Living with vegetarians: I have been managed... - Weight Loss NHS

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Living with vegetarians


I have been managed to stick to a healthy for a week now and I've lost s couple of pounds. I've done some cycling and dog walking, but exceptional rainy weather has kept me from getting out as much as I would have liked, though I do keep on my feet everyday working at restoring vintage bicycles.

My problem on several occasions I've been violently sick with diorrea. It's only on the last attack I associated it with a quorn meat meal. I've now given up Quorn!

Trouble is my wife and daughter's are both none red meat eaters, which makes it difficult when trying to work out meals which will suit all our needs.

Question are there any other meat substitutes out there besides Quorn?

26 Replies
ZestHealthy BMI

Hi papparay46,

You could have a look at the NHS Choices information:

Hope this is helpful.

Zest :-)

Susie544kg in reply to Zest

Hello Zest; Thanks SO much; just had a look & excellent advice which ties in with the vegan "bible" my son bought me for my b'day. I keep forgetting about the NHS choices website but it's brilliant ...

ZestHealthy BMI in reply to Susie54

Really glad it was useful to you, Susie54 - lovely that your son bought you that Vegan 'Bible' for your Birthday - very thoughtful present. :-)

I'm a meat eater that eats quite a bit of vegetarian food. I make a lot of vegetable curries (other veggie dishes are available) which I might just have with a baked potato or rice or I might cook up a chicken breast or something else to go with them.

Is Quorn something you can add into a vegetable dish near the end after you've taken your portion out.

My OH and I are often on different planets when it comes to eating so when necessary we either make allowances for the other one or we just cook our own meals.

Good luck!

Susie544kg in reply to Tiggerr

Thank you! We are getting around it as apart from garlic he's tolerant..when he last ate chicken he said "I'm not gonna think where this came from" lol!!


Which really devides opinions. You can try marinated or silken varieties for flavour and texture.

Quorn is made from mushrooms so probably something fugus is causing your reaction.

Veg sausages eg have loads of other options Culdron or Linda Mcartney they won't have same reaction as they don't use quorn (the company use it exclusively).

Surprisingly cooked brown lentils also work in place of meat.

Susie544kg in reply to ClareMcr

Thank you 😊 x I'm finding my way around easier now & found by the end of last week everything tasted like stuffing!! Had a glut of using up yummy lentil casserole but too mich & it upset my tum. Some quorn contains egg white. I'm now getting fussy which means I'm more confident!! All comments are useful 😘


Good morning papparay46 😊

I have no advice other than already given. But just wanted to congratulate you on a successful start to your weight loss journey 😊 I hope you get the food issue sorted

Best wishes


Active_43Healthy BMI

Replace the quorn mince with lentils, tofu and pulses in curries and Bolognese type meals. Try Linda McCartney, cauldron and supermarkets own brands too. These don't have quorn. My veggie daughter loves the stuff but it makes the dog sick when he tries to 'wash up' after her 😯

Thanks for the information


Butter beans, kidney beans, lentils and chickpeas are all natural and delicious alternatives to meat, and so easy to add to any recipe. And they are very low in fat too. Personally I wouldn't eat quorn, because from what I gather, it is some kind of processed food. I did read somewhere that it is associated with mushroom allergies, which may be why you were ill.

orcadiana9st 7lbs

In addition to the suggestions above you can use textured vegetable protein (TVP) which is available in the form of soya mince or chunks. There is also tempeh, which is again made from soybeans but this time fermented and supplied in blocks (has a different texture to tofu). You can also use nuts to make very tasty burgers, 'meat' loafs, etc. Hope this helps - I'm a veggie who has lost quite a bit of weight since my heaviest.

If it is only red meat your wife and daughter don't eat, could you not have chicken, fish etc?

HappyBeee3 stone

A lot of the advice here is what I what give, I'm a little soy sensitive so I go easy on the soya protein as suggested by orcadiana.. but there are loads of soya protein meat substitutes for the quorn averse! If you look in the frozen section of most supermarket chains they do "meat free mince" or burgers or other meat free items that, upon reading the back of the packet, transpire to be texturised soya protein. They're tasty, low fat and very cheap.

As a budding pesce-vegetarian I also find grains and seeds great for adding bulk and protein to main meals; a big colourful mix like quinoa, red millet, bulgur wheat, brown rice and finely chopped veg like sweet potato and broccoli make a really good, filling plate of food that can be topped with marinara sauce, curry sauce, sweet&sour or anything at all depending on your mood!

Hope you'll find something you're all happy with

Whatever amount of meat you're eating, finding meat free meals to lower your meat consumption can only help your health, the planet and of course the animals


DipperRestart July 2020

Hi I'm a pescetarian (I eat fish occasionally). it never fails to amaze me how people think that vegetarians have to eat meat substitutes. Yes I occasionally have a Linda McCartney sausage but in the main my meals are made up of lentils, beans, chickpeas and surprise surprise vegetables. As soon as people find out I don't eat meat they automatically assume that I eat Quorn. There are lots of great recipes online using natural ingredients, just Google and you might be pleasantly surprised.

traisee2st 7lbs

My 9 year old became vegetarian last year, and now her 13 year old sister has joined her. Surprisingly they have very strong views about meat substitutes - it started with objecting to the language in 'vegetarian chicken burger'--you must admit they have a point. I mean what is that?!

But then they extended it. Veggie sausage is just pretending to eat meat, they argue. Etc.

Their tastes aren't sophisticated enough to extend far, and my own views about processed foods (yes, we avoid Quorn at all costs, because I looked into it and there's no way I'm going there) limits our options further. For mince or for a filling I use a combination of whatever is to hand, minced: for instance, onions, carrots, peppers, sweetcorn, courgette, and throw in whatever beans are around. Once I use a taco seasoning or season it up for a bolognese, they don't know the difference. You're just looking for the texture really. The flavours can come from herbs and spices.

Good luck!

TrimmerteacherMaintainer in reply to traisee

Two intelligent thoughtful young ladies! They do need plenty of protein when they are growing, well we all do, and so nuts, beans and pulses or eggs and cheese are an absolutely part of a veggie's diet. 🥕🌽🥜🌰🍠🥔🌶

traisee2st 7lbs in reply to Trimmerteacher

Nice emojis! (?)

Oh gosh yes. I didn't want to get tedious in my reply. Thanks for making sure I know... because they are too young for/refuse adventures, we get away with being boring sometimes. Tonight they had baguette, cheese, baked beans, egg, carrots, and strawberries. (I didn't). Nothing that would stand up to scrutiny on the daily diary, but we get the protein in, even if it's a handfull of nuts or pumpkin seeds.

A few months after the younger one started this we found some real behaviour problems at school. I had a chat in our health food shop and then started the forced-protein top ups. I know about combining proteins too, but we don't do much with that since they still currently shun whole grains.

Whether the behaviour problems went away because of maturity or some of the other changes we and the school introduced, I'll probably never know.

But I do know that when I'm really struggling to get through to her, it often turns out to be hunger. A healthy snack helps her to refocus and become 'intelligent and thoughtful' again. Good food is good fuel indeed.

Eve601st 7lbs

Its the quorn, theres a lot of people that cant eat it, I wonder of the vegan quorn would be any better?


Quorn used to just pass through me papparay46.

I've yet to discover why there is special dispensation for some vegetarian diets that require supplements, whereas other diets that necessitate supplements are to be avoided as fad diets?

One of the reasons those vegetarian diets that don't require supplements are 'healthier' than the standard British diet is that they provide lower, yet sufficient levels of protein, without having to resort to processed junk.

That said, a recent observational study found that when fat levels are below 35% of calories (which was the maximum recommended for the former Eatwell Plate), health/life expectancy declines.

Hi - Quorn has exactly the same effect on me. It usually makes me throw up about an hour after I've eaten it. As a Vegan, I use textured Soya Protein Mince combined with some Nutritional Yeast flakes. It's absolutely great and the two combined have all of the amino acids and Vit B12 in it that meat has so you won't miss a thing. You can get it in most supermarkets and healhfood shops. (I use Engevita Nutritional Yeast flakes for B12 from Holland and Barrett if it helps, it has a lovely savoury flavour)

Chandelia4 stone

hiya, vegetarian here with one vegan in the household, so most quorn is not suitable. Not a massive fan of Linda McCartney sausages etc - they have their place, but I find them a bit fatty and salty to feature regularly. (They make a good hot pot or casserole though, chopped up and diluted with loads of veg and left to simmer or in a slow cooker..) If you're not a massive fan of tofu, look out for smoked and braised versions, you can get the latter in healthfood shops and some supermarkets - Asian food stores are often also a good source for less-common varieties, and for wheat-protein (gluten) based tinned meat substitutes, like mock duck. The Hairy Dieters Go Veggie cookbook has a recipe for tofu-based BLT that goes down very well with my lot. Definitely recommend that book, if you've not come across it - all the recipes are based on real food and calorie counted making it easy to keep track of where you are!

ConcernedAmbassador in reply to Chandelia

Another good point there; the vegetable oils we've only had the technology to extract for the last 100 years are highly refined, tend to be high in omega-6, and consequently highly inflammatory to the body.

papparay46 in reply to Chandelia

Thanks. I'll give this a try.

Susie544kg in reply to Chandelia

I picked up that book 1/2 price in Tesco recently! Thanks

Haha pepperay46 I've just answered posts meant for you!! I've just begun the veg diet with no dairy. If you pick up the latest Waitrose paper pge 22 has a weeks menu which easily converts to veg option x Having tried cooking complex veg meals I'm also finding converting normal menu to veg is very easy x have you tried Soy Mince (not quorn) ??

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