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-   -   Question for Those Following Vegetarian Eating (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/vegetarian/742435-question-those-following-vegetarian-eating.html)

putthekettleon 10-22-2011 01:47 PM

Question for Those Following Vegetarian Eating
I've been thinking of going vegetarian. But I'm wondering where you draw the line. For example, how perfect are you? I take DHA supplements, but they are encased in gelatin. Sometimes I eat vegetable soup in a restaurant. Do I worry that it's cooked in chicken broth?

I keep my carbs lowish compared to the general public. No way can I eat the pastas and grain dishes that are so prevalent in vegetarian cooking.

I've tried every diet on this earth I am sure - and I've come to the conclusion that lowering calories is the only thing that ever worked for me. So I'll definitely be focusing on calories. I just got a book called Calorie Queens that focuses on Eucalorics (eating your maintenance calories now while you're losing). So there's minimal deprivation, and what you're doing now you'll do for the rest of your life.

I was surprised to find a vegetarian forum here on Atkinsfriends, but then again, I'm surprised to find myself here as well, since my focus is now on calories! But it's such a great website, and I have seen a few "lower calorie" forums here, like JUDDD.

Not sure what I'll do, but I'm so sick of eating meat.

ravenrose 10-23-2011 08:55 AM

you can define your way of eating any way you like. many "vegetarians" are very strict about things like gelatin, but many more are much looser, even to the point of eating fish on occasion. If you are just sick of eating meat, just stop eating meat, and don't worry about adhering to some strict rule for people who are vegetarian for other reasons!

Nigel 10-23-2011 09:11 AM

I agree with Ravenrose. I still eat meat, so I'm not a true vegetarian and I like using meat broths to flavor things. I love bacon grease and don't want to give that up or the bacon itself and there is no vegetarian substitute that even comes close.

I got tired of the taste of meat...it tastes off/funny to me and I just lost my taste for it. I never ate a lot of meat to begin with.

The rules are what you make them--do what works for you and decide what you want to keep in your diet and what you don't.

There is no way to be 100% anything actually--since we cannot control our own food supply totally. We just have to do the best we can here.

TaDa! 10-23-2011 12:24 PM

I agree with both Ravenrose and Nigel - you must do what suits you and draw the line where 1) you choose to draw the line, or 2) where you can at any moment in time, always hoping / trying to "improve" living up to your beliefs. It is a very personal thing imho and unless a person decides to be "evangelistic" about their personal beliefs, is up to each individual to decide what is right for them and their own personal reasoning.

If it is no kind of moral decision at all, but if, as you mention, you are simply "sick of eating meat," then I do not see why you need to worry about distinctions - don't worry about the labels others want to place on you. No matter what you do, there are people out there who will attack your personal choices (largely because they are uncomfortable with their own). I say do your own thing and let any negative nellies just spin themselves in circles. You do not owe anyone an explanation of your eating habits unless you choose to give one - if someone should ask nicely and respectfully why you do not eat x but will eat soup at a restaurant, and you choose to give them an answer, you simply explain what you did in your OP - that you cannot stomach meat, but eating broth does not "bother" you.

my 2 cents!



putthekettleon 10-23-2011 01:11 PM

Thank you for your replies. Reading back my post, I was sure in a funky mood yesterday. I just didn't feel well, blamed it on too much meat and posted!

But you guys are right. The heck with labels. I realize that I will probably continue to eat meat, maybe just less of it. Thanks for responding to that senseless tirade!

nikki 10-24-2011 01:25 PM

I have been very successful as a vegetarian, however I am not super strict. I still eat eggs and dairy, I don't care if my gelatin is vegan (though that may change), and I don't freak out if I accidentally consume a meat product in a recipe someone else has cooked.

That said, however, it is definitely challenging to be a vegetarian AND low-carb. Challenging, but possible. If this is something you choose to do, you will find the support you need to accomplish it here. :)

Sissiesue 12-01-2011 12:05 PM

I used to be a strict vegetarian, and I was comfortable at that point in my life as describing myself as vegetarian. It was a lifestyle for me, not just a diet -- I didn't wear leather, I didn't use products tested on animals, etc.

These days, I'm not a strict vegetarian or even a "regular" vegetarian, but I eat a primarily vegetarian diet. And that's what I tell people these days (I eat a "primarily vegetarian" diet). I don't really feel like I should call myself a vegetarian if I eat fish or products that directly result in the death of an animal (I eat sardines a couple times a month and I take cod liver oil daily).

I don't get too hung up on labels, but if someone told me that he or she was a vegetarian, I'd assume that that person avoided all food products that directly result in the death of an animal. If that person told me that he or she was vegan, I'd assume a zero-animal product diet + lifestyle guidelines (no leather, etc.).

Folks (like me) who eat animals or things like chicken broth are just omnivores. :-) It's only by comparison to other Westerners (with a meat-heavy diet) that we seem like vegetarians.

Interesting discussion!

Sherril 02-09-2012 09:46 AM

Many people become "vegetarians" for lots of different reasons. I agree that you can define it any way that works for you. I stopped eating meat after doing a 20 page research paper on the the topic in college over 20 years ago. After reading about 20 books on vegetarianism, there was no way I could ever go back to eating meat. It's not a humane thing for me, it's more of how disgusting meat really is--the aesthetics of it. I can't bring myself to eat the rotting flesh of animals. Because of this, I try to avoid anything meat flesh related including broths, lard, and anything from the sea. However, and this may make me a hyprocrite, but I still eat eggs and dairy products but wish I didn't. I really like Pauline's idea of a vegan Monday. At least it would be a start in the right direction.

TaDa! 02-10-2012 05:12 AM

Sherril I feel the same way - and also, in my case, that it is simply wrong to kill animals when it is entirely unnecessary. I have to laugh at all the posts of "oh I was a vegetarian for 100 zillion years and I was fat and felt sick until I started eating lowcarb and lots of meat." How convenient for them to equate vegetarianism with highcarb eating and self-justify .. uhhhhhhhh dudes! you can be a lc vegetarian and not be fat anymore, lolol! I have had people get seriously upset with me for pointing this out when I was sick of hearing people dis vegetarianism in order to justify (to themselves) their own decisions. lol!!! If you make a decision, own it, I say! lol! Despite the fact that I will not justify myself to others (as I posted above), I feel it is critical to own my own personal inconsistencies and that is part of being honest with myself and losing the weight-shield I wore most of my life, too.

Sherril I recently switched over from cage-free eggs to pasture-raised which are like $6 a dozen at Whole Foods. I literally drive over there just to buy eggs ... as I mentioned earlier in the thread, I am always looking to improve my personal practices and move toward what seems right to me. Again, I am nowhere near where I would like to be (the more obvious thing being, don't use eggs, lol!), but I am always moving closer to my ideal - I hope!!!!!

Sherril 02-10-2012 08:04 AM

I avoided low carb for years because I didn't think I could do it being a vegetarian. I refused to go back to my carnivore ways. After reading Diane Kress' book, Metabolism Miracle, where she does discuss doing low carb vegetarian style, I learned it was possible. I did the MM diet for about 8 months and lost almost 40 pounds and then my mother in law became terminally ill. The stress of taking care of her and then going through mourning her and taking care of her estate, I went off the WOE and gained every one of those pounds back. I felt awful, looked awful and my hypoglycemia was back with a vengeance. This time, I feel more prepared to make low-carb a WOE for the rest of my life, even after I lose the 75 pounds I need to lose. In 3 weeks, I'm already down 10 pounds and feel so much better. :jumpjoy:

saltnpepper 02-16-2012 03:53 AM

Wow, this thread is very helpful.

Thanks to all who posted. AND it is nice to know it can be done, LC, as a veggin.

I go back and forth in my mind as to what is best for me. Hopefully I'll figure it all out soon.

Thanks again,


p.s. How you doing Sherril?

Sherril 02-17-2012 08:01 PM

Hi Anna, thanks for asking. I'm now down 15 pounds and my clothes are even starting to fit much much better. I've been doing some waking, about 4-5 miles a week, not much but a start. There is a new gym opening up near me next month and it's for women only. Women sized equipment, 2 pools, a spinning room, lots and lots of classes, Zumba, step class, Tae Bo, yoga, and more. Lots of weight equipment, and aerobic machines like the treadmill, stepper, elliptical, bikes, etc. so I'm sure I won't get board. The person who owned it 12 years ago when I was a faithful member bought it back from bankruptcy. I remember going on the weekends just to sit by the pool and enjoy the mountain view. It really is quite a lovely place. They even have an outdoor track to walk on. I can't wait for it to open.

Today I didn't have anything to bring for lunch so I tucked a 3 carb tortilla into my purse. During my prep period (I teach Jr. High) I went to Subway and asked for a 6" veggie sub w/avocado without any bread. They forgot to put on any dressing, so it was a bit bland, but I was happy to have something to eat. I bought a George Foreman grill and have been grilling veggies every night. Asparagus was on sale this week and I bought lots to put on the grill. It's a tiny one from the Thrift Store, so I have to cook veggies in batches, but YUM! I'm starting to worry I'm not getting enough protein again eating just veggies for dinner. Tonight I had a BIG salad with tomato, artichoke hearts, bit of red onion, feta cheese, romaine, blue cheese dressing and then put fake chicken strips sauteed in sugar free zero carb bbq sauce. Yum! The scale is showing a good loss so I'm very happy. :D

TaDa! 02-18-2012 05:46 AM

Wow! Way to go Sherril! The proof is in the results!!!! I am so glad to hear you are doing well!!!! Congratulations!!! What bbq sauce do you use? Is it the Walden one?

Sherril 02-18-2012 06:42 AM

Thanks Pauline, it is the Walden one. At first I didn't like it but the more I use it the more I'm finding I do like it. I also use the Walden Maple syrup. I put it in the batter for almond pancakes and other recipes I want a sugared flavoring added to.

saltnpepper 02-19-2012 07:36 AM

WTG Sherril


TaDa! Wow! Way to go Sherril! The proof is in the results!!!!
I totally agree. And I as so happy for you.


saltnpepper 02-19-2012 07:40 AM

I am totally leaning towards lc vegetarian. I need to go shopping and get some supplies!

I do have to watch portitions.....hard for me. As most folks, I love to eat!!

I was veggin for 6 yrs, and just fell off the wagon last summer. :dunno:

My family all eats meat. I got so tired of cooking separate for me, for them, for dd w/mulit food allergies......etc

Enough crying.........sorry.

So I will be checking w/you all more often. Thanks for all the ideals :jumpjoy:


Sherril 02-19-2012 08:51 AM

When I became a vegetarian, I just stopped cooking meat at home, we still ate it when out. Then I did a college research paper on vegetarianism and couldn't stomach how really gross eating meat was. Now I akin it to eating a **** roach, both are in the same category of disgusting for me. I'm sure vegetarianism isn't a wagon for me to fall off of. My husband stopped eating meat at the same time, partly because I wasn't buying it anymore, partly for humane reasons. Now over 20 years later he is eating chicken and fish. Out of respect for me, however, he is making it himself. Our son has never eaten meat and has been a vegetarian from his conception and is still today at nearly 18 years old. Albeit, he's a high carb vegetarian. As I'm learning about the negative affect sugar and grains has on our health, I'm teaching him. I'm sure he will be a vegetarian for life, I hope he at lest considers his carb choices at some point.

I discovered that since I'm low-carb eating, I don't crave food like I once did. I have naturally hungry times. I don't think I've ever eaten from being hungry at any point in my life before. It was either my blood sugar had dropped and I craved my next fix of carbs or it could simply have been time to eat, or I could just see food on TV or in my house and then eaten. Being actually hungry is new to me. Also, if I am hungry I can now ignore it for a couple of hours, which is so very new to me. Because of this, I'm just naturally eating less. I haven't felt like I was starving after the first couple of weeks. It feels so much better to not wake up with a food hang-over and not go around with that stuffed feeling after each meal.

saltnpepper 02-19-2012 12:53 PM

Thanks for sharing Sherril. I will think about some of the things you said.

I don't cook as much meat if I'm not eating it, that is for sure. Just got back from Costco with fresh produce :) -- and chicken nuggets for one of my kids.

Anyway I was wondering if you could recommend any one book that made a difference in your vegetarian lifestyle choice? Anybody have a favorite book that helped them decide?

OR, forgive me if this has already been discussed.



Sherril 02-19-2012 03:29 PM

The first time I went vegetarian low carb in 09-10, I read Diane Kress's book, The Metabolism Miracle. This was the first time I had read anywhere that a vegetarian could do low carb. She actually has recipes and menus for a vegetarian doing her method of low carb. What's different about her plan and Atkins is that she has you eating 5 carbs every 5 hours during induction, which is 6 weeks long. She allows unlimited very low carb veggies that don't count into that 5 carbs and she then increases you from 11 - 20 carbs every 5 hours after that, which seems a drastic increase to me. I lost from 30-40 pounds on it, but then I went off because of a death in my family. This time I'm trying to do more of a 20-30 carbs with 40-50 grams protein every day. I'm mostly staying with a 20 carb range, but not really counting low-carb veggies--unless I really overeat them. A zucchini soup with broth, zukes, 1/2 small onion with garlic, veggie broth and cream wouldn't not count as a carb, unless I ate more than one serving. That's why I say I eat 20-30 carbs to add in the ones I don't count. I guess it's just easier that way for me to get in lots of veggies, which I probably wouldn't do if I had to count them. The book I'm enjoying now is Rose Elliot's The Vegetarian Low Carb Diet. There are some good ideas in that book that I hadn't thought of the first time I did low-carb. For recipes, I just search the internet, this site, Linda's site, allrecipe.com, etc. About.com has a lot as well.

TaDa! 02-20-2012 04:47 AM

saltnpepper - do you mean lowcarb vegetarianism or vegetarianism .. I actually did not have a book guide me in either, honestly. Apparently I ran screaming from the table and hid under my bed when I was three after my mother put a roast chicken on it .. screaming "it's a baby! it's a baby." As a child I stopped eating various meat things little by little until I was only eating hamburgers and hotdogs. One day in a McDonalds I had a sudden lightbulb go off - that no one could make me eat meat if I just stopped eating it and refused to eat it.

This was the 70s and I had to learn how to cook vegetarian for myself since my mother would not. We even bought a toaster oven for me to cook in because I was so grossed out by all the animal fat in the oven from steak broiling, etc. I did read all the vegetarian books of the time, but none of them were instrumental in my own decision.

Lowcarb .. I was vegetarian lowcarb before there were any books on it. My sister's friend was discussing Atkins one spring day in 2003 - all excited to try it. He is a very smart guy and was discussing the science behind it. I got all excited about the concept of dieting by eating fat since lowfat was all I ever was encouraged to do. I read the Atkins book and tailored the plan to vegetarianism myself. If South Beach had been around, maybe I would have tried it..

Rose Elliott's veg diet book - uses me as case study. I used a pseudonym - she has my information in two places. One of them is the case study for "Daphne" .. that is me. She used to post on a lcvegetarian list I was part of and asked me to be in her book .. if I was going to consider a lowcarb vegetarian diet today, I would recommend two books: New Atkins For A New You which has vegetarian guidelines that I like (unlike the original Atkins books which actually discourage vegetarianism imho), and the Rose Elliott book that Sherril posted above.

lol Sherril! I raised my two girls (now 11 and 16) as meat-eaters with dh, giving them the choice as to what to do .. and they are both high carb vegetarians now like your son, lol! and dh is a meat-eater ... shall we say, I make a lot of meals, lololol!!!!!!!! We do eat only whole grains in this house though (not me - almost no grains for me, lol!) and I have found my kids actually prefer ww bread and ww pasta to the white stuff even when we eat out .. it is great! I love thatttt!!!

saltnpepper 02-21-2012 04:28 AM

Hi All...........

Thank you for the response.


TaDa! saltnpepper - do you mean lowcarb vegetarianism or vegetarianism
Sorry I was not clearer. I did mean both.

When I was veggin before, I too was on fire for it. Somewhere I lost some of that. I got a little tired of dealing with it all. Always looking for something gf, and animal free can be hard. BUT I'm feeling like I"m up for the challenage again......so here I go.

I have not eaten any animals for about 10 days now......I am a little concerned about low fat and full fat.....like cream, yougert........not sure what to do about all that.

TaDa your story is really cool. Like you knew from an early age what was right for you! When I was 5 I told my mom I would not eat chicken because "Chicken's were my friends." (I talked to my grammy's chickens all the time!) But for me I was laughted at, and forced to eat what was cooked.

Anyway, thanks again for sharing.


saltnpepper 02-21-2012 04:32 AM

Thanks Sherrill for the book titles. I am going to look at the library for them.


Sherril The first time I went vegetarian low carb in 09-10, I read Diane Kress's book, The Metabolism Miracle
from TaDa

Rose Elliott's veg diet book - uses me as case study.
And you both memtioned her, she must be good! How did she find you TaDa, if you don't mind me asking?? WOW


veggies4health 03-03-2012 06:09 PM

I am a low carb vegan ...with a wheat allergy! Talk about challenging, but it does make me give up the carbs, lol!

The key is lots of low-glycemic veggies; tofu, tvp, seitan (if you aren't allergic to wheat - so sad that I am, I LOVE making seitan ribz); a limited amount of beans.

I lost a lot of weight on a VLCD protein drink diet 2 years ago, and the secret to fat-burning is to eat less than 75 carbs a day - that's why atkins works so well.

Also check out Eat to Live. Lots of great vegan recipes on fatfreevegan but I do use olive oil, and avocados, although she advocates fat-free. She has lots of ETL recipes and explains what it is.

I'm NEVER hungry eating this way...I start the day with a pot of hot green tea to rinse me out :), some tofu or beans and tomatoes and cukes for brekkie...a HUGE HUGE salad for lunch, with yummy avocado, artichoke hearts, and full fat dressing....some pickled veggies for snack. Dinner might be some shirataki noodles (OMG!!!! Try these!!!) and tvp in sloppy joe sauce.

Eating this way has resolved my diabetes and high blood pressure. I was interviewed recently for a story in Prevention Magazine for resolving my health issues with a plant-based diet. For me, though, it has to be low-glycemic, as well.

Nigel 03-03-2012 06:21 PM

Can you make seitan with something besides wheat? I don't know much about it, just wondering.

TaDa! 03-04-2012 03:23 AM

Wow that is awesome veggies4health! I eat a lot of nuts and seeds .. do you also use those? I get Prevention magazine!!!! My family has gotten it since the 70s when it was a black and white newsprint publication .. my grandfather was the big "prevention" guy, lololol! (but not vegetarian or anything) ... I'll have to look for your story!!! Would you mind sharing which issue?

Nigel, gluten is the key to making seitan - never heard of anyone trying a substitute grain! But of course, that would be a substitute of a substitute, so maybe no one has tried it .. yet .. lol!

Anna - forgot to reply .. I did mention this upthread, I was in a lowcarb veg list some years back as i was losing weight (I guess that'd be 2003?) and so was Rose Elliott, so she found me there ..



veggies4health 03-04-2012 08:23 AM


Originally Posted by Nigel (Post 15464804)
Can you make seitan with something besides wheat? I don't know much about it, just wondering.

No, sadly for me with the wheat allergy. It is vital wheat gluten....the gluten part of the wheat is what gives it a great "meaty" texture. And it's high in protein, low carb.

Google "vegan ribs recipe" and try the ones from fatfreevegan or happyherbivore or vegweb or the video Susan's Ribs. These are REALLY delicious. You can also "poach" or even bake seitan (for baked seitan, go to the vegandad blog!).

veggies4health 03-04-2012 09:00 AM


Originally Posted by TaDa! (Post 15465249)
Wow that is awesome veggies4health! I eat a lot of nuts and seeds .. do you also use those? I get Prevention magazine!!!! My family has gotten it since the 70s when it was a black and white newsprint publication .. my grandfather was the big "prevention" guy, lololol! (but not vegetarian or anything) ... I'll have to look for your story!!! Would you mind sharing which issue?



Hi Pauline! How wonderful that you were profiled in the book! So glad to hear that you are successful. Veg eating has done wonders for me, but I find that I cannot eat unlimited starches - I do have to do low-glycemic. Thank goodness for filling shirataki noodles!

I follow Dr. Neal Barnard's Quick Start program...and PCRM. They asked me to talk to one of the editors at Prevention about how I've lost weight and have resolved my diabetes and high blood pressure by eating a plant based diet. The article should be in the May issue, on newstands April 2.

I do eat nuts and seeds, but in a limited way so it doesn't stall my weight loss. Always a handful of walnuts for the omega 3s, and I always use almond milk or sunflower seed milk for my non-dairy, because I get soy from my tofu and tvp.



TaDa! 03-04-2012 09:17 AM

Very very cool Monique!!! lol ... I will not toss that issue on the bedside table with the stack of magazines!!!! lol!! I think they send it to me before it hits the newstands .. or thereabouts!

I'd love to hear more about the Neil Barnard program if it is vegan or vegetarian or just a good one for those of us who eat this way! I love programs based on glycemic values. if you are up to it, it would be great if you posted an informational thread on this board for people looking for vegan/veg* lowcarb options! I always suggest South beach, Atkins, or Rose Elliott .. I am soooooo glad we are getting more and more options!!!

I have found nuts do not stall me unless I am eating them as handfuls, or something like that - which I think is the common problem for most people .. I pretty much only eat them as a part of other dishes .. good way to portion them, for me! so i don't go crazy, lol!


Nigel 03-04-2012 12:18 PM


Originally Posted by veggies4health (Post 15465735)
No, sadly for me with the wheat allergy. It is vital wheat gluten....the gluten part of the wheat is what gives it a great "meaty" texture. And it's high in protein, low carb.

Google "vegan ribs recipe" and try the ones from fatfreevegan or happyherbivore or vegweb or the video Susan's Ribs. These are REALLY delicious. You can also "poach" or even bake seitan (for baked seitan, go to the vegandad blog!).

Thanks for the info. I actually made vegan Dad's hot dogs from pinto beans, but mine just tasted like pinto beans. I will probably make them again later using more spices and maybe something in addition to the pinto beans. I'll try the seitan one of these moments. The seitan ribs sound applealing.

veggies4health 03-04-2012 12:19 PM

Pauline, I'll start a new thread for the 21 day kickstart :). It is a "plant-based" way of eating (they don't want to "scare" people with "vegan", lol). Not written to be low-carb, I just adapt it to low carb....because for me, I blow up like a balloon with carbs!

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