Becoming vegan - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-18-2015, 02:57 AM
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Becoming vegan

I have recently become full veggie and I am trying to transition to vegan too. I am finding it quite difficult to know what to eat. Snack wise it's fine but my lunch and dinner is when I become very stuck for ideas.

Everything I see is full of soya. Do vegans eat alot of soya? Can anyone give me some ideas of meals you eat and how you get your protein on your plate? I don't feel comfortable eating frozen veggie burgers and sausages in place of meat, they are full of soya and salt. I bought Frys burgers at the weekend which tasted nice but I dont like processed foods.

I am stuck trying to substitute protein, dairy products.... Any tips appreciated.

Ju
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#2 Old 05-18-2015, 06:11 AM
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I'm in the US, so I'm not so sure everything will apply to what you have available or like. But here are some ideas - nut butters are full of protein, healthy fats, and if you get them without added sugars, are very healthy. My favorite is almond butter.

As for burgers, google for some vegan bean based veggie burger recipes (like black bean). When you find one you like, make a batch and freeze the leftovers for other meals. Homemade are easy and usually healthier than what you find processed.

Next, try your hand at seitan. Seitan is made from wheat protein - no soy. It's used to make a lot of meat substitutes and is relatively easy to make, once you get used to it. Some recipes require simmering, but I tend to like those made by steaming. Depending on the flavorings you use, you can make seitan to resemble chicken, beef or even pastrami and corned beef. There's a bit of a learning curve, but my whole family loves it.

Chickpeas are also a great protein substitute. Hummus, chickpea salads, and roasted are all wonderful.

I've found that being vegan goes much smoother when you are willing to explore (and laugh at your failures!) in the kitchen! Good luck!!!

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#3 Old 05-18-2015, 06:17 AM
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Soya is an excellent vegetarian protein source, but it's definitely not your only option. Do you like beans? I'm a big fan of bean-based dishes: bean burgers like @Poppy suggested, bean burritos, bean chili, three bean salad. You can also get your protein from nuts, broccoli, quinoa, grains. As long as you're eating a varied diet and taking in enough calories, you won't have to make a conscious effort to get enough protein.
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#4 Old 05-18-2015, 10:13 AM
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I eat a lot of black beans--at least one meal a day is a bean burrito! I just love them. I'm cooking some beans right now.

Whole grains and nuts are probably large source of protein for me. Toast with peanut butter is a good snack or quick breakfast.

I do eat some soy products though. The fake meats can be useful in the beginning, especially if you're having trouble with cravings. I have low blood pressure also, so I don't worry about salt. My breakfast this morning was scrambled tofu with Tofurkey kielbasa and potatoes--very filling. Most mornings I make oatmeal, which is a little bit less substantial. I do cook it in soy milk, but you could use any sort of milk you wanted. Soy milk just has the most protein. You could always get some other type of protein powder and add it.

What did you like to eat for most meals as a non-vegan?
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#5 Old 05-18-2015, 12:15 PM
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lunch: any kind of bean + any kind of starch + any kind of green vegetable + any kind of fruit

ex:

bean burrito or taco, broccoli, apple

pasta with white beans, spinach, banana

blackeyed peas, cornread, turnip greens, peaches

lettuce based salad, hummus, pita bread, orange

bean soup with cabbage, brown rice, strawberries
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#6 Old 05-18-2015, 12:46 PM
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Thank you

You've all been very helpful.

With regards to what I eat non vegan, whilst transitioning I like to eat quorn sometimes with veggies and maybe some pasta or sandwich thin at lunch. Evening meals are usually veggie chilli, veggie spaghetti bolognese, veggie curry, veggie pizza.....

My concern is reaching my protein requirements.

I am also not sure what I should have on my plate each meal. I am such a novice lol!

Also can anyone tell me what strength vit b12 you take? I have 30ug I think it says, on my Biocare multivitamins.

Thank you all.

Julie
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Originally Posted by dormouse View Post
I eat a lot of black beans--at least one meal a day is a bean burrito! I just love them. I'm cooking some beans right now.

Whole grains and nuts are probably large source of protein for me. Toast with peanut butter is a good snack or quick breakfast.

I do eat some soy products though. The fake meats can be useful in the beginning, especially if you're having trouble with cravings. I have low blood pressure also, so I don't worry about salt. My breakfast this morning was scrambled tofu with Tofurkey kielbasa and potatoes--very filling. Most mornings I make oatmeal, which is a little bit less substantial. I do cook it in soy milk, but you could use any sort of milk you wanted. Soy milk just has the most protein. You could always get some other type of protein powder and add it.

What did you like to eat for most meals as a non-vegan?
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#7 Old 05-18-2015, 03:56 PM
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It's pretty easy to get your protein. I get more than enough without ever trying these days.

Check out www.cronometer.com to help with nutritional stuff like protein


As to B12, I take a liquid one, but I don't measure or anything. I just have a little when it's convenient for me, usually a couple times a day but I don't worry about it even if I don't have it for a week, or six months even is okay. We store enough B12 in our bodies for years, assuming your levels are good.

The amount you need is actually quite low, 3ug a day. One thing to keep in mind though with B12 it's more about frequency than quantity. Humans are actually bad at absorbing more than a tiny amount of B12 at a time. If you take it once per week you're going to need to take something like 1000-2000ug. If you take it once a day probably 30ug would be enough, twice a day you could lower it to 20ug total. You'd need to constantly have it throughout the day to lower it to 3ug.

I am half pulling numbers out of my butt but that's the idea. I used to care more and be diligent taking it but when I got my blood results back showing my B12 to be quite high I stopped worrying so much.

Oh also there is no upper limit set on B12. Even is excessive amount there have been no negative effects seen. It's better to get too much than not enough.
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#8 Old 05-19-2015, 02:25 AM
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Thank you. Great advice :-)

I will stick with the daily 30ug in my multivitamin.

Julie
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#9 Old 05-19-2015, 06:46 PM
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Hi Julie,

As others have said: if you are eating a variety of whole foods (beans, grains, vegetables, fruit), and if you are getting enough calories, then you will automatically get enough protein to maintain your health.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, women need at least 46 grams of protein per day: http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyon...s/protein.html . Even if only 10% of your calories were coming from protein, you would still get this amount of protein.

Calculation:

(2000 calories per day) x (10% of calories from protein) = 200 protein calories per day

(200 protein calories per day) / (4 calories per gram) = 50 grams of protein per day !!!


It's certainly not hard to get 10% of your daily calories from protein. Lentils contain 27% of their calories as protein: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/...roducts/4338/2 . Firm tofu contains 41% of its calories as protein: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/...roducts/4393/2 . Even whole wheat pasta contains 15% of its calories as protein: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/...d-pasta/5784/2 .


Different beans and grains can have different ratios of amino acids - you need not worry about this. It is not necessary to consciously combine different foods in order to get enough of the different amino acids.


Please consider this statement from the American Heart Association:


"You don't need to eat foods from animals to have enough protein in your diet. Plant proteins alone can provide enough of the essential and non-essential amino acids, as long as sources of dietary protein are varied and caloric intake is high enough to meet energy needs. Whole grains, legumes, vegetables, seeds and nuts all contain both essential and non-essential amino acids. You don't need to consciously combine these foods ("complementary proteins") within a given meal.
Link: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Gettin...32_Article.jsp
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_________

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; 05-19-2015 at 07:01 PM.
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#10 Old 05-20-2015, 01:38 AM
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Great advice, thank you David.

Very reassuring and good to know. I do worry about not getting enough protein whilst i am working out.

Julie
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#11 Old 05-27-2015, 12:22 PM
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Vegetable curries are so nice!!


Long beans curry!!!
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#12 Old 05-27-2015, 05:56 PM
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Be sure to get enough lysine. If you are getting enough lysine, you are likely getting enough total protein.

http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/protein
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#13 Old 05-27-2015, 10:50 PM
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Try not to think of it as "what vegan foods can I use to replace the meat in my diet" Because then you end up looking at veggie burgers, veggie sausages and fake meats. And to be honest, no one wants to live off of that every day! Start looking at it from a veggie perspective, and think "what meal can I make using 'insert bean/lentil' and 'insert grain/starch/veggie' " I've found that that's a much easier way to eat good veggie-friendly dishes!! You can also try typing the main 2 or 3 ingredients you want to use into google along with "recipe" and see what recipes come up that you might want to try. Simple dishes to start you off are dal+naan bread, Mexican beans and rice, and hearty stews or soups. All soy and fake meat free!

Hope this helps

If you're eating whole grains, lots of veg, and at least one portion of beans/lentils/tofu with either lunch or dinner, then don't even bother worrying about protein intake. It all adds up throughout the day, and even a little bit of protein from a minor source will eventually allow you to end up with a more than adequate amount!
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#14 Old 05-29-2015, 07:16 AM
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Brilliant. Thank you Rebecca.

I had actually been thinking I dont want to eat too much soy as I worry about the health risks of that. I also want to consume less processed foods. I don't currently eat many processed foods so it's not something I want to do to replace protein from meat.

Great advice, much appreciated.

Julie
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#15 Old 05-29-2015, 05:45 PM
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Don't confuse the highly processed soy products with edaname, soy milk, or the minimally processed foods like tofu and the fermented tempeh.
I'm still looking for a study on health risks from soy that isn't linked to the meat/dairy industry. I check every one I've come across and they've all had direct or indirect ties to things like Weston Price.
If you're intolerant to soy that's a different story, but if not, it is a very healthy food and has the complete amino chain
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#16 Old 05-30-2015, 02:41 AM
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Great, thank you Silva.
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#17 Old 05-30-2015, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silva View Post
Don't confuse the highly processed soy products with edaname, soy milk, or the minimally processed foods like tofu and the fermented tempeh.
I'm still looking for a study on health risks from soy that isn't linked to the meat/dairy industry. I check every one I've come across and they've all had direct or indirect ties to things like Weston Price.
If you're intolerant to soy that's a different story, but if not, it is a very healthy food and has the complete amino chain
the more I dig into papers written about soy, the more I think the "soy fear" is just a paper tiger. Soy foods, even the highly processed ones (we like boca burgers and TVP around here!) have more nutritional benefits/less drawbacks than the animal products they imitate.

Now I dont eat soy cereal with soy milk for breakfast, with soy meat/cheese sandwich for lunch, followed by a soy protein smoothie at snack time, and a tofu/soysauce/edemame stirfry for dinner...But who the hell does?! LOL
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#18 Old 05-30-2015, 11:27 AM
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yeah, i see no reason to avoid soy. this fearmongering is no doubt instigated and perpetuated by the meat and dairy industries who fear diminishing sales.

however i see no reason to emphasize soy over other legumes. variety is key.

i prefer intact beans generally although i do use milk alternatives and yogurt alternatives.
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#19 Old 05-30-2015, 11:37 AM
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don't get me started on soy.
on less your body building i wouldn't worry too much about protein.
currys are great and you can do enough for two days
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#20 Old 05-31-2015, 10:13 AM
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Thank you all. Great advice and I shall ignore anything I come across about soy ;-)

I eat a varied diet, so I think turning to veganism won't be too difficult for me really as I don't eat alot of dairy now. I am transitioning currently and not finding it too difficult so far.

Julie
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