Meatless Mondays…Vegatarian or Vegan?

EAT UP!Meatless Mondays?

The Los Angeles City Council voted 14-0 on last Friday (Nov. 9, 2012) to adopt a resolution of meatless Mondays for its citizens.  The idea is for citizens to go meatless on Mondays in an effort to become healthier by limiting diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.  According to the Meatless Monday website, there are several other cities in the U.S. and around the world who have endorsed meatless Mondays.

This is my first day adopting the policy of meatless Mondays for myself.  Actually, for the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking very seriously about becoming a vegetarian…or a vegan.  The way I see it, my body will  benefit greatly from a change to eating more fruits, veggies, and whole grains.  So I looked into both the vegan and the vegetarian diet to see which one I would be more prone to comply with.

It wasn’t even close.  Of course the vegetarian diet won hands down.  I’ve grown to take for granted the daily consumption of milk and dairy products over the span of my lifetime, and the vegetarian diet would allow me to continue to enjoy them. I’d give them up if I absolutely had to, but I don’t think I can give them up very easily, or for very long.

Actually, for the last few years I’ve been eating mostly chicken, and sea foods, while omitting the red meats.   So I guess one could say that I am already a semi vegetarian.

But a vegetarian diet has its drawbacks.  This is because a vegetarian diet can be lacking in some of the essential nutrients our bodies need.  Because of this, a vegetarian diet must be well planned.  Specific nutrients that may be lacking are:  protein, iron, zinc, calcium, omega 3 fatty acids and other important nutrients…including vitamin D, vitamin B12, iodine, and riboflavin.

If you are thinking about becoming a vegetarian, I would suggest that you consult your doctor or nutritionist first, or at least investigate it carefully.  This is in order to make sure your choice of foods will provide all of the  necessary nutrients you will require. A family with growing children and mothers who are breast feeding or are pregnant can all consume a vegetarian diet without any harm.  Perhaps it is a good idea to start off slowly, one day a week; eg Meatless Mondays.

As I already suggested, the thing to do first is to learn of your family’s nutritional requirements so their needs will be met.  A vegan diet completely excludes meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products.  As you can determine, it is a bit more restrictive than what the vegetarian diet is. This is because it does not allow for the eggs and dairy products.

Foods that are allowed on both the vegan and vegetarian diet include:

  • Fruits and veggies
  • Soy products, beans, and nuts
  • canola, olive and sesame oils, and coconut oil
  • Whole-grain cereals and breads
  •  whole-wheat and whole grain pasta, vegetable pasta, tortillas, brown rice, barley, quinoa, potatoes, and sweet potatoes
  • For the vegetarian diet only, milk and dairy products are included.

I hope this has given you some insight on the benefits of going meatless once a week.  Also in the difference between a vegan and a vegetarian diet plan.  I know for a long time in the past I always confused the two.  The big thing to remember is if you like your milk and dairy products, go vegetarian.

Healthy trails to you.

Carolyn

20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Katie
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 02:51:26

    Vegan does sound tough. That would take out most baked goods as well. :(. Can’t wait to hear your vegetarian adventures.

    Reply

    • thehealthywarrior
      Nov 13, 2012 @ 19:15:40

      Hi Katie You are ight vegan doe seems to be tough.I can’t imagine me ever going vegan…vegetarian is a much beter choice.

      Reply

      • Katie
        Nov 25, 2012 @ 20:58:10

        Hi,
        Hope your Thanksgiving went well. Tough year can make for a tough holiday.
        Did you try to go vegetarian?
        Katie

      • thehealthywarrior
        Nov 25, 2012 @ 21:25:37

        Hi Katie. Thanks for stopping by. You are right about this thanksgiving being s tough one…but I made it through. I hope you and your family’s thanksgiving holiday was the best. I ended up having a little turkey with my meal. I am eating vegatarian 3 to 4 times a week or more. Pretty soon I will be a 100 % vegatarian. It’s just a matter of time. Blessings to you for a good Sunday evening my friend.

      • Katie
        Nov 25, 2012 @ 21:40:07

        Glad you made it through.
        Great transition plan. Have a beautiful Sunday too 8)

  2. beverley
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 06:58:57

    I call myself a lazy vegetarian as once in a while i crave a well done smoked bacon sandwich on white bread with butter :). I also include the occasional fish too. You can get all the nutrients you need from a vegetarian diet but you do need to go whole wheat,whole grain. My advice would be to make the change slowly.

    Reply

    • thehealthywarrior
      Nov 13, 2012 @ 19:11:43

      Hi Beverley. Great advice. I think it is better to start out slowly also. This will give your body time to adjust to the change better. Also it will provide the opportunity to better research the foods you like in order to ensure they all will provide the proper nutrients.

      Reply

  3. Karen Wan
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 02:16:04

    I like to meatless at least one day per week – I feel better when I eat much less meat, but I have to admit I still like some meat and fish.

    Reply

    • thehealthywarrior
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 02:29:59

      I feel the way you do Karen. I can go without meat but I stIll like my sea food. I must admit, I had a good day yesterday…no meat at all. I was very true to my meatless Monday. Today I made it through lunch. But for dinner I had to have a piece of fish. :)

      Reply

  4. maggiemyklebust
    Nov 16, 2012 @ 20:13:57

    I always try to go one day a week without meat. I’ve also given up red meat, but my family has not…
    I haven’t given up dairy completely but I don’t drink milk. I drink soy and I love it!
    Thanks!

    Reply

  5. souldipper
    Nov 19, 2012 @ 03:28:36

    I’ve been a vegetarian 85 to 95% of the time with special emphasis on Alkaline foods. I’ll eat chicken, but the last time I tried some roast beef, my body protested. It does not like the work that is needed to digest red meat anymore. I love veggies and the various means of prep – from raw to baked and everything in between. We can kill nutrition by overcooking veggies so I really love stir fries and no two are ever the same for me. I add Feta cheese to the stir fry and adore the flavour.

    Good for you, Carolyn. What a great way to guide people. And yes, it is very important to supplement our vegetarian diets. (I’m sitting here snacking on raw almonds. YUM!)

    Reply

    • thehealthywarrior
      Nov 19, 2012 @ 14:35:49

      Hi Amy. Thanks for stopping by. I believe you and I are on the same page with our vegatarian diets. I’ve long stopped eating red meat, but I still eat chicken sometimes, but I eat fish and shrimp far more than the chicken. I believe I will be a complete vegatarian one day…it is the fish and shrimp that is holding me back.
      Have a good day! :)

      Reply

  6. on thehomefrontandbeyond
    Nov 19, 2012 @ 10:16:41

    I think I will start incorporating meatless Mondays — I have started this before but you have renewed my inspiration.Thanks for this and explaining the difference between vegetarian and vegan–I would find it very difficult to become a vegan.

    Reply

    • thehealthywarrior
      Nov 19, 2012 @ 14:28:27

      Hello there! Thanks for coming by. I’m glad that you are going to start the meatless Monday plan again. I believe it is healthier for all of us. I’m not only doing meatless Mondays, but I’m going without meat for at least one meal per day, and sometimes two. It won’t be too long before I am a full fledged vegatarian. :)

      Reply

  7. Shakti Ghosal
    Nov 27, 2012 @ 04:58:50

    Whether to be a vegan or not is a state of the mind. While we have the choice, it is our own socialisation that plays the catalysing role. Loved the post!

    Shakti

    Reply

    • thehealthywarrior
      Nov 27, 2012 @ 21:33:14

      Hi Shaki. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I don’t think I will have the state of mind that would lead me to becoming a vegan. However I will probably be a vegetarian in a couple of months more. I’m breaking away from fish and chicken slowly. I gave up beef and pork a few years ago. :)

      Reply

  8. Louise G.
    Dec 27, 2012 @ 13:53:51

    Hi Carolyn — great information in your post. Thanks! My sister and her husband went vegan for awhile — they finally added back in the dairy, and they do allow fish once in awhile. My daughter is a vegetarian — and I was. I like the idea of Meatless Monday’s — I was raised Catholic and we always had meatless Fridays — that’s if you don’t count fish. On Friday’s, we ate fish!

    Blessings on a Happy New Year!

    Reply

  9. The Writing Waters Blog
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 00:14:58

    I find a good variety of healthy foods gets easier and easier (with only occasional backslides to rich foods).

    Reply

    • carolyn
      Jan 09, 2013 @ 15:12:14

      Hi there. Thanks for the visit today. I agree that there are a wide variety of foods to choose from, therefore we shouldn’t get bored from eating meatless meals. Just like you, I may have an occasional slip up :)

      Reply

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