Hungry when eating vegan? Vegetarian seeking help - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-14-2011, 05:55 PM
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Just to be clear, I'm not vegan. I'm a fairly new lacto-ovo veg (about 6 months). I do, however, try to restrict my intake of eggs and dairy.

So what I've been doing is having a lot of vegan meals. I make a really yummy bean chili loaded with veggies. I drink almond milk, bake and cook with it, and use it on cereal. I eat whole grains, pastas, stir fries and curries. The thing is, though, if I go the whole day eating entirely vegan, I end up feeling starved by the middle/end of the day.

I'm a healthy eater. I eat tons of homemade mixed salads, fruits, beans, legumes, nuts and nut butters. On the days I eat vegan, though, it takes so much more for me to feel satisfied. I end up just cramming down raw almonds trying to make my stomach shut up, or just eating constantly throughout the whole day, which really isn't convenient for me.

This happened today. I had a full breakfast and lunch, and still felt hungry about an hour after eating. That isn't like me. I ate nuts, finished my almond milk, had a banana with peanut butter, and finally, after another half hour of stomach grumbling, ended up having a bit of cheese with crackers. That took care of it.

I'm completely willing to admit that maybe I'm not doing this right - I don't blame the vegan diet for anything, and I see several people on here posting amazing dishes and making the lifestyle work for them. I'm looking for help. I'm wondering if there's anything I can try so this doesn't happen, or if it's normal to feel hungry when making the transition. Maybe I'm addicted to dairy? I don't consume a ton of it, though, so that would surprise me.

I'm allergic to soy in any form, and it can be a real pain to find things I can eat sometimes. So tofu is not the answer for me. Soy-free meat analogues help with this on occasion, but I don't want to rely on them.

Any advice at all?
Thank you, vegans

-Y. Rose
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#2 Old 06-14-2011, 06:20 PM
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Personally, I do try and eat things throughout the day. Technically speaking it is healthier for you to eat 5-6 smaller meals a day as opposed to 3 large meals. However, I can see where the inconvenience is in eating so frequently. A typical day for me is oatmeal with fruit, or an energy/protein bar for breakfast, some edamame for a small snack (understanding your allergy doesn't allow this for you, you can substitute with a fruit!), a peanut butter sandwich, or rice with black beans and peppers, or eggplant lasagna for lunch, fruit for a small snack, and dinner anything can go! A portobello mushroom burger with hummus, huge salads, sandwiches, anything you can think of really. Vegans typically eat more in quantity than omnivores because what we eat has fewer calories and we need the fuel. (Hence being so hungry when eating a vegan diet!) Personally, I don't find myself starving throughout the day, and if I do I just eat a quick snack or more for the next meal. I transitioned fairly easy (though I haven't been vegan long) and don't find myself hungry.
Foods higher in fiber will also fill you up more. Granola, beans, oatmeal, things like that. From what you've said you do seem to eat really healthily so that's fantastic. And going vegan can be a really amazing thing, if that's where you want to go. What I did was research. More than you could ever imagine. Websites, books, other vegans, you name it!! Veggieboards is also a fantastic resource! Mellisser Elliott and Isa Chandra Moskowitz are two female vegans who write a lot of cookbooks and have wonderful websites. They are pretty kick ass vegan women with some fill you up, lick the plate recipes. I would suggest checking those out! Being vegan and eating conveniently can become easy once you do it for a while, but it takes some learning for it to become so easy.
I hope this helped at least a little... and didn't sound too much like a long ramble!
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#3 Old 06-14-2011, 10:38 PM
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where are your complex carbs? Eat whole wheat pasta, brown rice, whole wheat bread, and add legumes and beans. Salad won't last for long in you before it's all metabolized. You need some sustanence! You can't go wrong with a really hearty bowl of chili or soup and some whole wheat bread, preferably home made! anyway, make some macaroni and cheeze, not the real stuff, but use whole wheat pasta, and see if you see a difference.

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#4 Old 06-15-2011, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Photojess View Post

where are your complex carbs? Eat whole wheat pasta, brown rice, whole wheat bread, and add legumes and beans. Salad won't last for long in you before it's all metabolized. You need some sustanence! You can't go wrong with a really hearty bowl of chili or soup and some whole wheat bread, preferably home made! anyway, make some macaroni and cheeze, not the real stuff, but use whole wheat pasta, and see if you see a difference.

I thought the same thing about carbs -- lots of other healthy food mentioned in the OP, but I don't see much about potatoes, pasta, etc. Potatoes are one thing that I know really fills me up, I try and make use of that at meals.

I do eat more in terms of quantity now, though, than I did when I was omni or lacto-ovo. I'm OK with that, but it can be a bit of an adjustment at first
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#5 Old 06-15-2011, 09:55 PM
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^ potatoes don't fill me up at all.

I've always had a huge appetite too, my metabolism is too fast. I notice the same thing where I can eat like 2 lbs. of food for dinner and still feel hungry. I attributed it as to that I was eating healthier, lots more fruit/veg and whole grains. The cheese and processed food I was eating before was more fatty/calorie-dense. Need to eat more now to get the same amount of calories as before.
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#6 Old 06-15-2011, 10:06 PM
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^ potatoes don't fill me up at all.

I've always had a huge appetite too, my metabolism is too fast. I notice the same thing where I can eat like 2 lbs. of food for dinner and still feel hungry. I attributed it as to that I was eating healthier, lots more fruit/veg and whole grains. The cheese and processed food I was eating before was more fatty/calorie-dense. Need to eat more now to get the same amount of calories as before.

try drinking a lot of water with a lot of food, and I'll guarantee you'll feel filled up. Also depends on how fast or slow it takes you to eat. If you scarf it all down, the message center in the brain doesn't get triggered to feel full. Eat slower.

How old are you, and what's your activity level?

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#7 Old 06-16-2011, 09:31 AM
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I hope this helped at least a little... and didn't sound too much like a long ramble!

Thank you! It's very helpful. Knowing it's normal/healthy to snack throughout the day or eat smaller, more frequent meals is great. I've started having oatmeal for breakfast, and I do find it sticks with me longer.

Also, last night for dinner I made the "Snobby Joe" recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's website. The lentils were wonderfully filling, and it was really tasty! There's a whole bunch of things on her website I want to to make - I'll definitely try more.

Muchas gracias vegbee!

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where are your complex carbs? Eat whole wheat pasta, brown rice, whole wheat bread, and add legumes and beans. Salad won't last for long in you before it's all metabolized. You need some sustanence! You can't go wrong with a really hearty bowl of chili or soup and some whole wheat bread, preferably home made! anyway, make some macaroni and cheeze, not the real stuff, but use whole wheat pasta, and see if you see a difference.

I actually do eat a fair amount of carbs, but lately have felt like I've been eating too many of them and have tried to cut back. Maybe that's the issue. I'd be doing whole wheat toast with breakfast, whole wheat pasta for lunch, and then wondering if it's healthy/okay to have a baked potato for dinner. So maybe trying to cut back on carbs has been my problem? Sorry if that sounds dumb. I really just don't know, and I've tried searching online but there's just so much conflicting information/so many opinions.

How would you make a 'cheeze' sauce for mac and cheese, btw? I'd be interested in trying that.

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I thought the same thing about carbs -- lots of other healthy food mentioned in the OP, but I don't see much about potatoes, pasta, etc. Potatoes are one thing that I know really fills me up, I try and make use of that at meals.

I do eat more in terms of quantity now, though, than I did when I was omni or lacto-ovo. I'm OK with that, but it can be a bit of an adjustment at first

Yeah, I don't eat potatoes very often, but I've found them very filling in the past so that would be a good thing to go back to. Thanks! I guess it really is an adjustment for me - I'm not used to having to eat so much, and was just concerned about whether that's healthy. It's good to know I'm not the only one.

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The cheese and processed food I was eating before was more fatty/calorie-dense. Need to eat more now to get the same amount of calories as before.

I definitely notice that about cheese, too. It has a different, heavier feeling in my stomach. I've cut back on cheese so much, and it's a definite change for me - I used to have it probably daily. I think that's a big component of the adjustment.

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How old are you, and what's your activity level?

I'm 22, and my activity level is moderate. I have a fairly sedentary desk job but do a vigorous workout most days of the week.
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#8 Old 06-16-2011, 10:50 AM
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hehe....I was actually asking yumy how old they were, since he/she said potatoes didn't fill them up....but that's fine.. good to know your age too.

It's not too much to have ww bread, ww pasta and a potato in one day....the biggest issue is the portion size! You don't necessarily need to sit down to a plate ful of pasta or a potato that could feed two people, but sure it's ok to eat the whole grains all in one day. LIsten to your body. Eat slowly, when your brain says you're full. stop. in a few hours if you need more food, have a glass of water and a little more healthy foods, and see how your body reacts. You should be able to figure out after a while, what your body needs in a day. Expect simple carbs to basically go right through pretty quickly.

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#9 Old 06-16-2011, 06:04 PM
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How would you make a 'cheeze' sauce for mac and cheese, btw? I'd be interested in trying that.

I LOVE the cheeze sauce in Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. First of all, that cookbook is, in general, the greatest thing of all time, but I just love the cheezy nutritional yeast sauce from that book. I like making the "mac and trees" recipe that uses it, and adding in chipotle Tabasco and chopped chipotles. Uno's has this pasta dish called "rattlesnake pasta" (or at least they did-it's been a long time since I've had it) that was basically a chicken alfredo dish with jalapenos. I loved this pasta dish, and the spicy mac and trees really comes close to that dish for me!

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#10 Old 06-16-2011, 07:43 PM
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Potatoes don't fill me up either, and I'm old.


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Also, last night for dinner I made the "Snobby Joe" recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's website. The lentils were wonderfully filling, and it was really tasty!

I love snobby joes!
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#11 Old 06-16-2011, 08:01 PM
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Just like when you first stopped eating meat, you kinda have to re-learn your foods. At least I did.

There are some vegan foods that I have learned will not stick with me very long. Like a big bowl of cereal, a giant salad, half a package of cookies, soup (alone), some vegetables, most fruits...

There are other things that will have me feeling disgustingly full for the rest of the day: Same soup as above, but with a dumpling cooked in (only adds a hundred calories or so), or that same soup poured gradually into a plate of rice. Gumbo, anything cooked with a roux, avocados, chips & salsa, bean dips, toasted French bread dipped into whatever, and coffee.

These foods will differ from person to person.

Now, when I plan my lunches for work (when I can't "munch") I try to include at least one item on my plate that will be heavy, and stick with me. Otherwise, I'll feel like I'm starving before I leave work)

Here's an example...
This week for my work lunches I stir fried some veggies with some pre-deep fried tofu squares. It's yummy, but it doesn't fill me up. So, I put the whole thing on a bed of rice. I've learned that mixing white and brown rice 50-50 is a good mix for fast chewing and a full feeling.

Also, because this will still maybe not last the rest of the day, I will postpone my lunch break until 12:30pm-1:30pm, and for breakfast I'll have one of my massive raisin-walnut-margarine-cinnamon-sugar-vanilla-flax-oatmeal bowls with a mug of coffee. This is my heaviest breakfast, and it will last half the day.

*** Anyways, sorry for the long post. Foods that make you feel satisfied is one of those things that you really have to figure out for yourself. As you go through life, make a mental note of all the times you feel stuffed, and reain feeling stuffed. Try to figure out why. Is it the fat? Is it carbs? Whole grains? Hot food vs cold? Was it the beverage?

You'll get it figured out.

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#12 Old 06-16-2011, 08:07 PM
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Guacamole is one thing that sticks with me awhile.
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#13 Old 06-16-2011, 08:12 PM
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Guacamole is one thing that sticks with me awhile.

Me, too... but it has more to do with the half-bag of chips that I eat with it.

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#14 Old 06-16-2011, 08:28 PM
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Same thing happens to me. Vegan food is digested much quicker and more efficiently than meat/eggs/dairy, so you're gonna be hungrier quicker. Try eating foods high in fiber and complex carbs to help you feel fuller.

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#15 Old 06-16-2011, 10:27 PM
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Guacamole is one thing that sticks with me awhile.

Me too... although when I first went vegan, I ate guacamole (and hummus) SO OFTEN for this reason that I got completely sick of them both for a while!
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#16 Old 06-17-2011, 12:14 AM
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I do that with bean burritos and PB sandwiches. I eat a lot of both because they are quick and cheap but after a while, I can't stand to look at either one for a few weeks.
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#17 Old 06-17-2011, 08:12 AM
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hehe....I was actually asking yumy how old they were

Haha whoops Also, thanks for the advice. I'll definitely try adding more complex carbs. In fact, I've already been doing it over the last day or two, and I do notice a difference. Yay!

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I LOVE the cheeze sauce in Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. First of all, that cookbook is, in general, the greatest thing of all time, but I just love the cheezy nutritional yeast sauce from that book. I like making the "mac and trees" recipe that uses it, and adding in chipotle Tabasco and chopped chipotles.

Yum! I'll have to try that. I'm impressed with her website so I'm definitely interested in a cookbook.

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I love snobby joes!

They were divine! Definitely happening in my kitchen again soon
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#18 Old 06-17-2011, 08:19 AM
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These foods will differ from person to person.

This post is awesomely helpful. I'm going to do some definite meal planning around this. Oatmeal definitely sticks with me, and the way you prepare not only sounds delicious but makes my stomach feel full just to think about

Fat and carbs are probably the two things that make me feel the fullest. I threw some chopped avocado over a rice and veggie bowl later and I could barely move for the rest of the day...I guess that's pretty telling.

Seriously, thank you all so much for your help. My friends and family aren't exactly thrilled while watching me cut back on eggs and dairy. Most of them didn't mind when I cut out meat, but this is harder for them to grasp. It's also been harder to defend because I was having such a hard time feeling satisfied. The advice here is already helping me change that. You guys are awesome
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#19 Old 06-17-2011, 08:22 AM
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Guacamole is one thing that sticks with me awhile.

I love guac! I'm overdue for some of that. Same with hummus. Like ashlend said, I'm eating a ton of those things. The creaminess isn't a bad substitute for the same idea of cheese, and is wayyy better than those cheese substitutes, in my opinion.

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Me, too... but it has more to do with the half-bag of chips that I eat with it.

I do the same

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I do that with bean burritos and PB sandwiches. I eat a lot of both because they are quick and cheap but after a while, I can't stand to look at either one for a few weeks.

Lol yes. One week I made a huge batch of bean-and-rice burrito filling. I had to eat two or three burritos a day to get rid of it all in a timely fashion. I then had to go the next several months without burritos...I couldn't even stand the thought of them.
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#20 Old 06-17-2011, 09:48 AM
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I had those problems at first, until I built up a stock of go-to vegan recipes. I second looking up recipes; there's a ton of vegan blogs and cookbooks out there.

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#21 Old 06-27-2011, 01:28 AM
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I love snobby joes!

Maybe I had better get snobby!

ETA: Here's the URL for the recipe:

http://www.theppk.com/2009/11/snobby-joes/
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