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I am now a vegetarian. I am wondering what I need to supplement my diet since there are certain vitamins that I won't be getting now. I am also trying to figure out what to replace certain things with if I decide to go mostly vegan. I am still doing some dairy, eggs, honey. I will eventually get my own hens so I know they are healthy, happy, and clean and the eggs will be safer that the grocery store. I will never give up honey but considering giving up most dairy. I have already switched to almond milk.
 

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When I was a vegetarian, the biggest worry was B-12.

Protein is generally not a worry because, frankly, we get far too much protein in our regular American diet. However, you do need to be careful about your calcium and iron intake.
 

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Congratulations on going vegetarian!

There are no nutrients in meat that are not also available from vegetarian or even vegan sources. If you are lacto-ovo vegetarian, you have nothing to worry about. Stay away from junk food, eat a variety of vegetarian food, and you'll be fine.

If you decide to go vegan, you have to be a little careful, but it's not a big deal. For vegans, the four food groups are: grains, legumes, fruits, and all other vegetables. If you eat regularly from all four groups, then your only remaining concern is vitamin B12. Most omnivores get it from meat, but it is not an animal product; it is a bacterial product. (Cows don't make B12. They get it in their diet from eating grass that they have [email protected] on.) A vitamin B12 supplement is prudent if you are a vegan, since we tend to be fussy about cleaning our food, which removes the natural B12.

The nutrients that omnivores fret about (protein and calcium) when their friends or family go vegetarian or vegan are simply non-issues. If you are not starving, and if you are eating a sensible variety of foods (i.e. you are not trying to live on sugar alone for example) then you are getting enough protein. Protein deficciency is rare.

People worry about calcium for vegans. This is an artificial concern created by the dairy industry. They want us to think that milk is the only source of calcium. It isn't. Where does the cow get the calcium to put into the milk? From eating grass. Eat your veggies and avoid getting too much protein, and your calcium will be fine. (Yes, there is such a thing as protein excess. It causes calcium to leach out of your bones. The more milk you drink, the more protein you get, and the more dietary calcium you need. A recipe for financial success if you are a dairy marketer.)

I have been a vegetarian for 31 years, and a vegan for 18. I follow the above guidelines and don't worry. My health and fitness are above average.
 

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Nothing much to add, most has been covered.
While you are still lacto/ovo vegetarian, eating
eggs cover all the amino acids.

Laurel's Kitchen is a classic recipe book on how to
combine foods to cover all your vitamin needs.
 
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As a vegan these were the questions I asked a nutritionist and she had great answers...I sometimes get my B12 by way of nutritional yeast...it is not a pure food but is tasty on popcorn,pasta,etc. I went to the health food store and picked up a liquid B vitamin drink...I take a TBS everyday...it makes your urine very dark so don't panick lol. I love living this way...the vitality is so worth it alone...and the weight loss isn't such a bad side effect either.
 

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Thank you so much for the replies! :) I will admit I have slipped up and had some chicken and fish but I know it may take time to work into complete vegetarianism so I am not beating myself up. Even if I only eat poultry and fish every couple of weeks I am still better than I was before. I am eating some dairy and eggs so far but not like I used to. I doubt I will ever go completely vegan but there are some days I eat that way.
 

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After a while your body will change the enzymes in your stomach that will make it more difficult to digest meats - including chicken and fish. The less of these meats you eat, the more uncomfortable you'll be after eating them again. That 'pain' will make eating them even less desirable. After that it is pretty easy to stop.
 

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Based on the information I've gathered, if you do eat meat, you only need to eat 1/2 a pound of meat a week to get adequate protein. The average person gets twice that in a single meal. So frankly, protein has never been a concern of mine when I was a vegetarian (on and off since I was 16).

Like a previous poster said, if you simply eat a good variety of healthy fruits, veg, grains and beans/nuts, you'll be fine. If you're ovo-lacto, just have eggs twice a week and you're set.
 

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Do not worry about falling off the wagon as I call it since I have done it twice...but you know what? Cookielee is right...my body and overall wellbeing isn't great after eating meat...I feel bloated, heavy, and will get the meat sweats...it just reaffirms eating a 100% plant base diet works for my body. I'am the only vegan in our family and thats okay.
 

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Tell me about it Keith lol...my family loves nothing more than big rare cuts of beef...I just pass on it.
 

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I would say B-12 and make sure your Vitamin D levels are checked. Make sure you stay clear of processed food. If you eat whole and a variety, you should be great. Read Joel Fuhrman's books.
 

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I think it depends on the individual, good to get tested. I find I need B-12 the most. But if you do vegetarianism 'right' lol, I think some people don't need supplements, or so I've heard. I was vegetarian for years, and just a few weeks ago had a bit of red meat (grass fed, no antibiotics, etc). I think it's important to listen to our bodies too. My body was telling me to eat some meat for a while, and I did feel much better afterwards, stronger.
 

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I've been a vegetarian for 41 years and vegan for 29 years. I take a B12 sublingual tablet every so often. My B12 levels check out good. I am low in vitamin D according to some scales. Mine is 24. DH's is 17. A couple of doctors told me they wanted it to be at least 50. I get a lot of sun too!
 
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