Answers to Vegetarian Questions

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Lazy (but good) lunch:


I had 2 cups of Wolfgang Puck vegetable barley soup:


And a whole wheat bagel with Barney Butter and raspberry jam.  Plus, carrots!


Vegetarian Questions


This morning, I opened up the floor for questions on being a vegetarian/my diet in general.  I went vegetarian on April 26, 2009, but I didn’t announce it on the blog for a few weeks – here’s my announcement post.


I went vegetarian for a number of reasons, but the major catalyst was when I read the book “Skinny Bitch.”  My review of the book is here.  Although I don’t agree with everything the books says, it really opened my eyes up to the realities of factory farming.  Watching the movie “Food Inc” (review) also solidified my decision.  By the way, I really recommend Food Inc for all types of people because it’s not a ‘pro vegetarian’ movie, but a ‘pro knowledge movie.’


Here are my answers to your vegetarian questions!  (Some questions were repeats so I just listed one question for each topic.)


Lizzy asked, “I’ve always thought about going vegetarian because i already don’t eat a lot of meat to begin with, but because i still live at home i eat whatever is made (which most of the time is chicken and turkey). Anyways, when you became a vegetarian what were some of the things that you found difficult to cut out because they didn’t fit with the lifestyle, and what are some of your go to meals to eat out at restaurants?


I really miss the convenience of pre-cut, individually fresh meat and fish filets.  Pieces of salmon were SO good for dinner and were super easy to make!  Making vegetarian protein – such as tofu – takes some pre-planning because you have to press it, cut it, and the bake it.  That’s why I really like Nasoya pre-cubed extra firm tofu.  Because it’s pre-cubed, you don’t have to press it!


My go-to meals at restaurants are usually some sort of pasta dish or an egg-based dish if it’s a breakfast joint, too.  I try to go to vegetarian-specific restaurants whenever I can – it makes eating out so much more pleasurable.


Greta asked, “I’m not sure if you’ve posted about this before, but I’m wondering if you take any supplements – I’m specifically thinking about b12 and iron, since those are harder to get when eating vegetarian. What’s your opinion about recommended doses of vitamins and minerals?”


If you’ve read any books such as In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, you’d know that even non-vegetarians need to be taking whole food supplements because our food is much less nutritious than it was years ago! Scary!  The only real supplements that I take are a calcium supplement and a Vitamin B supplement, both of which were recommended by my holistic doctor father-in-law.


Kristen wrote, “Do you miss meat? Do you think you will stay vegetarian forever? What about your husband?!”


Yes, sometimes I really miss meat.  I especially miss scallops and filet mignon.  I do think I will live a mostly vegetarian lifestyle forever now – I’m pretty committed and haven’t had meat once in 10 months!  However, I am pretty sure that I will “slip up” and eat meat at least a few times in the next few years.  :)  The Husband eats a vegetarian died 99% of the time (he has been vegetarian since May 2009), but he sometimes prefers to order meat when we’re dining out.  He says he enjoys being be vegetarian because it’s in line with his spiritual beliefs.


Maggie wrote, “I’ve been listening to lots of Podcasts and reading lots of articles about the potentially negative outcomes of too much soy consumption. You may have addressed this issue earlier, but I couldn’t remember so I thought I’d ask again. I love tofu and I love those Morningstar breakfast patties and Odwalla bars, which are made with soy. Are you concerned about eating too much soy? I try to be conscious of how much I eat. I’m just frustrated because first they tell us too much meat causes cancer, now too much soy causes cancer. SHEESH!”


Yes, I am concerned about eating too much soy.  For a while, research suggested that eating too much soy can cause hormonal issues, which in turn can increase a women’s risk for breast cancer.  There is now conflicting evidence (see this article).  However, I am concerned about eating too much soy because I am concerned about eating too much of anything, especially something as processed as soy.  I try not to eat too much fake meat or tofu, for example.  I don’t think it’s something to get TOO worked up over, but it’s good to be aware.


EmpowerHealth asked, “Is there a secret to cooking dry beans?! I always get an upset stomach after eating them and they come out so bland. I’ve been getting canned beans lately but I’d really like to get the hang of cooking dry beans as they are cheaper.”


I am a bad person to ask because I always buy canned beans!  I just rinse the canned beans before eating them to remove some of the sodium.  Anyone out there know how to make good dry beans?


Sarah asked, “I recently made the switch to vegetarianism and I was wondering what kinds of meals you order out at restaurants that aren’t vegetarian/vegan restaurants? Also, what are some of your favorite vegetarian meals?”


I answered the eating-out question in the first question, but for your second question, I have some of my favorite vegetarian meals on my recipes page.


Freya wrote, “How do you get enough protein?/Do you think you do? I heard we’re meant to have like 1-2g a day per kg of bodyweight, and more if we’re training (for marathons etc), so yeah! I would like to go proper veggie, but that concerns me.”


Once I tallied up how much how much I got on an average day of vegetarian eating (see “The Protein Question”) and the result was that I ate about 77.5 grams of protein a day.  Personally, I believe this is more than enough protein for a woman my size, as I have good muscle tone, rarely get sick, and do a lot of endurance sports without feeling tired.  In general, I think the protein issue is very overblown (just my opinion) and although protein plays an important role in weight maintenance and muscle recovery, I do not believe our bodies were made to eat and process large amounts of animal protein.  I get my protein from sources such as Greek yogurt, dairy, nuts and nut butter, tofu, beans, soy products, and whole grains.


Megan asked, “I was wondering if you ever counted your calories and approx how many you aim for in a day?”


I no longer calorie count (I did when I was losing weight), but I probably eat about 1,700 to 2,300 calories on an average day.  I weigh 120 pounds and exercise 5 – 6 days a week.  When I was marathon training, I easily ate 3,000 calories on long-run days.  I go by my hunger cues and try to eat more on hard workout days.


Tiffany asked, “My question would be whether you have a trigger food that just throws you off of your healthy eating or not. i struggle with cereal and granola, and can’t keep my hand out of the box!”


I am triggered into unhealthy eating by the typical suspects:  chips, cookies, candies, granola, and cereal.  I actually have really poor self-control around unhealthy food and try not to keep chips, cookies, or candy in the house at all.  We don’t have any junk food in our pantries – if I want ice cream, I will go to the ice cream shop and get 1 serving.  I keep a measuring cup in my granola to help me portion it out reasonably.  I realized last month I was eating double portions on accident!  🙂


Alyssa asked, “How do you keep your energy levels and iron levels up?”


I already talked about supplement, but I think a big thing for my energy levels is eating lots of small meals/mini-meals (like two or three afternoon snacks).  I also am a firm believer in SLEEP!  Sleep is so important.


Meredith asked, “I’m making the transition to vegetarian and have no problem coming up with great dinner recipes but I find it challenging to come up with creative lunches to bring to work. Any suggestions?”


Although I wasn’t a vegetarian when I worked in an office, I did pack a lot of vegetarian meals.  My favorite to-go vegetarian meals include:  sweet potato and black beans, rice with beans and salsa, hummus wraps, and casseroles.


Amanda asked, “How do you handle situations where people don’t support or understand your views/decision to be a vegetarian? Do you debate with them? Just leave it alone and let them think they “win”?”


When people ask me why I am a vegetarian, I usually say that I do not support factory farming and find it easy and fun to be a vegetarian.  Sometimes, people have said to me ‘A factory farm is not that bad’ or ‘The animals are happy!’ I usually respond by asking if they’ve seen Food Inc. because I think it’s a really good, unbiased look at our food system.  I will explain things if they ask about it (like the fact that 80% of our meat is prepared by four companies!), but I try not to get into a debate about it.  After all, pretty much nothing they can say is going to make me believe it’s acceptable to eat factory farm meat.  I will usually say that I “might” eat meat if I knew where it came from and how it was slaughtered.  I also try to point out that I’m not judging them because of their food choices; I’m just making a judgment about the SYSTEM.


Amanda also asked, “Oh and I wanted to share a question my grandmother actually asked me yesterday …“I know you don’t eat meat, but if I cook vegetables with meat in it as seasoning, will you eat it?””


Oh man!  I will not eat vegetables prepared with meat broth or anything similar.  I don’t eat baked beans made with pork.  However, I will eat marshmallows that contain gelatin.  I think everyone needs to decide what is acceptable for themselves and what is not acceptable.  Vegetarians don’t eat meat, but that can be a blurry line for some people, and I’m OK with some gray area… but only some!


Tracy wrote, “I’d like to know what you do if there are absolutely no options on a restaurant menu? Also – a lot of vegan blogs talk about how much better they “feel” – the glow and what not. Do you feel better since you’ve gone veggie?”


Not really.  I think the biggest part of giving you a “glow” is to stop eating processed foods, which I wasn’t eating much of when I ate meat anyway. 


If there are no vegetarian options on the menu, I’ll ask the waiter what the chef can do!  There is always something they can whip up.  Or I’ll get soup.  🙂


Jessica asked, “What is the worst faux meat product that you have tried?”


In hindsight, the Toforky sausages were really gross. I thought they were OK at the time, but looking back, they were too salty and weird to be enjoyable.  I also really hate fake grilled chicken strips, but only because they look too much like the real thing.


Ashley wrote, “I really want to become a vegetarian for the sake of animals – but I find it very hard to do! I love chicken and steak so much. Any tips on how to get started? Did you just stop eating meat all at one time or was it a process?”


I’ve actually gone vegetarian a few times before and then reverted to meat eating.  This is the longest I’ve been a “true vegetarian” and it feels different. I feel totally committed and although I occasionally crave meat, I haven’t broken down and eaten a hamburger or anything.  This time was “cold turkey” (hehe) because I was so scared after reading Skinny Bitch.


Becoming a vegetarian is a huge shift for most people, so I would recommend becoming a flexitarian first – eat mostly vegetarian and eat meat on special occasions or every other day only.    Also, educate yourself on the benefits of becoming vegetarian – whether you’re doing it for the environment, the animals, or your health – because knowledge is power!


Heather wrote, “I’m thinking about giving up meat for Lent…do you have any tips for fighting off meat cravings? Or recipes for something that has a substantial texture like meat (but not tofu?)”


To fight meat cravings, simply watch some scary PETA undercover videos.  Haha, just kidding… kinda of.  One non-vegetarian but meaty recipe I really like is to make Spaghetti Bolognese with Morningstar faux-meat crumbles.  It tastes just like hamburger when it’s mixed into the pasta sauce!  Also, I’ve been enjoying canned artichokes lately because they have such a meaty texture.


Kayla wrote, "How do you deal with social situations and your vegetarianism? For example, going to dinner at someone’s house, and you’re the only vegetarian?”


Most of my family and friends know I’m a vegetarian and try to accommodate me.  I’ll often offer to bring a vegetarian casserole that can function as a side dish for meat eaters or a main dish for myself.  There was actually a really interesting discussion on being vegetarian for Thanksgiving on the blog a few months back – check it out.


A bunch of you also asked about my training plans.


I create my own training plans based on what I know works for me as well as what other plans suggest I do.  I like to create my own because I often have multiple goals at once (like training for a triathlon and weight lifting).  Some of my favorite pre-made training plans include Hal Hidgon (he has plans for every race distance) and Couch to 5K (for newbies).


Next up:  Got any questions about my workouts, running, blogging, or the rest of my life?  Feel free to ask them in the comments section, and I’ll answer tomorrow morning (don’t be shy if you’ve got a burning curiosity – I’m a pretty open book!).



  • Evan Thomas February 15, 2010, 1:55 pm

    Wow, you really answered a lot! I think the tip for the beans is to use plenty of salt, plenty of pepper, a quartered onions, and 2 bay leaves in cooking

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) February 15, 2010, 1:55 pm

    great suggestion! thanks for taking the time to answer all of our questions 🙂 here’s to hoping the no-meat thing lasts longer than Lent season!

  • megan February 15, 2010, 1:58 pm

    what an interesting post. I never even thought of half those questions. it’s obvious you’ve given a lot of thought to being vegetarian. it’s great to see someone who knows why they act the way they do and can defend their actions too. I like it 🙂

  • Jenn @ Livewellfit February 15, 2010, 1:58 pm

    I love these ask anything posts! Very cool to learn more about you. 🙂

    Your honesty is terrific. I think the greatest part of blogging is sharing with everyone what may be working for YOU, regardless of what that means for anyone else. I’m so happy you have found a way of eating that satisfies you, keeps you energized for your workouts and simply makes you happy!

    There’s nothing better than that!

  • Matt February 15, 2010, 2:01 pm

    Great post! I try to eat vegetarian for a lot of meals simply because it is less expensive!

  • kirsten February 15, 2010, 2:05 pm

    Nice post, I love when you talk about vegetarianism is represented on blogs 😀 Congrats on going strong for 10 months and counting!!

  • Becky February 15, 2010, 2:05 pm

    I’m currently adapting Hal Higdon’s Half-Marathon training plan to suit my life as I train for my first half. So far, so good! A friend just gave me a booklet with a detailed outline of his marathon training plan for when I’m ready to take on that challenge.

  • Freya @ February 15, 2010, 2:06 pm

    Great answers, thanks for answering mine!! You said some really good points. I like the flexetarian idea – I’m trying out 2 or 3 days a week of being vegetarian, ever since I did it purely by accident. It seems to be working well 🙂
    Good idea about going to specialist restaurants too – that’s when it’d be useful to live near a city (darn country living lol)
    I didn’t realise BAKED BEANS had meat in them!? How does that work?
    Thanks again for giving such detailed answers, they came at the perfect time, as I’ve been considering the change for a while now!

    • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 2:07 pm

      some of the canned ones are just also made with pork for flavoring – i know american baked beans taste totally different than european ones.

  • Stacy February 15, 2010, 2:09 pm

    Let me try this again. If you google crock pot and beans, there are tons of links about cooking beans in the crock pot. It’s super easy (cheap!) and makes a ton. I just freeze what I don’t use.

  • Katie@ Two Lives, One Lifestyle February 15, 2010, 2:14 pm

    I’ve gone vegetarian a few times after reading Skinny B*tch and seeing Food, Inc. but seem to come back to being “flexitarian.” Thanks for answering all these questions though, I think the hardest part for me is going out or with family. I usually try to look for non-factory farmed meat and dairy.

  • Kailey (SnackFace) February 15, 2010, 2:22 pm

    I always love hearing others’ stories about why they went veg. For me, I’d never liked meat, even as a wee one. (But let’s be honest, I was never all that “wee.”) Then I did the vegan thang, which was awesome, but I found that there were things that I really, really wanted to eat–like cheese, yogurt and eggs–and I saw no sense in not allowing myself to eat something that I craved.

    How long do you see yourself blogging? Fo life?
    Do you feel guilty on days your don’t workout?
    Will you be attending the Living Like a College Student Summit in the spring at Ohio University?

    • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 2:26 pm

      i dont think i could hang very well at the LLACSS!! I would probably die of partying.

    • Megan @ Eat.Scrap.Run February 15, 2010, 3:21 pm

      Kailey – I spent four years at OU and I miss it so much! I can only imagine what the Living Like a College Student Summit is about at OU…lol

  • Kathleen February 15, 2010, 2:23 pm

    Great post! I recently became vegetarian (was pescatarian for a few months) and it is difficult sometimes but I am committed to sticking with it for all of the reasons you mentioned. I wanted to post to let you know I tried the sweet potato and black bean balls and they were SOOOOOO DELICIOUS! I dipped them in 365 Honey Mustard and I was in love. I have to make some extra with the leftover ingredients and freeze them. Making the recipe was part of my strategy to stay vegetarian-keep all of my meals interesting, much more interesting than meat would be to me. Also I encountered a little challenged at Charlie Brown’s over the weekend but was able to get something healthy and meat free-they had a pasta with roasted vegetables with a cream sauce and you could choose chicken or shrimp. I asked for no meat, double veggies fitnessista style. Plus I asked for the cream sauce in a separate container and was able to use way less and have a healthy, delicious and enjoyable meal!

    • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 2:24 pm

      oh yay! im glad you liked that recipe 🙂

  • whit @ whitinspired February 15, 2010, 2:24 pm

    Wow…you answered a lot! I’ve been meaning to watch Food Inc. ever since I read In Defense of Food but haven’t gotten around to it. I knew it was focused on factory farming and I think I’ve put it off because once I see it, I’m not going to be able to justify supporting the industry. Anyway, I do have a question about your life – specifcally your dogs. They are too cute, did you adopt them?

  • Hana February 15, 2010, 2:25 pm

    Hi there! I’m just a blog reader that has decided to finally delurk! You’re one of the blogs I frequent the most, mainly because you have such a positive attitude and find you to be a great role model. I’m a 17 year old high school senior, with a busy schedule that is too long to list! I was hospitalized with anorexia at 15 and have gone through recovery and restored myself to a healthy weight since then. However, I sometimes struggle with mindless overeating, usually snacking on cereal, things like that. I’m quite active, as I have been taking dance classes since I was 3. I take various classes 3-4 days a week, as well as teach dance 2 of those days. I’m also in my school’s showchoir and am choreographing 2 songs for the middle school musical. Given my background and lifestyle, I was wondering what advice you may have on controlling this occasional overeating. I usually struggle towards the nighttime and when I’m stressed out (which is often!) I’m about 5’2″ and 115 pounds, so I’m not overweight by any means(most of it is muscle anyway!) Sorry to write such a novel, but I just love your blog and think you are a great example of a normal, healthy person that is beautiful both inside and out! Thanks for continuing to show me that it’s alright to be human and have flaws, but still believe that I’m beautiful no matter what 🙂

    • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 2:27 pm

      thank you so much for your sweet comment 😉 i am glad you are in recovery and will answer your Q tomorrow mornin!!

  • The Hot and Fit February 15, 2010, 2:29 pm

    About the dry beans – I know that its good to let them sit in a bowl of water over night and then cook them. But I am too lazy. I always buy canned 😀

  • Megan @ Healthy Hoggin February 15, 2010, 2:30 pm

    Skinny Bitch was the book that got me to commit to being a vegetarian, too! In fact, I went jumped into a vegan diet immediately after reading it! However, I missed cheese so that didn’t last long. 😉

    My rule is that I don’t talk about my reasons for being a vegetarian while the people I’m talking to are eating meat! I don’t want to make them feel bad– or sick!

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels February 15, 2010, 2:31 pm

    Hey I totally didn’t know that about you starting after reading Skinny Bitch. That’s totally how I started too, although I eat very differently than they recommend in the book.

  • Jessica @ Fit Chick Wannabe February 15, 2010, 2:35 pm

    Great post! I was actually wondering some of those things myself, so I’m glad that you answered all those questions. 🙂

  • Island Girl Eats February 15, 2010, 2:37 pm

    Good Q&A’s! I really enjoyed reading all of them.

    I have a friend who always ‘grills(!!)’ me about why I am not a vegetarian. I don’t eat a lot of meat to begin with. Maybe once or twice a week? But at the same time, I still enjoy when I do have it. I am a total animal lover. I have read Skinny Bitch and cried when I read about how the animals are killed, how they sometimes miss the mark, animals being boiled while still alive – it is horrible to read these facts. But, I have eaten meat all of my life, and have obviously ignored the facts. I don’t feel that if I gave up meat that I would be saving hundreds of animals, because I really don’t eat that much meat. I would miss lamb and fillet mignon though!

    I have tried some of the ‘faux’ products, but have not found many to be that good.

    Your post really gives me something to think about. Perhaps one day, I too, will become a ‘No Meat Athlete’!!!!!

  • Amanda February 15, 2010, 2:38 pm

    Thanks for being so open and honest! I was just wondering if you ever feel guilty after a particularly indulgent day/night? I spent Valentine’s Day just drinking, eating, and lounging with my boyfriend. Although it was really great, I couldn’t help but feel guilty and a little stressed out. Thoughts?

  • Runeatrepeat February 15, 2010, 2:39 pm

    It depends on what type of beans you are cooking, but my mom taught me to soak them either overnight or while you’re at work. Season well while cooking – I used onions, garlic, S&P.
    And if you feel free to rinse them if you’re having tummy problems – it might help.

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg February 15, 2010, 2:39 pm

    Thanks for answering so many questions!!! It sounds like we have pretty similar views on many areas of the vegetarian issue 🙂

    And yes, Skinny Bitch scared the hell out of me too!

  • Noelle February 15, 2010, 2:42 pm

    Really great post! I’ve been vegetarian for over 4 years now, and have been now gearing towards a more vegan approach to eating simply because I do not agree with the factory farming industry. To be perfectly honest, I don’t know how people are able to enjoy something sensually with the INHUMANE practices in the industry. To say its disgusting is to put it too lightly.

    Anyhoo, I am almost finished reading “EATING ANIMALS” which has definitely been helpful in reinforcing my ethical beliefs. I would highly recommend this book! Its of course difficult to read, but so worth it.

  • Christie @ Honoring Health February 15, 2010, 2:45 pm

    I just wanted to respond to the person that asked about cooking beans from scratch. I do it at least 2 or 3 times per week. Here is my method.

    Rinse the beans and soak them in plenty of cold water in an uncovered pot, key being uncovered.

    After soaking, cook the beans in the crock pot with plenty of fresh water (no salt) for 6 to 8 hours depending on the size of the beans.

    Once they are cooked, add a healthy dose of salt and let them sit for a bit. Then drain them and freeze. Use them as you would canned.

  • Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place February 15, 2010, 2:47 pm

    great post! I recently watched Food, Inc., and it totally changed the way I see my food. I don’t think I will ever become a total vegetarian, but I’m mindful of how much meat I eat, and cut it out when I can.

  • Erin February 15, 2010, 2:51 pm

    You mentioned while you were visiting your mom that she’s a vegetarian, too. Was she one while you were growing up?

    Did you grow up eating similar to the way you eat now or differently? I find it difficult to break away from the one protein, one grain, one veggie meals that I was served growing up.

    Do you and your husband get to spend a lot of time together? Do you have a lot of the same interests?

    What do you think made your blog take off the way it did? I admit, I’m envious of your ability to express so much so succinctly.

    Have you always been interested in photography or is that something that started when you started the blog?

  • Corinne February 15, 2010, 2:51 pm

    I started taking up running last year for the first time, and since then have had reoccurring shin splints. I’ll be able to run medium distances for about a week, and then the next week I can’t run ten steps without pain. I have good shoes, ice my shins, etc. but they always come back. Any experience with this? Thanks!

  • Joey February 15, 2010, 2:52 pm

    great post! i learned a lot! 🙂

  • RhodeyGirl February 15, 2010, 2:53 pm

    Caitlin, do you ask at a restaurant if a soup is made with chicken broth? I know lots of vegetable based soups have chicken broth in them!

    My cousin is a vegetarian and one time she was gushing and gushing over how delicious this batch of stuffed grape leaves was, only to realize they were the MEAT ones (we make vegetarian and meat).

    • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 5:00 pm

      yes i asked if the soup was made with chicken broth – can be too sure!

  • M. February 15, 2010, 2:56 pm

    Do you eat eggs?
    Vegetarians don’t eat eggs or cheese right?

    • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 5:01 pm

      by definition, vegetarians can eat eggs or cheese – its vegans who abstain from all animal products!

  • june February 15, 2010, 2:57 pm

    thank you for answering about how to handle those that dont understand the vegetarian side of choice, because i have a few that would argue with a fence post and i just never know how to respond!!!

  • Gretchen February 15, 2010, 3:00 pm

    I’m glad to hear that you take a daily vitamin B supplement… I was raised a vegetarian and never thought much about it but I developed a slight vitamin B deficiency about a year and a half ago- nothing serious, but I had these sores on the sides of my mouth and my dentist told me to take vitamin B-12 so I started taking it every day and then the sores went away (random, right?). Don’t know why it took 22 years to catch up to me, but if it can happen to me I guess it can happen to anyone.

    Also… my friend who’s a hardcore weightlifter (like, hoping for the 2012 Olympics hardcore) recently informed me that you shouldn’t eat soy protein after a strength training workout because it raises your estrogen levels and doesn’t actually build and repair muscle the way that other types of protein will. I assume this is true- she has a strength coach and is now a strength coach herself, so she’s pretty well informed- but do you know any other information about this?

    • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 5:01 pm

      i have not read that! interesting. there are so many rumors about soy, but i bet she knows her stuff.

  • Katie @ Health for the Whole Self February 15, 2010, 3:08 pm

    Thank you for your HONESTY regarding the question of missing meat. I feel like many vegetarians do, and yet claim that they don’t miss it at all because they think it somehow makes their decision less authentic…or something. I think it’s great to say openly that yes, you do miss meat sometimes, and yet your decision to eat a vegetarian diet is more important than the occasional meat craving.

    Also, I’m with you on the protein thing. Most non-vegetarians get a lot more protein than they need on an average day; as long as you incorporate the foods you mentioned (beans, Greek yogurt, etc.) you can get plenty of protein without consuming meat products.

  • Samantha @ Mama Notes February 15, 2010, 3:12 pm

    Do you not eat salmon?? It is so good for you!

    I read that book and I thought it was awful 🙂 ha!

    • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 5:01 pm

      Nope…. Salmon counts as an animal to me!

  • Jessica February 15, 2010, 3:14 pm

    dry beans, soak overnight in water….
    no more tummy problems, then you can season them up any way you want to.

    • Cheryl H. February 15, 2010, 6:09 pm

      actually, after soaking the beans over night, drain the water and add fresh…that is supposed to help with the gaseous effect. It is one of my regular meatless meals and we don’t miss the addition of meats or meat based broths. I use lots of onion, garlic and then experiment with favorite herbs and seasonings. Enjoy!!!

  • Stephanie February 15, 2010, 3:24 pm

    Love the Q&A, and although I’m not vegetarian, after being pretty sick the past week or so (and having an upcoming tonsillectomy) and not being able to eat meat (or much of anything for that matter) I found that I didn’t miss it as much as I thought. I am really looking to make a conscious effort to cut down on my consumption & when I do eat meat to go for the local/organic products!

    As far as that dry beans question, it may be because dry beans prepared incorrectly can give you some serious tummy trouble (as little as 3 beans can do it!)… check out this article

  • Em February 15, 2010, 3:27 pm

    Regarding the meat cravings: I’ve been vegetarian for nearly ten years now and vegan for three of those. Meat, dairy, and eggs do not look like food to me anymore. The transitioning time was a little harder, but eventually it just becomes the way you eat.

    Also, ordering at restaurants becomes easier with practice. Most places have something vegetarian and modifying is your friend.

  • Emily February 15, 2010, 3:28 pm

    I agree about couch to 5K! I started the program in September, and it was a challenge, but I always looked forward to running, and it was the only newbie program that I could successfully finish. Of course, I strained my hamstring doing lunges in the first week of the Intro to Iron Pumping challenge, so now I’ve been off running for almost three weeks (for whatever reason, it is not healing well). I’m so scared all my work in C25K will have been for nothing! 🙁 Oh well, what can you do? It’s not like I can run on an injured hamstring!

    • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 5:02 pm

      aww im sorry you hurt yourself 🙁 rest rest rest!

  • Teacherwoman February 15, 2010, 3:34 pm

    Wow! Those were some great questions and I appreciated all your answers!

  • anonymous February 15, 2010, 3:39 pm

    Hi! I’ve been following your blog for a few months now. I just wanted to ask for some advice. It’s very cold, snowy and icey here and it’s impossible for my to go to the gym very day or even every few days because of my busy schedule. Do you have any ideas of a workout at home I can do without many equipments? I saw some strength moves that are helpful but I’m looking for a full blown workout that will get me sweating like I just ran 5 miles.

  • Carrie H February 15, 2010, 3:55 pm

    Would you kick a single horse to death (assuming it was possible — like the horse was tied up, but you personally had to kill it without any weapon but your own strength) to free every single human being Amnesty International has deemed wrongfully imprisioned in the entire world?

    (Have you ever read any Chuck Klosterman books? He presents some hypothetical questions like this one in his books to, well, I guess to get to know people, after asking them a very very EXTREME question.)

    • Carrie H February 15, 2010, 3:56 pm

      I don’t think you’ll be offended by that question, Caitlin, but to everyone — I don’t mean to be offensive at all! Just an interesting question my siblings and I have debated for several years now.

      • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 5:03 pm

        hehe i like debates like this. of course i would kick the horse to death – i believe we should help animals and not raise them in factory farms, but i also believe human souls are far more valuable than an animals. just my opinion!

        • Amanda February 15, 2010, 5:21 pm

          I agree. I was thinking the same thing before I read your response. I would probably cry the entire time, but I would do it.

        • Carrie H February 15, 2010, 5:24 pm

          I agree with both of you, and generally so do most people I’ve talked about this with, but let me tell you — this is a conversation that can go on for HOURS, like, in your parents’ basement from midnight to 3 a.m. on Christmas night or something. Or is that just my crazy family?

          Anyway, if you like debates like this one, google Klosterman questions to see some of the others. There are like 23 of them.

  • Sam February 15, 2010, 3:57 pm

    This is also about being veg but I’m really curious! Do you ever have dreams about eating meat? I am vegetarian and have dream all the time about it!

    • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 5:03 pm

      HAHAH good question! no i dont have dreams about eating meat… that would be so horrible! i think i would crack and have a steak if i dreamt about eating meat.

  • Gabriela February 15, 2010, 4:08 pm

    You really answered lots of questions, Caitlin.
    It´s so true that you´re an open book 😉
    I think it´s awesome of you to share such tiny details of your life with others. It helps lots of people!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,

  • John February 15, 2010, 4:08 pm

    I really enjoyed this post. I’ve thought about going vegetarian but am not ready. Still interesting learning about someone’s experience doing it.

  • Diana (Mymarblerye) February 15, 2010, 4:10 pm

    I need to read michael pollards book as well as the skinny bitch. I try not to eat that much red meat or any meat at is my downfall though.

    Question for tomorrow: If you had a REGULAR 8-5 job, how difficult would it be to have your lifestyle: blogging, training, loving on your hubby/doggies.

  • katie February 15, 2010, 4:13 pm

    I am a fellow vegetarian also and have been thinking lately about how I would like to raise my future children. If you were to have children would you raise them as vegetarians? Or would you closely monitor where/ how the meat you fed them was produced. Or will you allow them to make their own choice from the beginning? Also, if you were to have access to meat that was hormone free and ethically produced, would you go back to eating meat?

  • Cara February 15, 2010, 4:23 pm

    In response to EmpowerHealth, definitely soak the beans overnight, and cook them in FRESH water. It also really helps to add about an inch of Kombu (a type of seaweed) when cooking the beans, then taking it out at the end. Kombu is supposed to take away some of the starchy gassy properties that beans produce and make them easier to digest! I hope that helps!

  • Amy February 15, 2010, 4:25 pm

    Soaking the beans first will soften them up a bit more easily. Also, another tip for cooking dried beans is to add a piece of kombu to the pot. The kombu will help make the beans more digestible and lessen any tummy problems.

  • Monica @ Musings of the Granola Girl February 15, 2010, 4:25 pm

    Hey there! I’m also a vegetarian and while I already was one when I read Skinny Bitch (I started in middle school/early high school), it definitely resignated in me that I had made the right choice.
    I liked that you answered the question about soy because that’s something I’ve been trying to cut out of my diet lately (actually, I was vegan and reintroduced dairy to get rid of some of my soy intake)

    what’s your favorite veg meal?

  • Christine February 15, 2010, 4:25 pm

    Have you heard of Chi Running? I just started reading the book and it seems really interesting. The author, Danny Dreyer, is an ultra marathoner and hasn’t had an injury since 1998! If you haven’t read it I totally recommend it 🙂

    • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 5:06 pm

      I want to check it out! I’ve read reviews but haven’t read it myself.

  • Elizabeth February 15, 2010, 4:26 pm

    Just wanted to comment on one of the questions that Freya asked. The RDA for protein is actually .8g per kg of body weight. The only reason that someone would need to go over about 1.2g/kg body weight is if they are in a state of metabolic stress (severe trauma), they had a disease state that required more protein to stop catabolism, or they were about to undergo surgery/transplantation.
    Great post! Loved hearing more ideas for veggie meals

    • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 5:06 pm

      I thought that sounded a little high!

  • Jolene ( February 15, 2010, 4:28 pm

    I used extra firm tofu, and I have never pressed it. I didn’t even know you are supposed to do that. It is never wet, and always tastes good. I just cube it and throw it into a stirfry or bake it or whatever. Delish!!

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers February 15, 2010, 4:37 pm

    Great questions and great answers too! I love hearing why different people have gone vegetarian and how they deal with it in certain settings. I love knowing that I’m not the only one that goes back and forth between vegetarian and not. I usually skip the pressing step of tofu too- just pat it dry with a paper towel. (Mostly because I don’t plan in advance- but it turns out great!)

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) February 15, 2010, 4:45 pm

    Very interesting post! I found myself nodding and agreeing with a lot of what you were saying.
    And to Freya, who asked about protein. You mentioned we are supposed to get 1-2 grams of protein per lb, but it’s actually per kilogram; so we are supposed to get 1-2 grams per 2.2 pounds of body weight 🙂

  • Kt F @ ThroughTheFinish February 15, 2010, 4:50 pm

    I went a summer (2008) without eating meat. I’m not a big meat-eater anyway (anymore), so it wasn’t especially difficult for me. The biggest challenges came from eating with my family. I tried to cook my own foods to eat with them but it got tiring! I started eating meat again when I studied abroad, mostly so I could experience the food as well =) but I try to limit my meat intake to as little as possible. Plus, I don’t like the idea of “giving something up” completely… usually it makes me want it more!

  • Martha February 15, 2010, 5:00 pm

    Here’s a question, just for fun: Do you have any embarrassing fitness/exercise/training-related stories?

    • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 5:06 pm

      oh man… DO I. will ahre tomorrow.

      • Amanda February 15, 2010, 5:18 pm

        Code brown? LOL

        • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 5:19 pm

          hahah never heard it called code brown before.

  • Kylie February 15, 2010, 5:05 pm

    Just wanted to comment on this question –
    EmpowerHealth asked, “Is there a secret to cooking dry beans?! I always get an upset stomach after eating them and they come out so bland. I’ve been getting canned beans lately but I’d really like to get the hang of cooking dry beans as they are cheaper.”

    You are getting sick because you are not cooking them properly. Many beans need to be soaked overnight, then ALL beans and legumes need to be cooked. Boiling water for 40-60 minutes, depending on the bean. If you do not cook them enough they can be dangerous and WILL make you sick. I usually soak then cook 4 or 5 serves worth, then freeze them in a bit of water in snaplock bags so I have them ready made in the freezer for when I don’t have time or have not pre-soaked. Some legumes – like lentils, my favourite – do not need to be pre-soaked, but need to be boiled for a good 45 minutes before you can add them to recipes.
    Do a google search or some vegetarian cookbooks have the details on what needs to be pre-soaked and how long to cook everything for.

    • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 5:07 pm

      such good info!!

    • Amanda February 15, 2010, 5:17 pm

      I do the same thing with freezing them. I love it! Frozen black beans come in really handy to have around and they are so cheap this way!

    • Steph February 15, 2010, 11:39 pm

      This is SO important. I just came back to post this, but you did it for me 😉 Also: “Kidney beans are surprisingly easy to cook. After the beans have soaked for a sufficient amount of time, they should then be drained and rinsed thoroughly. The kidney beans should then be placed into a large pot, filled with hot water.

      The red kidney beans need to cook on medium for a minimum of one and a half hours up to two hours. This will lower the HAU levels and bring the beans to the ideal, soft yet firm texture. Ideally, the beans should squish easily between the tongue and the roof of the mouth with little effort.” – from Associated Content

  • Dynamics February 15, 2010, 5:11 pm

    My daughter is a new vegetarian and she is educating me. I look at labels a lot more now looking for those hidden things vegetarians should not have. Trident triple layer gum…GELATIN. Why would they put gelatin in their gum.

  • Angela (The Lady Loves to Eat) February 15, 2010, 5:15 pm

    great questions and answers!

  • Amanda February 15, 2010, 5:16 pm

    Oh dang, I thought of another vegetarian question I wanted to ask. Maybe you could just answer it here. What did you do with all the meat and meat containing foods that you had already purchased when you made the decision to go vegetarian. I have a freezer and pantry full of foods that have meat, animal broths, animal flavorings in them that I can’t decide what to do with.

    Part of me wants to throw them all away and be done with it, but I think throwing food away is terrible! Part of me just wants to eat it since I’ve already paid for it and just not buy anymore but I haven’t had meat in 3 weeks so I hate to go back. I can’t decide! Help! Some of the non-persiables I could donate, but I still have frozen chicken breast, porkchops, etc.

    • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 5:16 pm

      we gave it all to my neighbor harry! hahah good question.

  • Amanda February 15, 2010, 5:25 pm

    Bless your heart for sitting there answering all of our random questions!? Maybe its fun though … who knows.

    One thing I’m struggling with is oysters/mussels/clams/scallops. Not because I crave to eat them so badly, but because I barely consider them an “animal”. They have no brains. Therefore in my mind I don’t see them much differently than a plant. Which makes me want to include them in my diet. (And beside the fact they are delicious).

    What are your thoughts (or anyone elses if you wanna jump in) on this? I’m really on the fence with this one.

    • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 5:28 pm

      oh i will answer this tomorrow! this is a good one.

    • Carrie H February 15, 2010, 5:36 pm

      Oh man, last year from June-December I ate no meat or seafood at all, sort of as an experiment. The red meat/chicken/pork/etc. was no big deal for me, but the seafood was killer. I love the seafood you listed above, and real fish like salmon.

      Ultimately, this January, I decided I felt too limited and want to live and enjoy my life, so I added seafood back in. I could take or leave dairy and cheese, honestly, but I really just wanted to eat fish! I don’t eat it too often (like, less than once a week) but that is what felt right for me. I’m still doing my part in the ways I can, I think.

  • Dori February 15, 2010, 5:37 pm

    For the person saying beans upset her stomach, she should soak them in water for 8 hours before cooking them. That destroys the enzymes that cause gas.

  • Meredith @ Sweat Every Day February 15, 2010, 5:48 pm

    I am slowly becoming a veg again (I did it for a few years in high school) and I have recently re-read Skinny Bitch and I’m a huge fan of Michael Pollan and Food Inc. But one question I didn’t see addressed that I am trying to figure out for myself: how do you feel about eggs and dairy products?

  • Marie February 15, 2010, 5:51 pm

    Hi Caitlin – I have a question about refueling after working out. Lately, after intense cardio workouts, I feel so weak and fatigued. I work out in the morning before work and consume breakfast at my desk. However, on the train to work I feel terrible and just want to collapse. What is your rule for refueling (on the go) after intense work outs? Thanks 🙂

  • EmpowerHealth February 15, 2010, 6:00 pm

    Thank you all so much for your questions about the beans!!! I did not know to keep them uncovered (I’ve actually covered them a couple of times for reasons I don’t recall) and I have always soaked them but I will have to try the bay leaves and the Kombu as well as some more salt and pepper. Stephanie, thank you for the link too.

    I have the 15 bean bag and in particular I found trouble with the red beans though the canned red beans don’t give me trouble. I’ll get some of the suggested ingredients and give a go at the crock pot 🙂

    I love all of the information from everyone about being Vegetarian and just healthy overall, what a great support system!

  • Kayla February 15, 2010, 6:03 pm

    future questions:
    Have you ever dealt w/ disordered eating/bingeing?

    How did you become healthier (I know about your friend talking to you) but like how do you realize what you should/should not be eating? DId you google it, reading health magazine etc..?

  • Cheryl February 15, 2010, 6:09 pm

    You said you don’t count calories but did when you were losing weight. How many calories did you eat when you were losing weight?

  • Allison February 15, 2010, 6:16 pm

    Several Questions:

    How fast were you when you first started running?

    What are your long term fitness goals?

    Do you get competitive with other runners at races or do you focus on your own race?

    What is the Husband’s workout schedule like?

  • Lizzy February 15, 2010, 6:19 pm

    Thanks for answering my question! i love this post so much, and now i know atleast 10 more things i didnt know about vegetarianism before!

    I’m thinking about running my first marathon this year (i did my first half last year) what is your advice on kick starting my training process especially from going from half to full. also what are some good pre and post workout meals and such. i’m always wondering what people eat before and after to fuel and refuel.

    Thanks so much Caitlin! 🙂

  • Cheryl H. February 15, 2010, 6:24 pm

    My question ~~ you say you are moving to Charlotte for family and business reasons, but I am wondering how you feel about leaving your friendships in Florida? Are you going to be living closer to your families (I do realize that you will be closer to your mom, but was wondering why Charlotte)? Also, what about your husband’s career plans, how does that fit into your move? I am just really curious, because I have never moved further than 15 miles from where I grew up ~ staying close to family and friends.

    I also, I really love Operation Beautiful; can’t wait for the book. I read about it in an article in my local newspaper and have been a follower ever since. Thanks for the motivation to end fat talk. I also love Healthy Tipping Point for the fitness factor ~ it has helped me with my food and fitness goals. THANKS!!

  • Cassie February 15, 2010, 6:36 pm

    i love love love your blog, so much so that i’ve started one of my own. how did you first start telling people (friends, family, hubby) about your blog? it almost seems easier for me to let strangers read it than my own family and friends! i’m afraid of them thinking i’m crazy/nerdy/boring or also a failure if i stop blogging at all.

  • Anita February 15, 2010, 6:50 pm

    Another good meaty alternative is a grilled portobello mushroom. Marinated and served on a crusty whole-grain bun with some coarse-ground mustard…just as good as a hamburger! Sliced onto a salad, stir-fried…you name it! And they’re cheap at Sam’s Club to boot! : )

  • Tracy February 15, 2010, 7:15 pm

    I’m training for a marathon right now and missed my first long run this past weekend…(I’m about 8 or 9 weeks into an 18 week training plan). Did you miss any long runs and if so do you feel that it hindered your training? (I missed a 13 miler).

    Thanks for ALL of your help/effort. I love love love your blog!

  • Janessa from February 15, 2010, 7:20 pm

    The secret to beans: soak soak soak! If you soak your beans overnight, or at least several hours, it gets rid of the starches that makes people gassy.

  • Maria February 15, 2010, 7:20 pm

    How did you fit in exercising when working in an office environment?

    I am having a hard time adjusting from college life to being in an office. By the time I get home I am absolutely exhausted, and doing it in the morning is pretty much not an option for me.

  • ari February 15, 2010, 7:24 pm

    i would love to see a guest post from your husband about his spiritual beliefs and chinese medicine! i think it would be really interesting.

  • Nicole, RD February 15, 2010, 7:24 pm

    Awesome questions…and answers!

  • Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope February 15, 2010, 7:32 pm

    I just want to say that I love your blog and I think it is great how attentive and pro-active you are. It seems like you always try to make the effort to answer questions, even if small. i know a lot of the popular bloggers who do not answer questions (probably bc they get so many), so thank you!

    • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 7:34 pm

      i do try, so thank you!

  • Liza February 15, 2010, 7:41 pm

    HEy Caitlin!! Do you plan on having kids one day? Do you plan on running another marathon? How often do you work out?

  • 'laina February 15, 2010, 7:51 pm

    I decided to do Kris Carr’s 21-day Vegan Kickstart last January, and did pretty well. I didn’t cheat and eat meat, eggs, or dairy at all, though I had a few incidents where the bfriend or a restaurant would prepare my veggies with real butter. 🙁 Anyway, after the challenge I went back to meat and dairy and I have never felt worse in my life. I’m run-down, constipated again, and gained the 5 lbs I lost over 3 weeks back in like 3 days. I’m ready to go back to being vegan, but I’m having a hard time finding cookbooks and googling recipes that are soy/tofu-free (personal preference). I was wondering if your veg readers can recommend any soy/tofu-free cookbooks?

    P.S. there’s another challenge coming up March 1st, in case anyone is interested:

    • 'laina February 15, 2010, 7:53 pm

      Oops, meant to ask for soy/tofu-free VEGAN cookbooks. Thanks!

    • Steph February 15, 2010, 11:44 pm

      I am sorry I don’t have any recommendations for cook books, but my husband and I try to eat less soy and tofu as well, and we found this “sausage” at Whole Foods. They make different flavours ALL made out of veggies. Our fave is Tomato, but they also make a Mushroom one. I don’t know the brand name, but you can find it in the veggie refrigerated section.
      Also, I believe Quorn products are made with mushrooms and not soy?

      • Caitlin February 16, 2010, 7:54 am

        I dont have any good cookbook recommendations either 🙁 I’m sorry!!

  • Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope February 15, 2010, 7:53 pm

    Here is my question…
    Have you seen this video:

    aaah, it is hilarious. pretty much once a day one of the quotes ends up in convo between my boyfriend and I

    • Caitlin February 16, 2010, 7:55 am


  • Lauren February 15, 2010, 8:05 pm

    I had pretty much the exact same lunch! Weird! 🙂

  • Jill February 15, 2010, 8:07 pm

    My question is about the mental side of training for a marathon or any other difficult workout. I love working out (I regularly do some combo of running, Pilates, and CrossFit 5 or 6 days a week), but I find that I really have to kick my own butt off the couch everyday and then when I am in the midst of a run or a CrossFit workout I feel like I want to quit early, I talk myself out of going the full distance, etc. I know that I can physically finish my workout, but I have a terrible time with pushing myself to my limit. I always feel fantastic AFTER a workout (especially a vigorous, sweaty one!) but it’s a real mental struggle getting there. I guess my question is do you have any tips, hints, psychological tricks to beat this?

  • sarah (the SHU box) February 15, 2010, 8:15 pm

    as a ‘conscious flexitarian’ (ha, i just made that up) i really appreciated this balanced and fact-focused post! (which does not surprise me coming from you!). i really liked the part about not judging meat eaters, but being judgmental about the system (which i agree is 100% broken, and bad).

    here’s a random ?: what magazines do you subscribe to? i love magazines and am always looking for recs.

  • Diana February 15, 2010, 8:37 pm

    I bet you could cook dry beans pretty easily in the slow cooker. Though I think Kath learned that there is one that you cant cook in slow cookers b/c it’s toxic. Yikes!

  • Morgan February 15, 2010, 9:05 pm

    Being vegetarian these days is fairly normal-which is awesome! I remember when I was vegetarian in college, I was ridiculed by everyone about my choice. I didn’t care, but I couldn’t understand why they cared so much about what I ate!!!

    Anyway, Caitlin, I’m going to email you some nifty vegetarian recipes for you to try. They are kinda out of the box vegetarian, but nonetheless, they are fantastic!

    • Amanda February 16, 2010, 12:10 am

      Would you send them to me also? My email address is


    • Caitlin February 16, 2010, 7:56 am

      thank you!

  • jessica February 15, 2010, 11:03 pm

    This post was awesome, Caitlin! So informative and helpful. I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind answering a question I have that I didn’t have a chance to ask this morning. I have no problem giving up meat because of many of the same reasons that you list – mainly factory farming. However, this debate doesn’t stand true when I apply it to wild caught fish. I only eat wild caught fish and to me catching a fish in its natural habitat in the wild is the most “ethical” way for something to enter the food chain. So I am wondering what your thoughts are here or anyone else that is vegetarian? For now I consider myself a pescatarian so I am interested in some other thoughts on the matter.

  • Steph February 15, 2010, 11:28 pm

    I LOVED reading these questions! You said exactly what I would have recommended to someone thinking about going vegetarian – flexitarian! My husband and I have been incorporating eating vegan/vegetarian whether it be restaurants or at home. I saw Food, Inc recently and we just started talking about how disgusting and despicable the state of our food industry is.
    He decided to go veggie after our europe trip in a few weeks, and I decided to as well though I will continue to eat fish (pescatarian?). We may make occasional exceptions on holidays for family, but hope to stick mostly to veggie/pescatarian. It took us a while to get where we are where we are comfortable giving meat up, but with all the options out there – it’s easier than ever! MY fave meat replacement is Quorn Chicken (not the strips).

    • Steph February 15, 2010, 11:47 pm

      Oh I also wanted to add that I told my doctor I was considering going vegetarian. I was so happy with how supportive she was.
      She told me the protein issue is pretty overblown with most doctors and that I should take calcium and Vitamin B supplements , but that I should be perfectly fine and healthy! Seems to be in line with what your FIL told you!

  • Marie February 16, 2010, 12:07 am

    I’m not sure it’s good to post your weight alongside a daily calorie count without also posting your height and body frame size. A person’s appropriate weight and caloric intake will vary depending not their height and frame – the right amount calories for someone who is 5’4” and has a small frame might be different than for someone who is 5’9” and has a large frame, or even someone who’s 5’4” with a large frame. I know that by posting your calorie intake you’re posting what works for you and are not intended as guidelines for everyone, but since so many people are asking for nutritional advice, it might be a good idea to add those extra details.

    • Caitlin February 16, 2010, 7:57 am

      good point (i posted my weight because that’s important to know when asking someone’s caloric intake). i am a shorty – i’m only 5 ft 3.

  • Sam (Healthy Lunch Ideas) February 16, 2010, 12:31 am

    Beans Beans Beans!!!

    I highly recommend dried beans from Rancho Gordo.

    Here’s a post I wrote recently about tasty things to do with beans on The Second Lunch:

    And over at Wasabimon, Steph has a great tutorial about dried beans:

  • Maura February 16, 2010, 12:37 am

    I am dying to know how long it took your blog to be “what it is.” With just starting my blog in Jan, I know that I will need to be patient to see when or even IF it becomes a big success. Actually, it IS successful in that it has made me so happy to be writing and sharing with others, no matter how big or small the audience is. But I do have a strong desire to write a wildly successful blog from a mass reach standpoint, I’m curious as to when HTP blew up and how. Thank ya Caitlin!

  • Olga @ Healthing It February 16, 2010, 1:41 am

    When you’re out on a run, do you think about something specific, let your mind wonder or just zone out to the music? Just curious!

  • Lauren February 16, 2010, 2:28 am

    Do you get menstrual cramps when you exercise? How do you deal with them? I always do and use them as an excuse to not work out, which isn’t okay with me anymore. You’re inspiring me to run–thanks for being so sweet 🙂

  • Spitfire February 16, 2010, 7:05 am

    Hello! I was wondering; What songs do you listen to when you run? Love your blog!!! 🙂

  • MJ [dubai dossier] February 16, 2010, 7:09 am

    This is really great. I really appreciate your honesty when talking about vegetarianism. And that yeah, the convenience of cooking fish or chicken is something that’s hard to give up. I eat mostly veg but fish is always my downfall.

  • eliza February 16, 2010, 8:46 am

    Was wondering if you ever eat anything after you were full..purely for the taste.
    I am having trouble with this and need some good advice!!

    • Caitlin February 16, 2010, 8:55 am

      the answer is yes 🙂 and i kind of answered this in the morning post about mindless eating, check it out!

  • Monica February 16, 2010, 9:30 am

    So calcium supplements…how much and what type does your “holistic-father-in-law” doctor recommend? This is probably the biggest thing I still need to do/work on with the whole vegetarian thing. 🙂 I worry I’m not getting enough but don’t really know how much is enough…

  • Monica February 16, 2010, 10:11 am

    Thank you!! 🙂

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople February 16, 2010, 10:58 am

    I think I’m different when it comes to being a veggie, because my whole reason for not eating meat is because the taste and texture of meat is DISGUSTING! I have thought so since I was a kid. My parents would get really mad because I just couldn’t stomach the dinners they’d make. But I was an unhealthy vegetarian for years basically living on bread and cheese because my parents weren’t veggie people. They just can’t understand that to me, meat is the grossest thing ever.

    Now I just feel glad and lucky because I don’t ever have to deal with craving it!

  • Melissa (Getting Fit If It Kills Me) February 16, 2010, 4:06 pm

    Your reasons for becoming a Vegetarian are so much like mine. I just watched “Food Inc.” last week, which my husband pretty much ignored by sticking his face into a book. Ignorance is bliss, right? And now I’m finishing up with “Skinny Bitch.” Although I don’t agree with everything the gals say, they do have a lot of good suggestions and points. And they are hysterical (I don’t mind the bad language)! I was a Vegetarian for a little over a year back in 2001-2002 and this time around I’m thinking it will be even easier because there are so many more options out there, both in restaurants and at the stores.

  • Lorin April 12, 2010, 12:46 am

    Hi, I just commented on your most recent post and since I found this page, you don’t have to answer it. I just read skinny bitch and that’s what also got me to switch to be a vegetarian, it was mostly all those quotes from the workers that got to me. I liked the book though, but like you said, I didn’t really agree with some of it.

    • Caitlin April 12, 2010, 9:21 am

      It’s a good book to take at what value YOU’RE comfortable with, ya know?

  • Julia @ May 26, 2010, 7:46 am

    Thanks again Caitlin – another super useful post for me before I try to go veggie on Monday. I love the ideas for eating at a friend’s house and also avoiding difficult questions.


  • eve July 15, 2011, 4:12 pm

    Hi Catelin

    i just wanted to ask you, what time of day do you recommend is the best for running? Id like to run in the am and get it out of the way but never have enough energy to do much in the evening I run so much easier tho, any suggestions?

    • Caitlin July 15, 2011, 4:13 pm

      studies show there is no better time to exercise, just do what works best for you!

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