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Mommy Musings: Thoughts and Opinions

Yes. I am a Vegetarian and Proud of it!

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Yes. It’s true. I have been a vegetarian for 21 years this September. I have not eaten any meat, including fish, in that time. I do consume dairy and buy free range eggs.

Having been an animal lover my whole life I don’t think it came as a surprise to my mom when she found out. Luckily, she was supportive in my decision (and by supportive I mean she said that as long as she didn’t have to cook two dinners it was okay, so I cooked for myself LOL).

It was much harder back then since vegetarianism wasn’t so mainstream. You couldn’t go to a fast food chain like Harvey’s and get a veggie burger, and vegans weren’t even on the map yet.

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Both pregnancies I remained vegetarian. People often referred to Sawyer as Soybean because he was literally made of tofu! Surprisingly, no one, not even my doctors gave me a hard time about it. I did have to be a lot more careful with my diet when I was pregnant with the twins, since the human body is basically designed to carry one baby at a time. But, considering all the unsolicited advice you get, no one was worried about my protein intake (for once). I could never eat meat, even if the doctor told me too anyways (not that they would).

I managed to keep Sawyer a vegetarian for his first year of life. If it were up to me, I’d raise him vegetarian until he is old enough to make his own decision, but I am concerned about him getting all of the vitamins and nutrients he needs. Plus, dad used to be a chef and still eats meat so even though he usually cooks vegetarian he occasionally breaks out the porkchops. It makes me sick when I see them eat it, but I do want Sawyer to have a “normal” childhood and have real chicken once in a while. Plus, it is pretty darned convenient since no matter how many vegetarian options there are, there are always more meat ones.

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I am a huge believer in animal rights, but I am also a huge believer in people’s right to choose. So I never force my beliefs on anyone. I will go on forever though if someone asks me about it! When Sawyer was born at almost 9.5lbs I kept saying “look what a 115lb vegetarian can do”.

So what do we eat? Stir fry with tofu, veggie burgers and hotdogs, falafels, tacos and burritos with veggie beef, vegetable pot pie, Mac and cheese, vegetarian lasagna, veggie spring rolls and rice, and the list goes on. Hey, after 20 years I have learned a thing or two about vegetarian cooking. πŸ™‚

So far things have worked out, but I am not sure how the eating situation will change with two more kids in the mix, and as they get older.

So what do you think? Can you raise a healthy vegetarian or vegan family? Is anyone else out there a vegetarian mom? If your kids are older how did you explain to them what they are actually eating?

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About Shannon

I am a university educated full-time working mother of three children and expecting #4. Proudly Canadian, I freeze my butt off along with my loving partner, two dogs and a cat. I hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I love writing them, but if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Discussion

13 thoughts on “Yes. I am a Vegetarian and Proud of it!

  1. I don’t have kids myself but two of my favourite blogs are by mums raising veggie/vegan kids:

    Live. Learn. Love. Eat – http://livelearnloveeat.com/
    lucysfriendlyfoods – http://lucysfriendlyfoods.wordpress.com/

    They both cook amazing-looking food so you may want to check them out (if you haven’t already!). πŸ™‚

    Posted by More Than Greens | May 20, 2013, 3:40 pm
  2. I love that you say Sawyer was made of tofu!! lol
    I was a vegetarian for five years, even through my pregnancy with Samuel, but within a few days following his birth, I was famished! Breastfeeding (for me) is more taxing than pregnancy, apparently! I was seriously craving meat; I upped my veg protein but it didn’t help! 😦 I decided to allow myself to eat chicken and ground turkey for dinners. I am still breastfeeding, so I’m still eating those two things, but I make a lot of vegetarian meals as well. Once he’s weaned I fully intend on going back to being a veg. I eat dairy and eggs as well. πŸ™‚
    Btw, I would LOVE to see you post some vegtarian recipes on your blog!! Especially veggie burgers – I am always looking for new ones! πŸ˜€

    Posted by Valerie | May 20, 2013, 4:50 pm
    • Actually, I was thinking of posting some recipes/ meal ideas so will do!

      I definitely up my protein level while breastfeeding. I eat protein cereal for breakfast or lunch and I snack on low fat cottage cheese (which is super high in protein) and peanut butter on crackers.

      Sawyer actually loves tofu! He will eat it cold cut in pieces right off the block! LOL

      Posted by secaulfield | May 20, 2013, 5:37 pm
      • Great! I look forward to your recipes!! πŸ˜€ I should try cottage cheese – I had it as a kid and was NOT a fan of the texture but I’m a lot less picky now! πŸ˜‰

        Posted by Valerie | May 21, 2013, 12:04 pm
      • I actually use it as a condiment! I used to hate it too but now I love it. I put it on spicy rice with veggies and you get the hot spicy rice contrasted with the cool cottage cheese, so yummy! Or I like the little preportioned ones with the berry preserves in it. Lots of protein and I find it more filling than yoghurt.

        Posted by secaulfield | May 21, 2013, 4:31 pm
      • I’ll have to try the berry ones! πŸ™‚

        Posted by Valerie | May 21, 2013, 4:45 pm
  3. Oh, I forgot to answer your question about kids. My daughter is following in my footsteps and eats mostly vegetarian. My son is a full on carnivore!! 😦 We allow him to order red meat/seafood when we are at a restaurant, but I will not cook it.
    Samuel eats like I do. I suppose when I go back to being veg, I will guide him that way too. πŸ™‚

    Posted by Valerie | May 20, 2013, 4:53 pm
  4. I’m a veggie mom too! For 23 years now. I am raising my son vegetarian until he’s old enough to decide for himself. I recently decided to avoid soy and not feed it to my son, so it’s getting harder! But he’s a picky eater anyway. We eat organic dairy, too. I’m still breastfeeding my 2.5 year old but I also give him a vitamin with iron every day. Our ped is vegetarian too and has no issue,

    Posted by Christie Silver | May 24, 2013, 5:05 pm
  5. I am not vegetarian and not thinking of becoming one but if you post recipes, I will gladly try them with my family! Saw your comment on AtlantaMumOfThree Friday party and thought I’d come over for a visit!

    Posted by Sixtine and The Little Things | May 25, 2013, 12:52 pm
    • That’s great. Even eating vegetarian one day a week can diversify your little ones pallet an be a healthy option. Vegetarian ground beef (from Yves) is so universal you can easily substitute it in recipes that call for ground beef like lasagna or tacos.

      Posted by Shannon | May 25, 2013, 6:10 pm

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