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From: Rachel (
Subject: Hi Jo
Date: July 7, 2002 at 3:07 pm PST

In Reply to: how to begin posted by jo on July 7, 2002 at 5:23 am:

You should visit VegSource's New Veggies board--it's a helpful board, and there is a link there with beginner info. Also, PCRM has a starter kit (linked below). I'm not sure what Vegetarian Resource has for beginner info, but it couldn't hurt to look; I think they're at

Some general tips from me:
* Don't just skip meat, replace it with healthy stuff! I've seen people make themselves sick trying to be veg by just eating the same way they always did, just without meat. What I mean is, don't try to live on side dishes--try new foods. Make friends with hummus, tofu, and all varieties of beans & grains.

*Don't assume that a food is vegetarian, even if it seems obvious that it should be. Lots of soups (especially creamed soups) and boxed rice mixes are made with chicken stock or some kind of animal fat. Some nuts (Planter's, I think, does this) add beef fat to the nuts. Some fast food places add beef fat to their fires. Puddings, Jello, and candies are often made with gelatin. It's amazing how often this comes up.

*Don't be put off or intimidated by unfamiliar foods. When I met my husband, he thought he'd never want to eat tofu or seitan or nutritional yeast (etc). They all seem weird at first, but now he loves them. Experiment with food. Dabble with recipes.

Good luck and don't hesitate to ask questions!

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