Becoming a Vegetarian - Tips? Watch

nails9999
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After much thought I've decided to become a Vegetarian. However, I don't know much about nutrition. Could any one give me some tips on the best foods that will give me the nutrients I need (protein etc) now that meat will no longer be a part of my diet? Also, I don't have the biggest budget so any cheap meal ideas would be much appreciated!

Thanks
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SophieSmall
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Eggs and tofu can be good sources of protein which you can add to many meals, for tofu you just use it in the absence of meat. I'm not a vegetarian but almost all the food I eat lack meat.

Here's what I'm having for dinner tonight:

Tofu seared in hoisin sauce, fried onions, peppers and mushrooms with scrambled eggs then all re-fried in hoisin sauce over udon noodles.
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nails9999
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That sounds delicious, thanks I'll give it a go!
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Kabloomybuzz
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It shouldn't be too difficult being vegetarian, its when you're vegan that getting the right amout of nutrients and protein can become difficult.

Eggs are a good cheap source of protein, there's also things like quorn (which tesco has an own brand version pretty close to) Meat substitutes are often cheaper than meat.
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Little Old Me
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I'm a vegetarian and eat a lot of Quorn, I think that's good for Protein. It makes meals less boring too, if that makes sense. It might "bulk up" your meal if that also makes sense. You could stock your freezer up with it when it's on offer at the supermarket if you have space. Heating up frozen veg e.g. peas, carrots, sweetcorn in a microwave with cut up pieces of potato can be fairly quick. You could put salt, pepper and ketchup on it (not exactly healthy but makes it taste better). (I haven't eaten it in years but I do fancy it sometimes, just keep forgetting to make it 'cos of work etc). x
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moutonfou
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(Original post by nails9999)
After much thought I've decided to become a Vegetarian. However, I don't know much about nutrition. Could any one give me some tips on the best foods that will give me the nutrients I need (protein etc) now that meat will no longer be a part of my diet? Also, I don't have the biggest budget so any cheap meal ideas would be much appreciated!

Thanks
Protein is the key nutrient you may lack however the average British meat-eater eats way over the protein they need so even a vegetarian who wasn't protein conscious at all would probably eat most of the protein they needed accidentally from various foods.

The key thing to know also is the distinction between complete proteins and partial proteins. Your body uses protein to get a number of essential amino acids it can't produce itself. Some proteins contain all of these amino acids, namely anything from an animal source (eggs, dairy), soy source (tofu, soy milk), quorn. Some proteins only contain some of the essential amino acids, namely grains (rice, wheat, etc), beans, lentils, corn, etc. Eating partial proteins is fine but you will need to eat a range of them to ensure you get all your essential amino acids. Or just make sure you get enough animal proteins/soy/quorn down you to make up for it
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snikutsmullac
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(Original post by nails9999)
After much thought I've decided to become a Vegetarian. However, I don't know much about nutrition. Could any one give me some tips on the best foods that will give me the nutrients I need (protein etc) now that meat will no longer be a part of my diet? Also, I don't have the biggest budget so any cheap meal ideas would be much appreciated!

Thanks
Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables for vitamins and minerals, lots of complete proteins (Quinoa, Soy, Hemp, Quorn comes to mind), and then just what you would eat normally that is vegetarian I guess!

All of the big supermarkets have their own vegetarian range. You can usually get some deals on them but they can sometimes be a bit on the expensive side so shop around.

If you're into cooking, you could make a big batch of something and then freeze it, so you have lot's of food ready, as vegetarian cooking can sometimes be a bit time consuming.

Just a quick note, as not everybody realises:

You can no longer eat sweets like haribo, marshmallows, jelly etc, as they contain gelatine which comes from slaughtered animals.

You can't eat hard cheeses like Parmesan. These contain animal rennet, which consists of enzymes from the stomach of slaughtered baby calves.
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LaughingKitsune
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My old flatmate from university used to cook a variety of meals with Quorn, as well as aubergine. Aubergine tastes amazing, and it works especially well in a Quorn mince lasagna
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StarvingAutist
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I highly recommend Quorn it tastes better than any other vegetarian faux-meat imo
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Little Old Me
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Ooo mushrooms are quite "Meaty" in texture if you feel that that's something you'll miss. When I go to Nando's, I choose the Portabello Mushroom and Halloumi cheese pitta and it's lovely. The last time I ate it, I had actually made it at home so that may be better as it's likely to be cheaper than going to Nando's x
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Ginger_Gymnast92
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Quorn is great for loads of things, beans in lasagna or enchiladas with tomato pasta sauce, cauliflour 'steaks' are nice as well! If you do anything with rice, if you scramble some eggs and coat the rice in them that adds protein as well! If you want me to point you to any food blogs for vegetarians pm me and I will send you the links
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Kathy89
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I became vegan two years ago and my health improved a lot.
Dont replace meat with tofu, the whole nutrition has to be a bit different. You should focus on eating more raw fruits and veggies (raw food has the most nutrients). Eat at least 3-4 different fruits and 3-4 different veggies daily. Beans and whole grain are a good source of protein. Dont focus on soy as it is actually one of the less healthy beans.
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