Tired and unhealthy, want to be vegan - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-09-2017, 04:39 AM
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Tired and unhealthy, want to be vegan

So i'm a 30year old guy from Belgium.
I recently started exercising again for the health benefits. But still i don't feel healthy.

The main problem is my sleep. I sleep poorly, and can't get out of bed in the morning. My alarm clock will be going off for hours, and i just sleep trough it. And when i finally wake up i feel like crap until at least noon, sometimes even longer.
So i feel weak and it's starting to affect my professional life.

So i want to change something, and watched some documentaries on a plant based diet. Which made perfect sense to me, why eat meat if it is unhealthy for me, killing the environment, and brutally slaughtering animals in a inhumane way.
It just clicked for me.

But it's already been difficult for me. Most of my calories came from meat before. I ate a meat/fat based diet with few carbs. So my usual dinner, was a vegetable, cooked, with one or two pieces of meat depending on how much calories i expended that day.

I train on my bicycle at times, and can expend 1000+ calories in one sitting easily. That means i have to eat around 3000calories on those days.

Went to the store yesterday, and i was at a loss. I can make some ratatoeille style pasta's for calories easily, so that's one recipe. But i don't want to eat tomato sause everyday, so am at a loss of what possibilities there are.

Many vegan recipes are strange, and use stuff like tofu (which i have no interest in). So i'm looking for simple "normal" recipes, i can cook with regular easy to find ingredients in a normal supermarket. Things like special yeasts for cooking, just don't exist here. (We don't have as much choice as in the USA, i don't think they even sell kale here)

So yeah, joined this forum for some advise and insight into a healthy but complete vegan diet, and i hope you guys/girls can help me succeed.
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#2 Old 02-09-2017, 11:17 AM
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Hello and welcome!


I'm sorry to hear you're not sleeping well, that's a terrible feeling. It's easy to feel overwhelmed when starting out, but there are plenty of healthy things you can try that are easy to make. I live in a smaller town, and a lot of the 'special' ingredients can be hard to find here as well. Since you're looking for simple, filling recipes I'd be happy to share some of my favorites and I can give you the details on them if you'd like. Most of them make enough that there are left-overs for later.


So, here are some of the more filling things I make regularly that don't need anything special: veggie pot pie, broccoli and rice casserole, potato & dill stew, chili, bean soup

"The first step in changing anything is getting people to care." - Misha Collins
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#3 Old 02-09-2017, 12:43 PM
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Paisley,

Thanks for your reply.
That would be wonderful, i'm very interested in your recipe for the broccoli and rice, the Chili, and the potato & dill stew.
Basically any recipe that is easy to make is good info. But i love broccoli and spicy things like Chili, and dill is also a herb i enjoy and it sounds good with potato.


Also, Misha is a hero, especially beyond his work in Supernatural
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#4 Old 02-09-2017, 01:41 PM
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Of course! And I totally agree about Misha.


Broccoli Rice Casserole:

Start with one large head of broccoli and one carrot, steamed until tender and chopped up.

Warm up one tablespoon of vegan margarine or olive oil in a sauce pan and add two big teaspoons of flour. Stir it around and let it get nice and thick, then whisk in about one cup of whatever sort of non-dairy milk you like. Add four teaspoons of nutritional yeast (if you can't find it at a local store, it's worth ordering. I've ordered it from amazon before, and it's good to have on hand) to the milk and stir that in. Add a pinch each of dry mustard, nutmeg (if you have some), thyme, pepper, and salt.

Put your steamed broccoli and carrots in a casserole dish with about two cups of cooked rice. Add in one can of rinsed chickpeas/garbanzo beans and mix it all together. Pour the milk mixture over that, sprinkle some breadcrumbs over the top and bake it for 40-50 minutes at 250F.


Chili:
There are so many ways to make chili, so definitely feel free to change it up a bit, this is just the basic one I usually do.

Add one can of rinsed red kidney beans, one can of rinsed black beans, one small can of tomato paste, one can of diced or crushed tomatoes (if I can find them, I like the ones that are already seasoned), one medium white or yellow onion chopped up, one bell pepper chopped up, and a handful (sorry I don't have an actual measurement here, I kind of just eyeball it) of mushrooms chopped up. The mushrooms replace the meat in this version and they're an easier alternative to veg*n meats. If you don't like mushrooms, I've also used barley and that turns out really good as well. Next add some water and your spices.

For the spices I use this mix that I found on Google and change it up based on taste:
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp (approximately) freshly ground pepper

Let it cook real good for a while and you're all set.


The Potato & Dilly stew is from a cookbook called "Isa Does it". I highly recommend that cookbook as it has a ton of really great and easy recipes for all kinds of meals.
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"The first step in changing anything is getting people to care." - Misha Collins

Last edited by Paisley.Dear; 02-09-2017 at 01:48 PM.
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#5 Old 02-10-2017, 01:08 PM
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Any time I see someone say they are tired, weak, irritable, can't sleep, are depressed, etc and then say they eat very few carbs, I can't help but wonder how they missed all of the information available on how doing low carb diets puts your body into starvation mode and also isn't great for your brain, which runs on carbs and is maintained by mostly fats.

So you probably need carbs. Or you may have other issues we are unaware of due to lifestyle or mental health.

As for vegan recipes being strange, you can eat lots of Asian or Mediterranean dishes which are traditional, without eating anything "weird" or consuming tomato sauce every day.

If by weird you mean you don't like foreign cuisines, fruits and vegetables are all vegan, so is oatmeal and many other cereals (just use soy, almond or other non dairy milk instead), as well as peanut butter sandwiches, beans and lentils, and mushroom based dishes that most Western people are already familiar with. Beans, or lentils and peas, are actually important staple foods, that you can eat with potatoes, rice, or crackers and bread that are dairy-free, with margarine instead of butter.

There are also products you might be able to purchase, like veggie burgers, or other faux meats, that are pre-made, so you can mimic traditional foods which you are used to eating, or you can learn to make seitan steaks at home...I've found recipes that are good with gravy like a pot roast, and others that are seasoned and pan fried like chicken patties, that you can eat on a bun or toast, with mustard or vegan mayonnaise and pickles.

Good luck!

"Thinkers may prepare revolutions, but bandits must carry them out"~
Ingrid Newkirk
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#6 Old 02-10-2017, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paisley.Dear View Post
Of course! And I totally agree about Misha.


Broccoli Rice Casserole:

Start with one large head of broccoli and one carrot, steamed until tender and chopped up.

Warm up one tablespoon of vegan margarine or olive oil in a sauce pan and add two big teaspoons of flour. Stir it around and let it get nice and thick, then whisk in about one cup of whatever sort of non-dairy milk you like. Add four teaspoons of nutritional yeast (if you can't find it at a local store, it's worth ordering. I've ordered it from amazon before, and it's good to have on hand) to the milk and stir that in. Add a pinch each of dry mustard, nutmeg (if you have some), thyme, pepper, and salt.

Put your steamed broccoli and carrots in a casserole dish with about two cups of cooked rice. Add in one can of rinsed chickpeas/garbanzo beans and mix it all together. Pour the milk mixture over that, sprinkle some breadcrumbs over the top and bake it for 40-50 minutes at 250F.


Chili:
There are so many ways to make chili, so definitely feel free to change it up a bit, this is just the basic one I usually do.

Add one can of rinsed red kidney beans, one can of rinsed black beans, one small can of tomato paste, one can of diced or crushed tomatoes (if I can find them, I like the ones that are already seasoned), one medium white or yellow onion chopped up, one bell pepper chopped up, and a handful (sorry I don't have an actual measurement here, I kind of just eyeball it) of mushrooms chopped up. The mushrooms replace the meat in this version and they're an easier alternative to veg*n meats. If you don't like mushrooms, I've also used barley and that turns out really good as well. Next add some water and your spices.

For the spices I use this mix that I found on Google and change it up based on taste:
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp (approximately) freshly ground pepper

Let it cook real good for a while and you're all set.


The Potato & Dilly stew is from a cookbook called "Isa Does it". I highly recommend that cookbook as it has a ton of really great and easy recipes for all kinds of meals.
thanks for that recipe
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#7 Old 02-15-2017, 01:57 AM
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Thanks everyone for the tips.
I've been vegan for almost a week now, the recipes gave me good inspiration. I've been also upping my exercise regimen at the same time, and i still have enough energy most of the time.
I made the chili, it was delicious, I did not make potato's with it this time, so i just ate a whole lot of it.

Also found the soy and almond milk. I like almond milk best so far.
It's good for banana milkshake, can't even taste a difference.

So i am slowly getting used to it, but it is difficult shopping. Now i find myself debating which vegetables and legumes to buy in the store.


By weird i mean, things like tofu which i generally don't appreciate.
But also recipes with 20+ ingredients, for which i have to go to a specialty store.
If i can't buy it in my supermarket, it's weird ;-) (dunno if that makes any sense)
I actually love foreign cuisine, especially indian (but i do not know how to make curry like they do, some years ago i spent like 3 weeks in india a couple times for work)
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#8 Old 02-15-2017, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zavegan View Post
so i'm a 30year old guy from belgium.
...
so yeah, joined this forum for some advise and insight into a healthy but complete vegan diet, and i hope you guys/girls can help me succeed.
see john rose on youtube
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#9 Old 02-15-2017, 01:22 PM
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One thing that makes cooking hard is trying to make the dish conform to a name.
If you have a very precise preconceived notion of just what 'chilli' 'stew' 'casserole' 'soup', etc. is then you'll always be stressing to make your food live up to that narrow standard.

Learn to cook without recipes and dont worry about naming your food. First make it edible, second make it good, third eat it.. leave fancy names and exact recipes to the french chefs. Two hundred years ago most meals were cooked with either no recipe, or just a very general recipe. You can walk into a room with some random vegetables, perhaps some beans, perhaps some grains or dried pastas, and cook them up in any number of ways. It just takes practice.

Good work making the switch. I was in a very similar situation and I went whole foods vegan for my 31st birthday, now 6 years later I feel much younger and have more stamina than ever.
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#10 Old 03-22-2017, 12:33 PM
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So far i've been eating vegan for a while. I'm going like Auxin says, and just trying to throw stuff together, so the chili/curry/etc is just a direction not a strict recipe.

I have been able to create 3 filling "recipes" that suit me fine:
1. A chili, with beans and bell peppers, and mushrooms
2. A thai curry, with even more bell peppers, coconut base and quinoa as a side
3. An indian curry, with lentils and some root vegetables (daikon or something similar), and brown rice as a side, still working on this one.
4. Some wok with vegan noodles and fresh veggies (can only make this the day i go to the store, because those veggies don't stay fresh long)

I've found those very good and filling. But there are 3 more days and i am kinda stuck.
I'd rather not eat more beans or more tomato sauce. I find that if i make boiled green peas, or just some spinach. I'll even eat 400gr of peas, and 500gr of spinach, with some baked potato's on the side.
But i'm not meeting my calorie requirements those days because the veggies are so light. I'm noticing tiredness on/after those days because of it, its also impacting my energy when exercising.

So anyone have any idea's for the other 3 days?
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#11 Old 03-22-2017, 12:36 PM
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Oh, on those 3 days,it should be something to cook fast and eat fast, because i have to go to some weekly appointments, and am home late after work already.
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#12 Old 03-22-2017, 04:09 PM
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Learn to love the Buddha bowl! It's such a wonderfully simple thing to do, is fast, is filling and can be interpreted in many ways, depending on what you like to eat and what you have on hand.

Basically, the components are:

a bean (any bean, lentil, or seitan/tofu if you fancy)
a green (spinach, green beans, broccoli, whatever you have on hand)
a grain (rice, quinoa, pasta, etc.)

add to this any combination of veg, like roasted sweet potatoes, sliced cucumbers, red peppers, fermented pickles/kimchi... anything you like - the possibilities are endless.

Then if you like, add a sauce: vegan gravy, non-dairy yogurt, tahini sauce, soy sauce, a homemade dill dressing... whatever floats your boat.

I do this in a million different ways throughout the week, and it's the best cause you can always customize it to however you are feeling and whatever is in your fridge/pantry ^_^

Happy eating!
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