Why I chose a vegetarian diet

My path to giving up meat

 

For me choosing to follow a mostly vegetarian diet did not happen overnight. However, the decision to give up meat was easy.  Meat just lost its appeal.  The thought of biting into a piece of fat or chewing off a bone turned my stomach. I just couldn’t do it anymore.

That was my first step towards following a mostly vegetarian diet (I will eat fish on occasion).  For a few years I didn’t eat any red meat. I decided to give up chicken while eating with my grandparents one evening. Seeing the bones and veins turned my stomach again.  I decided I just couldn’t eat it either anymore. I had no idea of the health or environmental implications. At the time, these issues were not topics the media followed.  Following a vegetarian diet was not mainstream at all.  Some people thought I was weird. There weren’t many cookbooks or resources available.

Is your daughter always hungry?

Does this happen in your house?? You prepare a nice meal for everyone, clear the table, load the dishwasher and clean everything up only to have your daughter come back to the kitchen an hour later to make a snack because she is hungry. This happens in my house and it drives me crazy! Maybe I should be more strict and tell them the kitchen is ‘closed’ like my mother did when I was a kid but I have a hard time saying no when my kids say they are hungry.  Should they have eaten more at supper, should I have made sure they ate a nutritionally-balanced meal with lots of protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates?

The lowdown on tofu and tempeh

Mention tofu to some people and they instantly say they don’t like it. I bet half of these people just haven’t tasted a good recipe with tofu. As someone who has not eaten meat or chicken in about 30 years, tofu has always been part of my diet.  I use it in soups, salads, stir fries, salad dressings and sometimes in dessert. It can be confusing because there are so many types of regular and organic tofu; silken, soft, medium firm, firm, extra firm and now you can buy sprouted tofu. Choosing which type of tofu is ultimately based on your recipe and preference. First and foremost it is important to choose organic so that you don’t eat genetically modified soybeans.

My vegetarian rant!

Plant-based protein is all the rage these days and maybe because I have a little bias (ok a BIG bias) I can’t help but say a little hurray. It is about time the world woke up and looked seriously at these food options.  Why has it taken so long??

Is it just a phase?

Your daughter declared she wants to become a vegetarian. What were your first thoughts? Do any of these resonate with you:

  1. What am I going to feed her?
  2. She’ll never get enough protein on a vegetarian diet
  3. How are we going to eat out?
  4. It’s just a phase, she’ll grow out of it

Sesame Miso Glazed Eggplant

When your kids request a certain meal for dinner how can you say no? Especially when it’s not pasta! I was really surprised when my daughter asked me to make Sesame Miso Glazed Eggplant. I have been making this Vegetarian Times recipes for a few years and she hasn’t really eaten much of it. Maybe her taste has evolved or maybe she has acquired a taste for eggplant. Regardless I am happy to prepare it as I enjoy it as well. Plus, it’s pretty quick and easy to make. Bonus for a busy work night. It was quite the challenge to find the Asian eggplants that day but thankfully after 3 grocery store visits, I was all set.

Are there unhealthy vegetarian foods?

Vegetarian diets are touted for their many health benefits but you can also eat lots of unhealthy food on a vegetarian diet.  The grocery store is full of packaged, processed vegetarian foods with long and complicated ingredient lists.  As with any healthy diet we want to stick to the perimeter of the grocery store and minimize the amount of food we buy from the middle aisles.

Feeding Picky Teenagers

Life with teenagers can be a roller coaster ride; one day they think you are the greatest, next day they think you don’t know anything. Gone are the days when they cry when you drop them off at school and you worry whether or not their friends will play with them at recess. Fast forward to the teenage years and now you worry how they will do on their math exam, will their face clear up before the weekend and obviously, are they eating properly.

I know from personal experience feeding picky teenagers can be a challenge. If my daughter had it her way she’d eat pasta or pizza every night.  How do I ensure she is eating properly?