Considering becoming a vegetarian?

Recently I was sitting at a dinner – a Red Dress Gala put on by my daughter’s sorority – and I noticed that my new friend, Kathy, only served herself a plate of vegetables, passing on the meat and chicken.

I had to ask, “Are you a vegetarian?” She told me yes. Then of course I asked if she had any concerns about getting enough protein in her diet.

She proceeded to tell me that she actually gets plenty of protein. She eats beans. I asked her about tofu – yes, she eats tofu. (I had to ask her that question, so I could tell her that Frieda’s has been selling tofu for more than 30 years. We were actually the first company to introduce water-packed tofu to mainstream American supermarkets.)

And of course she eats Edamame (pronounced “Ed-a-mah-may”) – those lovely green pods that are served warm and salted at Sushi bars.

Many of us may be toying with the idea of adopting a more vegetarian lifestyle. And certainly if you have teenage kids, you will be hearing more and more about becoming a vegetarian. Just last week my daughter told me she decided to become one.

Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is so healthy and such a great source of vitamins and trace minerals. But you must make sure you have enough protein in your diet to maintain your strength and energy levels.

Good non-meat sources of protein include: beans and nuts (but watch out for the fat), tofu and other soy products. Personally, my favorite is a tofu “eggless” salad that I get at my local Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. It looks like egg salad, but it’s made with tofu and is quite tasty.

And what about the meat-analog products made from soy that are sold as veggie hot dogs, veggie cheese, veggie chicken nuggets, veggie burgers, etc? Depending on where you live, you can find them in your produce, deli or frozen food case. Veggie “meats” are a nice change of pace… Wouldn’t it be a healthy change to serve veggie hot dogs and veggie burgers at your next barbecue?

Also, if you are a fan of Mexican food, you probably enjoy Chorizo – that full-fat crumbly Mexican sausage that you fry up and add to eggs, burritos, etc. Did you know there is a low-fat, vegetarian version of Chorizo? It’s called SOYRIZO® (of course). And, in most cities, it is sold in the produce or deli department.

Frieda’s has been marketing and distributing Soyrizo® for more than 10 years and we fell in love with its authentic texture and flavor. We receive so many complimentary letters and emails – so we know it’s good.

There are so many tasty ways to move toward a vegetarian lifestyle. And you don’t have to limit yourself to salads and steamed broccoli – although I love both!

Are you a part-time or full-time vegetarian? Please share your ideas with me!


2 thoughts on “Considering becoming a vegetarian?

  1. Some people are also trying to eat a much higher percentage of raw food in their diets. I certainly am. Being a lover of raw fruits and vegetables – there is no fresher taste! – and being a lover of the many health benefits, it’s really not difficult to achieve.

  2. Though I am not a vegetarian, my partner is and has been for something like 25 years; therefore, I do not cook meat at home, opting for it only on occasion when we dine out, which is rare. So for all intents and purposes, one could consider my lifestyle one of vegetarianism on many levels – or at minimum a very experienced “spouse” of a vegetarian.

    My comment comes in the form of recommending meat substitutes as an actual substitute for meat. Tofu and soy-based “meat replacements” are fine for the occasional need or desire, but it’s most important to recognize that vegetarianism is a lifestyle that cannot be achieved by simply swapping meat for soy. There are a number of reasons why one shouldn’t, and I’ll quickly list them here:

    Soy produces estrogen in the body and high quantities of soy in the body of males can cause an imbalance in hormones and promote prostate problems.

    Soy (with his best friend corn) is a huge industrial crop laden with pesticides, herbicides and all-too-often grown from GMO seed.

    A vegetarian diet should be varied with a number of different kinds of beans, but what happens with a person making an enormous shift in their lives is that they try to replace one thing with another. A meat-and-potatoes lifestyle is a very difficult transition to vegetarianism, so my advice would be to first reduce meat intake by 1 day a week every month or so until there are no more days left o eliminate.

    The transition should be slow as to consider not “falling off the wagon” as meat is both cultural and comforting.

    On each day one is making the abstinence, try bringing in a different kind of vegetable as a main course: hearty hungarian mushroom soup; black bean burgers; or curried rice and vegetables.

    Making the switch to vegetarianism isn’t hard to do depending on how meat-centric one’s lifestyle already is; but it’s really important to make little adjustments and stick to them, rather than try to wipe out the whole thing at one time.

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