BF Basics: Veggie Tales was composed by four-year post-op and 25-year vegetarian, Kelly, better known as Poet Kelly on Obesity Help. This series is written in her voice with the full endorsement of Bariatric Foodie. If you have any questions for Kelly about any of the information provided, please leave them in the comments and she’ll gladly respond.
overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be.
You can jump right in the deep end if you want, but it might be easier
(and less scary) to take baby steps.
- Start having Meatless
Mondays. Serve your family a tasty
vegetarian meal for dinner once a week.
As you, and your family, become more comfortable with meatless
meals, start having other meatless days.
- Start having Meatless
Mornings. Have a meat-free
breakfast. Make that egg- and
dairy-free if you are transitioning to a vegan diet. Later, you can start having meatless
- Start trying some
meat-free substitutes for your favorite dishes. If you love chili, prepare it with soy
crumbles or TVP instead of ground beef.
- If you normally use
chicken stock in your homemade soup, use vegetable stock instead.
- If you are transitioning
to a vegan diet, try vegan soy slices instead of cheese or a tofu scramble
in place of scrambled eggs.
- Designate one day a week
as “Try a New Vegetarian/Vegan Recipe” day. Explore beyond vegetarian versions of
your old favorites.
- Visit a local vegetarian
or vegan restaurant to enjoy some really good vegetarian cuisine and to
get a feel for some of the possibilities.
- Find some vegetarian
friends. Maybe you can all get
together for a monthly potluck. You
can trade recipes and share stories.
meat or you can choose to transition them to a vegetarian or vegan diet with
you. Children of all ages can get plenty
of protein and other nutrients on a vegetarian or vegan diet. If you live with other adults, of course they
will make their own choices about whether or not to continue eating meat or to
make the transition with you.
- Serve your family meatless
meals some days, even if they are not planning to adopt a vegetarian
diet. A lot of families that eat
meat still have Meatless Mondays.
- Allow adult family members
to prepare their own meat if you don’t like cooking it or just don’t want
to prepare two meals every day.
That’s what I do in my house.
Teenage children can also prepare their own food if they don’t like
what you’re serving.
- Prepare meals that will
work for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. For instance, have Build Your Own Taco
night and put out seasoned ground beef, seasoned soy crumbles, shredded
cheese, veggies and refried beans and let everyone assembled their own
tacos. Or stir fry veggies in one
pan, chicken in another and tofu in a third. Family members can all take some veggies
and then choose whether to take chicken, tofu or some of each.
restaurants have vegetarian options these days.
Even if there are no vegetarian entrees on the menu, you can order a
main dish and ask them to leave the meat off.
I often order a chicken salad without the chicken!
ask in advance what they will be serving.
Often I will be able to eat at least part of the meal but if not, I just
bring something with me, just like I do if I’m going somewhere that I don’t
expect to find weight loss surgery-friendly food.
- You can take baby steps as
you make the transition to a vegetarian diet; you don’t have to jump in
the deep end all at once.
- You can find a solution
that works with your family if other family members don’t want to become
- You can enjoy eating out
as a vegetarian.