and eat.
Another reference is Romans chapter 14. Granted it speaks on not causing a brother to stumble by your eating meat (which I'm hoping I'm not doing here) but in verse 2 it says "for one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables"
Also in the New Testament in Acts, God and Peter have that little exchange in chapter 10 where God presents to him unclean meat and says to kill and eat. At first he refused but the Voice said "What God has cleansed you must not call unclean"
These are just a few examples up my sleeve. The only reason I particularly get adament about this particular topic is because my parents follow the hallelujah diet which bases its entire philosophy on ONE single verse in the Bible which they take out of context. There are so many deficiencies associated with this diet and they look awful and they are slowly killing themselves.
I'd hate to see a vibrant young woman like you be unhealthy at all. Carrying a child is another great risk if you're vegetarian. It is associated with birth defects and deficiencies in the child - especially if you choose to nurse. Anyway, I'll stop talking your ear off - your choices are your choices : D I'm be more than willing to continue to dialogue with you through email if you'd like me to share some of my research.

Anna S said...

Michelle,

Note that what God said to Noah was right after the Flood, when nearly all plants were destroyed. Also, a restriction immediately follows: "But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat."

Anyway... I had no idea this post would provoke such debate. :) I was saving "why I'm vegetarian" for another day :P

I've been vegetarian since pre-puberty. I'm healthy and thriving. We will see what happens in the future. If God gives me a child and during my pregnancy my health deteriorates and I'm convinced beyond doubt my condition can only be improved by eating meat, it goes without saying that I'll do whatever it takes for my health. So far, however, I'm very happy with my diet.

Kelly said...

Wow I would never have thought this subject would cause such response. I enjoyed reading everyone's comment.
We have greatly reduced our meat intake, though I doubt we'll ever eliminate it, so that we can afford free range 100% organic meat, dairy, etc. It's worth doing even when you like meat. Most of us to eat too much meat on a daily basis.
Loved the article Anna. I would love to see more recipes for vegetarian dinners.
Kelly

Lillian the Ponderer said...

Anna, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I have been a vegan for 13 years (since I was 17) and the first year that I became a vegan I noticed a marked improvement in my health. I have never cooked meat (I am allergic to milk and never baked with eggs as I am useless at cracking them so becoming lacto-ovo vegetarian was never a consideration for me), so I would not have a clue how to prepare a nutritionally balanced meat or lacto-ovo vegetarian meal. I can however put together a healthy nutritionally balanced vegan menu without even thinking about it. I think it is all down to experience and habit.
When I met my dear future husband, he was skeptical that one could raise children healthily on a vegan diet (or even be healthy oneself),(I have been clear for a long time that I would want to raise my children as vegans) - he has since changed his mind, having seen and sampled my food and knowing that I am very knowledgeable about nutrition. I have never, and will never push him to become a vegan... He says he will one day - but I feel that is his choice, however when we are together he only eats vegan food and at his home he only eats vegan. Being clear about your own values and respecting others is essential in relationships, as is compromise, being willing to learn from the experience of another is however one of the most things that we as humans and Christians can do.
Keep sharing your views and opinions Anna, - they may not always be popular but they are valuable. Sorry this is so long - feel free to edit.

Laura said...

I've eaten mostly vegetarian since pre-puberty too!!!!! Recently I reintroduced seafood into my diet. I 100% agree that God made all our bodies differently and what works for one person may or may not work for another. I've always been healthy- even when I gave being vegan a try. (but I like cheese too much) For some reason, like some of the commenters above, people can get defensive when you say that you are veg. No idea why. Maybe they feel the need to justify their diets? You seem like you eat healthy. Thanks for the GREAT post.

wife of faith said...

I'm not vegetarian, but due to budget constraints we have cut a lot of meat out of our diets. I'm surprised at how many things we still eat and enjoy without feeling like we're missing something.

Anonymous said...

Michelle,

"Carrying a child is another great risk if you're vegetarian. It is associated with birth defects and deficiencies in the child - especially if you choose to nurse."

Do you have any references for this? Are you thinking of vegans perhaps? They have to be a lot more careful. But Anna, as you can tell from her menu, is not vegan.

I have a 6 yo daughter and am pregnant with my second child. I am a lacto-vegetarian. My daughter is normal and I am totally healthy. I have tons of vegetarian friends who are healthy and have healthy kids. There are so many lacto-vegetarian women in India (42% stated they were so in a recent survey) who have normal pregnancies and healthy children.

~Erica

Serena said...

I think that if a lot of animal-lovers knew how cows and chickens and such are treated on typical big-industry farms, they would rethink their diets. I personally think that chickens are one of the stupidest, most disgusting creatures on the face of the earth. But I only buy organic FREE-RANGE eggs. They're creations of God, and should therefore be treated kindly (spiders, however, are another matter).

I'm not a vegetarian, but I could be, if my husband would go for it!

I think your statements and menu are perfectly reasonable and healthy, and sound delicious. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your menus and recipes, Anna!

Anonymous said...

I am a vegetarian, and I love the diet. Sometimes it's hard, when you go out, but I like it. I love spinach and fette cheese.

I think it's really nice that you offered people vegetarian recipes.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mrs. Brigham said...

Erica- I hope you do not mind me giving a bit of information about your question. Nutrition during pregnancy is a *really* important topic to me, and I have come across some interesting information over the past few years. :o)

I do not know anything about animals products in particular, however, not eating enough protein in general during pregnancy can cause complications for both mother & child. A deficiency in protein can be a cause factor in premature birth, and is also speculated to play a part in pre-eclampsia. (Of course, dehydration can also lead to premature birth!)

Nutritional deficiency can also lead to anemia in pregnant/nursing mother and child, but I do not really see how animal products can be the main factor in either of these cases. Iron from meat is not always the most easily assimilated source. Eating too many refined foods and not enough produce might be more the culprit. A good, healthful diet, full of fruits & veggies, high quality proteins, and water, along with exercise is what we need to be shooting for all of the time, but especially during pregnancy/nursing. Meat/animal products are certainly not the only source for high quality protein, but might just be the one the majority of us commonly think of when it comes to protein. Quinoa is a delicious little grain that is full of quality protein, easy to prepare, and highly nutritious. Several other grains offer this benefits, as do many legumes, tofu, tempeh, and so on.

Just to throw it out there- several years ago I came across a study conducted on a group of Seventh Day Adventist women who were pregnant and vegans. This group of women had not one case of pre-e or gestational diabetes. I cannot recall if anything was mentioned about premature birth, but I do not think this was part of the study. Being that these women had a very healthful lifestyle that would add other contributing factors to their well, the conclusion that vegan diet is wonderful for pregnancy may not be able to be declared from this one study alone, but this is still something I have found interesting to know.

Anna- This is quite the ignorant question, but is it still advised to "match" plant proteins to make a "full" protein? I was always taught to, say, use brown rice & lentils together in one dish to make a "full" protein, and this is what I do, especially during pregnancy/nursing.

Anonymous said...

"Erica- I hope you do not mind me giving a bit of information about your question."

Not at all, you posted a great comment! One thing that always surprised me is that I'm not anemic even as a vegetarian and even during pregnancy. My mother and a couple of my friends do eat meat and are anemic. So that always surprised me that eating meat alone doesn't seem to be the solution for that. ~Erica

Anna S said...

Amy, thank you for your insight and for mentioning Quinoa! I was about to bring it up myself.

The traditional approach to 'matching' proteins is still considered advisable, but even more than that, in my opinion, it's important to have a varied, healthful and natural diet, without too many processed foods (just like you said).

Anna S said...

I'd like to add a little rule of the thumb: it's almost never a specific kind of food, and almost always the nutrient in general, that matters. Meat is a source of iron and protein, but certainly not the only source.

Candy said...

Anna....I LOVE that you eat a slice of cake or a cookie for breakfast!!!! :)

Smiles,
Candy

Karen said...

Anna, I forgot to mention I was a semi-veg for 5 years. I didn't eat red meat. It was SO hard because all my friends would tease me or get offended I wouldn't eat their food. I still don't eat pork, shellfish, crabs, that sort of thing because my husband believes in a Kosher diet. (Eating pork is extremely bad for your health, it is full of fat and toxins and has almost no redeeming qualities except protein. In fact pigs are one animal known to spread many dangerous illnesses to people.)

Anyway, we just believe that the laws God gave about which animals not to eat were done for our own good to benefit our health, as many other biblical laws were as well. So that's my view on it.

I tried to be a veg for a while but I could not keep to it when my whole family would not eat what I did. It was just too hard to cook seperate meals all the time. Are you planning to raise your children veg? If not I would consider that might also be a difficulty for you.

We don't eat too much meat, though, I make sure to fix at least 1 or 2 meatless dinners per week, even though my husband loves meat. I also agree we should do our part to reduce suffering as much as we can, and people eat WAY too much meat!

Do you eat peanut butter? That is a good source of protein but I avoid it because of the fat content.

Being a veg can get spendy! I already have to buy soy milk because I'm severely lactose intolerant. I can handle about the equivolant of 1 glass of milk per day, and anything more than that makes me violently ill. Unlike Michelle, eating meat for me has not helped this problem in the slightest. The bacterias in yogurt helps a little. (Many LI people don't know how helpful yogurt can be).

Sorry to ramble on so! ;p

College Gal said...

I liked this post Anna. I love meat, BBQ sauce with it hmmm. I also love, salads, eggs (yum!) and fruit, and the best one...water!!! Standing out in the sun all day in the summer, boy that water tastes VERY good! ;)

Anna S said...

Karen: the challenges you describe aren't unfamiliar to me at all :)

"Anyway, we just believe that the laws God gave about which animals not to eat were done for our own good to benefit our health, as many other biblical laws were as well. So that's my view on it."

- I agreew with you, and believe none of His laws were given without a reason.

I should mention that I'm the only vegetarian in the family. We don't cook separate meals, though; sometimes we all eat vegetarian, sometimes I'll settle for just eating the side dishes and prepare an egg or two for myself.

Do I plan to raise my children as vegetarians? Not sure yet - we'll have to discuss this with N.P.

I prefer eating peanuts, rather than peanut butter - unprocessed is always better! Peanut butter contains lots of sugar and salt. I make peanut butter cookies sometimes, though. They're a hit around here.

And I'm a big yogurt fan as well!