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steve-in-kville 07-05-2017 02:23 PM

Biggest fears going full-vegetarian
 
Hopefully the folks here could offer some tips & tricks. As a background, I discovered I suffered from some food allergies about three years ago. I cut out most wheat products and processed food (think Paleo). I have slowly been transitioning to a vegetarian/vegan/raw lifestyle, obviously for the health reasons. I've been a big fan of Scott Jurek and even own/read his book!

Anyways, before I set a date and go full-tilt, here's a list of my biggest fears:

1- Awkward social situations.

2- Getting bored not having meat & cheese in my diet.

3- Not getting enough to eat... especially with a wheat allergy.

Any help would be appreciated!

Joan Kennedy 07-05-2017 03:00 PM

Hey, hope you're having a smooth transition. It's a lot easier for some than for others, and good for you for making the effort.

Awkward social situations: This got better by itself for me. With friends and family, they got quiet and accommodating once I'd been doing it long enough they knew I was serious. Some of my fears proved unnecessary once I realized nobody really cared what was on my plate. And if they were offering me something I don't eat, a smiling No Thanks was all it took to change the subject. Or if this was someone I'd be running into in the future, No thanks, I don't eat that anymore. Just know when something's coming up and plan in advance. Bring vegan food to share, tell your inviting host "Thanks, I'd love to, but I have to warn you I'm a royal pain to feed." Try to be charming, like the last thing you'd want is to inconvenience anyone. Put it on you, and they'll either be grateful you're bringing something, or they'll take it up as a challenge to feed a vegan while also providing "normal food for their normal guests." Have your lines down before you get there, for if and when anyone asks you why you don't eat animals anymore. I have three different spiels ready, depending on the asker's age and anything I know about them: One if they're animal lovers, another if they drive a Prius and keep a garden, and another if they're old enough to be on Lipitor and Coumadin. For that last one, since I'm 65 myself, I work in something like "My numbers have gotten so good lately. I'm third-born of six kids, and right now I'm the only one of us who's on zero medications." At that point, people sometimes will think you're absolutely fascinating.

I don't know your best way of dealing with any boredom or cravings you might experience. Meat substitutes and nondairy cheeses can be a short-term coping mechanism and a long-term occasional treat. But I think I eat more different kinds of foods now than I did when there was meat and cheese on the menu. So I have no boredom to deal with from lack of variety. Also, over time my tastes changed and I came to look forward to meals more than ever.

Getting enough to eat: Just add enough nuts to whatever you're already doing if you're dropping pounds or spending too much time hungry.

steve-in-kville 07-05-2017 04:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joan Kennedy (Post 4100602)
... another if they drive a Prius and keep a garden

We actually have three gardens, and we can a lot of what we grow. But I don't have a Prius. We have a big van... but I ride a bike to work. Guess that scores some vegan points somewhere, eh?

Joan Kennedy 07-05-2017 04:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steve-in-kville (Post 4100626)
We actually have three gardens, and we can a lot of what we grow. But I don't have a Prius. We have a big van... but I ride a bike to work. Guess that scores some vegan points somewhere, eh?

A vegan diet scores way more environmental points than a Prius. So does riding a bike to work. :) Just talking about how to assess which of the three basic spiels to pull out in a social situation.

steve-in-kville 07-07-2017 05:42 PM

Another worry... when/if I finally take the plunge to mostly raw, will I have to worry about protein? I have read its not as big a deal as non-veg's make of it.

Jamie in Chile 07-07-2017 06:36 PM

Social situations is going to be an issue, always I think. However you can minimize it by discussing with people in advance, bringing your own stuff, calling the restaurant in advance etc. You can also try and be a bit flexible by not being too strict about small amounts of animal products - e.g. ask the restaurant if they can do a pizza without cheese, but don't ask how the crust is made. This will make your diet/lifestyle seem less off putting to others also.

I personally don't get bored of no meat or cheese. If you do, you could always try vegan "meat" and "cheese" although the better idea is to hope you get enough interesting, tasty varied food. Plan to get all the nutrients you need to minimize cravings. Some cravings may be pyschological and memory related and may go away over time. This seems to vary according to the reports I've read.

Agree with nuts, also larger portions.

Doing without protein on a vegetarian/vegan diet is fairly easy. I wrote this blog about it - https://whytryveg.wordpress.com/2017...otein-is-easy/

Cycling to work is pretty cool. I used to do it myself. Now I work from home.

steve-in-kville 07-08-2017 03:11 AM

Thanks for the links! I am intending to plan a "cheat meal" in my schedule... mostly reserved for those family dinners or a pizza binge. Not sure how often yet. I am still making the transition. I had one meal with chicken so far this week. In fact, most of my food has been raw fruit, dried fruit (mmm... dates!) and salads. Evening meal I have some manner of beans and rice or potato or something. Since I am eating for health instead of ethical reasons I feel I have a little wiggle room.

Still a work in progress.

Tom 07-08-2017 08:25 AM

Lots of great ideas from Joan and Jamie, above.

I re-read your first post and saw that you are slowly transitioning. That, in itself, will make things easier.

Jamie in Chile 07-08-2017 06:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steve-in-kville (Post 4101122)
Another worry... when/if I finally take the plunge to mostly raw, will I have to worry about protein? I have read its not as big a deal as non-veg's make of it.

You seem to be doing very well hope you keep us updated. I suppose I didn't specifically address the question of whether you have to worry about protein on a raw diet.

Legumes normally need to be cooked I think, and cannot be eaten raw, is that right? So does a strict raw vegan diet mean no legumes as well as no meat? Or are there some legumes you can eat raw? I have never tried raw myself.

I don't know but if I had to guess I would say you will get enough protein anyway, but I am not completely sure. There is also the question of how you will get enough of the amino acid lysine on a completely raw diet. That might be worth looking into.

My suggestion is not to take on too much at once. A strictly raw diet seems to be more of a matter of personal perference than a necessity from a health or ethical standpoint. So it seems you are not looking to move to full raw now, so I suggest to worry about this more later on, not do too much at once.

Eating at least a small quantity of some cooked legumes may be safest bet for now.

steve-in-kville 07-09-2017 06:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jamie in Chile (Post 4101466)
Legumes normally need to be cooked I think, and cannot be eaten raw, is that right? So does a strict raw vegan diet mean no legumes as well as no meat? Or are there some legumes you can eat raw? I have never tried raw myself.

Thanks for all the replies.

So far, my immediate goal is to eat raw/dried fruits and veggies, plus some nuts throughout the day. Then have a meal of beans of some type for supper. As I mentioned I am in transition. I still have a wife and family that eats the SAD, so I gotta work with it. My goal is to have Sunday dinner be a veg meal for the entire family, one way or another. I did trick them into a banana/peanut butter/chocolate milk smoothie yesterday, so I did lay some groundwork...

Emma JC 07-09-2017 11:40 AM

Not sure if you are aware of Cronometer? It is a great free way to track your nutrients and calories and specifically protein. There are so many plant-based ways to get protein and as Dr Greger likes to say "no one has ever gone to the doctor with a complaint of "low protein" or died from a lack of protein, unless they were 'starved' in general. Also, plant protein my be preferrable to animal proteins in the body.

Here is a link to Dr Greger's site (he is a research guru):
https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/protein/

Emma JC

Iridium 07-09-2017 04:15 PM

Not being able to eat the right foods due to my busy schedule was my biggest fear.

Oh and originally the DREADED ANTI-NUTRIENTS that people claim vegan food is loaded with. But now I realized that it is mostly bs fear mongering.

Tom 07-11-2017 04:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jamie in Chile (Post 4101466)
Legumes normally need to be cooked I think, and cannot be eaten raw, is that right? So does a strict raw vegan diet mean no legumes as well as no meat? Or are there some legumes you can eat raw? I have never tried raw myself.....

Eating at least a small quantity of some cooked legumes may be safest bet for now.

I've heard that kidney beans are somewhat toxic until they're cooked, but haven't heard anything about other beans. Kidney, navy, pinto, and black beans are all the same species of plant, while blackeyed peas, peas, garbanzo beans, lentils, lima beans, and soy beans are different.

I've sometimes sampled a bean or two raw (but soaked thoroughly) before cooking them. I'm still alive, but I really don't care for legumes raw. At all. (except for sweet peas, snow peas and green beans).

steve-in-kville 07-11-2017 04:36 PM

I'm sure you could do a lot of wild stuff with the various G/F bean flours out there!

Troopwife1 07-23-2017 12:00 PM

I have Celiac, and have to do no dairy, peanuts, or soy for health reasons, not a big meat eater. Once I found out I couldn't do eggs. I switched to vegan. Honestly, whether its one food issue (wheat) or multiple...it can always lead to an awkward social situation. I bring my own food with me all the time to make sure I have something I can eat. Example: I know my sister-in-law always makes an awesome salad for every party, but she put croutons all over it. Yup, I'm not eating anything.

I haven't been able to eat cheese or gluten for about 6 years, and eating meat 3-4 times a month (before switching to Vegan)...I have never been bored. If you can eat soy or not even there are a ton of cheese substitutes. I use Daiya, and it's not exactly the same, but its pretty darn good.

pikamon 07-25-2017 10:00 PM

hello! I know that this will sound like dumb advice, but you will definitely find it useful!
Buy a teen vegetarian cookbook. You know,the kind that parents get for their hipster vegetarian kids and tell them to mark the meals they like, because the parents are desperate to find veggie meals for their kid? These meals are always quick, easy, and delicious. You won't regret invesitaging further!


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