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I know absolutely nothing about nutrition!

J corb
Posted by J corb at 04/06/2013

So, this is probably going to sound very strange, but I know literally nothing about nutrition. Through some very unusual circumstances, I actually never really attended school growing up, and as such, I just never learned anything about what a "healthy diet" should consist of.

Well, I'm 26 years-old now, and I really feel like I need to start taking care of my body. Thing is, it's kind of hard to come up with a healthy diet, when I know nothing about what I'm supposed to be eating.

Basically, I'd like to make the change to becoming a vegetarian. I don't necessarily want to go completely Vegan, as I'm worried I'll have a hard enough time just adjusting to not consuming meat of any kind, but I also want to make sure that I'm actually eating healthier, as opposed to just eating tons of bread and cheese.

If there are any articles or books you could point me to, or even just friendly advice, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!

Responses

happycowgirl
happycowgirl04/06/2013 18:23:40
Never attending school growing up may actually put you at an advantage when it comes to nutrition in that at least you won't have to un-learn the nutritional myths perpetuated by the meat and dairy industries. Let me say that a vegan diet is undoubtedly the healthiest diet you can eat (read The China Study, watch Vegucated & Forks Over Knives). That said, I'm with you and I understand completely that going vegan is a big adjustment, especially when you're transitioning from a standard american diet. I did what it sounds like you want to do: first I went vegetarian, then once I had that down, I went vegan. Even if it's a very long term goal, I would encourage you to go for it and be as close to vegan as you can get.

Back to your specific question, this link gives very thorough information on going vegan. Even though you only want to go vegetarian, it's a great guide to follow. As a vegetarian, you'd feel free to throw a slice of cheese on the burgers or fry up an egg with the breakfast items, etc.

Here's the link:
http://features.peta.org/how-to-go-vegan/?utm_campaign=0313%20How%20to%20Go%20Vegan%20Tweet&utm_source=PETA%20Twitter&utm_medium=Promo

happycowgirl
happycowgirl04/06/2013 18:33:27
Also check out this source. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine puts out a great Vegetarian Starter Kit. It's free to download from their website:

http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/vsk/vegetarian-starter-kit

It also has tons of links about health and nutrition so you can read to your heart's content. : )

So happy to read your post. You can do it! And know that there is a whole community of vegetarians and vegans here to support you if you need it.
happycowgirl
happycowgirl04/06/2013 18:37:34
One more recommendation for you. This one shows the foods that make up a healthy diet:

http://www.nutritionmd.org/makeover/basics/go_veg_start.html
VeganSally
VeganSally04/06/2013 19:01:58
You might not expect this advice, but I'd recommend that you don't worry about eating healthy when you're first trying to make the transition away from meat eating.

Your body needs to get used to the idea of simply not eating meat, not necessarily eating nutrient rich meals. You need to eat healthy in life, but you shouldn’t expect to eat only salads and healthy meals right away, especially if you’ve been eating unhealthy and fattening foods all of your life.

So don’t worry about eating healthy right away. Gorge on cheese. Eat pastas. Enjoy foods that are simply delicious, and don’t focus so much on the health of the meal. Once you’ve gotten used to delicious foods without meat, that’s when it's time to make the switch to eating healthier.

(If you're someone with tremendous will power and self control, forget this advice. You'll be able to dive right in and make the change. For most people though, the gradual approach is the most successful.)
J corb
J corb04/07/2013 21:36:14
Awesome, thanks for the advice and links! Truth be told, I've never been a huge meat-eater anyways; my biggest problem is simply junk-food. Pizza and soda probably make up the lion's share of my diet, which is something I'd like to weed myself off of a bit, even if it's just getting myself down to eating a little cheese-pizza once a month.

I might eventually try to go vegan, though. Not sure I could ever commit to it 100%, though, as I really want to eat healthier for my own sake, but still be open to going out, without having to stress about where I might take a date (anymore than usual, anyways :P).

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