Confused I'm confused about being vegeterian. Right now I am one (i eat only a small amount of milk products, relying on tofu and nuts for protein).

However, i'm also recovering from an eating disorder and my nutritionist insists that I eat animal protein to regain my health. This means including eggs, milk, fish, and even lean poultry in my diet.

I want to get well, and my soy-based diet has not helped me heal so far. (i've been anorexic for many years).

But then there is the other side to this issue, that it is unethical to kill animals for our food unnecessarily and that many people in the world survive on vegetarian and even vegan diets.

Is anyone out there a vegetarian/vegan who could help me with this dilemma? Or is anyone a 'lapsed' vegetarian who now eats animal proteins and feels ok about it, for health reasons?
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replied October 27th, 2003
Nutrition
Hi kristina. Im jeff. I might be able to give you some advice.

I use to be veg. For the most part I eat a veg. Diet. I eat mostly tuna and some chicken and turkey but not too much. I rarely eat red meat. In moderation this ok. Idealy anti-biotic, hormone free organic meats are most important, if you can afford it. I dont eat pork.
You should check out a company called garden of life. I work at a health food store and thats how I learned about this awesome company. Read the book patient heal thyself. You will learn a lot from this.

We live in such a toxic world and almost every this tainted or screwed up. I always look for purity in foods.

I want to talk more but I gotta go right now. PM me if you want to chat more.
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replied November 9th, 2003
Consider the Options
Hi kristina! I am an ovo-lacto vegetarian. I initially decided to "go veggie" because I come from a meat and potatoes kind of family and I just wanted to see if I could maintain a healthy vegetarian lifestyle. I was also basically interested in improving my overall health. (i waited until I moved away from home though!) as it turns out I have done so quite nicely. In the last year, though, I have started including fish in my diet (tuna, whitefish, salmon, etc) because there are convincing studies that link fish consumption with lowered cancer risk. I have a lot of cancer in my family, so i'm all about doing anything I can to cut my own risk factors. I personally feel that this choice is right for me. It was never really an ethical decision for me to stop eating meat, but I can identify with your desire to not kill animals unnecessarily. Since I went veggie I have decided that humans, especially americans, eat far more protein than necessary and that there are satisfying and more humane methods of finding the proteins we do actually need without killing animals. It kind of grosses me out now to see someone dig into a steak.
But that is me. The question is you. You are a recovering anorexic. (congratulations!) i'm not qualified to say what you need to be healthy. But I would think that you might want to consider adding some animal protein to your diet, even if it's not actual animal flesh. To me organic (if I can find organic) dairy products and eggs are a healthy part of my eating habits. I enjoy cheese, yogurt, milk, etc. Also, don't just rely on tofu and nuts. Do you eat beans and rice? I could practically live on the stuff! It's considered a perfect protein. You could add protein powder to a fruit smoothie too. Your doctor probably knows what's best for you. Consider all the options carefully and work with him/her to create an eating plan that you can live with. If you want to be a vegan when you reach a healthy weight, perhaps you could arrange for that. But for now, listen to your doctor a little and focus on being well. Don't feel guilty if you do decide to relent a little. Saving animal lives is honorable, but your healthy life is more valuable in my opinion. I apologize if that sounds harsh, but I feel it's the truth. I wish you nothing but the best as you work toward your goal!
Manda panda
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replied November 22nd, 2003
:d thanks to both of youfor your thoughtful responses. I decided to give it all i've got in recovery so i'm eating a little organic turkey & wild salmon, in addition to eggs (the omega-3 kind --- great nutrition!). I feel physically stronger already, although i'm still feeling psychologically a bit guilty. But you are right, eating animals is part of our survival. I'm trying to be appreciative of the fact that other beings, whether animal or vegetable, give their lives for mine.
This will be an ongoing issue for me, I think, but for now my priority is getting well.

Thank you again for the encouragement!
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replied March 15th, 2004
Vegans Need Supplements
Although not a trained expert, my research leads me to believe that true vegans do not consume some of the essential nutrients. It seems pretty dificult to get all the essentials from plant matter alone. Something akin to all the fad diets - they are not balanced in the foods and nutrients consumed.

If the history estimates are correct, our distant ancestors consumered maybe 5% of their calories from wild animal forms. Those animals were very lean. Not the fat filled feed lot grown junk sold to most of us.

Bottum line seems to me that vegans will improve their health when they find the broadest spectrum multi and more supplement they can find. Good luck and good health!
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replied July 16th, 2004
Hi, eating meat is probably the best way to get those nutrients but it is not the only way. While it is still hard, I don't deny that, it is possible to get all the required nutrients from a vegan diet.

The diet should be based around plant foods and crops. Many fruits and vegetables and an attempt should be made to eat as wide a variety of these as possible to meet nutritional needs. As a general rule darker vegetables are a great source of nutrients such as dark green leafy vegetables (kale, spring greens etc.). Over processed and unnatural foods should be avoided if possible, because many of the worse foods from a regular meat eating diet can still be eaten on a vegan diet. Oils such as hydrogenated vegetable oils containing trans fats should be avoided. You may also find that hydrogenated fats that contain trans fats and tend to be hard at room temperature, are ingredients in some vegan burgers and sausages and similar products so labels should be checked to look at this and not just to see if the products are suitable for vegans.

Because animal foods are good sources of nutrients such as protein, iron, zinc, and vitamins such as b12, and dairy products are good sources of calcium, vegans do tend to use food supplements. This is not essential because these things can be found in vegan suitable foods. Zinc and iron can be found in many whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. Protein is found in decent amount in most plant foods and legumes. Calcium is present in good quantities in things like spring greens, kale, mustard greens chinese cabbage, and soya milk. Soya milk can also contain vitamins d and b12. However, vitamin b12 is only available in fortified soya milk and it is the most common deficiency in vegans. Therefore this is the most popular supplement for vegans.

Hope this helps.

Concho
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replied July 16th, 2004
Extremely eHealthy
You have a lot of good help here but if you might run into a wall at sometime or other it would be good to contact a dietition or a nutritionist they can be a lot of help too. The main thing is you have to eat.
Good luck!
Sincerely,
sandy
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replied September 25th, 2004
Extremely eHealthy
Vegetarians in general are overall healthier than meat eaters. As long as they do not soak their vegetables in grease.
All you have to do is get your protein from other things which I am sure you already know. It isn't any harder for a vegan to get their daily vitamins and minerals than it is for a meat-eater. That is a widely unknown fact.
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