Wednesday, May 19, 2021

My Experiences In Being (Semi) Vegetarian

 Last time I are pork/red meat was beginning December last year, but I did eat chicken, though not every week.

I could sum it up in two sentences. a) It's been a struggle to keep on weight. b) It's boring hence I'm going back to a Mediterranean diet. 

I substituted with cheese and eggs and I ate fish 2-3 times a week, but still would lose weight easily hence if you are fat overweight, it probably makes sense to eat like a vegetarian from time to time, but if you are a normal weight, you could easily become underweight.

Despite what carnivore/paleo crowd tell you, carbs don't exactly make you fat unless you eat like a ton of them. I was the skinniest when also restricting animal fat, which was downright scary, so I went back to eating butter and full fat yogurt, but even eating cake nearly every day didn't quite help. 

I didn't exactly miss red meat, but got bored from building my meals around eggs and cottage cheese, if you know what I mean:)

So that's my experiences so far...


  1. I have a friend who years ago decided that her family should go vegan; I think they lasted a year or two at most. Her husband and sons call that time "the starving time." Eating meat "sparingly" is part of a healthful diet.

  2. Vegans all look like they've escaped from a prison camp, lol! However, when you are obese, this diet could provide great results:) I believe there is research showing that it's the best diet to lose the most weight in the shortest period of time.

    1. Post Alley CrackpotMay 20, 2021 at 5:49 PM

      92 kg, about 12% body fat, which is healthy for someone over 50 years old ...

      I also do my own moving, and I haven't hired movers in years. :-)

      I lost a few kilos going back on a pseudo-keto meat diet after all that time as a vegetarian.

      The US does some foul stuff to meat, especially to fried chicken, and that does wonders to encourage me not to eat much of it.

    2. I tried some sort of keto before and it messed my blood sugar something fierce.

  3. Post Alley CrackpotMay 20, 2021 at 5:35 PM

    You should have mentioned this here, BTW: I went several years as a vegetarian to avoid some potentially serious health issues.

    When I turned 50, I was able to add meat back to my diet.

    I absolutely cannot eat pork because of allergies, and eggs are sometimes iffy.

    Beef, chicken, and lamb are my go-to meats because I also can't eat seafood.

    So let's talk about cool stuff that would help.

    Ever tried tofu dengaku? It's deep-fried tofu, and it works great as a side with a dipping sauce.

    Given tempeh a shot? It makes great stir-fry dishes, and you can often find it in two kilo slabs that store well in the freezer.

    But the Chinese/Taiwanese secret to vegetarianism is to use "mock meats" that are made of textured vegetable protein that's extruded in a process that makes it have the texture of meat.

    Most HK/Taiwan vegetarian Chinese restaurants use this stuff as meat replacer.

    This is also stuff that stores well in the freezer and can be had as one kilo long rolls. With some vegetable stock and a few other improvements, it tastes pretty good in stir-fry dishes.

    The sources are primarily Chinese/Taiwanese, but some Indian companies are now getting into the act.

    Here's a CNN piece from 2019: China perfected 'fake meat' centuries before the Impossible Burger.

    I won't touch the latest varieties of US-produced fake meat because it's super-high in oestrogen analogues, but this stuff I'm mentioning is mostly OK.

    You just have to be careful to get reputable brands that don't include typical food industry pollutants such as 3-MCPD, but that's true in general anyway.

    Also, try cooking up some paneer for curries. Maybe you can find some old Curry Club mini-books about curries that aren't standard British Indian Restaurant curries, but the occasional muttar paneer wouldn't be too bad.

    I found an NL source for some of this stuff: Asia Express Food (NL).

    But they don't have the kilo rolls of vegetarian mock meat that I've mentioned.

    I actually rarely saw them in the UK, to be honest, and the packs that are at Asia Express Food are more typical of what I'd see in UK shops.

    There's also Linda McCartney brand stuff, which was good for making stuff that meat eaters would feel comfortable eating, including veg Lincolnshire and Cumberland "sausages".

    You are just not being resourceful enough yet.

    I do enjoy my steaks and burgers now, but I spent over a decade as a vegetarian who piled on the soy.

    It was either that or being put on a course of heavy medication by my doctor for a genetic condition.

    Try some cookbooks: Deborah Madison's vegetarian cookbooks are pricey, but excellent.

    I'd give you the titles and authors for some UK vegetarian cookbooks if they weren't still packed up after the move. :-)

  4. I can't eat soy products, they do a number on my body (I'm still of what they call a childbearing age), and my husband absolutely refuses tofu, he tried it once and didn't care for it. The only meat substitute we both like is falafel, I tried some other fake meats and the best were cheese schnitzels, so I thought why not just eating cheese instead of the factory produced stuff, after all I'm doing it for health and not for moral reasons:)

    So I ended up eating lots of dairy products, which they say isn't that great for you, either:) I have advantage as I love fish and seafood, but still...

    And I do have 2 vegetarian cookbooks, one by a Mid Eastern lady, the other one by Jamie Oliver, which is very good but the recipes are quite time-consuming.

    The point is, 100g of chicken fillet has 23g of complete protein in it, and less fat than cheese or jogurt. I had to eat 200g of cottage cheese to get similar amount of protein, that in addition to other dairy products I usually eat. And still lost weight easily.

  5. BTW, did you ever try this Quorn thing? It's sold over here, but I never dared after reading some negative reviews about it.

  6. Post Alley CrackpotMay 26, 2021 at 3:20 PM

    Quorn is a mycoprotein, and so people who have problems with fungus have problems with it.

    I don't do so well with Quorn, it totally rips me apart no matter what else was consumed with it.

    But another thing to try is seitan, but some of it is made with soy textured vegetable product, so this is best made at home.

    Tofu can be great if it's prepared well, and there are ways to prepare it for people who don't really like it.

    Having chunks of it in miso soup, that's not exactly great for most Westerners.

    But tofu dengaku is where you fry tofu so that there's a bubbly hot center and a crisp outside.

    It's meant for an appetiser, and it kind of explodes in your mouth as you eat it.

    There's a variety I have rarely seen in Western countries called kitsune tofu dengaku, and the "fox" (kitsune) part involves brown tofu. It's easily fried and has a more interesting flavour than the more common types of white tofu.

    It means your husband may actually like it when it's prepared right for Westerners.

    Eggplant dengaku may work better for both of you though.

    Some people don't react to fermented soy such as soy sauce, and miso may work out for broths.

    There are a lot of different kinds of miso, not just the beige variety that goes into the usual bowls of miso soup, and miso can add a lot of that "umami" flavour to dishes.

    So maybe Indian vegetarian could work since you're doing a lot of dairy?

    One of those multi-function rice cookers works pretty well as a quick way to prepare dhal without having to soak a batch overnight in the refrigerator. My Instant Pot does an even better job and cuts that down to the prep time needed for everything else.

    Paneer isn't cheap around here (Florida) though, it all seems like it's imported or made very far away, and so a half kilo brick of it tends to run 5 USD or more. Plus we're not in the city anymore, and so we have to drive about fifty miles for a brick of it because the local grocery stores don't stock it for us (yet).

    Despite that, Indian food is our fallback for being lazy, especially when we use those Indian meals in pouches that you heat in a big pot of boiling water.

    We only like the paneer Indian meals in pouches for the most part, and I think that's because India exports to the US their "weaksauce" varieties for Western palates.

    It's OK, we have plenty of hot sauces in Florida. :-)

    Try a few of the Indian meals in pouches if you're not sure if you'd like something before trying to make it yourself. They used to be cheaper, but even during The Rona and the mess that followed, they're rarely above 2.40 USD per pouch. MTR and Haldiram's are good brands for these, I believe both make these for the Indian military as well.

    I'm big enough that I need three and it's just enough, so one pouch per 30 kg of weight is probably right.

  7. Lol, I made seitan at home, several times, both from wheat flour and from wheat gluten and I can't say that it's my favourite meal so far. I do use soy sauce and I like Indian recipes, but I prefer to make nearly everything from scratch myself, as far as possible.

    Med diet works fine for me as I now eat meat 3 times a week, in small portions, and most of it chicken. I do love cheese, btw. Never had problems with any sort of dairy, really.


No anonymous comments. Anonymous comments will be deleted.