26 Apr Vegan vs Vegetarian
With so many different dietary restrictions, one would wonder why we’d add something else to the list; like not eating meat.
About one year ago, my husband and I made the choice to no longer eat meat as a family. Between our two children we have had to eliminate dairy, eggs, wheat, soy, tree nuts and peanuts, sesame seed, and salmon.
What else is there to eat?
I know, great question! But, thank God and Pinterest, we haven’t had too much of a hard time finding yummy meals to eat. Tacos being a staple dish in our home.
Surprisingly, there are so many options available to those fighting food allergies and other reasons for dietary restrictions.
So why add meat to the list?
There were many reasons why we finally made the decision to eliminate meat. Of course, watching a few documentaries (like Food Inc. and What the Health) didn’t really help.
Knowing this would further restrict things for us, we were ready to fight the battle for the health of it!
Vegan or Vegetarian?
Initially we decided to go the vegan route. We had already eliminated dairy, and figured eggs and meat wouldn’t be too difficult.
We did a lot of research on protein and iron replacements. My daughter and I both fight anemia, so this was important.
We wanted to make sure we were getting enough of the other vitamins as well. There are definitely tons of plant based options available, you just have to do your research.
This was actually going really well.
When we found out we were expecting, we knew my dietary needs would change. I knew of many Mamas who had gone throughout their pregnancies on both vegan and vegetarian diets, and things went well.
Again, I did my research to find out some things I’d need to do to make sure our growing baby would get the nutrients needed to grow healthy and strong.
Due to not eating much soy, my sources of protein were present, but limited.
I also found out that I am fighting thalassemia, and would need to make sure my blood work remained at certain levels.
Looking for sources of protein that would give me a huge boost for the day, I decided to reintroduce eggs back into my diet. My children cannot have eggs, and my husband decided he’d remain egg-free as well. So, they remained vegan and I, now vegetarian.
Another good source of protein for us had been oatmeal. It’s also fiber rich.
But as our son has continued to show some difficulty with self-control, we decided it may be best to reduce the amount of oatmeal he eats. Not that we add a whole lot of sugar to the pot, but we wanted to see if even the amount of sugar we were adding may be too much for him.
With few breakfast options available, we decided to go back to allowing him to have chicken sausage, toast, and fruit for breakfast. This would also give our children a little more variety for breakfast.
Vegan, Vegetarian, or Somewhere in Between
Because we’ve tried to remain as flexible as possible with our dietary restrictions, we can no longer really say we are a Vegan or Vegetarian-eating family.
We are a family who eats what is best for us. We are more concerned about everyone getting the nutrients they need, than making sure we remaining in a specific group of eaters.
All of our bodies react differently to different food groups, so more importantly, we we’ve decided to make choices based off of this idea. What works for your body may not do well for my body. Where my body is deficient, may not be your body’s deficiency.
Ways you can tell your body is reacting negatively to certain foods:
People ask me all of the time, how I found out at such a young age about my children’s allergies. When I was nursing, I noticed my son’s forehead would breakout in spots, his stool would have mucus or blood, and he would get fussy from time to time. I’m that weird mom who took pictures of his stool to share with his pediatrician. But, it actually really helped. His pediatrician was so happy he was able to see what I was trying to describe. Because we weren’t able to tell what exactly it was, I had to eat a clean diet of pretty much lettuce for a couple of weeks, and then slowly add the different food items back into my diet.
This was until age 1 when he had his first allergy testing. Now both he and our daughter have allergy testing done annually.
Some other signs your body doesn’t like what you’re eating:
- You become gassy/ Indigestion
- Bloating or stomach aches
- Abnormal stool/ Constipation
- Severely itchy skin (Eczema)
- High blood pressure
- “The Itis”
*I am not a medical doctor and I can not give any medical advice. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please seek medical attention.
Our bodies are designed to give us red flags or warning signals when something isn’t right. Take heed of these warnings, and take time to figure out what your body is trying to tell you.
We will remain conscious of what we are putting into our bodies, and continue to do our best getting the nutrients we need, the best ways possible. Due to the allergy restrictions, we will continue to eat mainly Vegan and Vegetarian meals.
You choose! Just don’t forget to take your vitamins!