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#1 Old 03-05-2016, 11:22 AM
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Talking A New Vegan

Hello everyone I am very new to veganism... as most of the people here and I'm kind of concerned here are a few questions:
1: Should I contact my pediatrician and talk to her about my vegan lifestyle to make sure I'll be healthy.

2: What kind of food should I buy? I already bought oranges, apples, watermelon, lettuce, onions, bok choy, and carrots. Is that enough?

3: Do you take supplements?

4: How do you handle meat cravings?

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#2 Old 03-05-2016, 12:00 PM
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Greens are very very important. I recommend kale! 😉

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#3 Old 03-05-2016, 12:01 PM
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If you have meat cravings, make your own. There's a lot of "meat" recipes online. Even vegan cheese and meatloaf!
Good luck!!

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#4 Old 03-05-2016, 12:24 PM
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Hello PixelaidPanda!
I would ask what your doctor thinks about veg diets before telling them you're doing it or even thinking about that. Many doctors sadly know little about nutrition, even today, even though just about every health agency endorses them as being as good or better than omnivorous diets

It is very important to know you're getting good nutrition, whatever your diet. A meat egg dairy diet is so 'normal' that most people don't even think about they eat. Once you switch everyone will have something to criticize--don't give that chance. Vegetarian and vegan diets can provide you with everything you need, along with fortified B12-the only one you won't get in an all plant based diet.

Add some beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, whole grains, nut butters, fat free refried beans, salsa, Just Mayo, hummus, tofu, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, peppers, pasta, greens..... maybe non dairy milk?

As for cravings, I've never craved 'meat', but I certainly have craved foods that I used to have a lot, or just really really liked that were meat. Like reuben sandwiches. Loved those, and for so long I couldnt come up with a good sub. I finally found that vegan deli slices, or seitan, worked perfectly when grilled with sauerkraut, Daiya cheddar shreds, vegan mayo with ketchup and relish, on good rye bread.

There are so many delicious vegan things- like Gardein fishless fillets, seven grain nuggets, they have a very 'beefy' burger as well. Beyond Meat has feisy beefy crumbles- good in tacos, Mexican pizza, regular beefy crumbles too. Boca has vegan chicken patties i love-both spicy and plain. Morningstar has a BBq riblet thats surprisingly good
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#5 Old 03-05-2016, 12:30 PM
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I suggest getting tested for vitamin D, iron, and B's.
Vegan do need to supplement B12, which is cheap and only every day. Most non dairy milks are fortified.
A morning smoothie with things like some silken tofu, nut butters, or avocado, fruit and even some greens is a good way to start your day

http://www.mercyforanimals.org/files/VSG.pdf
http://www.veganhealth.org/

how do your parents react to your decision? Do they support you?
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#6 Old 03-05-2016, 07:15 PM
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Welcome.
I'm really new to veganism, too. The other posters have given you good answers.
With a vegan diet, B12 supplementation is needed. I take a multi vitamin/mineral supplement for women over 50.
So far, I haven't had meat cravings, and found meat substitutes, well, unappealing.
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#7 Old 03-05-2016, 09:22 PM
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Do you really need to take B12? I did a lot of research on this and found that the body naturally produced enough B12 on its own. People over 50 may need to take it because they may have a harder time producing it. Humans get it from their own gut bacteria. People with the deficiency often have digestive problems like Crohn's, celiac, and so on.

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#8 Old 03-05-2016, 09:23 PM
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B12 is also from coenzymes on the human body.

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#9 Old 03-05-2016, 09:24 PM
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I've know a lot of vegans that have no problem with B12 and don't take the supplement.

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#10 Old 03-06-2016, 03:08 AM
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Originally Posted by SitaYunxin View Post
I've know a lot of vegans that have no problem with B12 and don't take the supplement.

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It is recommended to take a supplement if vegan. Deficiencies can take years to develop, usually showing symptoms five or so years after the B12 deficiency becomes symptomatic. Irreversible nerve damage can occur due to a B12 deficiency. Supplements are easy to find, inexpensive, and tiny.
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#11 Old 03-06-2016, 06:42 AM
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Get the carbs in to make sure you're getting enough energy, I recommend pasta, potatoes and rice to prevent you feeling tired.

Supplement b12 if you want to.
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#12 Old 03-06-2016, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by SitaYunxin View Post
Do you really need to take B12? I did a lot of research on this and found that the body naturally produced enough B12 on its own. People over 50 may need to take it because they may have a harder time producing it. Humans get it from their own gut bacteria. People with the deficiency often have digestive problems like Crohn's, celiac, and so on.
See the links. It's not in whole plant foods.
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Originally Posted by SitaYunxin View Post
B12 is also from coenzymes on the human body.
I don'y know what you're referring to, unless you're confused with it's absorbtion-http://www.veganhealth.org/b12/dig

Quote:
Originally Posted by SitaYunxin View Post
I've know a lot of vegans that have no problem with B12 and don't take the supplement.
It takes years to become deficient in b12, and it's symptoms mimic other issues. If you start a whole foods plant based diet it can take many years to deplete your bodies stores
http://vegetariannutrition.net/docs/...-Nutrition.pdf
B12 is fortified in most non dairy milks, some cereals, SOME nutritional yeasts and other packaged foods, so unless they're only eating whole foods it's likely they're getting B12. Just having a cup of fortified non dairy milk-daily- is likely enough
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Originally Posted by SteveW View Post
Get the carbs in to make sure you're getting enough energy, I recommend pasta, potatoes and rice to prevent you feeling tired.

Supplement b12 if you want to.
Take B12! You won't get it from a whole food plant based diet!
http://nutritionfacts.org/?s=B12
https://www.vegansociety.com/resourc...ut-vitamin-b12
http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/vitaminb12

B12 itself is vegan. If gotten daily, you need a very little, if you skip days you need incrementally much more. I supplement because I don't feel I get fortified foods regularly enough, it's cheap, it's a small tablet that dissolves under my tongue, I take it every other day.
If you have ANY thought of becoming pregnant as a vegan you better supplement.
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#13 Old 03-06-2016, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by SitaYunxin View Post
Do you really need to take B12? I did a lot of research on this and found that the body naturally produced enough B12 on its own. People over 50 may need to take it because they may have a harder time producing it. Humans get it from their own gut bacteria. People with the deficiency often have digestive problems like Crohn's, celiac, and so on.

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I know a lot of vegans don't but most do.

You can probably get enough from fortified things like soy if you wanted to but most people find it easier to take a supplement.

I take one whenever I remember, usually every 3 days.
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#14 Old 03-07-2016, 04:10 AM
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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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#15 Old 03-07-2016, 12:15 PM
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It is recommended to take a supplement if vegan. Deficiencies can take years to develop, usually showing symptoms five or so years after the B12 deficiency becomes symptomatic. Irreversible nerve damage can occur due to a B12 deficiency. Supplements are easy to find, inexpensive, and tiny.
I saw my doctor today and he said that we should be producing enough naturally without taking supplements but some of us damaged our bodies over the years and it might be more difficult for some to absorb it if you weren't vegan in the past. He said to just take blood tests every few months and just watch the B12 levels. Take it if you need it.

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#16 Old 03-07-2016, 03:16 PM
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^I would seriously run from a doctor who would dispense that advice.
As we have stated, and provided many links, B12 is not found in any available form from any whole plant food. Your body does not make it's own, but it does store B12 for years before it gets depleted. The testing is complex, and I don't know of any insurance (assuming U.S.) that will cover more than one test yearly. I would doubt national health care would consider that either. But that's not even what scares me as much as how cheap, easy, and safe it is to either supplement and/or eat fortified foods, as well as the consequences of someone following that advice while eating whole foods, plant based.

What kind of doctor are you seeing?
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#17 Old 03-07-2016, 03:17 PM
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@SitaYunxin - I challenge you to find any research to support your doctors advice
It's that kind of thinking that gives vegans a bad rep
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#18 Old 03-07-2016, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by SitaYunxin View Post
Do you really need to take B12? I did a lot of research on this and found that the body naturally produced enough B12 on its own. People over 50 may need to take it because they may have a harder time producing it. Humans get it from their own gut bacteria. People with the deficiency often have digestive problems like Crohn's, celiac, and so on.

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You really need B12. It can take years to actually take a toll, but you shouldn't risk it, because we could be talking about eye or brain health, serious problems. There's no reason you should not supplement with B12...maybe the vegans you know who don't take it simply haven't been vegan very long, or else they get it from fortified soy milk, nutritional yeast and fortified cereals instead of taking a pill.
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#19 Old 03-07-2016, 05:50 PM
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Hi and welcome!

2) I recommend you invest in quinoa, a tasty rice, whole grain or quinoa pasta and whole grain bread so you're getting maximum nutrition from grains. Quinoa especially is a complete protein. You also should learn to make dishes with beans, tofu, nuts, or nut butters, as well as eating yummy veggies and fruits. Some basic cooking items to keep are a good cooking oil, then some flavor or nutrition oil like sesame and cold flax. Herbs, spices and condiments will add variety to these basic combinations of foods.

4) Handle meat cravings with savory tofu recipes, mock meats like Tofurky, or Gardein Fishless filets. If you get adequate fats and protein, meat cravings will be mostly psychological. Good iron sources are beans, tofu, and black strap molasses, as well as kale, and broccoli, which will cover you on that front.

I always try to keep things like lemon or limes to add flavor to recipes, while adding vitamin C helps your body absorb iron. For example a kale salad with a little oil and lemon or lime juice...or a bean dish which includes a dressing or salsa containing lime or tomatoes.
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#20 Old 03-07-2016, 07:46 PM
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Every single mainstream vegan and vegetarian organization recommends that we take a vitamin B12 supplement.

The Vegan Society recommends that we take a B12 supplement: https://www.vegansociety.com/resourc...ut-vitamin-b12

The North American Vegetarian Society recommends that we take a B12 supplement: https://www.navs-online.org/nutritio...lingblocks.php

The Vegan Society of New Zealand recommends that we take a B12 supplement: http://vegansociety.org.nz/Blogs/Reg...al-vegan-facts

The vegan Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine recommends that we take a B12 supplement: http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/veg...getting-enough


Yes, there are some vegan bloggers, and some self-proclaimed health gurus, who claim that B12 supplementation is unnecessary. However, these individuals go against the recommendations of every reputable vegan organization. We must supplement with vitamin B12.

Here are recommended doses for B12 supplementation: http://www.veganhealth.org/b12/rec

Vitamin B12 pills are tiny, inexpensive, and can be found at any pharmacy (or chemist, as they say in the UK). They even make cherry-flavored chewable ones.
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“Under the twinkling trees was a table covered with Guatemalan fabric, roses in juice jars, wax rose candles from Tijuana and plates of food — Weetzie's Vegetable Love-Rice, My Secret Agent Lover Man's guacamole, Dirk's homemade pizza, Duck's fig and berry salad and Surfer Surprise Protein Punch, Brandy-Lynn's pink macaroni, Coyote's cornmeal cakes, Ping's mushu plum crepes and Valentine's Jamaican plantain pie."

from Witch Baby, Francesca Lia Block, 1991
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#21 Old 03-07-2016, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PixelaidPanda View Post
Hello everyone I am very new to veganism... as most of the people here and I'm kind of concerned here are a few questions:
1: Should I contact my pediatrician and talk to her about my vegan lifestyle to make sure I'll be healthy.

2: What kind of food should I buy? I already bought oranges, apples, watermelon, lettuce, onions, bok choy, and carrots. Is that enough?

3: Do you take supplements?

4: How do you handle meat cravings?

Hi PixelaidPanda,

You may contact your pediatrician regarding your diet, certainly. If you have a chronic health condition, then you should definitely let your physician know that you are changing your eating habits.

Mercy For Animals has a beautifully-done Vegetarian Starter Guide (it's actually vegan). It does a great job of explaining vegan nutrition (see page 7), and it shows very easy meal ideas on pages 11-13: http://www.mercyforanimals.org/files/VSG.pdf

This guide is appropriate for older teens, and for adults. It is not appropriate for younger teens, or children. What is your age?

In addition to the healthy foods that you've already bought, you'll also want to buy legumes (beans, peas, lentils, and/or canned vegetarian chili that contains beans), and whole grains (whole wheat pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, etc.). See the Vegetarian Starter Guide for more information.

It is recommended that vegans take a vitamin B12 supplement and a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D2 is vegan. Vitamin D3 is not always vegan. Either will work.

To avoid meat cravings, (1) focus on favorite foods that don't contain much meat, such as pasta, burritos, cereal, and soup, and (2) substitute vegan burger patty crumbles into these foods. If you like whole grain cereal (oatmeal, shredded wheat), it's perfectly find to include these at every meal, including lunch and dinner.

_________

“Under the twinkling trees was a table covered with Guatemalan fabric, roses in juice jars, wax rose candles from Tijuana and plates of food — Weetzie's Vegetable Love-Rice, My Secret Agent Lover Man's guacamole, Dirk's homemade pizza, Duck's fig and berry salad and Surfer Surprise Protein Punch, Brandy-Lynn's pink macaroni, Coyote's cornmeal cakes, Ping's mushu plum crepes and Valentine's Jamaican plantain pie."

from Witch Baby, Francesca Lia Block, 1991
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#22 Old 03-08-2016, 02:44 PM
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I'm 17! Thank you all for your replies!
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#23 Old 03-08-2016, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SitaYunxin View Post
I saw my doctor today and he said that we should be producing enough naturally without taking supplements but some of us damaged our bodies over the years and it might be more difficult for some to absorb it if you weren't vegan in the past. He said to just take blood tests every few months and just watch the B12 levels. Take it if you need it.

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The body produces no B12 on its own. Either you misunderstood him, or he's a quack. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-Consumer/

"Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep the body's nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Vitamin B12 also helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak.

Two steps are required for the body to absorb vitamin B12 from food. First, hydrochloric acid in the stomach separates vitamin B12 from the protein to which vitamin B12 is attached in food. After this, vitamin B12 combines with a protein made by the stomach called intrinsic factor and is absorbed by the body."
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#24 Old 03-08-2016, 06:06 PM
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The body produces no B12 on its own. Either you misunderstood him, or he's a quack. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-Consumer/

"Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep the body's nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Vitamin B12 also helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak.

Two steps are required for the body to absorb vitamin B12 from food. First, hydrochloric acid in the stomach separates vitamin B12 from the protein to which vitamin B12 is attached in food. After this, vitamin B12 combines with a protein made by the stomach called intrinsic factor and is absorbed by the body."
I keep hearing mixed things everywhere about B12. "You need to take it." "You shouldn't have to take it." "You 'might' have to take it." That's why I went to see my doctor but man... It got me more confused.
I've been reading about it from different doctors and it's so frustrating. I'm taking the supplement about once or twice a week just so I'm safe but take blood tests to observe how I'm doing.
I am a new vegan. I was vegetarian for a few years before so I believe vegans that HAVE been vegan for years longer would know better. They could share their experiences or knowledge and that's awesome of them to do so. I don't know why there's so much mixed talk about B12 but to end things I wanted to say thanks for saying what you believe is true. I so take it consideration. I'm not a doctor but I just look for answers from everyone. I appreciate everything everyone says and won't be ignorant. Its great how involved people get to help newbies like me here. I definitely wouldn't want to give out false information to people.

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#25 Old 03-08-2016, 06:25 PM
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There are all kinds, and some refuse to believe that we need ANYTHING from animals. The real case though, is that everything in life is IN everything in life. B12 is simply a bacteria that grows on plants, and is formulated in the lower intestines of grass eating animals- and then comes out in their poop, and, more plants grow! So, no one is going to say don't wash your produce! But DO take your B12! It's vegan!

Your doctor does confuse me-are they supportive of plant based diets? Or just accomodating?
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#26 Old 03-09-2016, 09:41 AM
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There are all kinds, and some refuse to believe that we need ANYTHING from animals. The real case though, is that everything in life is IN everything in life. B12 is simply a bacteria that grows on plants, and is formulated in the lower intestines of grass eating animals- and then comes out in their poop, and, more plants grow! So, no one is going to say don't wash your produce! But DO take your B12! It's vegan!

Your doctor does confuse me-are they supportive of plant based diets? Or just accomodating?
My doctor is all for a vegan diet but said he doesn't think we have to take B12 if we don't have to. Like we naturally should produce enough on our own but we may have damaged our own bodies previous to vegan lifestyle to not be able to. But other VEGANS tell me its needed.

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#27 Old 03-09-2016, 03:19 PM
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Have you read any of the links we've provided? It isn't just vegans saying 'just in case', it's everything known to science.
Your doctor is giving out very scary advice.
I remember well the baby who died from vegan parents. Their diet was demonized, when it was simply a lack of B12-having nothing to do with being damaged from their 'previous diets'.

Omnivores have never been at risk for B12 deficiency until recently, with feeding cows and chickens an unnatural diet of processed grains.
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#28 Old 03-10-2016, 10:54 AM
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Yes, I did read the links you and David provided. Not all of them but enough to make sense of it all. Thanks!

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