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Omnivores: do you feel you want meat every day?

A thread on the home cooking board got me curious about this. I am am omnivore and enjoy good meat and seafood but definitely do not want or need meet every day. I love many different vegetarian meals and make them often.

On the aforementioned thread some people stated that they really want meat every day and sometimes every meal, which surprised me, so I wondered how common this is.
It came up in the context of whether it is ok to serve a vegetarian meal to a mixed group of vegetarians/ omnivores.

So I am wondering, do you feel like you are missing something if a meatless meal is served to you? Do you make vegetarian meals as part of your regular habit?

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  1. We eat a lot of meat protein in my house because my H does better on a protein heavy diet, and I do better when I have heme sources of iron.

    That said, there are lots of times when we do vegan meals (spaghetti squash with marinara, vegetable stew) or meals that are lacto/ovo veg or pescatarian. We tend to eat a lot more salads in the summer, for example, when it's too hot to cook; or we might have something like an avocado stuffed with tuna.

    So the answer to your question is "no", we don't crave meat at every meal, though we do enjoy it sometimes.

    1. Proving that every one defines their diet differently while using the same words. I am an omnivore, and I eat lots of vegetarian meals. I probably have meat at 1/3 of my lunches or dinners. Often, the meat's function is more of a condiment than a focal point.

      If I have a vegetarian over for a dinner party, we are all going to eat vegetarian. If I have a bigger party with mixed diets attending, there will be meat, vegetarian and gluten-free options available.

      1. I've never thought of omnivore as being anything other than "I'll eat (almost) anything." Definitely don't eat meat every day and certainly not every meal. I'm with pinehurst. There's plenty of meat around but there's plenty of other stuff. And, though, you didn't ask, I'd serve a vegetarian meal to anyone. Maybe not vegan cause we do love our bread and butter :)

        1. Breakfast is usually meat free (ocassional bacon when on sale), lunch is leftovers or sandwich ( peanut butter or cheese for me, cold cuts for BF), and usually meat (chicken, pork or seafood) at dinner. I'm a lazy cook. It's easier for me to think of a meat dish, a couple veggie sides, and other ( rice, pasta, couscous, etc) for dinner. Vegetarian meals ( except for pasta or bean based) are hard for me to plan. Doesn't matter how many recipes I read or cookbooks I borrow. I just can't come up with enough menus to eat vegetarian regularly. That's why when we eat out I immediately look at the vegetarian option. I do think that if I had a chef or someone else cooking my meals I could become vegetarian.

          1. No. I am not a huge meat eater these days. I eat it once at most, almost always at a restaurant. I cook it slightly more frequently for my more meat eating-leaning partner, but even that I limit to 2-3 times per week. If he's complaining about it, it's not to me.

            For a small dinner party, if there's a vergetarian in the mix I make a vegetarian meal. For larger parties (where I usually have a lot of small plates) I do a mix or meat and non-meat items.

            1. No, I don't need it every day. Call me old-fashioned but I would find it odd to be served a vegetarian meal (no meat option or side) if I was asked to someone's home for dinner. Especially if the host wasn't vegetarian.

              3 Replies
              1. re: roostermom

                Even, say, something like vegetable lasagne? Or spinach ravioli? Or a vegetable soup or salad for lunch? There are so many main dish options that aren't that noticeably meat-free...

                1. re: sandylc

                  Lunch would be different I think .. I don't know why. I think my perspective is a bit tainted because my two vegetarian friends are HORRIBLE cooks, so no matter which veggie dish they would make, I'd need to eat again afterwards. Find me a good vegetarian cook (other than myself.. ;) ) and I'll answer again.

                  1. re: sandylc

                    Interesting question! Veg lasagne & spinach ravioli are good eats. I wouldn't be pissed off if I was invited for dinner and there was no meat, as long as it was a good dinner.

                2. <do you feel like you are missing something if a meatless meal is served to you?>

                  Typically speaking? No. On the other hand, I will like feel something is missing for special occasions like July4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas.

                  <Do you make vegetarian meals as part of your regular habit?>

                  Hmmmm.... not intentionally. I will that I sometime intentionally prepare vegetarian meals, but most of the time, I may just saute a dish of green beans or a blanch some green vegetables without thinking that I was missing the meat. There are times I am just too lazy to defrost my meat.....

                  1. I'm an omnivore and I probably eat meat (for the purposes of this discussion, that includes fish, shellfish and poultry) 4 - 5 times a week. That would include one breakfast with bacon on the weekend and 3 or 4 dinners. I don't need to have meat with every meal, or every day.

                    I eat this way for several reasons - I like meat to be sustainable and free range, so it's more expensive. I enjoy vegan and vegetarian cooking. And, I cook just for myself for much of the week - when I cook single servings of meat I tend to fall into boring patterns, rather than the effort I make when I'm cooking meat for a group.

                    1. Few vegetarian meals leave me fulfilled. They leave me vaguely dissatisfied, and in less than two hours time, I'm scrounging around in the kitchen for something else to eat.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                        I wonder if you think of the vegetable component as a 'side dish' and therefore don't eat a main dish equivalent amount. A no-meat pasta dish is a pretty regular addition to our menus, especially in summer when there are so many great things.

                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                          Same here, PK, with some exceptions when I am in a very hot climate, like yours in the summer, but without AC.
                          little veggo in Mexico is a died-in-the-wool meat eater: snakes, geckos, scorpions.

                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                            Sounds like you just haven't had the right vegetarian meal yet.....;)

                            1. re: Perilagu Khan

                              Agree with PK. I choose meat or eggs three meals a day. But an occasional veg meal won't hurt me.

                              1. re: mwhitmore

                                Well, a veg meal may well be egg based. I often serve frittatas and such.
                                Or if there has been no meat or egg rotein in a meal I make a beautiful custard based dessert .

                                1. re: magiesmom

                                  May be, but usually isn't for me. If the eggs are cooked in bacon or duck fat, and flanked by sausage and/or bacon.... OTOH, if breakfast and dinner are unusually close together, I may bridge them with minestrone, lentil soup, or a meze combo plate.

                            2. I sometimes don't have meat for a day or two, unintentionally, depending on what batch of something I've cooked. But I don't know that I've ever had a vegan meal, or would want to. I was raised by parents who grew up in circumstances where meat was a luxury so for them, having it every day, and usually every meal, was proof that they were leading successful lives. Once I hit middle age, I began cutting back on the amount and frequency of meat in my meals, using it as an ingredient in, but not the focus of, a typical dinner.

                              However, I know people who want more meat on a daily basis, which is why on that other thread, I mentioned that I did not think the folks who were having vegetarian houseguests should feel obliged to forego meat until the houseguests depart.

                              1. If someone made me a wonderful mac and cheese casserole and offered a fresh green salad with it I would probably eat way too much! Because I would enjoy it. No, I don't need meat every day.

                                1. I eat vegetarian meals often. It is perfectly ok to serve a vegetarian meal to non-vegetarians. You don't 'owe' anyone meat. If I have a vegetarian guest, I will probably make a vegetarian meal for everyone or make a meal to be served as separate components.

                                  But I will not serve a meat-centric meal if I've invited a vegetarian and tell them just to eat the side dishes.

                                  1. I don't NEED meat at every meal, nor would I feel unfulfilled if I went to someone's house and they chose to serve a vegetarian meal. 1) As someone pointed out in that discussion, I'm far more interested in the company and discourse than the dining options. I'd just eat dinner at my house and have all the darn meat I want without the benefit of pleasant socializing with friends if I was so inclined and meat was that important to me. 2) There are plenty of vegetarian sources of protein, so this notion of "I have to have meat" is pretty much stodgy, closed-minded thinking. And 3) Most people get MORE than enough protein as it is and, particularly in the US where portion sizes have reached mammoth proportions it seems people think they need to have far more meat than is actually necessary to reach daily recommended values for protein.

                                    So, I have no problem being served a meatless meal, nor would I hesitate to serve a meatless meal to omnivores. And I certainly wouldn't feel the need to "warn" people beforehand.

                                    I routinely have vegetarian meals. I almost never have meat for breakfast, though will occasionally have bacon if eating out (which is very rarely for breakfast, pretty much only when on vacation). Breakfast is usually coffee with either trail mix made out of almonds and dried fruit and some greek yogurt or a smoothie made with almond milk and a vegan protein powder that I'm quite fond of. Lunch is usually lentil soup, some fruit, and yogurt if I bring it, otherwise a salad if I'm buying lunch. Sometimes my salad will have chicken othertimes I'll get chickpeas instead or do a meatless greek salad with feta. About once a month we'll go out to a sit-down restaurant for lunch and I'll get a bun-less hamburger or carnitas. Dinner is usually some cheese, gluten-free crackers, and fruit - I'll sometimes add a little lunchmeat if I have some around, or I do a lot of lentil, kidney bean, or chickpea curries over quinoa or brown rice. About twice a week I'll do chicken for dinner. Once every three to four weeks I'll make a pork roast. About once every three to four months I'll get a steak while out to dinner.

                                    1. I'm an ex vegan, I crave meatless meals on a regular basis even though I eat meat now.

                                      1. OK, I'll be the first to say "I eat meat every day and at every meal."

                                        <do you feel like you are missing something if a meatless meal is served to you?>

                                        No as long as there is another source of fat. For example, I would be satisfied by a pasta with pesto and cheese but not by pasta marinara. If you add really buttery garlic bread or a salad with a creamy dressing, then I would be satisfied. I am happy to replace meat with cheese or eggs but there has to be sufficient fat content in the meal for me to feel sated.

                                        Last night I had orecchiette with a light marinara at home. I could have added meat balls on the side. Instead, I added a big knob of butter and was equally satisfied. (But then again, this was my second dinner. Ha ha!)

                                        <Do you make vegetarian meals as part of your regular habit?>

                                        No but I have in the past. My meals are not meat-centric but the meat usually provides the fat to flavor the dish. I eat a lot of soup and there is a disproportionate amount of veggies vs meat. However, they always include meat in order to flavor the soup.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: seamunky

                                          That is an interesting point about the fat. I find too that if a meal does not contain much fat I am un satisfied.

                                          1. re: magiesmom

                                            Remember the fat free fad? I could go through a half box of "fat free" cookies and still not be satisfied....(((shuddering at the idea of eating those ever again!))))

                                            1. re: Ttrockwood

                                              I do remember that; all that sugar to make it palatable.

                                              1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                I fell for it. I used to buy fat-free butter and SnackWell's cookies...and eat the whole box. They're fat free!

                                          2. I tend to go through 'food phases' where I will eat the same thing over and over again until I get sick of it. I definitely do not feel like I am missing something if I have a meatless meal - it is not uncommon for me to go several days or a week or so without eating meat.

                                            Right now I do eat meat everyday - I'm in a ham and cheese sandwich for breakfast phase and I have one nearly every day. I always want something easy for breakfast, because otherwise I will not eat it, and morning meds make that not a very good choice.

                                            1. I have lost my love of a big hunk of meat in general so only have it about once a week -- cheeseburger, small steak or part of a roast chicken. The rest of the time it tends to be pasta with vegetables and some pork product -- proscuitto, bacon or crumbled sausage as the secondary component -- with a big grating of an appropriate cheese. Also eggs a couple times a week, usually poached for Sunday breakfast or topping a dinner dish.

                                              1. I can happily eat vegetarian or vegan meals mixed in with my thoroughly omnivorous diet.

                                                My husband has a high need for protein. He's happy to eat a vegetarian meal, but might go home afterwards and have a late night meaty snack (or a meaty breakfast the next morning). If he goes a few days without meat he does get grouchy and tired. He's also a very, very non picky eater, and a very polite guest, so it's not him being difficult.

                                                1. I thought of this post a little while ago. We were supposed to go out to dinner tonight but I'm just not in the mood. So I pulled out the leftover quinoa and kale I made as a side dish the other night. Will saute' a little shallot (leaving town and am trying to 'eat up' the fridge) and a smoked potato. A bunch of grated Cheddar and that's dinner. And what I consider a "free" one at that :)

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                    Sounds great! What is a smoked potato....? Like on a smoker?

                                                    1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                      Oops, a smoked TOMATO!!!!! And, yes, done in the smoker. They're simply wonderful. After smoking about 40 minutes, I freeze them on a baking sheet and then put in a zipping bag. Adds an incredible amount of flavor, not to mention aroma.

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        Wow- that sounds really great! Don't think i've ever had a smoked tomato.....

                                                        1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                          Nor had I. Thanks again to CHs. I'm down to ONE. Need to do a lot more.

                                                  2. Yes, I eat meat every day. Yes, I want to eat meat every day.

                                                    I have a genetic protein defect. My health is better with an increased protein intake. I've been a social meat eater. It's just not good for my health.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: LMAshton

                                                      Does it need to be meat protein?

                                                      I am thankful for everyone's replies , reflective of a range of views/ needs.

                                                      I realize that when I make vegan meals I don't often realize that is what they are.

                                                      A good example is a borscht with kidney beans we had for dinner the other night.

                                                      1. re: magiesmom

                                                        I have digestive problems - part and parcel of what I have. Meat proteins (and I include fish, fowl, eggs in this category) are easier for me to digest and see a noticeable difference in my health than grains (which cause me problems) and lentils/legumes, which are sometimes problematic.

                                                        If I have one or two non-meat meals in a day, it's not a big deal. But I cannot consistently go without meat or with less meat without suffering the consequences.

                                                    2. Just two adults in our house, we both are omnivores. Neither of us eat meat at breakfast; I'm a cereal or yogurt person, and he is a creature of habit and all about a toasted bagel in the morning.

                                                      SO will snack on lunchmeat and cheese with his favorite mustard at lunch, or sometimes put it in a sandwich. I don't generally eat meat at lunch unless I'm noshing on dinner leftovers. I work from home, so I have the luxury of making something healthy for lunch if I have time, or will grab a bagel and eat over my keyboard if busy (guilty!). Often both of us eat fruit at lunch, too.

                                                      Together, we have dinners that are actually more grain/veg/carb-oriented with just a little protein, probably less than a couple ounces per person. For example, in a pasta sauce or beans and rice dish, there might be some sausage or chorizo in it for flavor, but not much. This is a result of some purposeful cooking on my part that began as being budget-conscious and limiting meat (combined with my effort to work more vegetables into SO's diet), but we discovered we didn't miss our old way of designing dinner around the meat. Now, the meat is usually more of a flavor element for the grains and veg. I think we both enjoy this way of eating better.

                                                      On some occasions, our dinners are centered on a special meat, like roasting a whole chicken or indulging in pork chops (with veg, of course). Even then, leftover meat is incorporated into the next night or two's dinners (e.g., leftover chicken shredded into something else). I find it fun as a home cook to be creative to stretch the left over meat across dinners, but it's also a way we have learned to enjoy eating without relying on meat as the centerpiece of a meal.

                                                      So with his lunchmeat lunches, he often eats more meat than me, but just barely since he is a light eater anyway. I think we'd miss it at dinner because we enjoy the flavors a little meat brings to the other meal elements, but could go without it.

                                                      1. >>So I am wondering, do you feel like you are missing something if a meatless meal is served to you?


                                                        >>Do you make vegetarian meals as part of your regular habit?

                                                        I make enjoyable meals as part of my regular habit.

                                                        1. We are omnivores and consider having meat often to be smallish portions 3-4 times a week. We only eat pastured meat though and eat widely so "meat" may be beef/lamb and goat/rabbit when we can get it. Good quality fish and seafood are harder to come by and I struggle to get it often enough and at the quality I want. Chicken is fairly rare. We eat vegetarian or very low meat quite often, i.e. 3 oz of pancetta for 5 servings..

                                                          1. I'm kinda lost on the meaning of vegetarian.It's a term used loosely. If I went out to eat and had a chile relleno,with a cheese enchilada.And there were some beans on the side prepared with lard.Even though there was no meat. Would this be considered a vegetarian meal ? I don't consider it to be.No I do not have meat everyday.

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: emglow101

                                                              I'm with you on that point; to me, not consuming meat or derivatives thereof constitutes a vegetarian. If you don't eat the meat but eat the fat or eggs or cheese made from milk, you're still eating from that animal. I look at that as people wanting to be on both sides of the fence IMO (of which I am entitled).

                                                              I'm a meat lover, I eat it at least six days a week. I have no problem eating a vegetarian or vegan meal IF there is a main course and not just a bunch of sides because otherwise, I don't feel as if I've had a complete meal. I very rarely eat breakfast and I might eat meat at breakfast once or twice a month if I eat that meal.

                                                              There is the fiance & I in my household. He does not bode well without meat. I also feel that you might as well eat a decent portion of meat if you use it as a secondary flavoring but not the main event, because once you add the meat as a "seasoning" the dish is no longer focused on the fact that it is "almost vegetarian".

                                                              I have no problem hosting someone who is vegan or vegetarian as I know how to cook these types of meals but I won't go as far as to have everyone else at the dinner eat vegetarian just because I'm hosting a vegetarian. If it's a matter of respect, it goes both ways.

                                                              1. re: emglow101

                                                                If you are a vegetarian and avoid meat products all the time, I would say not that meal isn't vegetarian. Lard would be a no-no.

                                                                But I understand the OP's question to mean assuming you eat meat, how often do you eat meatless meals. I wouldn't necessarily consider beans prepared with lard as being meat. Meat flavored, but not actual meat. Same with soup made with a chicken/turkey/ham bone based stock. Not vegetarian, but meat free.

                                                                1. re: viperlush

                                                                  That is how I interpreted the OP 's post as well.

                                                                  Omnivores typically don't worry about using ingredients from an animal when eating a meal without meat. So vegetable soup might be made with chicken broth, vegetables could be sautéed in duck fat, etc.

                                                                  The OP seemed to be using meatless and vegetarian interchangeably (?) and they really are not the same.

                                                                  1. re: sedimental

                                                                    I know they are not the same:) but in the post to which I was referring the objection to vegetarian meals was that there was no meat.

                                                                    I would never serve lard to a vegetarian but use it with many bean dishes just for us or other omnivores.
                                                                    Same for meat based stocks.

                                                                2. re: emglow101

                                                                  I think of it thusly:

                                                                  Vegetarian: if the animal had to die (meat, fat), don't eat it, but byproducts (milk, cheese, eggs) are fine

                                                                  Vegan: if it comes from an animal at ALL (meat, eggs, gelatin), it's a no-go

                                                                  So no, beans cooked with lard wouldn't be vegetarian. (Of course, that doesn't mean that someone who claims to be vegetarian wouldn't eat it.)

                                                                  1. re: emglow101

                                                                    Lard is not vegetarian, although I love lard.

                                                                  2. Do stocks count? I have a lot of home-made chicken and turkey stock I use for otherwise vegetable-based soups. Otherwise, it varies: yesterday turned out to be vegetarian totally by chance. I find I'm using smaller quantities of meat: a chicken will last the two of us a week, so while I usually have some sort of meat everyday it's in small amounts. If someone wants to serve me a vegetarian menu, all I can say is "What time's dinner?".

                                                                    1. I don't eat meat daily. I don't think about meals as meat or not meat.

                                                                      My spouse asked me about doing " meatless Mondays". I kind of laughed and said that it sounded fine...but we don't eat meat for half the week as it is! It was funny because we don't even really think about it.

                                                                      I think your meals and creativity really expands when you don't plan around meat vs not meat. When you think of healthful foods that you feel like eating. When your goal is a very wide variety of foods and different cuisines. Meat- or not -becomes a non issue.

                                                                      1. Oh dear god, a day without meat is like a day without meat. I tried going vegetarian once and it almost killed me. Literally -- my Blood Glucose shot through the roof. I had to shoot insulin like crazy and I gained 30 pounds in 10 days.

                                                                        Other proteins will do in a pinch but nothing is as satisfying as real meat. Every meal.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: acgold7

                                                                          I'm with you - ever since I went low-carb 15 years ago, I don't think I've gone a day without meat. I eat eggs almost every day for breakfast, but then meat at lunch and dinner. I enjoy pasta and other meatless meals, but they're bad for my weight and leave me feeling totally unsatisfied.

                                                                          1. re: biondanonima

                                                                            I'm with you. I can't remember a day I didn't have meat.

                                                                        2. I try to have at least one vegetarian dinner per week, preferably two. They are usually stir-fries, broccoli fritters with fried eggs, or pasta with a salad.

                                                                          My breakfasts and lunches are usually raw fruits and vegetables, sometimes leftovers or a sandwich. He eats burritos or sausage biscuits for breakfast, and his lunches are a mixture of leftovers, cup-a-soup, sandwiches, and/or Chef Boyardee stuff (yes, I know, but he's a grown man and I can't tell him anything.)

                                                                          TL;DR - I am comfortable only having meat for dinner, and going without that a few times per week. He is okay with the occasional meatless dinner, but if I sent him to work with no meat in his lunchbox, he would be very grumpy.

                                                                          1. "...do you feel you want meat every day?"

                                                                            Yes, I do. I love meat. I want it all the time. I want some right now. I probably don't eat it every day - I don't really think about it that much - but I do plan most of my cooking around meat.

                                                                            "...do you feel like you are missing something if a meatless meal is served to you?"

                                                                            Depends on the meal. I tend to not be satisfied with just salad, or soup. A hearty pasta dish with lots of cheese though, sure. I'm a tad picky about veggies, and the idea of vegetarian lasagna or some sort of casserole is not great.

                                                                            "Do you make vegetarian meals as part of your regular habit?"

                                                                            I guess I sometimes do. I don't plan specifically vegetarian meals, but it sometimes happens - baked potato or pasta with marinara or pesto. They happen. I just don't think about it much.

                                                                            1. I enjoy the vegetarian meals we prepare as much as the meat or seafood ones.

                                                                                1. Yes, I have a strong connection to meat. While I love vegetables, some meat has to be involved as well. Fish counts. I don't think I've ever had a vegetarian meal in the last few years at least.

                                                                                  1. As a fairly strong carnivore I do eat meat just about every day. Not for three meals a day, breakfast can be a bagel and maybe I'll have a soup or salad for lunch. But most every dinner would be some form of meat......chicken or red meat. There are the rare occasions of pizza nights or pasta, but most pasta is served with meatballs or some form of gravy meat on the side. Similar to what some others have mentioned a vegetarian dish just doesn't seem to fill me.

                                                                                    24 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                      I wonder if vegetarians have vegetables every meal of the day?

                                                                                      I could see a vegetarian having some cereal and fruit for breakfast, a PB&J sandwich and some chips for lunch, and then finally at the end of the day have vegetables for dinner.

                                                                                      In other words, do vegetarians need vegetables every meal to feel satiated, or complete.

                                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                        No, your menu sounds like what a lot of vegetarians might eat.
                                                                                        Although I am not vegetarian I do eat vegetables at almost every meal, definitely for breakfast.

                                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                          Definitely not. My breakfast as a veg was quite similar to my breakfast these days. Yogurt and grains and or nuts. Sometimes fruit but not always. (Currently on a delicious yogurt-blackstrap molasses-pecan kick)

                                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                            Nope. It's perfectly possible to exist as a veg without a single vegetable. For dinner, you could make daal & rice, or pasta with basil or oregano. You will probably feel better if you include some vegetables. But, you don't have to.

                                                                                            1. re: Kalivs

                                                                                              Yup. One of my goddaughters in a vegetarian who doesn't eat vegetables. except for potatoes, but I don't really count those. We sometimes refer to her as a fruitatarian. She subsists on cereal, yogurt, bread, cheese, french fries, soy butter, plain pasta and a lot of fruit. Now granted she's 8 so this may just be a phase, but this has been her diet since she was around 3 and decided animals were not for eating.

                                                                                              1. re: cookie monster

                                                                                                Ok....so the question that beg's to be asked is; are her parents vegetarians? Or at 3 years old she made this decision all on her own, with no outside influence?

                                                                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                  Nope. Her parents and sister are dedicated carnivores. This is something she came to on her own - none of us are quite sure how.

                                                                                                  1. re: cookie monster

                                                                                                    Hmmmmmm interesting. Thanks for the follow up! (I was expecting a different answer)

                                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                      I have lots of friends whose kids have gone through vegetarian phases, some short, some long. They typically seem to go there when they figure out that meat is dead animal.

                                                                                                    2. re: cookie monster

                                                                                                      Is her pediatrician comfortable with this diet?

                                                                                                      1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                        It's not ideal. But she's healthy and hitting her nutritional needs for the most part.

                                                                                                      2. re: cookie monster

                                                                                                        As someone who became vegetarian in a family of carnivores as a child myself i know i empathized with many of the animals in childrens stories and films, as well as the livestock in the fields near our house. But my "phase" has been 22 yrs and counting....

                                                                                                    3. re: cookie monster

                                                                                                      One of my goddaughters in a vegetarian who doesn't eat vegetables. except for potatoes, but I don't really count those.

                                                                                                      Are there really "vegetarians" out there that eat no vegetables whatsoever?

                                                                                                      Wouldn't they be called something like .. . "grain-tarians"?

                                                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                        OTOH Dr. Atkins himself claimed that he ate more vegetables than most vegetarians.

                                                                                                    4. re: Kalivs

                                                                                                      Aren't lentils, basil, and oregano vegetables? If basil isn't a vegetable, I don't think spinach and mustard greens are, either.

                                                                                                    5. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                      I know a vegetarian who mostly eats pizza, ice cream, grilled cheese, burritos, and pasta. The only "vegetable" comes in the form of a tomato product - pizza sauce and salsa.

                                                                                                      1. re: seamunky

                                                                                                        I am hearing many similar stories recently. Vegetarians who don't eat vegetables - !

                                                                                                        Could "vegetarian" be the new code word for "picky eater"?

                                                                                                        Apologies to "real" vegetarians, of course.

                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                          I hate to point out the obvious here, which is that most omnis don't eat enough veggies either.....

                                                                                                          1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                            True! But haven't you met people who really do hate most vegetables? That's whom I'm speaking of.

                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                              I have met a few, and it is always surprising to me as I love almost all vegetables and try to eat a wide range of then every day at all three meals.

                                                                                                              1. re: magiesmom

                                                                                                                I know several. While I need meat in my life and other than my morning protein shake, 9/10 meals include meat, I love vegetables and they are the other half of my meals.

                                                                                                              2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                That would be my carnivorous healthy slim mother. She **might** choke down two servings of vegetables a day-assuming you agree with her that avocado is a vegetable since its green.....
                                                                                                                And i have also met plenty of vegetarians who are carbivores and avoid vegetables.....

                                                                                                          2. re: seamunky

                                                                                                            I have a little cousin (13) who claims to be "vegetarian", and who only eats bread, cheese pizza, french fries, and desserts. In reality she's just spoiled, but calling herself vegetarian lets her get away with just a teensy bit more.

                                                                                                            1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                              It may take a while for her palate to adjust to like vegetables since she is still young- but vegetarian or not it sounds like she would benefit from more variety.....and, well, vegetables!

                                                                                                      2. I'm like jr. I prefer to have some meat at least once a day (That's what she said?), but I don't have to have it at every meal. I'm sure I've gone days in my life without having any meat and been fine, but I don't prefer to do this very often. If a vegetarian meal is served to me such as mac and cheese or lasagna with no meat, I usually eat it thinking how much better it would be with a meat incorporated. Partly because when eating things like pasta, I prefer to have some meat with it that way I can get full on less of the pasta and less of the carbs.

                                                                                                        1. I wouldn't say I crave it, but I usually have some sort of meat or seafood at some point in the day. I was vegetarian for 10 years and got tired of being so limited. Now, I am happy to have more options and flavors, and pan-searing a pork chop or piece of salmon filet for dinner is fast and easy. I also really appreciate the extra flavor a few anchovies or a bit of bacon can add to a dish - I WOULD miss the anchovies on my favorite pizza if they weren't there.

                                                                                                          I don't miss meat at a meal as long as the food was good. I don't intentionally make vegetarian meals on any sort of schedule, but they happen.

                                                                                                          29 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: babette feasts

                                                                                                            If you don't mind me asking what was the motivation for being a vegetarian for 10 years? A phase? Trying to eat better? Do you notice any negative changes in yourself after incorporating meat back into your diet?

                                                                                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                              Young and idealistic and trying to save the planet. I never got sick or anything when I started eating meat again. I haven't noticed any harmful effects.

                                                                                                              1. re: babette feasts

                                                                                                                It's been my personal experience that seems to be the case with most vegetarians. "Most" not all, so don't get your feathers or fin's or leaf's ruffled for those of you who aren't in the majority.

                                                                                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                  One of our daughters and her husband eat a lot of vegetarian meals. They like them, they eat super healthy and also because of active concern about the planet. All valid.

                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                    "Eat a lot of vegetarian meals" but they are not full fledged vegetarians? Is that correct?

                                                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                      Right. But I'd say they eat more vegetables than some vegetarians eat :) I love watching them chop vegetables for cooking. One for the pot, one for the mouth :) As I said, they're really healthy, uber-athletic people. And environmentalists who put their money and mouths into it :)

                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                        l, this is a great article! Thanks. I'm going to forward it to them and will report back if I get any comment. They work on various environmental projects, not just lower consumption of meat (if that IS a concern). Again, thanks.

                                                                                                              2. re: babette feasts

                                                                                                                That's interesting. I've been veg for....um...23 years or so now and aside from the obvious reasons for not eating meat the very smell and taste is not appealing in the least. (I've had mishaps at restaurants over the years and could taste the meat flavor immediately)

                                                                                                                1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                                  If you taste the meat flavor do you return the dish or "suffer" through it? Just meat flavor but no actual meat in a dish, like a beef or chicken stock was used.

                                                                                                                  1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                    Surely if beef or chicken stock has been used, then there's meat in the dish

                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                      I don't think so. I've made plenty of non-meat dishes and used chicken stock.

                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                        I think Harters means that a dish is not vegetarian if there is any kind of meat stock used. Not that the dish for sure has meat if meat stock is used....

                                                                                                                        1. re: roostermom

                                                                                                                          You read my post correctly, roostermom.

                                                                                                                          By the by, I used to work with someone who, for religious reasons, had been vegetarian all her life. She used to say that meat eaters gave off a smell she could detect.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                              Harters, do you remember what that religion was?

                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                I don't know the religion of Harter's people, but some religions whose people are vegetarians for religious purposes include Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, although to varying degrees and for different categories of believers of those groups. If you're vegetarian, it's really easy to find suitable food in the Indian subcontinent.

                                                                                                                                1. re: LMAshton

                                                                                                                                  Thanks. I guess like every religion (that I know of anyway) there are sects and degrees of observance. I'd just not heard of that.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                    One must be very circumspect and careful when talking about religions and dietary restrictions.

                                                                                                                                    And assume as little as possible. None, would be best.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                      And that's exactly what I was doing. Thanks for echoing my sentiments. Since Harters brought up the subject I just wanted to clarify.

                                                                                                                                2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                  Many traditional Japanese (mostly seafood) say the same about Westerners. But Japan has been consuming more meat recently.

                                                                                                                              2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                Yeah exactly, like cavatelli and broccoli I make with a chicken stock for flavor, my question is if Ttrockwood would refuse to eat it knowing or tasting that.

                                                                                                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                  I was just replying to Harters.

                                                                                                                                  Yeah, I almost always make grains with stock.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                    Yes, i would be able to smell/taste the chicken stock immediately and would politely decline a serving....

                                                                                                                              3. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                After the initial bite i will not eat it. I actively avoid any animal products when i can and am vigilant about asking before ordering at a restaurant. It has only happened rarely, and yes they took it back and i ordered a different other replacement.

                                                                                                                              4. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                                                Even bacon? Bacon got me off the veg wagon! Actually I think the first thing was sushi, I figured if it's pure enough to eat raw, how bad could it be? It was a combination of loving food and being tired of trying to go out and having only one or two options (I think restaurants are much more accommodating now than 15 years ago) and working in restaurants. I started working in restaurants in 1999 on the pastry station, and between the house-smoked salmon in the walk-in and the pantry cook cooking bacon every day for the salads, it was all over.

                                                                                                                                I still don't eat much red meat, only eat beef in pho, pepperoni, or when my Mom decides that is what is for holiday dinners.

                                                                                                                                1. re: babette feasts

                                                                                                                                  Actually i hated bacon and the smell of it since forever- never liked it even as an omni. For a number of years i ate seafood about 2-3xs a year, but now its maybe once a year.....(oysters at the beach in the summer!)

                                                                                                                            2. My husband does, for sure. I don't. I'm not a vegetarian, and if you told me I could never have a grilled ribeye again, I would punch you in the face and consider suicide (not really). But I can go several days without meat. DH, not so much.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                this is us. i may not punch anyone, but i'd be seriously bummed. we both love meat. i can forego meat, but he rarely does. tonight we had fried tofu squares - his choice - and a chicken-broth based soup. that's probably one of the lowest-meat-content meals we've ever had as a couple. on my own i could do without meat a few nights a week.

                                                                                                                                that said, i could eat bacon for bfast every day, a BLT at lunch, but in reality, i probably don't have bacon more than once a week, if that. (unless, like a couple weeks ago, i bought some special bacon ends and they went into everything.) same with eggs - could have one every meal. and we probably eat some form of roast pork at least once a week. i only eat fish when he's not around.

                                                                                                                                in our group of friends we have one woman how is actually allergic to meat - she's not a veg by choice, and in fact can eat meat and meat broths, but cannot eat meat. so we always make sure to have at least one or two non-veg dishes that everyone will like when we have get-togethers.

                                                                                                                              2. Nope, not even a little. Frittatas and other types of egg dish are in regular rotation. So are various bean soups/dishes, which I usually do veg. I'm not really into breakfast (I try to get into it and often succeed for 1-2 weeks) and lunch is usually dinner leftovers. I would have a really hard time going vegan but veg is no problem.

                                                                                                                                1. I like to have meat in at least one, preferably two meals a day. I don't object if it happens three times a day, especially if breakfast happens to be leftovers. But notice I said "like" not need, crave, require. I like meat. And meat includes chicken, fish, pork, etc. in my lexicon.

                                                                                                                                  That doesn't mean I actually do eat meat 2 or 3 times every day, just that I don't avoid it. Frequently I only end up having it once a day, and there are meatless days now and then, but not often.

                                                                                                                                  I know a few people who are vegetarian or nearly so and I've had some very good, filling, satisfying meals at their homes. I've even had some non-meat meals at the homes of other omnivores that were very good. I don't see anything wrong with serving a meatless meal to others, even if there are no vegetarians attending.

                                                                                                                                  1. Yes, every day if not every meal. Rarely at breakfast, other than the occasional piece of bacon with my eggs, but almost always at lunch and dinner. I've been trying to eat lower carb lately, and no amount of salad greens is going to fill me up at lunch if there's no chicken or turkey hidden in there. Most dinners are beef or chicken or pork (I don't like fish) and a lot of vegetables. My one exception for meatless meals where I don't miss the meat would be pizza. I tend to prefer vegetarian over meat toppings on my pizza (whether artisanal or Papa John's). But of course that doesn't fit with the whole eating fewer carbs thing.

                                                                                                                                    1. If I go to someone's home to eat dinner, and they serve a meatless meal, I wouldn't object or have issues with it. But in my own home, I like to have meat with lunch and dinner (not as worried about it at breakfast). I do well on a higher protein diet, and I require meat for that since I don't really like other higher protein sources like beans.

                                                                                                                                      15 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                        I had directed a friend to this thread . She says that if she is going somewhere there will likely be a vegetarian meal she always eats a package of jerky or Nik's sticks before she goes.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: magiesmom

                                                                                                                                          Yeah I'd probably do that, or get a snack when I get home. But I'd still enjoy the meal I ate too.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                          I'm curious what it means when you say that you do "well on a higher protein diet." I'm not being critical at all but wonder what that means. Do you have a health issue (no reason to elaborate) or something? My father always said and I quote exactly "No matter what's wrong with you, a steak will make it better." In his/our case that was a psychological thing :)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                            I also often say to others that I "do well on a higher protein diet" and by that I mean I feel and function better.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                              Can't remember your eating history. Have you put that to a test a few times? I also really like meat but I think it's just because :)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                Uh yes, when I eat more carbs I don't feel as good and I long to get back to my usual diet. Is that a good enough test? I'm not saying it works for everyone. My parents tell me that even as a kid I always cleared my plate of meat and veggies but usually left the rice and pasta. I do eat carbs but in vegetable form mostly. I also just like meat too.

                                                                                                                                                Eating history?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                  Oh, by "eating history," I 'd wondered if you'd ever toyed with various things like vegetarian, low carb, high fat, etc. I'm not a great vegetable lover btw.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                    I'm very similar to fldhkybnva myself, I enjoy carbs, mostly in pasta form and I can get very filled, satisfied from an all carb meal. But after an all carb meal I'm very sluggish, full and satisfied, but in a different way.

                                                                                                                                                    I can eat a steak or two or three and reach the exact same level of fullness......but not feel like I'm approaching food coma status.

                                                                                                                                                    An ideal meal for me is really what I was taught growing up, 50% protein, 25% starch/carb, 25% vegetable. (or there about).

                                                                                                                                                    I can and would eat a completely vegetarian meal if served one, but it would probably require a stop at Mc Donalds on the way home.

                                                                                                                                                    As an example today I made myself an ultimate PB&J for lunch and I had a side of grapes and an orange and I'm starving as I write this. If I had the same size ham and cheese, roast beef, turkey and cheese etc. I would still be full/satisfied. Now I'm going to have to have another sandwich or significant snack between now and dinner, especially because I'm going to be drinking like a tsunami tonight and need more substance in my belly beforehand.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                      I wonder what the science/medicine is behind that.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                        Oh and to answer another one of your earlier questions I did atkins/low carb (I never read or followed anything officially atkins, just cut carbs out of my diet)

                                                                                                                                                        And I lost a lot of weight and managed it well for about 5 years. It was this change in my diet that caused me to start drinking vodka straight (although the jury is out weather vodka is allowed on a true low carb diet). I use to drink vodka and tonic, but dropped the tonic.

                                                                                                                                                        As far as the science/medicine behind anyone's diet I don't really think there is anywhere near an exactly science or medicine. I truly think metabolism is a far more personal or individual thing, rather than a one size fits all solution. I'm not sure if it's individual up bringing, genetics or ancestor background that plays more of a role in individual diet and weight loss. I think most diets are capable of "tricking" our body in short term causing weight loss, but I think true diet, weight loss for long term is a very individual process and far less one diet for all as many claim to be.

                                                                                                                                                        This is just my opinion of course, and well I'm kinda a dummy.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                          I think everything you say makes sense. Just an fyi, I drink vodka with water. An old, as in elderly, friend taught me that. No different than scotch or bourbon and water.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                          I am not endorsing , and do not est particularly low carb, but Gary Taube does a good job of laying out his scientific argument in Why We Get Fat.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                        I have basically had a low carb diet for decades, not particularly high fat but majority fat and protein with less than 50-75 grams net carbs a day. I would never have a vegetarian diet because I like meat :)

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                    I did the Atkins diet a few years ago. I had gained a lot of weight (40 pounds) and I followed it faithfully and ate very well.... lots of the low carb veg...berries....a wide variety of meat...poultry.. fish...tuna salads and egg salads in romaine leaves and I lost 50 pounds in 12 weeks. My blood sugars were so consistent and did not surge then drop causing me to be hypoglycemic and ravenous like processed carbs do. I feel the same way as you that I function so much better on a diet like that with a wide variety of proteins. I am reluctant to do it again that radically because now as I am maturing I have developed mild renal insufficiency and some issues secondary to that so I am going to discuss a modified version with my PCP because my weight has crept up since retirement in 2013 and my going wild with home cooking:) If Atkins is done correctly then guaranteed good eats, energy, and stable blood glucose.

                                                                                                                                                  3. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                    Meaning, a meal that is higher in protein results in me feeling fuller, and therefore, I don't overeat.

                                                                                                                                                    For example, if I have a standard portion of pasta (2oz), with 5oz of chicken, I will be full and satisfied for the rest of the evening. But if I eat 4oz of just pasta, I'll be hungry again in a few hours. Same goes for stuff like chinese food, which tends to be more carb heavy.

                                                                                                                                                    I lost 50lbs in 2012 and 2013, so I definitely toyed with different ways of eating. When I'm eating correctly, getting at least 100g of protein a day is what works best for me to either lose weight, or maintain where I'm at. There is a noticeable difference in my hunger levels when I fall below that level. My carbs naturally end up being in the 150-175 range usually, so not really "low carb" either. Might be totally different for someone else.

                                                                                                                                                2. I can just as easily enjoy a meatless meal as a meal centered around meat. I love all foods.

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. As an omnivore, I can go for quite a while without any meat, or meat by products. Daily. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. No fish, no eggs, no milk, butter, etc. Essentially vegan, but without a note of righteousness or advertising. I go vegetarian at least twice a week and that will include cheese and eggs and fish.

                                                                                                                                                    As an omnivore I enjoy meat, but it must be prepared in a manner that either keeps it moist or makes it moist. Therefore I do not ever crave steak or burgers or mostly anything from a grill or broiler. Yes. I do occasionally eat steak or burgers, but that's rare and usually accompanied by gravy or béarnaise or anything to keep it from being so plain and boring.

                                                                                                                                                    That should also be said is that I do enjoy all foods and enjoy a very varied diet.

                                                                                                                                                    1. It really depends. Some days I would love to eat fish/beef for every meal. However, there's also times when I have absolutely no desire to eat meat/dairy/egg at all so I live on nuts and black coffee. I only crave two types of meat, salmon fillet and smoked spare-ribs. I don't like poultry, fish other than salmon or tuna, or any kind of ground meat. I used to love seafood and could eat it all day long, but then I learned about chemical poisoning...

                                                                                                                                                      1. I do just fine with meat once or twice a week, but the SO is a bit more fond of it than me, so we probably do two to three nights.

                                                                                                                                                        He supplements with lunch sandwiches invariably containing some meat, or gets a burger while in town.