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#1 Old 10-13-2014, 04:39 AM
Join Date: Oct 2014
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Exclamation do or die.

Just a quick intro. Male, 63. Was told by my doctor to go Vegan or I will not have a long life. I am Diabetic have chronic kidney disease and high blood pressure along with peripheral nerve damage. Short story. I went to my doctors today because I felt really bad, I thought I was going to pass out. Doctor took a test and my blood sugar was 35. That is not good! Doctor checked me over and said I was not in a good state of health and he recommended a complete change of life style that I might live longer. He told me to go Vegan. He said my kidneys would thank me and help put off dialysis and could also cure my diabetis or at least bring it down to a better leve.

I think I am going to listen to my doctor and go for it. I managed to stop smoking and drinking alcohol 10 years ago so I am sure I can do this. Any help or ideas will be much appreciated
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Last edited by Heavensoul; 10-13-2014 at 04:41 AM. Reason: Spelling
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#2 Old 10-13-2014, 06:36 AM
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Hi Heavensoul and welcome to VeggieBoards.

My best wishes for your new diet improving your health.

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#3 Old 10-13-2014, 07:40 AM
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Welcome aboard, Heavensoul. Glad to have you as part of the community!

"There is more wisdom in the song of a bird, than in the speech of a philosopher...." -Oahspe
"The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time." -Buster Kilrain, The Killer Angels -Michael Shaara
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#4 Old 10-13-2014, 07:41 AM
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Welcome Heavensoul

I'm another health convert to veg*ism (there are a few of us around). I transitioned very slowly but it sounds like you might need to move a bit faster. My only tip is that I found it easier to eliminate foods one by one rather than changing it all at once. So I started with 1 vegetarian day per week and cutting out red meat. Then 3 vegetarian days per week and cutting out white meat. Then 5 veg days and cutting out fish. But this was a process that took months for me. It can absolutely be done faster than my plodding pace.

Good luck with it all! and fingers crossed you start to feel better soon.
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#5 Old 10-13-2014, 10:06 AM
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What a good idea! I think I will get into it gradually. Don't want to shock my system plus it will give me time to prepare my kitchen and get some storage for all my new veg and rice and pulses.
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#6 Old 10-13-2014, 10:33 AM
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Welcome Heavensoul! Good luck with your transition! Might I suggest a 'vegan before 6' diet until you can make the whole transition, if you don't want to do it all at once? Essentially keep everything vegan for breakfast, lunches, and snacks, until supper time when you can eat more or less like you usually would. That will help curb your cravings and have you trying new healthier things without it feeling so much like a full on plunge.

Good luck and keep us updated!
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#7 Old 10-13-2014, 11:11 AM
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Welcome Heavensoul! I'm glad you have a doctor that realizes the importance of nutrition. Shallot's advice sounds good, but it does sound like you should switch faster. If you're at a loss as to what to make or you're not crazy about vegetables, following recipes is very helpful.

For optimal health, you'll want dark leafy greens to be a large portion of your diet. A great way to get in as many greens as possible is to make green smoothies. You'll want to find some recipes or get a recipe book.

You also need to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables and get in all of the different colors-red, orange, yellow, green, purple, and some whites such as cauliflower.

Also add in a moderate amount of whole grains and pseudograins, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

A few things you also need to do are:

1. Take a B-12 supplement. This is absolutely necessary since you only get B-12 from animal products.

2. You may want to consider a vitamin D supplement if you don't get enough sun exposure.

3. Make sure you get enough Omega-3. Having a good Omega 6:3 ratio is crucial to good health. The easiest way to make sure you get enough is to eat 2 TBSP of ground flax seeds everyday. The flax can be mixed in with oatmeal (steel cut oats are lower glycemic than rolled oats. They take longer to cook unless soaked overnight.), smoothies, and just about anything else you can think of. Dark leafy greens, walnuts, hemp seeds, and chia seeds are also excellent sources.

Here's a good link I found.

Cutting out processed foods and oils will help your Omega 6:3 ratio

Using coconut oil instead of other oils for cooking when using oil is also a good idea. Many people are under the impression that all saturated fats are bad for you, but that's not the case. That being said, I still recommend using the whole food instead of oils, juices, isolated proteins, etc.

Here is an easy to understand link and a link to peer-reviewed research.

Sorry for writing a book here. I'm also a health convert. I noticed results quickly without even doing everything for optimal health. It took me awhile to figure out exactly what I needed to for maximum benefits, so I hope I've helped some.

Last edited by seedgirl; 10-13-2014 at 11:15 AM.
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#8 Old 10-13-2014, 12:00 PM
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I'm glad your taking your doctors advice seriously and strongly considering change. My father didnt and the result was not pretty, so good job getting this far
As someone who both quit smoking and went vegan straight from a cheeseburger and pie centered omni diet I can say quitting smoking was with out any doubt the harder one.
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#9 Old 10-13-2014, 02:08 PM
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I'm so glad you're here and motivated! I have known a man who followed Dr. Esselstyns Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease diet after being given last rites and his wife told to prepare herself for the worst. Most radical change I've ever seen a person go through. He went from an overweight, pasty, short of breath with such a depressing aura about him to fit, energetic and HAPPY.
I highly suggest you look that up, along with any of Dr Furhmans, Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Mcdougall,
Check out this site for great menu ideas and nutrition advice:

Then theres John Robbins books for down to earth motivation. Robbins- heir of Baskin and Robbins. Vegan.

Order as much as you can from the library.
Amazon is a great source also because they have a "look inside" feature which is good for browsing and insight.

And of course:

So much is about letting go of a lifetime of putting things in our bodies we never should have imagined would be okay for us from the time we were spoon fed from jars. Yes, it is shocking. You wouldn't put the wrong stuff in your car.
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#10 Old 10-13-2014, 09:33 PM
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Welcome! It's awesome you're doing this.

I +1 the above peeps who suggest transitioning what you eat at least a little slowly. It'll help your digestive system adjust, give you time to transition your pantry, and give you time to find some vegan recipes you love.

If you have health insurance, would you be able to see a dietician or nutritionist who could help you out? It's certainly not necessary to make the transition, but at first having that support can be helpful, particularly if you have health issues that need to be addressed and supported.

Some websites that have really helped me find new recipes are:
NOTE that at first- unless you love cooking, I'd focus on getting some staples of your diet down before tackling lots of complicated recipes (you don't want to burn out on cooking). There are plenty of quick vegan meals you can start out with- pasta with a vegan red sauce and a side of sauteed spinach is one. Entire meal usually takes less than 20 minutes to make!
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#11 Old 10-14-2014, 02:36 AM
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Welcome Heavensoul! I'm sorry to hear about your health issues. Sounds truly scary. I hope that you are able to heal yourself with this change. Your life is worth health and peace. I came from the other end, was once emaciated and sick with anorexia and have nursed myself back to health as a vegan, though I still struggle with the mental health aspects of an eating disorder. I used to smoke and drink years ago too and quit all that cold. Living as a vegan is not at all hard once you learn the lifestyle. I LOVE being vegan and am still never bored with it years later. I think it is key to learn to cook and prepare food and make it a daily habit you work into your schedule. It used to be a fact of life for the majority of people, but in the last twenty or so years it seems like so many people eat out so much and eat convenience food and make excuses that they are too busy to cook and prepare food. There is no need to spend hours and hours making gourmet meals in the kitchen, but whole healthy food does require a little bit of prep work. It's not a big deal. If one can't find the time to soak beans, there are canned varieties to work with for instance. For me, for foods that take longer to make, I set aside a few hours on Sundays and make a big batch of beans or a few loaves of bread or a batch of some long cooking grain and then have those things on hand for the week when I am much busier.

Others have given some great advice! There are so many cookbooks and vegan health books on the market now it is mind boggling. I sometimes go browse in Barnes and Noble bookstore and there is an entire side of an aisle now dedicated to vegan and vegetarian cookbooks.

A book that helped me with health concerns when I transitioned is "Becoming Vegan: The Complete Guide to adopting a Plant Based Diet" by Brenda Davis, RD and Vesanto Melina, RD.

They go into great detail about how to meet nutritional needs as a vegan and use science to back up what they share. They keep it fairly neutral and straight forward without all the fad stuff. Might be worth looking into. My local library has this book too.

Best wishes on your journey!

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#12 Old 10-14-2014, 04:53 PM
Join Date: Oct 2014
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Thank you all for you great advice it is much appreciated. Today I spent 150 ponds on spices pulses seeds beans veg and salad. I also was given a food processor and a bread maker by a friend who got them and never used them. His loss lol. I also managed to find lots of books on very vagan cooking. For 5 pounds I got 5 books. Plus one called Revers Diabetes that makes for a good read and coincidentally has the same idea my doctor had and recommends a Vagan life style to cure or lower diabetes.

I made my first Vagan meal today (my wife said she will not prepare and cook it) First I made some vegetable broth for stock. It taste horrible I think I need practice on that one. Then I made a large pan of mixed bean soup my friend and his wife came and they loved it. Even asked for the recepi I loved it it tastes great and so filling. And only 99p. For a very large pan full. Then I had some very burgers and sweet potatoes wth tomatoes. Yummy. My kitchen has never had so much veg and fruit in it. I love the fruit side. I am eating fruit I have never heard of same for veg. Igotsoe kale and I love it. Never had it before.
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#13 Old 10-14-2014, 05:04 PM
Join Date: Oct 2014
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I might add that soy milk tastes really bad. I do not think I will be drinking it again
I will use it for cooking. Tofu. Tastes horrible lol. Spinach tastes horrible too. A little cider vineger made it taste better lol. Everything else I like Yea!

Last edited by Heavensoul; 10-14-2014 at 05:05 PM. Reason: Can not type lol
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#14 Old 10-14-2014, 06:48 PM
Join Date: Jul 2014
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I'm sorry your wife isn't helping you with this! I can't imagine my husband refusing to help me with something I needed for my health.

I MUCH prefer almond milk to soy. I think if you look for a substitute for dairy milk- nothing's going to taste like it. I think the frame of mind that it's a different beverage that will taste different helps.
Tofu definitely takes learning how to prepare well... it can take tons of different tastes and textures.
Did you try the spinach fresh, with dressing, or sauteed?

Glad some of your cooking went well!
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#15 Old 10-14-2014, 07:17 PM
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Glad to hear it. I will warn you that all of your office/restaurant/stay-at-home parents, etc. will suddenly become nutritional experts, scientists, and dietitians---Just ignore them, they never spoke up when you were omni--trust me, they are out there. Glad you found some books you enjoy. I suggest the 613 (nutrition) and 641 (cookbooks) section of your library. My favorite cookbook authors are Isa Moskowitz & Terry Romero (Veganomicon, Vegan with a Vengeance, Appetite For Reduction--their websites are the and, Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer (How It All Vegan, The Garden of Vegan---their website is Celine Steen (Vegan Finger Foods, 500 Vegan Recipes, The Complete Guide to Vegan Substitutions---Her website is have cake will Rip Esselstyn (The Engine 2 Diet and My Beef With Meat--his website is the engine 2 I hope this helps.

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#16 Old 10-14-2014, 07:24 PM
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Sounds like you've had a great start

I got a bread machine when I went vegan too. I followed the instructions and let it cook the bread and it was like hand to hand combat getting the bread out. After that I used the setting to just let it make the dough and I cooked that in the oven, it was awesome for dough making. With luck yours will be better than mine but even if you only use it to make the dough it'll still be a big time saver.
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#17 Old 10-14-2014, 08:31 PM
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I'm glad you're off to a good start! Maybe your wife will come around after she sees your results.
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#18 Old 10-15-2014, 04:14 AM
Join Date: Aug 2014
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Congratulations on taking your doctor's advice seriously and being prepared to make some major changes! A shame your wife isn't on board, but there you go. As a new vegan, I'll offer a couple of suggestions;

- don't give up on things like soy milk. I buy Alpro here - the unsweetened is a bit too beany for my cereal but better in cooking, the sweetened is OK and cheaper than the almond, the almond is delicious. I was back in the UK recently and bought another brand of soy which I didn't like at all. Every brand is different, so try a few others as well as other types of plant milk to see if there is one you like. Also, look out for fortified brands so you are getting extra vitamins & minerals.

- I haven't quite got the hang of tofu yet, except when it is scrambled for breakfast. I use this recipe - it isn't an exact replacement for eggs but doesn't taste tofu-y and is quite delicious.

- you are fortunate enough to have some vegan packaged meals available - I'm not suggesting that you eat these regularly as it will rather defeat the object of making all the changes for your health, but after a while you might find all the extra cooking and effort a bit overwhelming. I think this is when people are most likely to give up. Something like a Linda McCartney 'meat' pie (in the frozen section of UK supermarkets) might be enough to satisfy any cravings without giving up the vegan thing altogether.

Best of luck!
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