Can you have a balanced vegetarian diet without nuts?

Ask:

I have two daughters, one hates meat and the other has said for some while that she would like to be a vegetarian because she can’t bear the thought of eating animals. I really like vegetarian food so it would be no problem for me.

But the daughter who hates meat (and also most vegetables) is very allergic to nuts, both peanuts and some tree nuts. Does anyone know if it would still be possible for her to have a balanced diet, and how?

Answers:

Answer 1:

Yes, easily. Nuts are a fairly good source of protein but they mostly get their calories from fat. They’re a good snack but shouldn’t be the staple source of protein in anyone’s diet – too high in fat and calories.

Try switching all the white and refined grains (white bread, white rice) to whole grains and brown rice. Try new types of whole grains like barley or quinoa. Whole grains are made from the entire grain – most white pasta is made from wheat that has been stripped of the most nutritious, high fiber and high protein layers. In fact, it’s so unhealthy that there are mandates for companies that use white flour to refortify it after the processing takes place. Whole grains are naturally high in protein and fiber and are the natural state of the grain and are head and shoulders above refined grains and “white” bread and pasta products.

Beans and legumes are VERY high in protein, fiber and nutrients. Try different kinds – kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, split peas. Make soups, stews, chili. You can make burger-like patties out of black beans. They are so versatile and wonderful.

Try soy products – soy is a complete protein that the USDA and FDA both admit to being as substantial and nutritious as animal protein. Buy a few trays of tofu, or go to Whole Foods or another natural foods store and try tempeh (which is a brick of fermented soybeans).

Look up recipes – this is vital to learn how to work with these foods. Just like someone that has never cooked with chicken breast before or has no idea what to do with it would probably cook something that’s a total, hideous mess, the same would happen with never finding out how to use tofu or tempeh. If used properly you can have a huge range of delicious meals – I make tempeh stroganoff, tofu and veggie stir fry, tofu nuggets, etc.

Answer 2:

Yes. Absolutely yes. I have several freinds who have been vegetarian for life who are simillarly afflicted with allergies to nuts. No problem. Simply avoid them.
Whole grains and legumes and beans are foundational to a plant based diet along with complex carbohydrates. These will not only give you a sense of saitity but also give you great energy. You need to eat widely on the vegetable and fruit spectrum also.

Protein Drinks can also help for a quick breakfast boost to get your family set up for a great day.

You need to drink half of your body weight in ounces each day! So if you were to weigh 120 pounds you would need to drink 60 ounces of water daily and no, not all at once. 5 – 12ounce glasses of water will do it perfectly.

Here is a list of definitions and acceptable things to eat in each category which may help you understand the perameters of each.

Lacto Vegetarians — and I am one — eat no eggs and no egg products knowing that left to their own devices eggs are embryonic chickens and would become one once hatched. Even unfertilized eggs are categorized as flesh foods. Egg White or Yolk — neither part of the egg is acceptable.

Dairy, in other words milk, rennet-less cheeses, yogurt, kefir, buttermilk and butter are all acceptable because it didn’t hurt the animal. In fact if the cow, or goat, or sheep isn’t milked she is in pain; and it didn’t take the animal’s life to produce the product.

All other fruit and vegetables, whole grains rather than refined flours, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds are acceptable and on the table for everyone of these categories.

Sweeteners include Vegan Cane Sugar
(all other refined granulated sugars are subjected to a process including charred bone) Turbinado Sugar, Raw Sugar or Ghur, Maple Syrup, Agave, Honey (not acceptable to Vegans) Stevia. Barley Malt, Fructose, Brown Rice Syrup and Molasses.

Also as vegetarians we are likely to use sea salt rather than table salt. Organic spices and herbs, nutritional yeast, baking yeast, baking soda and aluminum free baking powder. Eggless Mayonnaise and other condiments are also available to us. There is even a Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce (one without anchovies)

There are also a multitude of faux meat products from Tofu Pups to Lightlife Gimme Lean Breakfast Sausage, to Tofurky Italian Sausage and Bratwurst, there is Morningstar Meal Starters and Boca Burgers not to mention the faux meat products from Taiwan which are available in ethnic grocery stores — Veggie Beef Chunk, Veggie Fish, Veggie Shrimp, Veggie Crab etc.
But you need to lean to read labels to be sure that there are no egg whites often called ‘albumen’ in any of them. So the obvious point I am trying to make is eat widely on the above list and enjoy whole foods rather than the American penchant for White Flour and White Sugar and stay away from Diet anything — it is loaded with ASPARTAME which is pure poison and deadly — ask anyone suffering from GULF WAR SYNDROME.

Vegans eat no eggs, no dairy, no honey and do not wear leather or exploit animals in any way for any reason.

Lacto Ovo people include eggs in their list of acceptable foods.

No other definition is, strictly speaking, Vegetarian — and personally, I hesitate to include the ovo ones to the club — but then salmonella poisoning and eating flesh foods of any variety are real deterrents for me.

For exceptional recipes for main dishes and even an exceptional collection of eggless desserts (more than 2 dozen eggless cakes, and pies, cookies and eggless froen treats too) and great menu ideas and important information check out this website
Actually, were I you I would invovle your daughters in the kitchen fun. I did that with my four sons and they are all terrific cooks, two of them professionally! And one of them married another Vegetarian Chef. Have fun and enjoy the journey.

 

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