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Old 04-17-2012, 05:00 PM   #1
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What do Vegetarians Eat?

What do Vegetarians eat?

Gosh, I get asked this constantly...I reply, I eat everything except meat, basically. But not actually, but why is it such a mystery to some?

You would think in this day and age, people wouldn't be so shocked to hear a guy say he's becoming a vegetarian.

Okay, just venting cuz I'm tired of defending myself.

Any other thoughts welcome here.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:36 AM   #2
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the problem is that so many people in the US still have this idea that meals are a hunk of meat and some side dishes. translating that model to vegetarian eating never works very well!

tell them to think about ethnic foods. it's easy to imagine mexican food without the meat, right? like cheese enchiladas, say. same thing for Thai, Chinese, Italian, Middle Eastern. talk about hummus, pasta dishes, etc. Oatmeal? bagels? grilled cheese sandwiches?

of course that doesn't begin to address the complexities of low carb vegetarianism, but you aren't asking that, right? this should reassure even the flightiest American eater that they know about meatless meals they would find acceptible.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:15 AM   #3
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Thanks for your reply. You are right...it's a mindset thing that meat is the star of every meal and I guess it's hard for carnivores to adapt to that.

Even my Mother thinks I'm starving myself when she sees I'm not eating meat. She says, well, what in the world are you going to eat then? I laugh...I'll eat whatever else there is. Unless someone is just serving meat by itself for dinner, there are generally some type of vegetables or salad served also. It's only a meal...I can always whip up something with protein when I get back home.

I guess I was just irked cause so many people cannot eat certain things and that's perfectly understandable. To me that is no different than inserting the word "meat" into that equation. Some can't eat gluten, some can't eat nuts, and the list goes on and on.

It's also cause I live in a hick town and bbq is the thing. Nevermind that I can eat all kinds of bbq that doesn't have meat it it--I bring my own veggie burgers or whatever, but I still get the looks, etc. It makes ya just wanna stay home and eat instead.
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Old 04-19-2012, 03:40 PM   #4
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Especially at Thanksgiving when I'm asked this question, my standard answer is, "everything else." Or, "Do I look like I'm starving?" I can always find something on a menu to eat, however it get a bit more tricky when you're doing it low carb.
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:14 PM   #5
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Yes, most definitely harder when you are doing LC, unless you bring your own food.

I guess I shouldn't feel wierd about it because years ago, my Grandmother was on Weight Watcher's and she had no qualms about bringing her little ice chest of food to all the family functions. No one ever gave her a hard time about it either. That's the comparison for me...why should eating Vegetarian be any different than eating Weight Watchers or whatever other diet one might be on? It really shouldn't.
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:08 PM   #6
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I find it interesting that my husband's family goes out of their way to make sure there is an option for me at family gatherings. My own family doesn't.

I wish my in-laws wouldn't bother because I'm perfectly content to eat side dishes and I feel guilty for inconveniencing my mother-in-law or sister-in-law.
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:29 AM   #7
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That is nice of them, though. I think sometimes people like to do that. The majority of my family wouldn't either, but my friends would. Funny, how people react sometimes. My wife always makes sure that my brother has stuff that is lactose free cause he's intolerant, the the rest of our family, even his wife doesn't seem to care about that.

My brother is the bbq man and he makes sure he cooks chicken for my wife and my SIL every time cause that is what they like. So I guess it just depends on the attitude of others mostly. They never asked him to make chicken esp. for them, he just does that.

So maybe you are not inconviencing them at all. I like it better when people tell me what they want to eat, so I know what to bring or prepare. I finally got my wife trained to just tell me what she wants for dinner, since I do the majority of the cooking--it sure makes my life easier.

Last edited by Nigel; 04-21-2012 at 08:30 AM..
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:28 PM   #8
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I will usually bring a dish I can eat, especially now that I'm doing low carb. I went to a St. Patty's Day party and brought an entree and a dessert that I could eat (I asked the hostess first). I think people do it as sort of a gift to you so the best way to handle it is to say, "thank you." Don't feel guilty because it probably makes them feel good to do it for you.
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:15 AM   #9
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Like Sherrill I always bring a meal to family and friend's events for myself and my two daughters - even though they always offer to make something for me, or ask what I will eat. Many times it is a casserole or something that I bring as an offering to be added to the general fare.

In that way, you solve the problem of "what do you eat" by showing others how awesome and delicious-ly vegetarians "manage". And, it is the same thing with lowcarbing and food. It has come to the point with me, that people now expect me to bring certain of *their* favorite vegetarian lc dishes to Thanksgiving, and other celebrations, because they like it along with their usual meat-eating foods.

Honestly, having been a vegetarian for 30+ years, it is only a big deal when you allow others to make a big deal of it. It is very annoying when people bother you about it, to be sure, or are just plain ignorant, but I have come to realize that being very zen and non-confrontational will leave others to a place of acceptance and maybe some revelation of *their* own feelings of being threatened by another's personal stance, and/or questioning the assumption that eating vegetarian has to be very weird and strange, lol! Sometimes it is better for all when we just make ourselves a mirror for others to take a look at themselves .. that is how I have come to feel about it all.

It will get better over time Nigel as they get used to the new Nigel doing something important for himself.



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Last edited by TaDa!; 04-22-2012 at 05:17 AM..
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:40 AM   #10
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Yes, that's it. It's cause I'm being different. I used to eat meat a lot and then I decided I didn't want to eat it anymore and now I just don't, except on very rare occasions and very little...mostly bacon but I'm trying to give that up too.
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