Trying hard but failing - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-24-2017, 03:33 PM
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Trying hard but failing

I have been slowly losing energy since I started transitioning to a more vegetable based diet and now have been dealing with a consistent headache. I have no time for meal prep due to my bf 2 month old taking up all of my spare time. My need for quick grab energizing meals that won't break the bank is prominent as well as the nutrition I need to intake for my child's and my needs. I struggle every day trying to decide what to eat without it being the same thing over and over again. I am about ready to give up until I have more time to figure everything out. It is difficult without time or money.
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#2 Old 06-24-2017, 04:20 PM
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Having a baby does make everything a bit more difficult! I assume you're new to eating veg? Have faith, it gets way, way easier the longer you are! You find foods and combinations most people never think to eat.

Where are you? Foods and prices are different in different countries. I'm in the US so I'll give my ideas of good staple foods

I always stock Better than Boullion no chik'n, and no beef bases. They're veggie stock pastes that really mimic the tastes of those broths, and are so handy in adding to soups, casseroles, and cooking rice and seitan. Heat a cup of water on the stove and mix in a heaping teaspoon of base. Whisk 2 tablespoons of flour into a cup of cold water, then whisk into the broth- easy fat free gravy (I could be off on these proportions, just wing it!)

Keep canned beans on hand. Mash them up with whatever kinds of mix ins you'd use for chicken, tuna or egg salads. Use in wraps with thin sliced or sauteed veggies, as dips with veggies or crackers

Think ethnic. Indian, Chinese, Thai, Mideastern, Ethiopian cuisines all lean towards vegetarian.

What kinds of foods do you think to reach for, that are easy and cheap? List them and we can brainstorm ideas. I recall the early days of finding it hard to think beyond salsa, fat free refried beans, tortillas, hummus....

Use nuts as proteins. I often take rice, frozen brocolli, and peanuts and use some Chinese take out condiments for a quick grab work lunch. I use walnuts in pasta, and for pesto instead of pine nuts. Just walnuts, lots of fresh basil (I grow it) olive oil, some salt and pepper, maybe roasted red peppers- put in a food processor

I don't eat much processed food, although recently I have tried many Gardien options! I don't find them to be more than meat though the prices seem to vary a lot between stores. I would keep some in the freezer for an alternative to going to out.

The best thing I got to make food with, and really wish I had it when my kids were small, is the Instant Pot- the electric pressure cooker. I've had to figure out a lot of times and propotions on my own and would love to start a thread if there's interest. I only paid $65 at black friday sale, but there are other brands to look out for. It's just so fast and easy for grains, complete pasta meals, beans, soups and stews, potatoes and other root veggies, even an enchilada casserole.

Peanut butter and hot sauce or spices, ( I like curry) makes for a delicious sauce for cooked veggies and pasta, or grains. Put hot foods over chopped spinach to quickly wilt it.

Take advantage of frozen veggies, just don't follow package directions on cooking. Let thaw, then quickly stir fry or steam enough to heat

Beans are really good when added to a little hot oil and spices to give a bit of a sear. I like this with tomatoes, mushrooms, onion and peppers in a cast iron. Oh yeah, cast iron is what I use for everything! Adds iron to your diet.

Tofu is one of my favorite foods. I keep it simple, sauteed. sometimes I'll shake it in some corn starch and seasoning and lightly fry

Tempeh-- I get it at trader joes for $1.99 a pack- cheapest. Makes great sausage patties in a food processor- i have the recipe in the recipe section- easy tempeh sausage. Good with rice seasoned with liquid smoke
Liquid smoke-- adds so much flavor! Remember- bacon, sausage, those are tastes added to foods, not just meat.

Portabello mushrooms?

Smoothies with fruits, fresh and frozen, ground flax or chia, even oats, maybe add some greens to them. Personal favorite is pineapple, berries, ground flax, ginger, and nut milk

Silk has some great new nut milks-- a blend of almond, cashew and pea protein. They have 10 grams of protein and only 2 grams of sugar. They are thick and delicious! Very neutral taste and make good nutritional yeast sauces.
Nutritional yeast. Like it? I started kinda 'meh', used it on popcorn. I have grown to love it after finding how I like to use it. In sauces I always add some lemon juice, and garlic, and salt. As a parmasean type topping I mix with garlic powder. It's great with vegan mayo and garlic powder

Vegan mayo--add some of this to foods to change foods you think ' eh ' to make yum. I even had some spaghetti I let dry out really bad. I mixed in a bit of Just Mayo, nooch, and garlic powder and it was delicious. I find a lot of really healthy grain based foods can be made so much tastier with a little mayo. I never even cared for mayo as a spread, but use it as an ingrediant a lot

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#3 Old 06-24-2017, 04:52 PM
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I have such admiration for you AngelSense - having a child and learning a new lifestyle is a big adventure and good on you for taking it on. Hang in there as the pay off for you and your child could be tremendous.

Silva has given you a lot of amazing tips and I would just add that keeping is simple is so important when you have time constraints. Keep lots of potatoes and sweet potatoes around (be sure to soak or parboil your white/yellow potatoes first if you are going to bake or roast or fry them) and they can then be used as a simple base, like rice, for many things like beans, or frozen veggies etc.

You are maybe not getting enough calories if you are losing energy and carbs are a good place to get them.

Here is a
to a sweet young girl who has a small child and one on the way. Her circumstances may be different from yours however she does a fair number of "what we eat in a day" videos and that may be helpful to see her and her child eat.

All the best with your journey and stick around as there are many people here who will be supportive and give you great suggestions.

Emma JC

-----
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#4 Old 06-24-2017, 05:12 PM
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I started out thinking of foods I would usually make but replacing the protein. I could come up with pastas, burritos/quesidillas, or bean dishes such as meatless chilli and soups. I also was able to think of a lot of mushroom dishes, but they are a bit expensive so we have to buy those sparingly. My husband has had to cook those when he is off. He is a kitchen manager and only gets one day a week. For breakfast it is always cereal or frozen eggo waffles. I only gey about 30 minutes for breakfast as I have to get myself ready and my daughter ready pretty early. I try to keep dinner light but always am stuck with grilled cheeses, tomatoe soup, or cereal again. My husband did make veggie curry this past week but the food ran out quick and wasn't very filling. Also, I was eating a lot of bean dishes, but it gave my daughter constant gas. Now I am trying to find alternatives which isn't easy. I always think of mushrooms, spinach, bell pepper and canned veggies. I often wonder if I should just cook myself canned veggies but know that will get old fast. Old fashion salads are great. I am allergic to walnuts so I have been eating tuna once a week so that my daughter and I do not miss out on DHAs. I breastfeed and baby doesn't take to the bottle well so when she gets home from daycare it is a big feeding fest leaving me only 30 minutes to an hour hands free to eat and get her stuff ready for the next day as well as bath time. I keep a bag of smoked almonds to snack on. Pb n J are a staple currently. I rarely get time to do more than heat up a quick 2 minute meal, and with my husband always working it is hard to get a quick meal together. I try to keep from eating the same thing so that LO is able to benefit from a multitude of nutrients. It is tough though. I also suffer from acid reflux and am trying hard to avoid antacids while bf. Peanut butter excites my acid reflux, but I think it is more cause I eat so much of it while trying to avoid meat and bean filled meals. I also realized that I am not eating enough. My caloric intake dramatically reduced since the switch last month as well as my b12 and iron. It is starting to wear on me an my energy is draining though having an infant doesn't help there.

All in all it comes down to me having little time to think about more than the next meal, and time to cook it. Also of course money is tight. I know I could do it if I didn't have to worry about my acid reflux and giving LO gas. And why do mushrooms have to be so expensive! I could really use nutritional advice too so that I am getting enough balance of food for my baby and me. I have to intake 1800 calories a day plus 500 including good fats and nutrients which seems difficult with my circumstances. Just gotta keep trying I guess. It is hard.
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#5 Old 06-24-2017, 06:15 PM
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It doesn't last! I wasn't fully vegetarian when my kids were little, but was newly single, like really, really on my own. I remember well having zero time for myself, eating what I made for them that they left. I think I existed on spoons of PB, or hummus, canned salt free carrots and green beans, yogurt


You should still be taking a prenatal vitamin, which will have B12, as well as algae DHA- a better choice than getting the omega 3-6 ratios. I take algae DHA just because I worry I don't convert it from the ALA of walnuts, flax and other plant foods. I never ate sea meats. Only algae and fish have the complete DHA and EPA (EPA?) makeup. Your baby needs that as well, and a better choice than from meat or fish.

Do you have a decent blender? You should for making baby foods anyway.
You can incorporate so many different proteins into the mix. Ground flax seeds, raw wheat germ, oats.

Edamame may be a better choice than other beans at this time. Lentils aren't as likely to induce gas either

Here are some links that may help. Look up our forums for raising veg children too

https://www.forksoverknives.com/10-t...nd/#gs.XwHWKzM

http://eatwithinyourmeans.com/
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#6 Old 06-25-2017, 04:17 AM
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Thank you! I will keep working on it. The recipe site is great help and the video. Yes I have a blender, the smoothie idea would be doable as long as the prep is done while my husband is home. Thanks for the encouragement
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Last edited by AngelSerene; 06-25-2017 at 04:59 AM.
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#7 Old 06-25-2017, 12:00 PM
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one more link for you - Dr Barnard is one of the foremost doctors in the whole food plant-based medical world and here is a page on his website regarding children... their ages and what they should eat when...

http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/veg...from-the-start

and this page is a compilation of many different articles on children vegetarian and vegan

http://www.pcrm.org/solr/children

all the best, Emma JC

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#8 Old 06-25-2017, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelSerene View Post
I have been slowly losing energy since I started transitioning to a more vegetable based diet and now have been dealing with a consistent headache. I have no time for meal prep due to my bf 2 month old taking up all of my spare time. My need for quick grab energizing meals that won't break the bank is prominent as well as the nutrition I need to intake for my child's and my needs. I struggle every day trying to decide what to eat without it being the same thing over and over again. I am about ready to give up until I have more time to figure everything out. It is difficult without time or money.

Hi AngelSerene,

In addition to the good advice that's already been offered, I wanted to mention that you may qualify for federal food assistance, through the USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligibility and/or through the USDA's Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program: https://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/wic-how-apply . These linked webpages will tell you how to apply for this assistance.

If you qualify for the WIC program, you will also receive free sessions with a Registered Dietitian. They will be able to give you practical and accurate information about planning delicious vegetarian meals for your family. These dietitians are accustomed to working with busy working families, so they should have excellent ideas for fast meals.

Another option is to request this book at your local public library: The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book: https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Ve.../dp/144052551X . This book covers vegan nutrition for infants, in addition to vegan pregnancy. The author, Dr. Reed Mangels, is the nutrition director of the Vegetarian Resource Group, a very reputable vegetarian/vegan organization. If your local library doesn't have this book, they can get it for you through an "inter-library loan". This service should cost no more than $3.

An immediate option is to read the Vegetarian Resource Group's webpage about vegan nutrition for children. It includes very detailed information: http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/kids.php

Here are 50 vegan recipes with 5 ingredients or less: http://itdoesnttastelikechicken.com/...vegan-recipes/
.

_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/

Last edited by David3; 06-25-2017 at 03:43 PM.
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#9 Old 06-25-2017, 03:27 PM
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Hi AngelSerene,


I read above that you were having difficulty getting enough calories during the day. Have you thought about adding more nuts / nut butters to your diet? One cup of nuts contains 650-1000 calories per cup (depending on which kind of nut).
.

_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/

Last edited by David3; 06-25-2017 at 03:40 PM.
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#10 Old 06-26-2017, 12:30 AM
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When I cook, I almost always cook lots more than I need right now and then store in the fridge for later in the week or in the freezer for later in the month.

For lunch I like to make a big bowl of starch-based salad (eg: brown rice or wholewheat pasta) and keep it in my fridge for the week (last about five days). Or a big jug of soup, potato or pasta and vegetable based, served with wholewheat bread.

Dinners are frequently pulse based, one pot cooking. Our regular 'prep and freeze ahead' favourites include black bean chilli served with tortilla chips, chickpea and vegetable based tagine served with couscous, cajun black-eye beans served with rice and sweet potatoes, pulse and vegetable based curry served with chappatis, bean or grain based patties served with potato wedges and salad, baked beans served with baked potatoes and corn on the cob.

I try to cook the equivalent of eight days worth of main meals (for two of us), one morning at the weekend. That's usually two different dishes of eight servings (or more) each. They all get boxed up and put in the freezer. Then I use a meal planner app to keep me organised and on top of the menu for the month ahead.

That probably sounds quite a lot of work / planning if you don't have much time, maybe you could just start with one or two meals that can be prepped in advance, like a vegetable curry or pasta sauce. Once you get used to planning ahead, it saves a lot of time.
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#11 Old 06-26-2017, 05:03 AM
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I'm also newer to this whole thing and so far what's working for me-

-prep my veggies/fruit once a week, after I bring them home. I pull out my cutting boards and glass jars/containers and spend around 30 minutes cutting/dicing veggies (onions, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers etc). Fruit like berries comes out of packages and goes into my fresh produce containers (cannot recommend Rubbermaid Freshwork containers enough!). Bananas are peeled and put in pint sized freezer bags and put in freezer. Cantaloupe is cut up and put in a container in fridge. Greens (spinach, kale and lettuce) are put in large Freshwork containers and put in fridge. 30 minutes of work and I now have all my base foods prepped! Mushrooms and sweet potatoes are the only things I don't do any prepping for ahead of time.

-every morning I make a green smoothie-this is the foundation of my day and takes under 10 minutes to put together because I've already prepped the things that go in it. I start with a base of unsweetened almond milk, coconut water and ice. Then I add spinach, kale, a berry (either strawberries or blueberries), a frozen banana, a 3rd fruit (cantaloupe, kiwi etc), and then ground flax seed and chia seeds or sunflower seeds. Blend through twice with my blender and dump into a canning jar. It takes me about 30 minutes to drink it and I can do this while I'm getting ready/driving etc. Green smoothies can be calorie bombs if you want them to be-depending on what you add you can easily get them up to to 400-500 calories.

Lunch is usually a rice/pasta dish with veggies. I gravitate towards instant white rice because it's fast and easy. You can also make it ahead of time and then portion it out in your fridge/microwave when you're ready to eat it. I love throwing a bag of frozen steamer California blend veggies with it and then Sweet Baby Rays Sweet n' Sour sauce. I also sometimes throw sunflower or pumpkin seeds into it. For pasta I cook it while heating up jarred marinara sauce and then I saute' mushrooms and onions in a separate pan. Combine the 3 things for a filling meal that takes under 15 minute to put together. Or I'll do massive salads with prepped veggies and canned refried beans.

Supper is simple-(canned) soups, oat bowls (oats are an amazing base for all sorts of things!) or sweet potato 'fries'-I buy the largest sweet potatoes I can find and then wash/slice into fry shape and bake on 400 degrees for around 20 minutes, flip halfway through.

Afternoon snack is cashews, walnuts or olives. Or toasted sprouted grains bread or whole grains Waso crackers with raw honey spread on them.

I also have 1 cup (2 servings) of beans every day, usually paired with lunch. Either the refried beans with a salad, or my bean 'mix'-this is another prep ahead thing and makes things so easy during the week! I dump 5 cans of various beans into my crock pot (I don't even drain them), with a bottle of low calorie, low sugar barbecue sauce (I've found some tangy ones that are great). Cook on low for a few hours and then after they cool, portion out into 1 cup servings and freeze in pint sized freezer bags. Then every morning I just pull one out and defrost in the fridge/microwave before eating.

I have no problem hitting my calorie targets eating a mostly whole food, plant based diet. I haven't substituted meat with meat like products because they're expensive. I've never had tofu, I don't buy fancy vegetarian pre-packaged meals and I don't worry about organic. I keep things simple and easy and it's working well for me so far
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~*Sara*~
Experimenting with a whole foods, plant base diet, (with a few Oreos and chili cheese Fritos thrown in here and there
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Last edited by SJaynee; 06-26-2017 at 01:12 PM.
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#12 Old 06-26-2017, 06:10 AM
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I think this is all good advice. Just one thing - if you fall off the wagon, don't beat yourself up about it, just get straight back on and pretend you didn't.
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#13 Old 06-26-2017, 08:20 AM
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Hi AngelSerene,

In addition to the good advice that's already been offered, I wanted to mention that you may qualify for federal food assistance, through the USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligibility and/or through the USDA's Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program: https://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/wic-how-apply . These linked webpages will tell you how to apply for this assistance.

If you qualify for the WIC program, you will also receive free sessions with a Registered Dietitian. They will be able to give you practical and accurate information about planning delicious vegetarian meals for your family. These dietitians are accustomed to working with busy working families, so they should have excellent ideas for fast meals.

Another option is to request this book at your local public library: The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book: https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Ve.../dp/144052551X . This book covers vegan nutrition for infants, in addition to vegan pregnancy. The author, Dr. Reed Mangels, is the nutrition director of the Vegetarian Resource Group, a very reputable vegetarian/vegan organization. If your local library doesn't have this book, they can get it for you through an "inter-library loan". This service should cost no more than $3.

An immediate option is to read the Vegetarian Resource Group's webpage about vegan nutrition for children. It includes very detailed information: http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/kids.php

Here are 50 vegan recipes with 5 ingredients or less: http://itdoesnttastelikechicken.com/...vegan-recipes/
.
THank you for the advice, but we make barely over the max margin for WIC assistance so we are not able to get assistance from them. Sadly, we've checked into it. We manage to survive, but it is difficult. We are hoping that changes soon.

I have not made it to the library yet, but I still have the book saved as something I need to get when I go there.

Thank you for the recipe link too! All of this helps a lot!
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#14 Old 06-26-2017, 08:24 AM
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Hi AngelSerene,


I read above that you were having difficulty getting enough calories during the day. Have you thought about adding more nuts / nut butters to your diet? One cup of nuts contains 650-1000 calories per cup (depending on which kind of nut).
.
Yes I do! I have a bag of smoked almonds sitting near me at all times.
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#15 Old 06-26-2017, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Spudulika View Post
When I cook, I almost always cook lots more than I need right now and then store in the fridge for later in the week or in the freezer for later in the month.

For lunch I like to make a big bowl of starch-based salad (eg: brown rice or wholewheat pasta) and keep it in my fridge for the week (last about five days). Or a big jug of soup, potato or pasta and vegetable based, served with wholewheat bread.

Dinners are frequently pulse based, one pot cooking. Our regular 'prep and freeze ahead' favourites include black bean chilli served with tortilla chips, chickpea and vegetable based tagine served with couscous, cajun black-eye beans served with rice and sweet potatoes, pulse and vegetable based curry served with chappatis, bean or grain based patties served with potato wedges and salad, baked beans served with baked potatoes and corn on the cob.

I try to cook the equivalent of eight days worth of main meals (for two of us), one morning at the weekend. That's usually two different dishes of eight servings (or more) each. They all get boxed up and put in the freezer. Then I use a meal planner app to keep me organised and on top of the menu for the month ahead.

That probably sounds quite a lot of work / planning if you don't have much time, maybe you could just start with one or two meals that can be prepped in advance, like a vegetable curry or pasta sauce. Once you get used to planning ahead, it saves a lot of time.
Thank you, we did a bit of weekly prep this past weekend and hope that it pays off. I may start trying to use a nutritional app to manage my nutritional intake.
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#16 Old 06-26-2017, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by SJaynee View Post
I'm also newer to this whole thing and so far what's working for me-

-prep my veggies/fruit once a week, after I bring them home. I pull out my cutting boards and glass jars/containers and spend around 30 minutes cutting/dicing veggies (onions, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers etc). I don't wash them at this time but just slice and dice and then stash in the fridge. Fruit like berries comes out of packages and goes into my fresh produce containers (cannot recommend Rubbermaid Freshwork containers enough!). Bananas are peeled and put in pint sized freezer bags and put in freezer. Cantaloupe is cut up and put in a container in fridge. Greens (spinach, kale and lettuce) is put in large Freshwork containers and put in fridge. 30 minutes of work and I now have all my base foods prepped! Mushrooms and sweet potatoes are the only things I don't do any prepping for ahead of time.

-every morning I make a green smoothie-this is the foundation of my day and takes under 10 minutes to put together because I've already prepped the things that go in it. I start with a base of unsweetened almond milk, coconut water and ice. Then I add spinach, kale, a berry (either strawberries or blueberries), a frozen banana, a 3rd fruit (cantaloupe, kiwi etc), and then ground flax seed and chia seeds or sunflower seeds. Blend through twice with my blender and dump into a canning jar. It takes me about 30 minutes to drink it and I can do this while I'm getting ready/driving etc. Green smoothies can be calorie bombs if you want them to be-depending on what you add you can easily get them up to to 400-500 calories.

Lunch is usually a rice/pasta dish with veggies. I gravitate towards instant white rice because it's fast and easy. You can also make it ahead of time and then portion it out in your fridge/microwave when you're ready to eat it. I love throwing a bag of frozen steamer California blend veggies with it and then Sweet Baby Rays Sweet n' Sour sauce. I also sometimes throw sunflower or pumpkin seeds into it. For pasta I prep it while heating up jarred marinara sauce and then I saute' mushrooms and onions in a separate pan. Combine the 3 things for a filling meal that takes under 15 minute to put together. Or I'll do massive salads with prepped veggies and canned refried beans.

Supper is simple-(canned) soups, oat bowls (oats are an amazing base for all sorts of things!) or sweet potato 'fries'-I buy the largest sweet potatoes I can find and then wash/slice into fry shape and bake on 400 degrees for around 20 minutes, flip halfway through.

Afternoon snack is cashews, walnuts or olives. Or toasted sprouted grains bread or whole grains Waso crackers with raw honey spread on them.

I also have 1 cup (2 servings) of beans every day, usually paired with lunch. Either the refried beans with a salad, or my bean 'mix'-this is another prep ahead thing and makes things so easy during the week! I dump 5 cans of various beans into my crock pot (I don't even drain them), with a bottle of low calorie barbecue sauce (I've found some tangy ones that are great). Cook on low for a few hours and then after they cool, portion out into 1 cup servings and freeze in pint sized freezer bags. Then every morning I just pull one out and defrost in the fridge/microwave before eating.

I have no problem hitting my calorie targets eating a mostly whole food, plant based diet. I haven't substituted meat with meat like products because they're expensive. I've never had tofu, I don't buy fancy vegetarian pre-packaged meals and I don't worry about organic. I keep things simple and easy and it's working well for me so far
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Canned soups would be a good idea. Is there a specific brand that is vegetarian/vegan. I don't see many at Wal-mart or Publix. I'll look again though cause I may be missing out! Thanks for the advice too. I will try to keep a lot of things in stock at home. Rice and veggie dish, what kind of veggies would you use? I always get stuck with only Bell peppers and mushrooms in my mind and cannot think outside of that box knowing that those don't offer all the nutrients I should get.
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#17 Old 06-26-2017, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by AngelSerene View Post
Canned soups would be a good idea. Is there a specific brand that is vegetarian/vegan. I don't see many at Wal-mart or Publix. I'll look again though cause I may be missing out! Thanks for the advice too. I will try to keep a lot of things in stock at home. Rice and veggie dish, what kind of veggies would you use? I always get stuck with only Bell peppers and mushrooms in my mind and cannot think outside of that box knowing that those don't offer all the nutrients I should get.
Soups I just stick to tomato or vegetable. Goes well with toasted bread, crackers etc. For rice I usually do 2 combos-white rice goes with California blend veggies (which is a blend of cauliflower, broccoli and carrots), and then a sweet n' sour sauce. Brown rice is paired with mushrooms, onion, peas and carrots, with soy sauce. I use instant white and instant brown rice to cut down on prep time. My rice meals are usually at lunch time and are paired with beans (1 cup/2 servings worth).

If you're interested in making sure that you're hitting your nutrient targets cron-o-meter is a great tracking option, if you're not already using it Or My Fitness Pal, but that one doesn't give you an in-depth micro breakdown like cron-o-meter does.
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~*Sara*~
Experimenting with a whole foods, plant base diet, (with a few Oreos and chili cheese Fritos thrown in here and there
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Last edited by SJaynee; 06-26-2017 at 01:22 PM.
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#18 Old 06-27-2017, 07:32 PM
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Good advice from everyone. Best of luck AngelSerene. I would chime in but I would be repeating what others have said.
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#19 Old 06-28-2017, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silva View Post
Having a baby does make everything a bit more difficult! I assume you're new to eating veg? Have faith, it gets way, way easier the longer you are! You find foods and combinations most people never think to eat.

Where are you? Foods and prices are different in different countries. I'm in the US so I'll give my ideas of good staple foods

I always stock Better than Boullion no chik'n, and no beef bases. They're veggie stock pastes that really mimic the tastes of those broths, and are so handy in adding to soups, casseroles, and cooking rice and seitan. Heat a cup of water on the stove and mix in a heaping teaspoon of base. Whisk 2 tablespoons of flour into a cup of cold water, then whisk into the broth- easy fat free gravy (I could be off on these proportions, just wing it!)

Keep canned beans on hand. Mash them up with whatever kinds of mix ins you'd use for chicken, tuna or egg salads. Use in wraps with thin sliced or sauteed veggies, as dips with veggies or crackers

Think ethnic. Indian, Chinese, Thai, Mideastern, Ethiopian cuisines all lean towards vegetarian.

What kinds of foods do you think to reach for, that are easy and cheap? List them and we can brainstorm ideas. I recall the early days of finding it hard to think beyond salsa, fat free refried beans, tortillas, hummus....

Use nuts as proteins. I often take rice, frozen brocolli, and peanuts and use some Chinese take out condiments for a quick grab work lunch. I use walnuts in pasta, and for pesto instead of pine nuts. Just walnuts, lots of fresh basil (I grow it) olive oil, some salt and pepper, maybe roasted red peppers- put in a food processor

I don't eat much processed food, although recently I have tried many Gardien options! I don't find them to be more than meat though the prices seem to vary a lot between stores. I would keep some in the freezer for an alternative to going to out.

The best thing I got to make food with, and really wish I had it when my kids were small, is the Instant Pot- the electric pressure cooker. I've had to figure out a lot of times and propotions on my own and would love to start a thread if there's interest. I only paid $65 at black friday sale, but there are other brands to look out for. It's just so fast and easy for grains, complete pasta meals, beans, soups and stews, potatoes and other root veggies, even an enchilada casserole.

Peanut butter and hot sauce or spices, ( I like curry) makes for a delicious sauce for cooked veggies and pasta, or grains. Put hot foods over chopped spinach to quickly wilt it.

Take advantage of frozen veggies, just don't follow package directions on cooking. Let thaw, then quickly stir fry or steam enough to heat

Beans are really good when added to a little hot oil and spices to give a bit of a sear. I like this with tomatoes, mushrooms, onion and peppers in a cast iron. Oh yeah, cast iron is what I use for everything! Adds iron to your diet.

Tofu is one of my favorite foods. I keep it simple, sauteed. sometimes I'll shake it in some corn starch and seasoning and lightly fry

Tempeh-- I get it at trader joes for $1.99 a pack- cheapest. Makes great sausage patties in a food processor- i have the recipe in the recipe section- easy tempeh sausage. Good with rice seasoned with liquid smoke
Liquid smoke-- adds so much flavor! Remember- bacon, sausage, those are tastes added to foods, not just meat.

Portabello mushrooms?

Smoothies with fruits, fresh and frozen, ground flax or chia, even oats, maybe add some greens to them. Personal favorite is pineapple, berries, ground flax, ginger, and nut milk

Silk has some great new nut milks-- a blend of almond, cashew and pea protein. They have 10 grams of protein and only 2 grams of sugar. They are thick and delicious! Very neutral taste and make good nutritional yeast sauces.
Nutritional yeast. Like it? I started kinda 'meh', used it on popcorn. I have grown to love it after finding how I like to use it. In sauces I always add some lemon juice, and garlic, and salt. As a parmasean type topping I mix with garlic powder. It's great with vegan mayo and garlic powder

Vegan mayo--add some of this to foods to change foods you think ' eh ' to make yum. I even had some spaghetti I let dry out really bad. I mixed in a bit of Just Mayo, nooch, and garlic powder and it was delicious. I find a lot of really healthy grain based foods can be made so much tastier with a little mayo. I never even cared for mayo as a spread, but use it as an ingrediant a lot
Awesome post! I agree.

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