Hi Bronte, I have been struggling with my weight for years and trying to cut off meat. The problem is that every nutritionist I went to (and I've tried a few) always recommended to eat more meat, not less (I've stopped going, but it didn't help with the weight issue). Do you have any resources about veggie proteins (where to find them, how much should we eat, how to cook them...) I'm also looking for vegggie friendly diet recipes, if by any chance you know of one or two websites ? Thanks !
I know this will sound hard to believe because it’s their area of expertise, but there is a shocking about of misinformation regarding meat and vegetarianism/veganism among nutritionists.
When I was about 17-18 I had a massive issue with fainting - I’d faint all the time, often with little or no obvious cause, and it was quite bad because I’d usually have seizures while I was unconscious. I went to the doctor and he diagnosed me with a genetic iron deficiency and asked how much meat I ate and I said I didn’t, I was a vegetarian, and he said I should start eating meat again and referred me to a nutritionist who said the same. I decided to ignore that because I wasn’t prepared to abandoned my morals (and my parents supported me, because they’ve been vegetarians since the 80s and they were sceptical anyway and my aunt, who’s a nurse and also a long-term vegetarian, also said that she’d take what they said with a grain of salt).
Anyway, skip to last year, I’d been a vegan for a few months and I had to go to the doctor for a blood test because I’d been really unwell (which was horrifying because I’m so squeamish about needles, but I digress). I had my blood taken and I was asked to come back a few days later for the results and when I went into his consulting room my doctor looked really smug and said to me that my iron levels were the highest he’d ever seen them and asked how long I’d been eating meat again, and I was like… I haven’t? I actually just stopped eating animal products completely? He was really shocked, but it was true - I basically no longer suffer from an issue that I was told would keep getting worse unless I started eating meat, and I’m further from eating meat than ever.
Sorry for the anecdote, but I just wanted to prove that what medical professionals have to say about meat isn’t the be-all end-all of valuable wisdom, and I can personally attest to doing better health wise since cutting all animal products from my diet.
In terms of cutting out meat, by far the easiest way to start is just to replace the meat you’d usually eat with substitutes (which are generally higher in protein and lower in saturated fat, so they’re much healthier for you anyway). There are loads and loads available, but the two I eat most often are Quorn and Linda McCartney. They come with full cooking instructions, and they’re so easy to integrate into an existing diet by just substituting meat products!
There are also loads of resources available online, but here are just a few of my favourites on transitioning to a meat-free diet!
Also, if it’s of any interest to you, here are a few more sources on the moral (both in terms of animal welfare and human exploitation) and environmental benefits of removing animal products from your diet:
- http://acti-veg.tumblr.com/resources (also includes sources on nutrition)
This video is also brilliant!
I hope this helps, and if I can be of any more help, please let me know!!