Recent Vegetarian, would like to go Vegan- helpful tips - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-03-2009, 01:08 PM
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Hi all,

I recently decided to stop eating the little meat I still eat (wasn't much for meat anyway) after reading a book on the practices of slaughter houses towards animals. I am completely done with it- I don't think I can look at meat the same way again without replaying images of cruelty I've seen in videos or remembering the horror stories I've read.

Well, being a vegetarian, cutting out meat, seems do-able (I rarely eat it as is), but I would like to cut out eggs, milk, and cheese as well. It seems this is one of the main things that separate vegetarians from vegans (please clarify if I'm wrong-thanks). But it seems SO HARD, even in my city of vegetarian heaven San Francisco to avoid products that have ingredients of milk, cheese, or eggs. I'm thinking Trader Joe's or Whole Foods is a good place to start shopping more. Does anyone have any brands of bread, egg substitutes, and milk substitutes that they think are really good?

Also, if those that are vegan could clarify what they feel the main differences are between that and being vegetarian, that would also be a big help.
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#2 Old 09-03-2009, 03:29 PM
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I'm vegetarian, not vegan. I don't use egg substitutes, but I probably don't consume more that 12 eggs per year. I do eat foods containing eggs, but they certainly are not a big part of my diet.

As far as milk substitutes, I really think it's a matter of personal taste. I'm not a fan of soy milk, but really love rice milk. My local grocery sells a store brand that is always priced great. I use it for cooking, cereal, etc. In fact, I probably am drink more rice milk than I ever drank cows milk.

Cheese... oh dear cheese... how I love thee! I am in the process of really cutting back on cheese. I haven't found any substitutes that really ring my bell, but again, it's very much up to the individual. Trial and error, if you will.

Good luck. Sounds like you are on track.

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#3 Old 09-03-2009, 03:49 PM
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The good thing is that you don't need any cheese, dairy, or egg substitutes in your diet, so you can just remove those things; make your own food if you want something cooked such as bread or cookies; and just load up on the produce. After a while, assuming you're getting prepared/processed/bottled/jarred items, you will know which brands are your favorite, which are vegan or not, so the shopping trips DO get faster. A few good cookbooks help, and expanding your fruit and vegetable choices at the market is a great idea, too.

Good luck!!

(P.S., if you feel you "have" to have a milk, bananas blended with water and scraped vanilla bean if desired is the healthiest/freshest one I have found)
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#4 Old 09-03-2009, 04:03 PM
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Thanks so much for your answers so far. I guess I should also mention that I am a full time college student along with working full time as well (so being healthy is a must b/c with the schedule I have I need good energy). Problem is, it doesn't leave me much time during the week (classes and/or work M-F) to take the time to cook. The microwave has always been my friend . So the majority of my meals during the week need to be quick cooks. I feel like I sound like a lazy ass but it's true- meals that are going to take longer than 30 minutes to cook are not my friends during the week-lol. Suggestions would be great.
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#5 Old 09-03-2009, 04:07 PM
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You don't have to eat cooked food.
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#6 Old 09-03-2009, 04:28 PM
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There are lots of foods you can cook while you study. Soups, stews, rice (and other grains) etc. Just make sure you set the timer on the stove. Do you have lots of fridge/freezer space? If so, you can refriderate/freeze things and the microwave them when you want to eat.

Sandwiches are easy and can be very healthy. Get a good bread (100% whole grain not just a few whole grains thrown in to make it sound good). Then load up with tomatoes, cucumbers, good lettuce, and if you like avocados those are good on sandwiches.

Some of those handheld blenders work good and can be used to make smoothies. Berries are good for antioxidants and other fruit is good for all kinds of vitamins. You can even put in kale and stuff but I never do because my stomach hates uncooked greens (except lettuce on sandwiches).

Eat lots of colors (eg- orange (carrots, peppers) green, yellow (zucchini) red (beets)). If you like salad then eating a good salad everyday is a healthy way to go.

Flax oil is a good one but can't be heated -- you just put 1-2 tablespoons into soup or whatever when the soup is already heated.

And I'd do as Penny suggests and get a few good cookbooks and/or look around our recipe section or look on other veg sites for meal ideas.
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#7 Old 09-03-2009, 04:52 PM
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oh so much to say....

first off yay for going vegan!

there is a huge difference between vegetarianism and veganism.

the definition of a vegetarian: one who does not consume the flesh of animals

the definition of a vegan: one who does not use or consume any product from animals

as far as replacing non-vegan products with vegan products, food is fairly easy. milk can be replaced with rice, almond, or soy milk (there are probably a bunch of other kinds of milk substitutes though i quite like rice milk).

eggs are ever so slightly harder to replace though still pretty easy (as far as replacing in baking). there's a spiffy product called "Ener-G Egg Replacer." it's a powder that costs about $5 per box (each box contains the equivalent of roughly 112 eggs). all you have to do is mix some powder with some water (i think 1 1/2 tsp. powder to 2 tbsp water)

vegan butter is also easy to find. "smart balance light" and "earth balance" can pretty much be found at any grocery store.

one thing that's hard is sugar. some sugar companies (such as domino) put their sugar through bone char (animal bones) to make it white. it's hard to know which companies use bone char and which don't, though there is a sugar called "sugar in the raw" that does not use bone char

something that has been debatable between vegans is the consumption of honey. i personally see bees as part of the animalia kingdom therefor being animals making honey an animal product though it is up to you to decide whether or not you want to continue eating honey.

also, shopping at organic stores might make things a bit easier but don't assume that organic means free of animal products. animal products (including meat) can easily be organic

those are the main foods that are replaceable (i may have forgotten some.... <--big list of vegan foods/drinks) but that's only half of the lifestyle.

since vegans also don't use animal products, we don't wear wool, leather, suede, etc. (not too hard to avoid and cotton is way cheaper )

also there's stuff like soap (i use "kiss my face"), toothpaste ("tom's of maine"), floss ("tom's of maine"), deodorant ("jason"), mouthwash ("tom's of maine"), shampoo/conditioner ("nature's gate"), moisturizer ("jason"), vitamins ("vega"), contact solution ("clear conscience" if you wear contacts), laundry detergent ("ecos"), makeup (i don't wear makeup so i would suggest looking it up online if you wear it), and probably so many other things that i've forgotten...

another thing would be shoes. i would recommend going to a vegan shoe website and ordering from there to guarantee that the shoes you're buying are vegan.

in today's society it's impossible to go 100% vegan but there are a lot of things that can be replaced with vegan equivalents

sorry if i made your brain explode with word overload
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#8 Old 09-04-2009, 08:55 AM
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If what you're looking forwards to is a strict vegetarian diet, you'd start giving up eggs & milk, for instance. These products can be replaced by the following ones ->

Dairy products:

-Milk: Vegan milks -> See list *

-Butter: Vegan margarine

-Yoghurts: Soy yoghurts

-Cheese: Tofu and vegan chreese (*


-Gram flour + water (When cooking an omellette, i.e)

-Tempura flour (For batters, i.e)


Anything else:

-Brown sugar (Instead of white sugar)

-No honey

I can't think about anything else now but I hope this post helps you
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#9 Old 09-04-2009, 09:12 AM
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veganism is not a diet, it's a lifestyle. That is the difference between vegan and vegetarian. Try and find out if there is a vegan social group at your uni or in your town, make some vegan friends and they'll help you find products and crap which is suitable in your area. If you don't have that avenue available, just rely on message boards for info. There are lists of animal ingredients and lots of people willing to answer questions.

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#10 Old 09-04-2009, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by adam antichrist View Post

veganism is not a diet, it's a lifestyle

Of course it's a lifestyle but it also involves a 100% vegetarian diet.
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#11 Old 09-04-2009, 09:48 AM
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My advice is to check out vegan food blogs for inspiration and ideas on how to try new stuff.

Here's a few of my favorites:

Yeah, That "Vegan" **** http://yeahthatvegan****

Vegan Dad:

Vegan Yum Yum:

Vegan Lunch Box:

Your Vegan Mom:

There's a bazillion more.
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#12 Old 09-04-2009, 10:16 AM
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Thanks so much for all the replies! So much information to take in! Veganese that was not an overload- it was just what I needed. Especially the part about how to replace eggs, cheese, and milk. I knew the milk part already (already got my rice milk yesterday-lol) but I had no idea how I was going to get around eggs and cheese seeing how so much stuff using those two things as ingredients. For instance, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE cornbread-lol. But I had no idea how I was going to be able to make it without eggs and milk. So glad I know I still can enjoy it, just with certain subs.

I really like the idea of sandwiches as well that Mr. Sun gave. Problem is finding the right bread I suppose.

With the clothing- I already only wear cotton so that works for me. It's going to be hard finding shoes though. I don't trust ordering online b/c depending on the make (this goes for clothing and shoes) sizes can fit differently and I always need to try on clothes and shoes at different stores b/c of this.

I know it is hard in today's society to be 100% vegan but I am definitely going to try to do the best that is in my ability.
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#13 Old 09-06-2009, 03:25 AM
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If you have a blender, you open up a world of wonder, as far as I'm concerned. There are always some at the thrift stores.

Use it to make hummus (can of garbanzo beans, a clove of garlic, some tahini, salt, lemon juice, pinch of cumin, and extra virgin olive oil) or tapenade (can of olives, garlic, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, roasted red pepper), or kidney bean spread (chile powder, olive oil, garlic, parsley, chopped onion). All of these are great with vegetables or in a wrap or sandwich, or with crackers. They keep well and travel well and are quick to make and well-received at parties, too.

You can also make your own puddings (tofu, sweetener, vanilla, plus flavor: banana, other fruit, chocolate) or vegan mayonnaise or dressings (there's an easy recipe on my blog for ranch dressing/dip that I've been using like mayo recently.) or tofu sour cream (tofu, oil, lemon juice, sweetener, salt.)

If you don't have time to cook all your meals, try to cook at least one dish a week, like make a batch of hummus, and eat that for several meals a week. You will probably find that things you can make yourself taste way better than most prepared stuff, and you can control not only the taste, but also the nutrition in it.

If you can get a bread machine, bread is so easy to make, ridiculously cheaper than buying it, and there is NO comparing the experience of freshly-baked bread. You can substitute some ground flaxseed (put them in your blender, then store them in the fridge, so they won't go rancid) and water for the eggs in bread recipes (1 TBS + 1 tsp flaxseed meal plus 1/4 cup water per egg) and replace non-fat dried milk powder with soy flour, and butter with oil, milk with any of the other milks.

If nothing else, you could make your own salads and sandwiches with pre-made stuff like fake cheese, bacon or meats, then add sprouts, tomato, lettuce, onion, pickles, mustard, mayo, ketchup, barbecue sauce, hot sauce, avocado, sunflower're only limited by your imagination.
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#14 Old 09-08-2009, 11:06 PM
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Honestly whenever I'm craving a food I used to eat I just google vegan (food).

For example, I was craving french toast. Replacing the milk with soy milk was easy but I had no idea how to get around using eggs. I googled vegan french toast and found the most wonderful recipe. Better than the omni version I used to eat.

I also cruise the vegan blogs looking for easy (read lazy) and tasty recipes. I've found fantastic recipes I never would have even thought of on my own.
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