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Old 04-05-2009, 09:33 PM   #1
Brett Valego
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Vegetarian Zone.....

i've been vegetarian for close to 15 yrs. first, please no posts about eating meat is better, blah blah blah. yes i know this but the likelihood of me doing that now is slim to none...

when i eat on the zone 99% of my protein comes from dairy, eggs/cheese/natural yogurts/milk. i do not like 'fake' processed meat products or most soy (tofu? gross). edamame beans are good though.

my question is, is this ultimately the best way for me to be a veggie zone? my taste buds don't mind eating a TON of cheese everyday cuz i love cheese but it doesn't seem 'good' haha. i think what i'm looking for is where else can i get protein from if soy products are out of the question and dairy seems to be the only other option (the one i've been using for a while now).
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:02 PM   #2
Matt Hitt
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Re: Vegetarian Zone.....

Brett-While I'm not vegetarian, I think there are a couple decent sources of non-meat protein out there that could help you branch out your diet. And I agree with you: tofu/seitan, and most "pseudo-meat"=nasty.

Based on what you say you currently eat, I would think the first natural step is focusing more on eggs, then whole milk, then eating processed cheeses as more of a treat/occasional food, due to the salt content in most commercial cheeses.

As for sources you're not currently eating, have you thought about lentils? They have a decent amount of protein (not as much as tofu, etc., but still decent), are also high in fiber, are cheap and are much faster to cook than other dried legumes. If you have any inclination towards Indian flavors especially, there are tons of great lentil (dal) recipes online.

Also, I use canned black beans regularly in soups/chilies, etc. Just rinse them off to remove some of the salt, and toss them in any vegetable soup you like in the last 10-15 minutes of cooking to up your protein content.

Good luck to ya!
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:50 PM   #3
Daniel Olmstead
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Re: Vegetarian Zone.....

Here's my rundown of vegetarian protein sources (note this is personal - others might shuffle things around):

Best: eggs
Very good: whole milk (pre-zoned for you), unflavored whey/casein protein
Good: cottage cheese
Also good: plain, unsweetened yogurt, kefir
Not as good: harder cheeses, tofu, tempeh
Not great, but not bad: lentils, beans, nuts
Bad: processed fake meats, skim milk

The reason I don't give much credits to lentils and beans as a source of protein is that their fiber is so high that the body has to do a lot of work just to GET to the protein, so they don't have terribly good bioavailability. And nuts are really much more fat than protein.

Hope that helps.
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:18 AM   #4
John C Corona
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Re: Vegetarian Zone.....

The beans, legumes, and nuts I'll ditto. Nut butters are good. Grains like brown rice and quinoa are another source. I use a hemp powder (ground hemp seed) in my smoothies because I don't do the whey (dairy) thing.
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:44 PM   #5
Brett Valego
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Re: Vegetarian Zone.....

first, THANKS for yr input guys!

secondly, i'm looking for zone protein choices so beans/nuts i would consider carbs/fats on the zone. no rice for me either. no grains/sugars so rice falls into the grain category. i bought the smallest size container i could find of cottage cheese tonite. i can't stand the taste/texture but i'm going to try my hardest to mix it with some fruit and anything else i can to make myself 'enjoy' it. too much protein in it not to!

i do like lentils alot, especially with some curry seasoning! that being said, wouldn't they fall into the carb category? i eat too much cheese now, i realize. grrr. so tough. lately i've been saying i'm just going to eat meat. i don't know if my taste buds will be able to take it and i'm just not sure if it's really ME anyway.
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:47 PM   #6
Daniel Olmstead
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Re: Vegetarian Zone.....

I really like cottage cheese mixed with toasted almonds and cinnamon.

Good luck. I was a vegetarian for my first year of CrossFit. It was very difficult.
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:08 PM   #7
Wendy Nelson
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Re: Vegetarian Zone.....

I was a vegetarian for over 20 years and after starting CrossFit decided to try eating some meat to see if it would make a difference. The jury is still out on that... I still eat a lot of dairy to supplement my protein numbers.

Cottage cheese gave me the willies but I tried a greek yogurt called Fage and it was pretty tasty. Not the sugar and tiny protein found in regular yogurt, better! I believe it is a Zone friendly portion too. Here is a picture so you can find it next time you are shopping.

I am surprised this meat gorging group went so easy on you, I braced for the carnage as I clicked on your thread but perhaps it was because you said please. Good luck!

You also might want to check out www.hammernutrition.com W/F/S they have some good products without all that nasty sucralose stuff.
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:35 AM   #8
Laura Kurth
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Re: Vegetarian Zone.....

If you get Fage 2% it has I think 20g protein and only about 8g carbs per cup. Not sure on exact numbers, but it is a good amount of protein. It is also very thick and creamy. It is however made with skim milk.

Fage total is mostly fat I believe... you would have to eat a lot of fat to get the protein grams. Not fat bashing by any means, but using Fage Total as a protein source on the zone wouldn't really work I don't think.

I have had Fage 5% one time only and have not seen it at the store since. It was made with whole milk I believe but less or no cream.
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:42 AM   #9
Matt Hitt
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Re: Vegetarian Zone.....

I personally don't Zone, so the classifications of protein in that plan are beyond me.

I did want to make a quick point that I stumbled upon last night while I re-read Cordain's "The Paleo Diet."

His analysis of dairy is that milk=21% protein, cheese=28% protein. As for lentils, they=27% protein.

So, while Cordain disavows both dairy and legumes in favor of lean meat, if you're going vegetarian and consider dairy a protein source, I'd put lentils right in there as well. I also will often mix cooked lentils with unsweetened plain yogurt, spices, lime juice to make more of a thick curry dish, if you want to maximize your non-meat protein in one dish.
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:00 AM   #10
Brett Valego
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Re: Vegetarian Zone.....

i but CHOBANI yogurt...18g protein and 7g carbs/sugars
i use it as 2blocks of protein 1block carbs. best one i could find so far. i'll be on the look out for the yogurts you guys have mentioned.
i'm thinking i might start to include lentils. my zone meals are very boring. most of the time they are less 'meals' than just maybe 3 or 4 oz. cheese in a block portioned salad with some nuts. i need to get more creative. that yogure with lentils and some spices maybe even some veggies sounds like it would be good.
it's hard to find veggie zone recipes that don't include some type of soy product.
thanks for all the help guys, let's keep this thread alive haha
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