Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 10:53 pm Post subject: New to forum & vegetarianism
I thought I would make somewhat of an introductory post here. I have recently decided to become a vegetarian. It kinda started on accident, about 3 weeks ago I decided to start eating healthier and then realized 'wait a minute, I haven't had any meet in the last 3 weeks and feel great!' So after that realization I started making a conscious effort to continue to be meat-free and I also have been researching many of the benefits about vegetarianism. Many of the benefits appeal to me and there are some I never even considered such as the ecological benefits.
The only difficulties I am starting to run into are
1. explaining my choice to friends and family. I have this whole list of good reasons why and then when put on the spot it kinda goes POOF from my head and all im left with is 'uhh..cuz its good for you'
and 2. Finding new and tasty things to eat. I have mainly been eating salads.. lots of salads and fresh juices (fruit and vegetable) I also found these cool Soy Chips that I love and have been snacking on.. but beyond that I have no knowledge of vegetarian meal preparation, the meal choices that are out there... so I bought a cool book and it only lists really difficult stuff to make with hard to find or expensive ingredients (le sigh).
Any advice or help on the best ways to continue down this path and stay strong would be greatly appreciated!
Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:28 am Post subject: New to Vegetarianism
Welcome to vegetarianism. I hope your choice makes you as happy as it has made me.
You asked a couple of questions:
1. How to explain your choice to others: What more needs to be said than that you went without meat for 3 weeks and felt great? But if you want more information, you might start by reading a few books on the subject: John Robbins' Diet for a New America looks at vegetarianism as it relates to the animals, the environment, and human health. And although it was written in about 20 years ago now, it is still relevant today. John Robbins, the author, writes so eloquently about his journey across the country and his experiences.
If you want a more scientific perspective, T Colin Campbell's, The China Study, discusses the health benefits of vegetarianism, especially as it relates to disease.
And, Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser is also a great source of information about the effects of meat-eating, especially fast food, on our whole society.
There are many resources out there that can help you find information about vegetarianism. PETA has a great website: GoVeg.com, where you can order a free vegetarian starter kit with lots of information to help you get started. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine also has lots of info on their site: pcrm.org.
2. Finding new and tasty foods: Our own SF Bay Area has a great local resource - Bay Area Vegetarians, bayareaveg.org. There is the Ultimate Guide, where you can search for vegetarian or veg-friendly restaurants. And we have frequent vegan food parties, where you can taste many great foods and meet other people who have made the same decision as you have made. We also have the SFBAVeg discussion group that you can join through Yahoo groups. You can post questions to the list and get lots of replies, or just read the posts and replies that others send it.
Joined: 02 Aug 2005 Posts: 75 Location: San Francisco
Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 10:31 pm Post subject: Post subject: Re: New to forum & vegetarianism
Yes, I think The Peaceful Palate by Jennifer Raymond is the best cookbook to start out with, even though I know someone who has about 400 vegan and vegetarian cookbooks so there are a lot of them out there.
There are also many vegan and vegetarian convenience foods (cup of soups, frozen dinners, packaged dinners if you can afford them, and some of them are even low salt low fat if health is a huge issue, but they're a way to find ideas for things to make to eat also. And there are so many all vegan and all vegetarian restaurants in most parts of the SFBA. So treat yourself.
I suggest you try to come to one of the many Bay Area Vegetarians dining out activities. You'll meet people who can give you all kinds of support.
As far as dealing with others' reactions, there are also a lot of good books out there. My favorite is Living Among Meat Eaters by Carol Adams.
And the national magazine, based in San Francisco, called Veg News is the only publication I read cover to cover. There's recipes and an advice person who answers questions such as those you have and many articles, etc. You could look for the July/August copy at health food store newsstands or subscribe at vegnews.com. They have 6 issues a year. I find it a big support, even though I've been vegetarian and now vegan for many years.
Best wishes. And I hope the transition to vegetarianism becomes easy for you. You've started with a really nice and helpful group of people here at bayareavegetarians.com.
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