I have attemted to remove meats from my diet twice in the past. I find I lose weight and look and feel better BUT the increased carb intake does not agree with me. I think I have carbohydrate intolerance as I get bloated up even eating a small baked potato. Also, my blood sugar was higher than usual during that time and diabetes runs in my family-so I went back to eating fish and chicken and more veggies. And beans and soy substituts give me such bad gas I have to take Beano. Should I give up attemting to be a vegetarian? I dont have much time to cook, and there are three others in the house that eat meat, so making special dishes just for me wpould be tough. Thanks!
I completely understand what you're going through because I, too, have a sensitivity to carbs. Even as a vegan, it's easy for me to gain weight if I consume a lot of grains, bread, rice, or pasta. It took years of experimenting on my part to find a vegan diet that works for me.
Based on the your past experiences with vegetarianism, it's clear you have a problem with carbohydrates, but I don't think you should give up on vegetarianism just yet. There are steps you can take to avoid feeling bloated while eating for better health and a better environment. Avoid those foods that you know give you gas and affect your blood sugar.
Here's a list of foods to avoid:
1. Potatoes (all kinds)
2. Rice (if I consume rice, I only have brown and only 1/2 a cup, measured, as part of my meal)
3. Pasta (surprisingly, pasta doesn't affect blood sugar the same way bread and rice does, because of the way it's made. Still, if you have to have it, get one of those pasta measure tools from Amazon, and only have 2 ounces or less. You'll be surprised how little that is but you're body will thank you later; I believe 2 ounces is considered a serving)
4. Bread ( if you can tolerate it, eat only a whole grain brand that uses no sugar of any kind. Stay away from any food product that says, "Enriched". Also, one slice is considered a serving of carbs)
7. Squash (at least the sweet kind like Hokkaido)
8. Sugars ( cane, honey, brown, agave, molasses, Florida Crystals, Palm or coconut, etc. Use only stevia extract powder [a good one is from KAL])
9. Tropical Fruits ( eat berries and apples instead and in moderation)
Now, the challenge you're going to face is getting enough protein. Since beans and soy are out of the question, you need to snack on some nuts and seeds. Eat them raw or toasted or in the form of a nut butter spread on a slice of "whole" grain bread. However, eat them in moderation because a high fat diet is not advisable for a person with blood sugar problems or someone who suspects that he or she is a "pre-diabetic". If you just want to be vegetarian and not vegan, then consume an egg or two, but only do this if you're certain the eggs are from a reputable free-range farmer who follows organic farming practices and is ethical. After all, one of the biggest reasons for becoming a vegetarian/vegan is to prevent or minimize the suffering farm animals have to endure. If you're not sure who is ethical or not, do a Google search on free-range eggs and reviews.
As for milk, I'd think twice about using it as a protein source; several studies have implicated cow's milk as a possible contributor to type 1 diabetes. It may have to do with milk proteins and our immune system.
Since you didn't mention problems with grains, I'd have 1/2 a cup of high-protein quinoa or kamut or spelt, for example. And always, always, always, consume lots of vegetables for lunch and dinner. I eat four to five cups per meal. The fiber will help control any spikes in your blood sugar and make you feel full.
I always start my day with a shake. I either use raw brown rice protein powder or pea protein (Now Foods) and add several scoops of stevia extract powder, vanilla and unsweetened almond, coconut, or hemp milk. For lunch, I eat lots of veggies, beans, and nuts. The same goes for dinner. I know it sounds boring but it's healthy and I have no problems with my sugar.
I hope this information helps you. If I haven't answered your question to your satisfaction, feel free to contact me again.
Have a good day.