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Thread: Tips for feeding an egg-eating vegeterian? page

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    pamelafox's Avatar
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    Question Tips for feeding an egg-eating vegeterian?

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    My sister is vegetarian (no meat, no fish, but does eat eggs), lactose-intolerant (can eat some aged cheese), and fairly obese. She(/he) is also on testosterone, which tends to make people gain more weight.

    I am moving to San Francisco to live near her, and she has agreed to eat whatever I cook her, as long as it's within her eating restrictions. As much as I've tried to convince her otherwise, she will not start eating meat or fish.

    I've been cooking primal myself for last few months, but with animal proteins as a big part of my meals, so my main challenge is figuring out how to replace the animal protein with protein she can eat. Here's what I'm thinking so far in terms of protein replacement:
    • lots of eggs - obviously for breakfast, but also for things like tortillas and pizza bases at dinnertime
    • nuts/nut flours (but can't use as the bulk of the meal due to energy density)
    • tofu (i know it's not great, but..)
    • legumes (ditto - they're not great, but with limited protein options..)


    Ideally, I could easily make two versions of a given meal at the same time, the no-animal version for her and the animal version for me. And, it'd be great if I could make meals that package well, so I can give her meals to re-heat later.

    Suggestions welcome, thanks!

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    That's quite a challenge.

    Tempeh is way healthier than tofu. Go for the healthiest nuts (You probably knew that.) Explore dairy options?

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    Is your sister taking testosterone because of a hormone imbalance, or is she trans?

    Anyway, I imagine she could benefit from a diet similar to what my parents eat (they're low-ish carb vegetarians)
    • eggs for breakfast
    • big salads with nuts and cheese (just add some extra meat to yours)
    • beans & greens (basically, just a big mess of greens sauteed in garlic and olive oil with tasty seasonings and beans mixed in - for yours, just mix in meat instead of beans)
    • any properly soaked bean dishes, really
    • fermented soy like tempeh, natto, or possibly dofu-ru (a fermented tofu), though if she has hormonal problems I would consider avoiding soy entirely
    • can she eat yogurt? Greek yogurt packs a powerful protein punch, and doesn't bother my belly like milk does


    And finally, you can always try to sell her on oysters.
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    It seems to me you got the short end of the cooking stick...you will be constantly compromising to meet her needs. Maybe you do meal planning together so that you can share side dishes/ veggies and you each do your own thin for the protein.

    It seems like she has a cheap personal chef at her disposal.

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    Orchid's Avatar
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    Mushrooms are great as the "protein" in veggie dishes.

    Maybe you can get her more primal by eliminating gluten grains. Not like you need more restrictions, but it would go a long way.

    I will repeat what others have said: no tofu, especially if she is overweight and especially if she has hormonal problems.

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    Thanks for all the tips!

    @theholla - She's taking them to be trans. I'll check out Tempeh - I remember natto from my Japan trip, I think that will be a harder sell. Not sure on yoghurt, I'll ask.

    @Orchid - I hadn't realized mushrooms had so much protein. She actually loves mushrooms, so I can do alot with that. I will avoid tofu and use the other soy products sparingly.

    FYI, I've put all the tips (from here and other threads) in this doc:
    https://docs.google.com/document/pub...CrC6kONAGZthvw

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    Quote Originally Posted by pamelafox View Post
    @Orchid - I hadn't realized mushrooms had so much protein. She actually loves mushrooms, so I can do alot with that. I will avoid tofu and use the other soy products sparingly.

    FYI, I've put all the tips (from here and other threads) in this doc:
    https://docs.google.com/document/pub...CrC6kONAGZthvw
    Mushrooms are not high in protein
    Mushrooms do contain protein, but not nearly as much as meats. Mushrooms contain around 3 grams of protein per 100 grams. Meats such as beef, lamb and pork contain around 20 to 30 grams of protein per 100 grams. Chicken contains around the same protein as meats. Fish is slightly lower, but at around 15 to 20 grams per 100 grams it clearly beats mushrooms. Mushrooms obtained their reputation as 'meat for vegetarians' because of the relatively high content of Vitamin B 12 in some varieties. It is unclear whether the vitamin B12 is found in the fungi itself, or in the fertilizer in which mushrooms are grown!

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    Orchid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrianag View Post
    Mushrooms are not high in protein
    I think we're talking more along the lines of mushrooms being a "protein" in a culinary sense. Its a full-bodied, filling, flavorful food that acts well as the main star.

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    Protein is clearly essential, but not everyone needs to eat huge amounts. Take fat as an alternative; the body can thrive on anything between 30-80 % of energy from fat. Think about eskimos (although the blubber which they ate did come from whale). So if she gets sufficient fat, very much protein may not be required. A bigger question is how on earth to get enough Omega-3.

    In Sweden, for instance, there is a movement called LCHF (Low carb high fat) which is gaining popularity. It dictates that you should eat a LOT of fat, and fairly small amounts of protein and carbohydrate, as protein can be transformed into glucose if you eat too much. Check it out: http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/fat-not-protein.html

    Although this may seem presumptuous, you should give another go at trying to convince her to at least eat fish. The diet will otherwise end up being very difficult and unnatural.
    Last edited by den.sidste.messias; 03-02-2011 at 04:40 AM.

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    +1 for tempeh: not only is it fermented, it also actually tastes of something. Finely sliced, fried and sprinkled with soy sauce, it's really pretty good.

    Legumes - agreed, you have to include them, and they do bear a much closer resemblance to food than the vegetarian fake meats. Sprouting them removes some anti-nutrients and hugely increases vitamin content. Green lentils are one of the easiest to sprout, and can be eaten as a vegetable or raw in salads, and - again - actually taste good. (Obviously don't eat soya or kidney beans without careful cooking - needs to include 10 minutes hard boiling for those.)

    Bean burgers are good - well-cooked beans of some reasonably characterful type, like red kidney beans, smooshed up with onion/ mushroom/ herbs/ spices and yeast extract, bound with an egg if need be, fried. Another subtle way to include plenty of coconut oil . They can be stored to cook later, same as meat burgers.

    You may be quite right that she is just not persuadable. But if she's motivated by the environmental damage/ animal cruelty thing, can you find a smallholding where the farmer obviously loves his animals that you can visit? I think seeing this was part of what got me to change... took 10 years, admittedly...

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