Originally Posted by caryn
I've been a vegetarian for almost 10 years (minus 2 years in the middle of that 10 where I thought it was a good idea to eat fish
). However, I had never had any intention of giving up dairy or eggs. I have been doing a lot of research recently on the dairy and egg industries and plant based nutrition, and I finally feel like I am ready to work on cutting out dairy and eggs. They also are gross when you really think about what they are. Any recommendations or tips? For those of you that transitioned from vegetarian to vegan, how difficult did you find the transition?
Hi caryn, and welcome aboard.
Dairy is a concentrated source of calcium, but there are so many calcium-rich dairy alternatives now. Even normal supermarkets sell calcium-fortified soymilk, almond milk, and orange juice.
From the Vegetarian Resource Group, here is a detailed webpage about non-dairy calcium sources: https://www.vrg.org/nutrition/calcium.php
In eliminating dairy foods from the diet, the hard part can be giving up all the delicious dairy foods - ice cream, yogurt, and cheese. Ice cream isn't a problem anymore, because even normal supermarkets carry dairy-free ice cream treats, in many different flavors. Dairy-free yogurt can be found at health food stores.
Dairy-free cheese has improved greatly in the past 25 years, but it's still not identical in taste/feel to regular cheese. The "cold-served" dairy-free cheeses, like for sandwiches, have become quite good. "Daiya" brand block cheese is good. So is Field Roast brand "Chao" cheese. However, there isn't yet a truly convincing, stretchy, non-dairy mozzarella cheese for hot pizza. I enjoy "Daiya" brand dairy-free cheese on pizza, but it's not the same as eating at Round Table Pizza. Instead of focusing on the cheese on my pizza, I use other tangy pizza toppings - marinated artichoke hearts, marinated green olives, sundried tomatoes, things like that.
I was never a big fan of eggs, so I don't have any suggestions for convincing egg alternatives.