I am thinking of going vegetarian, only cus the taste of meat has been absolutely disgusting to me the last few months. I read an article on veal and baby cows and almost vomited and it was all downhill from there.
So, my concerns are with vegetarian protein. I don't know where else to get it, besides nuts. I already am restrictive with my caloric intake (about 1500-1800) and exercise 3-5 times a week. I'm not into soy or tofu or anything like that either. Any advice would be appreciated so much. - J. G.
Dear J. G., You don't have to go all the way vegetarian right away. Why not just take it slow, and give yourself a chance to develop a taste for weird vegetarian foods like tofu?
Tofu, made from ground soy beans by the way, is good when it's cooked right, but it definitely takes getting used to. It's also an excellent vegetarian protein source. Savvy Veg has lots of good tofu recipes
Soy, in the form of TVP, is usually found in processed foods, like veggie burgers, veg sausage, nutritional shake mixes, etc. TVP or textured vegetable protein is highly processed, using chemicals, high heat, and mechanical extrusion. It's not good to eat, in my opinion - see the SV article: Textured Vegetable Protein: Is This A Food? Soy is also a common allergen.
So, avoid processed soy foods, but give traditional soy products like tofu, tempeh and miso a chance. They are an easily tolerated form of soy for most people. Buy organic and non-gmo.
Legumes (beans and lentils), nuts, seeds, whole grains are the other sources of vegetarian protein, available in abundance and variety. Beans and lentials are excellent sources of vegetarian protein, combined with whole grains, and are low in fat (except for soybeans).
Nuts are high in fat, but packed with nutrition, and you don't need to eat much. Get yourself a good basic vegetarian cookbook and explore.
Not knowing anything about your body, I can't advise on your calorie intake in relation to the amount of exercise you get, but it could be a little on the low side for someone physically active.
One thing about cutting out meat is you have to get the fat and calories you need from somewhere. That could be from grains, nuts, cheese, eggs, vegetable oil, butter, etc.
Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian