Thursday, March 09, 2006

Low-Carb Can Be For Vegetarians, Too

The wealth of low-carb knowledge among my regular readers simply astounds me. So many of you have been livin' la vida low-carb for many years with many more experiences than I could ever imagine having at this point in my low-carb lifestyle. You long-term veterans of this way of eating are to be looked up to by baby low-carbers like me and your opinions are respected and appreciated in this forum.

One such reader, who also happens to be a low-carb vegetarian, wrote to me today concerned that some of my recent columns on veganism might be misinterpreted as a negative on ALL vegetarians. I assured her that was not the case at all and that I highly respect those people who can low-carb the vegetarian way.

Here's what she wrote to me:

"I am an avid low carber who does not buy into the low fat mantra. I eat a lot of healthy low starch veggies, fruits, dairy, butter and other healthy fats, nuts, etc. I use a lot of low carb protein sources such as tofu, some beans, and low carb meat substitutes (like Morningstar Farms), etc. I love to bake and come up with all sorts of low carb goodies."

Now those are some good low-carb foods there! She told me she is a fan of my blog ("I'll never stop reading your blog, it is the most informative low carb blog out there - plus you do have a great sense of humor"), bought several copies of my book, and said she would love to suggest 5 books that could help people interested in low-carb vegetarianism.

Here's a list of those "good" books on doing low-carb as a vegetarian:

- The Vegetarian Low-Carb Diet by Rose Elliott
- The Vegetarian Low-Carb Cookbook by Rose Elliott (coming in April 2006)
- Low-Carb Vegetarian by Celia Brooks Brown
- Yummidy by David Kennedy
- The Protein-Powered Vegetarian by Bo Sebastian

As a low-carb vegetarian who made the statement "I honestly don't think being vegan is a healthy way to live," I asked Ms. Sheryl Du Somme to guest blog today for me about what it is like being a low-carber without eating meat.

She was kind enough to accept my invitation and here is her debut blog post for "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb":

"Hi Jimmy, this is Sheryl Du Somme, your resident low carb lacto ovo vegetarian.

Do you want to know what is so great about low-carbing? It is for EVERYONE! My most favorite book in the world, the Bible, tells us that we can eat anything; that all food is ok to eat. But some of us have an aversion to eating meat for whatever personal reasons we may have, and some of us know that low-carbing is the only way.

There are all kinds of vegetarians, just like there are all kinds of meat eaters. I am not a health nut. I rarely eat organically grown food. I love my caffeine with a big L every day; (Jimmy, you can have your diet sodas; I adore those new sugar free, caffeine-laden energy drinks like Tab Energy and sugar free Full Throttle Fury!) Some days I don't eat all that healthy; other days I do eat all my veggies. And no, I have not been a dedicated vegetarian all my life. I've gone through phases, until this year when I realized I just felt better physically and spiritually avoiding meat, fish and poultry, and that it said more for my character to finally make a commitment to stick to what I know is best for me!

If there are others out there, like me, who can't identify with the vulgarity of "Skinny Bitch" or the militancy of putting down anyone as not a "true vegetarian" who is not vegan, take heart. There are lots of us out there -- we are just the quiet ones who go about our business without an agenda and who still adore and cook for our meat eating husbands and friends.

Some of us are even conservatives who write speeches for Presidents -- just check out the book Dominion by Matthew Scully. Why he's a conservative vegetarian who was also President Bush's speechwriter! I highly recommend his book, whether you're a vegetarian or not.

Anyway, I LOVE to cook and wanted to share with you a simple vegetarian low-carb recipe. I like to take it to work for lunch with some hard boiled eggs, cheese, or vegetarian meat mixed in. This recipe is nothing new; you've seen tons of variations of it before. But here's mine -- quick, simple and tasty! I hope you enjoy!


2 16 oz bags frozen cauliflower
1/3 cup water
4 scallions, sliced thin (with tops)
4 stalks celery (leaves and all), sliced thin
1 cup Best Foods (Hellman's) Mayonaisse
1/4 cup Dijon mustard

In a large microwaveable container microwave the cauliflower with water, partially covered on high, for about 25 to 30 minutes, turning in 10 minute increments. Final product should be soft but not mushy. Water will have evaporated.

Cool thoroughly. Mix in scallions and celery. Stir mustard into mayo. Gently stir into veggies. Cover and refrigerate several hours to blend flavors. There you have it! An easy dish to use exactly like you would potato salad. Just let it warm up to room temperature (take it out a half hour before you serve it), for better flavor, like other potato salads.

That's it! See, being a low-carb vegetarian isn't as hard as it sounds! By the way, aren't we all grateful to have a blog like Jimmy's?!!!"

THANK YOU, Sheryl, for sharing your thoughts with my readers today. You speak on behalf of many who are livin' la vida low-carb the vegetarian way and I am proud to count you among my regular readers. I have asked Sheryl to contribute other vegetarian low-carb recipes in the future, so be looking for those in the coming months.

Let me be perfectly clear about something: I do not oppose vegetarianism or veganism for that matter. If you choose to eat that way, then that is certainly your right and prerogative. But what I DO oppose are these radical PETA-type vegetarians with their "holier-than-thou" attitude that unless you stop eating meat you are somehow less human than they are. THAT IS WRONG and I will not back down from combatting THAT attitude.

Thankfully, It's people like Sheryl that I admire and respect because they have their reasons for being a vegetarian, but they don't attempt to force feed their point of view on anyone else. It is a personal choice that she has made and she should be commended for doing it. At the same time, Sheryl is equally kind in respecting my choice to eat meat and does not judge me for doing so.

To avoid the Rodney King effect ("can't we just all get along"), I think I've made what I think about this subject crystal clear and I appreciate the opportunity to share the views of people like Sheryl with you. Her dynamic personality shines through in her writings and I look forward to sharing more from her with you in the future.

She is an example for these idiot lunatic numbskull militant vegans to learn from!


Blogger Science4u1959 said...

Crystal clear, indeed that is what it is. Thank you Jimmy for a informative, interesting and wonderfully balanced article.

I do have deep respect for Lactoovovegetarians like Sheryl. And indeed this way of eating is healthy. It is well documented in the medical literature that lactoovovegetarians do not risk their health, like pure (fanatic) vegans do.

In case it was not abundantly clear yet what your position is, then it should certainly be clear by now.

3/09/2006 11:23 PM  
Blogger Lowcarb_dave said...

Jimmy, I was just thinking seriously about this same subject not two days ago!

You are the "Low carb Guardian Angel"! Ask and you shall receive an answer!

Thanks you for blogging this and a big thank you to Sheryl Du Somme. I am definately going to check those books out!

The other day I was cooking a mushroom omlette and I was thinking "Damn, I could be a vegetarian (lacto/ovo that is)!!"

3/09/2006 11:55 PM  
Blogger SherylJoyce said...

Thanks for the positive feedback on the article.

Next I'll post on vegetarian sources of Omega 3.

I am so grateful to Jimmy for starting this blog; it's been a wonderful source of information for all of us! Sheryl

3/10/2006 3:28 PM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

Keep up the great work, Sheryl! Like Jimmy observed: you're a wonderful example of eating the vegetarian style in a intelligent, nutritionally sensible and sustainable way. My hat off!

3/11/2006 8:54 PM  
Blogger Shirley said...

I grew up eating very little meat. My husband grew up eating lots of meat. About 5 years ago I became a Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian. My cholesterol went from 220 down to 149. The good cholesterol high...the bad low. My husband that always had to have red meat and potatoes at every meal is now eating basically low-carb and meatless. He will have chicken and fish occasionally. We both feel a lot better with our change in eating.

5/04/2006 11:52 PM  
Blogger Hai said...

Thank you for this resource. I have been vegetarian for 15 years now and can not imagine eating meat again. I've been wanting to wean myself off carbs but without meat there are no obvious alternatives unless you want to drown in tofu.

My vegetarianism is 100% my choice (primarily one of taste) and I loathe equally those vegetarians who try to force it down others' throats, and meat-eaters (with a guilt complex?) that reflexively bash vegetarians.

1/02/2008 11:44 AM  

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