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#1 Old 04-04-2017, 06:19 AM
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Talking Hi



Hello!

I'm a 20 year old college student trying to learn and change some of the lifestyle that I have been accustomed too. Ever since coming to college, the way that I have eat has changed a lot from what I've been used to at home (the freshman 15 has lasted for three years). I'm hoping to learn more about the benefits of vegetarianism and the vegan life. I've always thought that it would be hard to make food tasty without all the good things like cheese, but I'm ready to learn!

Any tips for a college kid who wants to learn and can do it on a budget?

Super excited to be here!
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#2 Old 04-04-2017, 07:00 AM
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Welcome and congrats on striving for a cleaner and healthier lifestyle!! (I don't like the word diet, having a word that shouts DIE at me isn't very soothing)

Some tips that helped me when I began my whole foods plant-based vegan lifestyle, although I'm way beyond college age, and then some, lol, are shopping at the "ugly tables" in the produce area (the discounted section where damaged/bruised/already ripe produce is marked down), catch frozen fruits and veggies on sale (the dollar tree stores in our area carries frozen fruits and such for $1/bag), try to buy in bulk as much as you can and break it down to store and cook in batches if you have the space and access to a kitchen.

I found mung bean noodles at an International grocery for like $4 for a dozen individually wrapped packs. All you have to do is add hot water and soak for like 7 minutes, then you can add whatever sauce or seasonings you like. Toasted sesame oil is a good thing to have on hand if you want the noodles to have a Chinese take-out kind of flavor. It doesn't take much to add a whole lot of flavor.

Make salads ahead of time and keep in a large ziploc baggie to eat from all week. Keep cans of chickpeas and bags of shelled hemp hearts on hand to top off the salads. Be mindful of salad dressing ingredients or try to make your own. I used to drizze lime or lemon juice on mine instead of using the high fructose corn syrup, etc. filled typical store bought dressings. Prep the veggies and fruits the day before, or one day a week, to make it easier to grab and go, otherwise you resort to the same old choices out of convenience.

Oh yeah, and check your peanut butter labels, too. I was blown away by how many add sugar and palm oil, etc. Check on you tube, as well. There's a lot of advice for eating vegan while attending college. Good stuff!

There's soooooo many other things, too, but those are what came to mind immediately. Best wishes in your tasty new adventures! Be kind to self no matter what you choose and remember to try to think of it as enriching your life, not taking away from it. (not to mention lessening the negative impact on the animals and environment overall) I found that to be a huge help as I was used to living in an environment that continually fostered a feeling of lack.

"Strange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught falsehoods in school. And the person that dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and a fool." ~Plato
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#3 Old 04-04-2017, 07:26 PM
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Welcome to Veggieboards!

The best advice I ever got for going vegan was to take it one day at a time and one meal at a time, don't stress if you aren't perfect immediately and instead look at every vegan meal you eat or product you buy as an accomplishment, as your tastes change and it becomes habit it will get easier and easier.

Be sure to check out our Vegan Support Forums and also here are a few links you might find useful:

Plant Based On A Budget

The Vegan Stoner (It's just really easy recipes I promise )

Vegetarian Starter Kit

Hope that helps! I look forward to reading your posts.

"If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others... why wouldn't we?" - Edgars Mission
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#4 Old 04-13-2017, 03:35 PM
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Thanks so much for the suggestions! I'm going to be totally taking them into consideration.

Was wondering if you have any tips for someone who's trying to keep to a routine of transitioning to the vegetarian lifestyle? I feel like its so hard to give up the things that I enjoy so much (even the things that aren't even good for me, I'm lactose intolerant but take pills to relieve some of the symptoms that come with dairy consumption), how did you do it?

~GMoney5
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#5 Old 04-13-2017, 05:34 PM
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I had a medical emergency catapult me into my newfound whole food plant-based vegan lifestyle, but I don't recommend that method if you can avoid it. lol Which is why I wish I would have learned this valuable info much much earlier in life.

I had already tried what I thought was the most humane consumption route after many decades of the typical Standard American Diet by choosing all local meat, dairy, and eggs and knowing the farmers, etc., but my health continued to suffer.

Vegan eating was something I'd been briefly exposed to before, but always resisted it. My taste buds put up one hell of a fight and used to always win. But I felt it was time to give it a go. It was either that or choose the surgical knife and I'd rather not go there. Glad I chose my fork instead. Got my health back in many ways.

Almond milk and banana milk (bananas with a little bit of water in a blender) were my milk replacements. I never was a big fan of milk to begin with, so that one wasn't hard to overcome.

Ice cream and cheese were huge weaknesses, though. Frozen banana nice cream was my new way to soothe the ice cream craving. I scored a Yonanas machine at a thrift shop and started making what tastes like soft serve. Prior to that, I'd make it in my thrift shop food processor.

For the cheese, I bought a few of the Daiya and other brand store replacements on occasion and learned to make various forms of cashew "cheese" (in the food processor) for things like stuffed peppers, veggie lasagna and such. I recently saw a Brazil nut Parmesan "cheese" that peaked my interest, but I haven't tried it yet.

I had to learn to flip my ongoing self-talk around to thinking of what all I could add to healthily enrich my life and how those choices were going towards improving not only the quality of my life, but for other living beings as well vs. what I'd be missing out on by no longer eating old favorites. That helped big time but took consistent practice to finally have it become my default thinking when heavily triggered by foods of my past life. Hope that helps.
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"Strange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught falsehoods in school. And the person that dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and a fool." ~Plato
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#6 Old 04-15-2017, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by GMoney5 View Post
Thanks so much for the suggestions! I'm going to be totally taking them into consideration.

Was wondering if you have any tips for someone who's trying to keep to a routine of transitioning to the vegetarian lifestyle? I feel like its so hard to give up the things that I enjoy so much (even the things that aren't even good for me, I'm lactose intolerant but take pills to relieve some of the symptoms that come with dairy consumption), how did you do it?
I have terrible willpower and hate feeling forced to do anything, every time I try to deprive myself of things I enjoy I fail miserably.

What worked for me was changing my mindset, while you're transitioning don't even think about trying to give up anything, just focus on trying these new foods and adding new things into your diet. Experimenting with veg alternatives can be a lot of fun, think about all the delicious new foods you'll be trying instead of focusing on deprivation and "can't haves."

For instance if you're lactose intolerant but love ice cream there are so many tasty non-dairy ice creams out there now you'll find you aren't giving up anything at all. Ben & Jerry's makes almond milk ice cream now that's out of this world good:



And for almost any food you're craving I'm betting you can find a delicious vegetarian food to have instead. If there are any vegetarian restaurants in your area they can be a really great way to experiment with delicious new foods and grocery stores everywhere have tons of tasty vegetarian options too.

If you make it fun and start adding in more and more vegetarian foods you'll find you don't miss meat as much and after awhile being vegetarian will just feel like who you are and you won't even want to go back.
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"If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others... why wouldn't we?" - Edgars Mission
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