I'm Finally Ready. - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-05-2018, 07:30 PM
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I'm Finally Ready.

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?
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#2 Old 04-05-2018, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by caryn View Post
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.
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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/
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#3 Old 04-06-2018, 05:24 AM
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Thank you for the reply! One thing I think will be easier for me is that I don't really eat a lot of straight dairy at home anyway. I don't really like yogurt, cheese makes me feel gross, so the only dairy I really have (unless dining out) is ice cream (which I've found alternatives for) and dairy that's hidden in things like protein bars or pancake mix. I was eating eggs occasionally because they are convenient and easy to cook, but I don't really like them all that much. The biggest struggle I think I will have is dining out. Also, other than chickpeas and some lentils, I don't like beans. I have been experimenting with them though, and I'm making it a goal to experiment and find more beans I like.

Last edited by caryn; 04-06-2018 at 05:26 AM.
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#4 Old 04-06-2018, 12:44 PM
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The biggest struggle I think I will have is dining out. Also, other than chickpeas and some lentils, I don't like beans. I have been experimenting with them though, and I'm making it a goal to experiment and find more beans I like.

Hi caryn,

Yep, eating out can be challenging, depending on where you live.

The Vegetarian Resource Group published a useful article about eating vegan at popular chain restaurants: https://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2009is...n_mealplan.php

You can find local vegan restaurants using this free website/app http://www.happycow.net

If you enjoy lentils and/or chickpeas enough to eat some every day, then there's no need to find other beans (unless you want to). Tofu is another alternative - it doesn't have much flavor or texture, so it can be blended/mashed and then added to dishes. Finely mashed tofu can be added to oatmeal, or to spaghetti sauce (kind of looks like ricotta cheese). Blended tofu can be added to soup and other liquid-including dishes.


Thank you for joining us here!
.

_________

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; 04-06-2018 at 12:46 PM.
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#5 Old 04-07-2018, 04:59 AM
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Best is to avoid places with vegan unfriendly staff .
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#6 Old 04-07-2018, 09:27 AM
Tom
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Welcome, Caryn!

You're ahead of the game in that you don't appear to crave dairy and egg that much anyway. You mentioned not liking beans generally, except for chickpeas and lentils (two of my own favorites!), but as far as flavor/taste/texture go, most legumes don't stand in for dairy or egg anyway (except for soy, which is often used as a milk or egg substitute).

I'm not crazy about lentils, but they're okay- and cook very quickly for a legume!- so they make my personal favorite list. I like soy because it's so versatile, as @David3 mentions, and I also like white beans (Great Northern, navy, etc.). I think Pinto, Kidney, or black beans have a much stronger flavor which needs to be paired with strong spices. Then again, I went to a Mexican restaurant with some friends of mine recently, and the side of rice and beans (both black and pinto) was fine, although it wasn't excessively spicy.

You could try a can of beans you haven't tried before; it wouldn't be an expensive experiment and you wouldn't have to spend a lot of time soaking and cooking something you might not like.

What didn't you like about some of the beans you've tried in the past? Maybe they just weren't prepared the way you would like them.
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Peasant (1963-1972) and Fluffy (1970s?-1982- I think of you as 'Ambrose' now)- Your spirits outshone some humans I have known. Be happy forever.
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#7 Old 04-07-2018, 04:54 PM
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I was lacto-vegetarian for more than 40 years, became mostly vegan a few years ago, and am vegan now.

I found the transition to be pretty easy. I make pizzas with veggies and olives and mushrooms that satisfy that craving, and make tasty sandwiches with hummus or veggies.

My digestion and elimination were always fine, but now they are perfect.

Honestly, I never in my life enjoyed my food as much as I do now.

I had an experience you might benefit from. When I first dropped dairy, I started eating a lot of vegan junk food. Fake meats, fake cheese, chips, candy, etc. Since going to a low fat more natural diet I'm now able to enjoy big piles of grains and pasta and legumes and fruits and veggies without gaining weight. I feel better and really enjoy eating more food.

Last edited by blue_green_gold; 04-07-2018 at 05:05 PM.
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