Hello from Maine! - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 04-07-2015, 10:25 AM
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Hello from Maine!

Hi there! Just wanted to introduce myself!
My name is Megan and I just completed the 21 Day Vegan Challenge! I decided to do it cold turkey and did not ease into Vegan-ism (as some people recommended). I live in Maine, so no, there are not a lot of options so mostly I cook at home.
Would love to exchange recipes, or if anyone has tips for a Vegan starting out, I would greatly appreciate it!
So far I'm doing well! I haven't cheated a single time and have found this to be a lot easier than I imagined.
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#2 Old 04-07-2015, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan Davis View Post
Hi there! Just wanted to introduce myself!
My name is Megan and I just completed the 21 Day Vegan Challenge! I decided to do it cold turkey and did not ease into Vegan-ism (as some people recommended). I live in Maine, so no, there are not a lot of options so mostly I cook at home.
Would love to exchange recipes, or if anyone has tips for a Vegan starting out, I would greatly appreciate it!
So far I'm doing well! I haven't cheated a single time and have found this to be a lot easier than I imagined.
Hi Megan, I'd say make sure you get variety in the food groups. A variety of veg, fruit, pulses, nuts, seeds, grains etc. When you buy and cook vegetables, think about the different parts of the plants - roots (beets, potatoes etc), leaves, stems and add them all to your diet. Juicing gets you a higher nutrient content for the volume so is a nice boost and smoothies are varied and you can eat things that you might not normally like with some fruit and not know it's even there. Also, no matter how good your diet, you'll feel much better with a combination of good food and exercise. It's then when you really notice the difference of being a vegan - you'll find you have more energy than you would normally have. This site is good. https://cronometer.com/ Just enter the foods you eat and it'll tell you what nutrients you are getting (roughly) so you can see where you might need to balance. Hope that helps. Any questions feel free to contact me
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#3 Old 04-07-2015, 02:39 PM
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Thank you very much! I will definitely look into that website! It is just what I need!
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#4 Old 04-07-2015, 05:43 PM
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Welcome Megan! That is awesome that you made the transition so quickly! Yeah! I did it too, overnight, and have never looked back!

I was already a health nut lol, and cooked a lot of food from scratch before, but going vegan opened up a whole new culinary world for me and was and is incredibly exciting! I poured over cookbooks (mostly from the library or I would write down recipes and tips etc from cookbooks at the bookstore instead of actually buying them but I do have about 12 cookbooks at home now ranging from all raw vegan to baking to crockpot recipes and in between lol). Having a huge repertoire and understanding just how much I could eat as a vegan blew me away. I am still never bored years later. I think really learning how to cook vegan style is important for maintaining this lifestyle. You learn to prepare foods ahead when you are busy, and get creative when you can't find stuff. I make my own vegan mayonnaise because I don't like the commercial stuff. Instead of butter on toast, I might have applesauce or hummus or homemade sunflower butter or a white bean dip. If I am grilling a sandwich (I often make homemade bread) I might use coconut oil. I discovered avocado to make homemade pesto (also excellent on toast) and to make chocolate frosting or pudding. Instead of mourning for Greek yogurt I used to eat years ago, I learned about tofu pudding for a thick creamy consistency that is not too sweet and is loaded with protein and calcium and iron. And also, learning to appreciate whole food for what it is and it's own taste and texture, not as an imitation for something else.

My first two years I rarely bought processed imitation foods. I had had a dairy intolerance for years before going vegan and I was even scared of vegan cheese lol. But I fell in love with nutritional yeast blended with almond milk and sweet potato and spices for a cheese sauce over baked potatoes and/or veggies etc. I learned to base my proteins on dried beans and whole grains and seeds. I experimented with millet, brown rice, wild rice, buckwheat and oat groats, quinoa, couscous, bulgur wheat. I can make a mean taco filling with bulgur wheat, red lentils, and taco seasonings. I couldn't tolerate tofu for a few years but would eat tempeh on occasion (I love it sliced with saurkraut and cabbage in a sandwich). I even learned to make my own plant milks by blending flaxseed and water and dates or almonds and water etc. I think that not relying on a lot of processed imitation foods and not thinking of it as substituting for "real" food really helped me rethink the whole nutrition and plate thing.

Social aspects can be harder simply because we are still very much outnumbered by omnivores and most of them still do not understand what vegan means and that it is not this terribly depriving lifestyle they think it is. I poured over books on ethics, animal rights, environmental benefits of being vegan, and so on to help me better understand this movement and why it is so important to me, and to be able to articulate better to others what it is all about. I was very quiet about it my first few months until I had the hang of things and felt more comfortable with my choice and lifestyle. Then I was able to open up. I was a bit preachy at first and I think that turned some people off and I had to learn to tone it down a bit and to be more positive about it and focus on the good things about veganism, not the horrors of factory farming. Having a strategy in place on how to deal with eating out or informing coworkers about being vegan etc helps a lot to minimize uncomfortable situations. I brought countless vegan dishes to work to share with coworkers, and once they found the courage to try them, they were surprised at how good vegan dishes can be and I had people asking for recipes! Sharing vegan food is always good.

It took me a bit longer to replace all other animal derived clothing, toiletries etc but once i did that too has become second nature. I thought going vegan was a great opportunity for me to get rid of all the chemical laden household cleaners and hairsprays etc I had and learn to live in a way that impacts the environment less and is much simpler.

I hope you find lots of great support here and continue to thrive on your vegan journey! There are lots of great recipes on Veggieboards so be sure to check those out too!

In the end, only kindness matters. - Jewel



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#5 Old 04-07-2015, 11:13 PM
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W e l c o m e


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My usual answer: I have never heard a convincing reason to eat meat.
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