Being veggie is hard! - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-25-2015, 04:36 PM
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Being veggie is hard!

Hi all,

My gf is a long term veggie, out of consideration for her I went veggie for about two months to try to understand why it was hard to go out for a meal. Man it was hard but that two months made me realise I hate meat.

I find the texture and taste of most meats to be quite disgusting especially if it's pork, lamb or a lightly cooked steak. Anything with that chewy texture that reminds me I'm eating flesh.. yuk.

It's very very hard to be a veggie in the UK. There's almost nothing available when you go out for a meal other than 'veggie alternatives' which I find completely unappealing.

When cooking at home it's a huge chore compared to the microwave meal (I live alone). I've travelled a lot and in other countries you can take your pick of easily available veggie food; fresh salads, grilled vegetables etc. but not here.

I'd like to transition because I simply don't like the taste of meat, but not sure how to do so and maintain my health.

When I stopped eating meat last time I felt my energy go downhill drastically - no doubt due to my poor alternative diet.

Anyone else made the transition as a man that lives alone? I work long hours and don't have much time to prepare lots of fresh meals.

Last edited by Baxtersoup; 06-25-2015 at 04:39 PM.
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#2 Old 06-25-2015, 05:59 PM
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Try looking at a vegetarian food pyramid! I plan my meals based on one.

I try to eat protein dense foods with each meal- like beans, tofu, soy products/soymilk,nuts/nutbutter (like peanut butter) and yes, veggie burgers and mock meats as well.

I also eat fortified breakfast cereal, enriched bread/tortillas/rice/pasta.

I eat calcium dense foods twice a day, or more. examples are fortified orange juice, plant based milk (we like soymilk), calcium set tofu, almonds...etc.

To that, I add plenty of fruit, veggies, and condiments. I also take a daily multivitamin and flaxseed oil supplement.
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#3 Old 06-25-2015, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baxtersoup View Post
Hi all,

My gf is a long term veggie, out of consideration for her I went veggie for about two months to try to understand why it was hard to go out for a meal. Man it was hard but that two months made me realise I hate meat.

I find the texture and taste of most meats to be quite disgusting especially if it's pork, lamb or a lightly cooked steak. Anything with that chewy texture that reminds me I'm eating flesh.. yuk.

It's very very hard to be a veggie in the UK. There's almost nothing available when you go out for a meal other than 'veggie alternatives' which I find completely unappealing.

When cooking at home it's a huge chore compared to the microwave meal (I live alone). I've travelled a lot and in other countries you can take your pick of easily available veggie food; fresh salads, grilled vegetables etc. but not here.

I'd like to transition because I simply don't like the taste of meat, but not sure how to do so and maintain my health.

When I stopped eating meat last time I felt my energy go downhill drastically - no doubt due to my poor alternative diet.

Anyone else made the transition as a man that lives alone? I work long hours and don't have much time to prepare lots of fresh meals.
I made the transition as a woman who lived alone, with a lifestyle not unlike a stereotypical 'dude' :P I also worked some pretty long hours. Plus, it was a time in Australia when vego alternatives were fairly slim. The change, even in the last few years, has been amazing.

I can't speak to specific health needs as a guy (I'll leave that to the more knowledgeable of our forum members), but there's a few brands that definitely helped me during my transition, that might help you too.

Linda McCartney stuff is a big help for me at the moment, when I get home from a long day at work and can't be bothered to cook. Though, it might be a bit too 'meaty' for you in some regards. It's not as quick as microwave meals, but it tastes amazing and requires minimum effort.

Tastybite saved me SO MUCH when I was first going veg. I was working 12-14 hour days at some points and without them, I don't know what I would have done. Actually, I do know, I would have lost loads of weight and been really, really sick.

Oatmeal. Making oatmeal in the microwave is relatively easy (sometimes I add in a dollop of peanut butter or tahini), it fills you up and it's a nice start to the day.

Tofu scrambles in a stone dine. I get some firm tofu, mash it with a fork, add some nutritional yeast and tamari and pop it in the microwave for 2 minutes. It's quick, easy and I love it!

Also, if you have an Asian grocery in your area, then I definitely recommend checking it out. They are a hidden goldmine for various vego friendly foods, which don't take too long to cook.

Learning to vegetarianise/veganise at fast food places. Are there any places you like to eat? There are ways to make things vegetarian.

Aside from that, you will probably need to invest some time in actually cooking meals if you want something that's really tasty and good for you. I know how hard that is to do after a long day, so what worked for me was doing a big cook up at the start of a week. I'd cook two dishes, usually a pasta dish and a stir fry dish and then distribute them into boxes, to be reheated at a later date.

I used this-

https://www.vrg.org/nutshell/MyVeganPlate.pdf

As a guide when I first went vegetarian, then later when I dropped eggs and dairy. It just helped me with the general 'how to eat' stuff.

What's your cooking skill level like? Mine was pretty dreadful when I first went veg.

One of my first dishes was a 'veggie pasta bake'. I cooked some pasta, then in a fry pan 1 tin of crushed tomatoes with a bag of frozen winter vegetables. Once it was all cooked, I put the pasta in a ceramic baking dish, covered it with the veggie sauce, then topped it with cheese. Then popped it in the oven for maybe 10-20 minutes. Yep, takes a little while to make but reheats nicely.

These days, I'd probably top it with pine nuts or cashews.

Something like this-

http://engine2diet.com/recipe/raise-...otato-lasagna/

Takes a while to cook, however, it reheats really well and requires very little cooking skill. I feel like I'm always linking to the Engine 2 Diet, but the recipes are really nice and so filling!

Aside from that, if you want to stay healthy keep some things in mind-

-We eat more on a vegetarian diet, so you may have to increase the size of your servings.
-A lot of our packet foods are high in sodium.
- It's not cheating to use a multivitamin, or at least use B12 supplements if you choose to drop eggs or dairy from your diet.
-There are fortified breads, cereals and milks which are good to use.
-Soy is only bad for you if you have a soy allergy.

Also, "Becoming Vegetarian" was a real help for me, in making sure I was being a healthy vegetarian. I wish I'd read it sooner.

Hope some of that helps! Please, let us know what kind of food you'd like to be eating and I'll see if I have any recipes that would help you out.
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Last edited by Tiger Lilly; 06-25-2015 at 06:45 PM.
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#4 Old 06-25-2015, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baxtersoup View Post
Hi all,

My gf is a long term veggie, out of consideration for her I went veggie for about two months to try to understand why it was hard to go out for a meal. Man it was hard but that two months made me realise I hate meat.

I find the texture and taste of most meats to be quite disgusting especially if it's pork, lamb or a lightly cooked steak. Anything with that chewy texture that reminds me I'm eating flesh.. yuk.

It's very very hard to be a veggie in the UK. There's almost nothing available when you go out for a meal other than 'veggie alternatives' which I find completely unappealing.

When cooking at home it's a huge chore compared to the microwave meal (I live alone). I've travelled a lot and in other countries you can take your pick of easily available veggie food; fresh salads, grilled vegetables etc. but not here.

I'd like to transition because I simply don't like the taste of meat, but not sure how to do so and maintain my health.

When I stopped eating meat last time I felt my energy go downhill drastically - no doubt due to my poor alternative diet.

Anyone else made the transition as a man that lives alone? I work long hours and don't have much time to prepare lots of fresh meals.
Jeff Novick could be a good resource for you. His fast food video series show you how to make quick and easy veggie meals. Check it out: http://www.jeffnovick.com/RD/DVDs.html
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#5 Old 06-30-2015, 03:22 PM
Tom
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Welcome, Baxtersoup!

I was kind of surprised that you realized you didn't like meat only after you stopped eating it, and that you find being veg in the UK difficult. Then again, I only visited the UK once- and much of that time was in London, which has lots of tasty food.

I don't like cooking that much, so I often make quite a bit of something that I can freeze on weekends or some other day I have lots of time. I freeze portions of this and thaw them out as I want them. My diet includes lots of grains (preferably whole, but some refined grains are OK, I think), beans/legumes, and just about any vegetable or fruit. Actually, most vegetables don't take that long to cook, or can even be eaten raw- so when I get home, I often have my meal ready in no more time than it takes to cook a vegetable and warm up some of that pre-cooked, thawed stuff I mentioned.

I'll admit I did like the taste and texture of meat, but I like lots of other foods too- so I don't miss meat and I'm still eating a healthy diet. Which brings me to a question: what vegetarian foods do you like?

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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#6 Old 06-30-2015, 06:20 PM
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I'm in the USA, and was a long-distance truck driver (that's lorry to you Brits) when I transitioned to vegetarianism, then later, to veganism. Believe me, a vegetarian CANNOT eat in truck-stops! I had to set up my own kitchen in my truck- refrigerator, oven, microwave, the whole smack- and did my own cooking as I worked. I was on the road for several weeks at a time, so I had to find places to grocery shop, along the way. It wasn't easy, but it's doable.

Giving up meat can mean a loss of caloric intake, which may be responsible for the lack of energy you've been feeling. You simply need to eat MORE of the veggie foods, to replace the calories you're not getting, by giving up meat. I recommend you carry some nuts with you at all times. A small handful of, say, cashews can provide a terrific burst of energy. Balance that, if it's available to you, with some fresh fruit too. You might also consider taking a general vitamin supplement, just to cover the bases, while you learn the ropes. Lack of vitamin D can make you feel run down, especially if you're not getting much sunlight.

The main thing is to eat enough; for example, when I cook rice, I make twice as much as I used to, when I was a meat-eater. There's nothing wrong in scarfing down a double portion, to satisfy your needs, and give you the energy.

Stick with it!

"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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#7 Old 06-30-2015, 06:50 PM
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BaxterSoup, do you have any Indian grocery stores nears you? They usually have prepackaged microwaveable veggie food. Also there are loads of premade veggie food at the grocery store, look for Amys, Tofufurky and Morning Star. You can also use happy cow to find vegetarian places near you
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#8 Old 06-30-2015, 07:01 PM
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Are we in the same country? The UK right? It is probably one of the easiest countries in the entire world to go vegetarian or vegan! You do realise that the world's first vegan society was founded here in 1944?

If you want quick meals as a vegetarian check out Quorn products. There are a large number of these in every supermarket. Veggie burgers/ veggie sausages/ veggie mince/ veggie sausage rolls/ veggie steaks etc - all pre-made for you. Remember that Tesco and ASDA (UK version of Walmart) are open 24 hrs and exist in every town. Every pizza restaurant and fast food restaurant has vegetarian options. The latter are often open 24 hrs.

As a vegan you can buy Cauldron's tofu and falafels in any Sainsbury's, most Tescos and many other supermarkets. VBites make vegan meatballs, vegan burgers, vegan fishless fingers etc and these can be bought in Holland and Barrett. All of these foods are essentially either ready to eat or require very minimal cooking. It is zero effort to use these.

I agree that eating out as a vegan can be more difficult, prob harder than in US...But that is because eating out in UK is generally not done as much as in US, largely due to it being costlier. There is a chain of vegan restaurants (VBites) which is imminently opening across the UK which will help. Currently vegan options are available in Wagamamas, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and pizza express/ pizza hut if you bring your own vegan cheese.

It's not that hard. I promise you that there are so many things that are so much harder...
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#9 Old 07-01-2015, 01:15 AM
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What part of the UK are you in? I live in West Sussex and there are a ton of vegan restaurant options here! Do you have a favourite Indian restaurant, a Chinese restaurant, or a pizza place? It's easy to find vegan meals at those types of restaurants if you can't find a VBites or Loving Hut nearby.

As for quick meals at home, the Co-operative chain stores carry a range of vegan ready meals including onion bhajis, bombay potatoes, roasted vegetable cous cous, and microwaveable rice packets in various flavours. You can also buy microwaveable bags of frozen veggies, or cans of baked beans and soup, or cereal with soya milk. Co-op even sells vegan doughnuts (the jam or custard flavour that come in a brown bag)!
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#10 Old 07-01-2015, 03:40 AM
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It does take a little adjustment to start reading the labels differently. Look for the suitable for vegetarians logo - it's either on the front of the food or on the back where you find the ingredient listing.

Do you live near any of the big chain supermarkets (Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys) all have a big range of vegetarian and vegan foods. I will say the range of ready meals are limited for vegan choices especially. However vegetarian options are pretty easy to come by.

I'm not sure about Aldi & Lidl (there's none near me) but I hear they have got decent options as well.

If you can't shop regularly yourself you could consider ordering food and having it delivered.
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#11 Old 07-01-2015, 12:21 PM
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If you can't shop regularly yourself you could consider ordering food and having it delivered.
Absolutely! All the big chain supermarkets have online services and will deliver to you if you have trouble getting to shops
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#12 Old 07-01-2015, 02:49 PM
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I've actually found eating out pretty easy. Currently making the transition to vegan and I think that is a lot harder!
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#13 Old 07-05-2015, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baxtersoup View Post
Hi all,

My gf is a long term veggie, out of consideration for her I went veggie for about two months to try to understand why it was hard to go out for a meal. Man it was hard but that two months made me realise I hate meat.

I find the texture and taste of most meats to be quite disgusting especially if it's pork, lamb or a lightly cooked steak. Anything with that chewy texture that reminds me I'm eating flesh.. yuk.

It's very very hard to be a veggie in the UK. There's almost nothing available when you go out for a meal other than 'veggie alternatives' which I find completely unappealing.

When cooking at home it's a huge chore compared to the microwave meal (I live alone). I've travelled a lot and in other countries you can take your pick of easily available veggie food; fresh salads, grilled vegetables etc. but not here.

I'd like to transition because I simply don't like the taste of meat, but not sure how to do so and maintain my health.

When I stopped eating meat last time I felt my energy go downhill drastically - no doubt due to my poor alternative diet.

Anyone else made the transition as a man that lives alone? I work long hours and don't have much time to prepare lots of fresh meals.
Congrats on going veg*n.

About 2 months after I went veg*n, I had some fish tacos..... just to see what was up. The tortillas tasted great, the spices tasted great, but the actual "meat" was revolting. Like your experience, it was an eye opener.

If you have trouble eating out, try an ethnic restaurant. I find a lot of food at Asian or Indian restaurants, etc.

Good Luck!!!

All animals should be respected & should have the ability to lead a natural & enjoyable life. This means not eating them, or abusing them in any way.
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