Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Thoughts on one month of vegetarian

It's been a month. I'm proud of us. We have kept to it without fail for a whole month. We have made almost every one of our meals, because going out to eat for a vegetarian is hard. After lots of research, basically we can have a salad almost anywhere, after that it gets hard.

Since we are Lacto-Ovo vegetarians (we still eat dairy and eggs), anyplace that serves breakfast all day is good because we can have Omelets. Denny's is also good because for no extra cost any burger that they have can be substituted with a Boca Burger (which has become a must have item in our house). Bennigan's also has a Boca burger. And the salad bar at Ruby Tuesday's is good. And finally Burger King has a vegetarian sandwich.

In the past month we have eaten out a total of 3 times together, I have 2 more myself.

Since we are also not anti-kill the animals types of vegetarians we have continued to use chicken broth instead of switching to vegetable broth. It's just too big of a cost difference to make the switch right now, maybe after we have been doing this for a while.

I have averaged 1.5 servings of fruit a day and 4 servings of vegetables a day for the past month. I am eating a lot less carbohydrates.

As far as energy goes, I have more energy now than before, and I'm drinking less caffeine and more water. I like the additional energy that I have. However, I have been having memory problems. I still have some things that my mind is great with, but more and more things I'm just not remembering at all.

Along with the switch to vegetarian I mentioned previously the website SparkPeople that we have been using. There have been several really good recipes from there that we have tried, and using the site I've lost just over 10 pounds this month. Erin is right behind me at 9 I think.

Our Vegetarian musts:
  1. We had to love beans. All kinds. The beans are the protein that we get. We have beans in probably half of our recipes.
  2. Boca burgers are great hamburger substitutes, lower calories, and have great protein.
  3. Ground Boca is a better meat substitute for chili or spaghetti than smashed beans.
  4. Having food ready to grab and go is a necessity. We keep carrots, celery, apples, and 100 calorie snack packs to be able to take a snack with us as we are walking out the door. I've already pointed out the difficulty of eating out.
  5. Read the labels. Vegetarian doesn't mean healthier. We buy frozen french fries, but they are only pre-cut potatoes, not already fried. Then we bake them with no oil. They are just as healthy as having a potato.
  6. Our salads have gotten interesting with lots and lots of toppings; green, red, yelllow, orange peppers, celery, carrots, hard-boiled egg, raisins, cashews, and pretty much anything else we can find.
  7. Fruit with cool whip for dessert is healthy and low in calories.
There's lots we've learned about being vegetarian in a month, and a lot we still are trying to learn. But without a doubt, our hands down best recipes have come from Betty Crocker's Vegetarian Cooking. We now have about 10 vegetarian cook books, but that one has the easiest to follow recipes with the most common ingredients.