For an upcoming story, we're looking for real-life tips from couples who have a half-vegetarian, half-carnivore household. How do you deal with meals? Dining out? Did one of you abruptly go vegetarian or was it gradual. Let us know! Thanks. -Denise, Senior Editor
I'm vegetarian and my husband is not. He loves the way I cook and eats vegetarian at home. When my he is away from home, he will eat animal products, mainly because it is harder to find something vegetarian on the road. If we go to someone's home he will also eat meat, cheese dairy etc. I always let him know that I'm fine with him having it. Normally, if there is a choice, he will order a tofu or vegetable entree. For family gatherings, I normally try to have someone else bring the meat and I make side dishes or vegetarian entrees. I'm always very surprised that our friends and family are open to having vegetarian dishes and they seem to enjoy the versatility of cooking with vegetables and grains. Many friends and family have cut back on meat lately or become vegetarian because they have learned that you can make a healthy vegetarian version of just about anything!
I gradually made the transition to being a vegetarian about 15 years ago. The only animal products I consume are honey and eggs, milk and butter when baking. My husband is a carnivore and when I first met him, he ate mostly fast food, take-out and frozen meals.
I do 99% of the meal planning and cooking. When we were first married, I cooked meat nearly every night for my husband. I made meals where the ingredients and preparation were nearly the same with the exception of the protein source. Over the last five years, I gradually added in more veggies and decreased the number of meals with meat to two to three per month. My husband also has meat when we go out to dinner a few times a month or when he goes out for lunch with co-workers. With the gradual transition, I don't think he even realizes that he eats mostly vegetarian meals. Or if he does, he doesn't say anything about it. Some of his favorite meals are actually vegetarian or even vegan!
Just have him read three books (my husband just read the first one and that's all it took for him to go vegan):
**China Study by T. Colin Campbell
**Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure by Caldwell B. Esselstyn
**Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes without Drugs by Neal D. Barnard
First book links animal protein to cancer; second books links it to heart disease and the last to diabetes. All of these diseases are preventable. You cannot argue with the facts presented in these books. After reading them, if you still choose to eat animal protein, it is the same decision to smoke, drink, take drugs, not exercise -- things that you know are bad for you, but you still indulge, taking your chances on when it will finally catch up with you. I'd rather take my $112,000 for bypass surgery (latest cost stated in AARP magazine last month) and take a trip around the world!
I have never been a big meat eater but my husband was a die hard carnivore. I always made salads and lots of veggie options with our meals and purchased A LOT of pre-made rotisserie chickens (can't stand the smell of raw meat)! :) Last year our whole family became vegetarians, including our four year old son. Dinner time has never been so easy. My life as a stay at home mom and health nut revolves around food so not having to worry about two meals every night has my life so much easier. I'm queen of the one pot VEGETARIAN meal now!
My four year old did see an advertisement for Swedish Meatballs last week and say "That's meat, I used to eat that." So funny!
I'm not a vegetarian anymore but when I was I found this being an issue A LOT. My favorite brand for vegetarian meals is Morningstar because it has so much variety. They have breakfast options, burgers, (fake) chicken, entrees, meal starters, and vegan ptions. You can type in your zip code on their site to find where it is sold in your area. http://www.morningstarfarms.com/msfhome.html -- Hope you find this helpful!