going vegan - overnight or gradual? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-05-2006, 06:21 PM
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I'm wondering what the best way to proceed into a fully vegan diet is.

I eat eggs (which will stop overnight in a month when I leave this farm), and I've switched my milk to soy, but I'm having a hard time with cutting out foods containing milk ingredients (Reese PB cups, Nutella, granola bars, bakery items, etc).

Would it be easier for me to set a quit date and go a little crazy in the preceeding days with much junk food eating, or should I just gradually reduce how often I eat these things?



Also, when I get cravings for those things, what should I do?
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#2 Old 07-05-2006, 06:39 PM
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I would say gradually, but for me, "gradually" has turned into 18+ months, and it's all too easy to backslide and rationalize having that cheese pizza or Reese's cup or whatever because you're not quite all the way there yet. Next thing you know, a year has gone by and you're not any closer. That said, gradually does work for some people. I think it depends a lot on personality type. You know best if you're an "all or nothing" type of person.



As for cravings, look for alternatives to transfer that craving to. It can be something that's similar to the thing you're giving up, but it doesn't have to be. I love cheese in Tex-Mex, so I'm working on switching to guacamole instead.
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#3 Old 07-05-2006, 06:40 PM
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different for every person.



some people work better at quitting things cold tofurky. Others need a more gruadual approach.



I myself went cold turkey. I find it easier for me to set a boundry that cannot be crossed. Because if I gradualy try to do something, I just won't do it. Example: "oh theres just a little cheese here, little egg here, it wont hurt" or thinking that since I havent actualy "went vegan" yet, I can just get that cheesy pizza tonight.

I find it easier to just set a boundry and stick to it right from the start. One night I made the decision to go vegan, and that was that.



Some people handle gradual things better.



It really depends on your own psychological make up, and how your mind deals with these kind of situations. Have you ever had a lifestyle change in the past? Did a certain way work better for you?



Quote:
Also, when I get cravings for those things, what should I do?

Suck it up and deal with them... Honestly you will get cravings, especialy dairy, cause dairy is addicting. But if you get through your withdrawl stage they wont be so bad anymore. Besides that you can find replacements for certain sweets and stuff. There are vegan granola bars, vegan chocolate, vegan cookies and baked goods. If you have a Whole Foods or Trader Joes near you it would help tremendously.



The biggest thing to keep in mind is why you are doing this. Remind yourself. When you get a craving, or think about eating something, remind yourself why.



Cravings will pass. I've seen people say "I wish I never ate that pizza, I was doing so good, 3 weeks without dairy and I just threw it all away" but Ive never seen anyone say "I wish I would have caved into my cravings earlier".



Cravings will pass, withdrawl will pass, regret lasts a little longer. And thats true with any goal you set for yourself.



Goodluck
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#4 Old 07-05-2006, 06:42 PM
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Ive never seen anyone say "I wish I would have caved into my cravings earlier".

That's priceless!
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#5 Old 07-05-2006, 07:25 PM
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It varies.



Most people have to do it gradually, but I went cold tofurky from omnivore straight up into a vegan. And I'm telling you that if I can do that with my insane omnivore family, you can do it too.



But do what feels right for you. I chose my path for my own reasons and it's your turn to choose yours.



In any case, I wish you good luck in starting your new vegan diet!
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#6 Old 07-05-2006, 08:59 PM
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I stopped eating eggs/dairy/honey/other animal products the minute I realized the cruelty I was contributing to animals and that I was supporting slaughter houses, even though I didn't eat meat.



But it's different for everyone. If you're wanting to switch to veganism for health reasons, it's probably tougher than if it was for ethical reasons because if you're switching for ethical reasons, it's usually not a matter of "just giving in to cravings and having that Reeses).



When you do get cravings though for non-vegan things...find vegan alternatives. There's vegan PB cups (which taste just as good) available in natural food store or you can make your own, (recipes on vegweb.com). Find things that work for you to help the process go smoother...and good luck!!
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#7 Old 07-06-2006, 05:27 AM
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When I went vegetarian, I did it cold turkey. Same thing for vegan. If you decide, "At this exact moment, I am no longer eating (insert animal products here)," then you will be less prone to think, "Oh, I'm not vegan yet, I'll have some cheese, it won't hurt." It worked for me.



If you want to do it gradually though, try setting specific dates of when you'll cut certain things out of your diet. Try finding some alternatives in the meantime. For example, you said you already cut out milk, so the next step would be to cut out things containing milk, then things like cheese, then things containing cheese......ect. I think you get the idea. You can find a list of animal derived ingrediants at PETA (sorry no link, my work computer blocks it).



I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that even if you mess up, it's not the end of the world, so just keep trying. Good luck!
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#8 Old 07-06-2006, 05:37 AM
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I went vegan overnight from an omni diet. It worked well for me and I stayed motivated. If you think you're capable of doing the same go for it! It won't be a weird shock to your system if you already eat a normal amount of vegetables. If you don't think you can handle the change that quickly then there is no shame in doing gradually.
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#9 Old 07-06-2006, 05:42 AM
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I did it in about two days, so nearly overnight I'd been a lacto vegetarian for ten years before that though, so I was mostly cutting out dairy. I found that worked better for me, but if you feel it's going to be a pretty big change from your current diet, I'd try it gradually.
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#10 Old 07-06-2006, 05:42 AM
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If you're looking at a Reeses PB cup and saying 'darn, I not supposed to eat these anymore' as opposed to 'I am not going to consume dairy anymore, PB cups included' then perhaps you may be more comfortable as a lacto vegetarian.
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#11 Old 07-06-2006, 05:45 AM
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I sort of did both.

I decided I was going to be vegan sort of as an overnight thing. I just decided "I will no longer purchase non vegan things". Of course I had non vegan food in my house that no one else in my family would eat, like my breakfast cereal and a few junky snack things. I ate those items and just didn't replace them. It's also one of my principles to not waste food.

I've backslid a few times but, overall, I find it much easier to do an overnight thing (I did the same when I went veg) because, as others said, when you haven't made the commitment it's SO much easier to rationalize out bending the rules. When I've backslid, I felt like I let myself down. That's a real motivator to stay on track.

Just my .02.

Mary
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#12 Old 07-06-2006, 06:04 AM
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I am new to the whole vegetarian thing but I would have to vote gradually. I said when I decided to go vegetarian that I had no desire to go vegan. I am comfortable with my egg and dairy choice. Now I still doubt I will go hard core vegan but I can see myself working towards that end of the vegetarian spectrum.
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#13 Old 07-06-2006, 06:46 AM
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I agree with everyone else here who has posted. Some people can do an overnight thing and then there are others (like myself) who need a more gradual process.



As far as cheese, eggs, milk & honey goes, I'm done with all that but the ingredients lists are going to be an ongoing transition for me. I have become much more aware of some of the more commonly known non-vegan ingredients but it seems there's so many no-no's added to everything, I think it will be a continuing effort on my part.



I don't wear silk, or wool but do own a few pair of leather shoes, and yes believe it or not I also have a leather livingroom set. Will I toss them out, no. I am not a wasteful person but will I opt to buy something vegan next time around, you betcha.



Sorry. Back on topic. As far as the process, I think either way will work, but you have to decide for yourself which way will work for YOU! As with most important decisions in our lives, those that are lifetime changes sometimes take a bit longer, but SO well worth it!!!



Oh & Good Luck with your transition!!!!



Michelle
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#14 Old 07-06-2006, 07:11 AM
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I went lacto-vegetarian pretty much overnight...except for the few packages of meat I had left in the freezer. After that was gone...that was it...I cut out all meat products in one go. And I also gave up eggs at this time. Then I educated myself about ingredients that might not be vegetarian. I didn't know about rennet until I joined this board.



Since I've decided to go become vegan, it was gradual, but it really didn't take long. I gave up cheese right away, and everything else that is obvious to me. All I had to do was find a replacement for margarine.(which I have recently, Earth Balance)



I'm sure I still have stuff to learn, but to the best of my knowledge, I'm doing pretty well.



I think you have to do what's best for you. If you think you can do it all in one go, by all means do it that way. If not, give yourself some time to adjust to each change as they come along.
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#15 Old 07-06-2006, 09:04 AM
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I would suggest just starting tomorrow. Go cold turkey. Do it overnight.



And then if you find you can't do it (that it's too hard or too much too soon) then you can take a step back and find a place you're comfortable with until you're ready to make the next step.



The one thing I do really recommend is avoiding the temptation for "one last binge" on all the items you think you'll never get to eat again. You'll end making yourself sick, and you should be in good health whenever you make a dietary change.
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#16 Old 07-06-2006, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troub View Post


The biggest thing to keep in mind is why you are doing this. Remind yourself. When you get a craving, or think about eating something, remind yourself why.



Cravings will pass. I've seen people say "I wish I never ate that pizza, I was doing so good, 3 weeks without dairy and I just threw it all away" but Ive never seen anyone say "I wish I would have caved into my cravings earlier".



Cravings will pass, withdrawl will pass, regret lasts a little longer. And thats true with any goal you set for yourself.



This is very true. Those cravings will pass, and it is likely that you'll look back and think, "I'm really glad I didn't eat that ______."



I became vegan overnight, and didn't give into any cravings (and let me tell you, I definitely had my share ). It just wasn't worth it for me.



Like troub said, keep reminding yourself of why you want to go vegan. Those reasons will keep you going strong!
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#17 Old 07-06-2006, 09:14 AM
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I put a lot of thought into vegetarianism and became vegetarian within a week or two. After that veganism followed so rationally that I made the switch overnight. I feel very strongly about this philosophy and way of life, so it was not difficult at all.



One day I thought...oh man...I can never have pizza again (and I'm from a very Italian family, which makes this tricky), but then I asked myself WHY will I refuse to eat cheese pizza from now on? When I thought about the answer it reminded me why I became vegan in the first place. Even though I'm still new at this, I know that I will be this way all my life.
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#18 Old 07-06-2006, 10:03 AM
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I agree with what everyone has posted. I've been Vegetarian for 28 years and almost a year now have gone Vegan. I did it overnight/cold tofurky, whatever you want to call it, I stopped right then and there and I'm German and LOVE cheese, but have been able to stave off of all these things without any problem. I am reading EVERYTHING very carefully now, because a lot is disguised.

Tofutti makes and excellent cream cheese (alternative) and sour cream alternative. There are also some great cheese products. Follow your heart (I think) is the name of one.

It's going to be up to you and your body how your proceed with this.

One thing - don't dwell on it. Don't keep talking to yourself about it.
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#19 Old 07-06-2006, 10:20 AM
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For me, we decided a few years ago not to purchase any more meat and just use what we had frozen. Then, over time I prepared more and more veggie meals.



Also, I incorporated something I called "Vegan Tuesday" when I just ate vegan on Tuesdays. I tried different recipes and was aware of what was vegan and was not. It was a good way to try it for me without a huge commitment and little chance of failure. Anyway, over time I had more and more vegan meals and became a vegan after about 9 months of my Vegan Tuesdays. Now, I have been a vegan for about a year. All is great!
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#20 Old 07-06-2006, 08:50 PM
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Dietarally I have gone vegan overnight. It was easiest for me, same when I quit smoking I'm a cold turkey kinda guy. However, I like flveg, am phasing out the animal products, I have never owned fur, never will. But I do have some leather shoes, a few which are days away from being unusable. I do have a leather wallet as well, and one lambs wool sweater. I'm poor and actually have -$ in my bank account (College will kill ya) so I can't afford to go on a cruelty free spree. But I will not be buying any leather/fur/wool/silk products from here on out... My fiance ought to like that she never liked the idea of me wanting a leather chair anyways
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#21 Old 07-06-2006, 09:24 PM
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I went vegan overnight. Well, technically I was vegetarian for like an hour before going vegan, but I didn't actually eat anything in that time.



I decided to become a vegetarian and was totally commited so I went online and was reading up on everything, and stumbled on to something on the PETA website about the evils of milk. "MILK!? What's wrong with Milk?" I did more research and decided I would drop all animal products.



I had never even heard the word "Vegan" before then.





I think it's easier to do it all at once and if you slip up or cave to just view it as a "one-time" thing (even if it happens frequently). That way your not back-peddaling, you just missed the peddle and lost your balance for a moment.
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#22 Old 07-06-2006, 10:37 PM
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thank you all for your replies! they were most helpful!



I think I'll adopt the vegan diet 'overnight'...now I just need to pick a date.
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#23 Old 07-07-2006, 01:48 AM
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"there is no time like the present"
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#24 Old 07-07-2006, 02:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troub View Post

"there is no time like the present"



Yep! I just stopped buying any dairy/egg products, and anything with them as ingredients. I used up whatever I had in the house, and then replaced them (or not!) with vegan alternatives.



I think this is the way to go, it worked for me. If you stop viewing cheese etc. as 'food', then it's easier to forgo these things. Have the cheese, in your mind, represent suffering or bodily secretions (whichever you find more offputting!) Instead of thinking "Oh I'd really love a cheese sandwich now", try focussing on replacing the cheese 'fix' with something similar - try avocado or hummus, or I like tomato sandwiches on toast with vegan mayo and nutritional yeast - slightly "cheesy", greasy and satisfying!



Most of all, be positive - you can do it, many others have before! If you slip up, don't beat yourself up about it, just do the best you can



Good luck!
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#25 Old 07-07-2006, 04:22 PM
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I would suggest just starting tomorrow. Go cold turkey. Do it overnight.



And then if you find you can't do it (that it's too hard or too much too soon) then you can take a step back and find a place you're comfortable with until you're ready to make the next step.



I agree completely.



I went vegetarian gradually, as it wasn't exactly a conscious decision, it was more like i just realized one day taht i had cut all meat out of my diet...so, it worked for me then becasue i just stopped eating red meat...then chicken, turkey, fish, etc.



HOWEVER



I went VEGAN cold turkey, and it worked fantasticly for me. Of course, i made many a slip up in my first week or so, but not purposefully. If you just decide that you're not going to do it, then there's no halfway, no "excuses" you can make for yourself, and i beleive it is the most successful way to go.
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#26 Old 07-07-2006, 05:49 PM
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once i decided to go vegan, i did it instantly (with a very brief, inexcusable lapse to lacto-ovo in the first trimester i was pregnant). what people said about how if you do it gradually that you'll be like "oh, it's okay, i haven't given THAT up totally yet" is right - eventually you'll look up and lots of time will have passed and you still won't be there.



as for cravings, if all your cravings are chocolate based - peanut chews are vegan, and there are vegan chocolate chips (so you can make pudding or cookies or whatever) and you can make hot cocoa with cocoa powder and soy/rice milk. there are also vegan chocolate bars. sure, the other day i thought "wow, i haven't had a snickers in FOREVER *sigh*", but during my brief lapse every time i had something with dairy i felt HORRID afterwards (including a kit kat) like "eww that's so gross why did i eat that" and it wasn't ever worth it.



it's easier than you think it is!
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#27 Old 07-07-2006, 06:40 PM
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ltlghiagrl: I love Peanut Chews but they're so difficult for me to find here in Alberta! The only place I found them was a Mac's store in a bad part of Calgary and I'm hours north of that city where I live now.

But I could probably order cases of them online somewhere...
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#28 Old 07-09-2006, 11:39 AM
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I look at it like trying to quit smoking. It's better to quit cold turkey than try to ease off the nicotine, most people end up smoking again or chewing Nicorette for years before quitting (which is still putting nicotine and bad ingredients in your body).

Just wake up one day and do it. It's better to get rid of everything that isnt vegan from your house all at once.

That way there's no excuse to say "well, I still have this package of deli ham in my fridge," then next week you're buying more.
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#29 Old 07-09-2006, 11:41 AM
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And everyone just posted the same exact thing I said..

woopsies -.-
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#30 Old 07-09-2006, 01:34 PM
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I became a Dietary Vegan instantly. I refuse to obsess over things I use to eat. Discovering new tastes is the key, also there are plenty of sweets out there. Chocolate,Chocolate,Chocolate, is the key. LOL
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