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She's the Vegetarian, I'm the cook.

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  • She's the Vegetarian, I'm the cook.

    So I'm doing Primal. Wife is a vegetarian. We are both trying to lose weight and we both have a lot to lose.

    Now, I do most of the cooking in my house and I will say there was a learning curve when my wife first dropped meat. I do what I can to cook with whole vegetables (no grain based protein patties or tofu if I can help it) and I avoid things like Pasta and go minimal on legumes and potatoes.

    It's working out.

    But my big question is this - I understand that Carbs + Fat can be a disaster in the weight gain department. So, taking as a given that she's on a high carb diet (vegetarian doesn't offer much of an option there), about what should be her fat and protein intake to facilitate her continued weight loss (she gets most of her protein from eggs, legumes, and cheese in the winter. More spinach and the like in the summer).

    I really don't want to sabotage her efforts, but the more primal I get and the more fat I add to my own diet the easier it is for those fats to creep into her diet - and given the amount of carbohydrate she consumes, that worries me.

    Any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

    PS-I have gotten her more focused on bodyweight workouts and less focused on the chronic cardio she was once so fond of. Baby steps . . .

  • #2
    I believe Mark has written something on paleo vegetarians..

    *Dig dig*


    • #3
      Vegetarian doesn't have to mean high-carb. Fibrous veggies are tastier and more nutritious than grains and legumes, and as long as the typical carb sources are minimized fat won't be a problem. The big issue is really protein, it would take a lot of eggs to satisfy my target protein intake


      • #4
        Mark's wife is pesco-vegetarian (she eats fish sometimes) herself. I'd look to dairy for protein sources (whey, cottage cheese..ect) if I were wanting to get enough protein while avoiding vegetarian soy and legume protein. Without enough protein she won't be maintain muscle tone. That said, I'd never make it as a vegetarian.


        • #5
          @ krassi - Thanks for the link!

          @ Daemonized - Yeah, I don't think I could go without meat either. I tell my wife I'm a *part time* vegetarian. She tells me she wishes I was as funny as I think I am.


          • #6
            I was a vegetarian for 14 years. Best thing I could have done then would have been to eliminate all vegetable oils (except coconut), all gluten grains and fructose. I wouldn't worry so much about her carbs with healthy fat. Cheese is low or no carb (harder cheeses especially) and I could easily get most of my protein from both eggs, cheese and high protein vegetables if meat weren't available to me (goddess forbid!)

            Several Paleo-friendly scientists are postulating that up to 30% carbs is fine for most folks on a Paleo diet. You could plug in her daily food and check macros with an online calculator.
            Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
            Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
            Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article


            • #7
              Let me tack one more question onto my original query - Given that I know I'm not going to get her to take whey protein (or any other kind of protein shake) does anyone have an opinion on amino acid tablets?


              • #8
                sounds like a primal vs veg experiment.
                We need to have a global discussion about the epidemic of donut murder

                Starting Weight: 238 lb
                Current Weight: 224 lb
                Goal: 190-200 lb
                Height: 6'-0"
                Age: 27


                • #9
                  Well, they've been at it for six months now (my daughter went vegetarian the same time as my wife). And I'm fine with them being vegetarian, I just want them to be as healthy as they can be in the process.


                  • #10
                    Have you tried making her nut pâtés? Nuts can make great cheeses and pâtés with just a food processor or blender. They are high in fat and not so high in carbs when compared to pasta, etc. They also encourage veggie consumption over grain consumption, as they can be used as a dip for crudité or stuffed into leaves for a wrap. Yes, they first gained popularity in the raw vegan community, but dang they are good. I wouldn't worry too much about the fat vs. carbs, as long as the sugar is pretty low. Those nut things are very filling, so a little goes quite a way--I ate a ton of nut pâtés and never gained any weight.

                    Macadamia Nut Pâté
                    Almond Pâté with Kale Salad
                    Mock Salmon Pâté


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by brahnamin View Post
                      I understand that Carbs + Fat can be a disaster in the weight gain department.
                      This is not necessarily true. Starches/sugars + Fats is probably the worse combination.

                      If you are avoiding pasta/legumes/potatoes you should be golden.


                      • #12
                        I don't think you have to worry about the combination of carbs and fat. If anything, eating more fat should delay some of the insulin response as well as provide satiety. People have become more moderate-carb (including starches such as potatoes and rice) in the paleosphere recently too.


                        • #13
                          Thanks for the links.


                          • #14
                            I eat meat about once every 2 weeks at most. If she can eat fish, then salmon has so much protein and other good stuff in it. Macadamia nut oil has lots of fat, and it's got neglible unhealthy fat or omega 6. If she can eat eggs but not fish, then eggs are good enough.

                            If she is strict vegetarian, then eating paleo would be pretty much impossible, have you seen what crap they put into meat substitutes? Nuts will get mighty boring after a while