BLISS, HELP US BECOME VEGETARIANS!

by Miss Bliss

ASK MISS BLISS – WHERE YOUR LETTERS ARE ANSWERED

Dear Miss Bliss,

Will you be having another luncheon this month in the Los Angeles area?

Also, I was wondering if you give chats on vegetarianism. My boyfriend and I recently committed ourselves to being vegetarianism but I’m finding it difficult to maintain a healthy and balanced, nutritional diet :(

Have a beautiful day!
-Amy

pin up with dog

Dear Amy,

So sorry we missed you at last month’s brunch. There are no brunches scheduled for January in Los Angeles, but my fabulous friends in San Diego are hosting one on January 12th. Ten girls have already RSVP’d so it should be another wonderful success. Click here for information on the San Diego Brunch. We are planning a dance night in LA at the end of the month, so stay tuned for a blog announcing when and where.

Congratulations at making the wonderful decision to become vegetarian. Transitioning to a vegetarian lifestyle is not easy for many, and it was no simple task for me. Five years ago, my diet was not only full of meat, but I ate fast food and junk food at almost every meal. Naturally, I felt “fat” and “old” and was terribly depressed.

Then one day, Burger King announced they would serve garden burgers and I thought, “Okay, now I don’t have an excuse. I can go veggie and live off garden burgers and pizza.” If you have had the opportunity to try a Burger King veggie burger, you know it tastes disgusting. It did not take much time for me to realize that I would need to learn how to cook if I was going to stay vegetarian.

TIPS FOR BECOMING AND STAYING VEGETARIAN

1. LEARN TO COOK VEGETARIAN FOODS
In a world of processed foods, many of us have managed to avoid learning how to cook; instead, we “reheat”. If you do not know how to cook, now is the time to learn. Many people become vegetarian, and try to survive on pasta and macaroni and cheese. As you have learned, Amy, this is not a balanced and healthy way to eat.

pin up cooking

Luckily, it is easy to get vegetarian recipes off the web. Some great sites for veggie recipes include: http://vegweb.com/, http://vegkitchen.com/, and http://www.vegcooking.com/.

2. EAT AT VEGETARIAN RESTAURANTS
Many ethnic restaurants serve vegetarian dishes, so start by going out to Indian, Thai, Chinese, and Italian restaurants. For the transitioning vegetarian, vegan restaurants might seem “scary” but I encourage you to go out and try the amazing dishes vegans are creating. It will inspire you to want to try and cook these amazing dishes at home.

3. MAKE CHANGES GRADUALLY AND THEY WILL STICK
The first year I was vegetarian, I ate mostly fake “soy” meats instead of animal products. The second year, my husband convinced me to give up drinking cow milk. The third year, I learned to cook with tofu and began adding more vegan recipes to my repertoire. The fourth year, I discovered raw vegan gourmet cuisine and added more of their desserts and entrees into my diet. And, this year, I have been making the very slow switch from soy milk to almond milk. None of this happened right away. In fact, meat eaters who suddenly go vegan without support tend to go back to eating meat because they changed their diets too radically and too quickly.

4. REPLACE MEATS WITH FAKE MEAT
When I first became vegetarian, I learned how to cook by taking my favorite “meat” recipes and simply replacing them with soy “fake” meat. Instead of hamburgers, we made Boca Burgers. Instead of tacos with ground beef, we used Soy ground “meat”. For breakfast, we cooked scrambled eggs and fried Smarte Bacon. Now, I am NOT claiming this is an ideal way too eat. But when you are in the process of training your body and your mind to not crave animal products, this is a good place to start.

5. WHEN ANIMAL CRAVINGS ARISE, EAT GOOD FATS
Some vegetarians claim that they had to go back to meat because their body was craving “protein”. Red meat is over 50% fat and has less protein than equal amounts of spinach. Because vegetarian diets tend to be lower in fat and in calories, former meat-eaters are not missing protein: they are missing fat! Make sure to eat good fats like avocado, coconut, nuts, seeds, good cold-pressed oils, and olives. It is very hard to crave meat when your diet is rich in good fats.

6. MAKE SURE TO EAT FRESH PRODUCE
The trouble with the American diet is we are not eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Many Americans can go an entire day without eating anything leafy or green. To be a healthy and happy vegetarian, you have to learn to love veggies. So go out to a farmer’s market and fill your kitchen with fresh organic fruits and veggies and you will feel beautiful!

7. BRAINWASH YOURSELF TO NOT CRAVE ANIMAL FLESH
If you are wavering and are tempted to go eat meat, it is time to brainwash your mind with the outrageous and unethical farming practices allowed in the United States. Visit http://www.peta.org/ and see how meat is farmed. You will want to print out vegetarian recipes from the Internet after two or three minutes of animal cruelty videos.

8. EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT TO ANIMAL PRODUCTS
Foods are linked to memories and emotional states. If your parents took you out for hamburgers as a “treat”, it may be harder for you to give up red meat because you associate happy, safe, warm feelings with eating animal flesh. Nutritionists recommend writing about the emotions that come up as you “detox” from a meat-eating diet. This will help your resolve to stay vegetarian.

9. JOIN VEGETARIAN ONLINE RECIPE & SUPPORT GROUPS
http://goveg.com/ is a great site for new vegetarians and will help support you as you change your diet and your life.

Remember, go slow and make small changes. If you are just beginning, eat fish when you crave meat. Add vegetarian meals to your weekly recipes. Listen to your body and it will tell you what changes to make when.


XOXOXOXOXOXO
BLISS

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IF YOU ENJOYED THIS BLOG, YOU MAY LIKE:
CHANGE YOUR DIET, CHANGE YOUR LIFE

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HAVE A QUESTION FOR MISS BLISS? EMAIL ME: bliss@blisswarrior.com

{ 7 trackbacks }

Diet Meals » BLISS, HELP US BECOME VEGETARIANS!
January 7, 2008 at 6:26 am
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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

niki says January 7, 2008 at 10:27 am

want to thank you for giving this excellent advice to all your readers. Everything you said in this blog is so true, especially the issues about emotional attachments to meat. I have been a vegetarian for 13 years, and going veg was one of the best decisions I ever made. Eeevery once in a while, I will still see a yummy looking turkey sandwich (mom always made those for me as a kid…) or something else that looks enticing, but all I have to do is remember how amazing my body feels when I am eating fresh fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Cut out all fast food and junk food, add a lil’ exercise into the mix, and it will change your life! I think once peope realize, also, how much more delicious REAL home cooked vegetarian food is, they will never go back to the processed crap that the big junk food companies want us to eat. One more piece of advice I want to add for those trying to go veg is this: if you hate fruit (as I used to…i thought it was “slimy”…) try starting with 100% fruit juices and work your way up to whole fruits! Anyway, thank you, again, bliss, for inspiring others to live well. xo.

Reply

julie January 7, 2008 at 10:28 am

beautiful bliss~

fabulous advice! i’ve been vegetarian for many, many years, & this past year i’ve been transitioning to a vegan/macrobiotic diet. one thing i’ve found helpful is to go slowly and not be too hard on myself when i ‘slip up’. just let it go and get back on my path. i have less and less cravings for dairy products and sugar as i learn to eat ‘right’, balance my diet, and cook. i actually love cooking now, which i never in a trillion years would have imagined…and it’s easy to prepare vegan food once you start learning. i recommend taking a class, or just getting a good cookbook and experimenting with recipies and ingredients.

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shannon January 7, 2008 at 10:28 am

Such awesome advice. I have been trying to get myself to go vegetarian for many months now. The hardest part is ” detoxing” from all the sugary stuff and corn syrup products that I perviously hadn’t realized it had….
It is very, very difficult for me. I love a lot of hot sauces, stir fry sauces, because I prepare a lot of asian inspired dishes. I know now that it is okay for me to pace myself, because we are not all perfect. Hopefully, this time around I will be more successful. I eat so MANY veggies everyday already ( for instance: I eat at least1 or 2 red peppers and half an onion a day lol) so I feel confident I can create dishes that are healthier…

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gabricadabra January 7, 2008 at 10:29 am

VERY inspiring, miss bliss! i’ve been procrastinating about this for the longest time, mostly due to my busy lifestyle. but i said this year i would concentrate on my health and especially my diet, which affects all.
it never ceases to amaze me how insightful you are in so many areas. you’re such a wonderful columnist on all of these very relevant subjects. thank you for being there. i am so looking forward to meeting you and hopefully many of your fans in miami.

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michelle January 7, 2008 at 2:23 pm

Seven days meat free and counting! I dreamt that I accidentally ate chicken last night. I made it through almost the entire meal when I finally looked at what i was eating….gross fast food chicken patties. I gave up fast food entirely two years. So where did that come from? Gross.
I’m not having too hard of a time. I won’t give up fish though. Can’t quit the sushi. Fresh fruits and veggies are incredible! I would suggest to those lucky women who have the time, yard space, and love for dirt to
PLANT A GARDEN!!! Nothing is more rewarding in the kitchen than cooking the food you grew from a seed. I take it one step further…make your own COMPOST! All your beautiful hair that falls out in the shower or comes off in your brush is packed with NUTRIENTS. My older Asian aunties say that if you wrap your root veggies w/ your hair, the veggie will grow to contain the nutrients that your body lacks because it is wrapped in all the nutrients you have! Make sense? Compost is fantastic. Look in your trash can…..I bet over half of that trash could be added to your garden rather than the land fill! Coffee grinds, coffee filters, meatless food scraps, newspapers, fingernails, the list goes on and on. Shop local, shop organic, and spend a little more money on the food you feed your body. Your body will thank you.
Thank you Miss Bliss. I’m checking out the recipes next! I need them.
ALOHA!!!

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summer January 7, 2008 at 8:04 pm

And don’t forget… Vegans Taste Better! ;)

(do it for the animals, though)

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meegs January 9, 2008 at 10:33 am

I love meat and believe that people are meant to eat it (you know, that whole “I didn’t claw my way to the top of the food chain to eat only vegetables,” saying?) anyway, I also love vegetables and drink a lot of soy…which brings me to the question – why almond milk? Sorry if I missed the explanation for this previously, but I’m very curious – whats wrong with soy and how do you get coffee? Places around me (Milwaukee) serve soy like its disappearing tomorrow but I’ve never seen a place with almond milk offerings!

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Beth January 11, 2008 at 9:53 pm

i have been a vegetarian for 4 yrs. and whenever I want to cheat (which is usually when I visit home in KY and want bacon:) I remember the moving EARTHLINGS (it is on You Tube) and it will work to brainwash you for sure.

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