Top Tips for New Vegans - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-10-2013, 07:59 AM
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Hey all, 

 

I wrote an article a few months back - Top 12 Tips for New Vegetarians from Experienced VeggieBoards Members and it's been really popular, so I'd like to do one just like it, only for new vegans. 

 

If you've got a tip and want to be included, please add your tip below AND note how long you've been vegan. I need how long, because I'll be setting it up like the first article with quotes. 

 

Also, keep in mind that this is for new vegans so try to add tips for newbies :) I'll leave this open for a few weeks before writing the article. 

 

Thanks!


~ Jennifer
 
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#2 Old 07-10-2013, 08:39 AM
 
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I have been vegan 65 days

 

I think that the biggest tip I have for new vegans is not to try to learn all of the "rules" and guidelines of the vegan lifestyle all at once. There are a lot of ingredients that seem to be vegan and aren't, and also some that seem not to be vegan, but in fact are. I made a "cheat sheet" of ingredients that I referred to often in the first several weeks of my veganism. All new vegans will make mistakes, don't get yourself down about it; take that as a learning experience and try not to make the same mistake twice thumbsup.gif


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#3 Old 07-10-2013, 09:01 AM
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- eat enough calories every day. Lotsa people tend to not eat enough food when starting out on vegan diets, animal products usually are more dense calories and it takes an adjustment to getting used to eating larger quantity of plants to get enough calories. People say the feel dizzy, light headed, tired, weak when transitioning may simply not be eating enough.
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#4 Old 07-10-2013, 11:04 AM
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Veggy for 3 years, nutritional vegan for 3 months or so.

 

Read, read, read.  Taking on this lifestyle is taking your nutrition to a level the average person isn't at.  Read about what your body really needs.  Being a vegan isn't just bout not eating animal products.  It's about taking the best care of yourself as possible.  This isn't knowledge that your born with.  So fire up the internet and learn what all of these colorful plants do for your body.
 

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#5 Old 07-10-2013, 11:41 AM
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Start looking around at all the different animal non profits! There are tons and you may be able to get active with them or learn new things from them. Like with Vegan Outreach you can try leafletting! A lot of sites like Farm Sanctuary, Vegan Outreach, Mercy For Animals, and PETA have a lot of good tips on getting active for animals.

 

Vegan of 3 years.

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#6 Old 07-10-2013, 12:12 PM
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Okay, this is my second go. I did four months and then slipped for quite a while, always with the intention of getting back into it.

 

However! I learned a lot during that time that will really support me this time (stuff about vegan baking, vegan pizza options, vegan 'cheesy' sauces, alternatives to eggs as binders, and so-on).

 

So as a backslider now trying again, what I'd like to add to this discussion is one of the things that I learned off of my fella who took years of trying to quit smoking to finally fully achieve being a non-smoker, and it's this:

 

"Never give up, giving up!"

 

Don't feel like a failure and just give up trying to quit cheese or eggs - or whatever - if you don't get it right the first time. If you slip up, try again. And again if necessary.

 

There are some amazing people in the world who are born to get things right all the time and never make mistakes, it's OK not to be them.

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#7 Old 07-10-2013, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hubrich View Post

Veggy for 3 years, nutritional vegan for 3 months or so.

 

Read, read, read.  Taking on this lifestyle is taking your nutrition to a level the average person isn't at.  Read about what your body really needs.  Being a vegan isn't just bout not eating animal products.  It's about taking the best care of yourself as possible.  This isn't knowledge that your born with.  So fire up the internet and learn what all of these colorful plants do for your body.
 

What's a "nutritional vegan?" Just curious. 

 

Good tip though. 

 

@Everyone else so far - thanks!


~ Jennifer
 
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#8 Old 07-10-2013, 07:07 PM
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1. To get protein, you don't need to substitute animal meat with commercially processed faux meats. You get protein from all sorts of healthy, natural plant foods. You don't need to stock your fridge with Tofurky and Amy's Burgers.

 

2. Don't complain that your grocery store doesn't carry any vegan foods. The fruit and vegetable aisle are vegan and they're the healthiest place in the store. Then there's the aisle with the beans and grains. And the aisle with all the spices and flours. You may not be able to find a particular processed food, like cookies or crackers or cake, that is labeled 'vegan', but there is a lot of vegan stuff at any store.

 

3. It helps if you are willing to learn how to cook, but there are a lot of fast, easy, healthy things you can eat without cooking skills. Fruit doesn't need to be cooked. If you can boil water you can steam vegetables and greens. If you can turn on a stove and use a knife, you can roast a sheet of vegetables. If you can use a food processor you can make dips, sauces, hummus and fruit popsicles.

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#9 Old 07-10-2013, 10:02 PM
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~ Eat legumes, they should be your new "meat" (e.g., make them a part of most of your meals).
~ Ensure you're getting enough calcium, ideally by consuming 2~3 servings of low-oxalate greens (kale, collards, etc) or alternatively by calcium fortified foods (soy milk, calcium set tofu, etc).
~ Include a reliable source of omega-3's in your diet: flax seed, chia seed, dark leafy greens, etc. If you cook with oil, do not use an omega-6 rich oil, instead use canola (ideally expeller pressed) or olive oil (ideally extra virgin).
~ Take a B12 supplement.


Lastly minimize empty calories (refined flours/sugars, vegetable oils etc), they get in the way of obtaining your nutrients especially those that occur in lower levels in plant foods than meat (iron, zinc, riboflavin, etc).
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#10 Old 07-10-2013, 11:08 PM
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- Feel free to try new and interesting recipes that look and sound tasty but have a core of 8-10 "go to" recipes that are quick, easy, and have ingredients that are likely to be in your larder at any given time. Every meal doesn't have to be a culinary masterpiece. Having a simple, if boring, routine can help overcome burnout.

- Plan your meals. Don't wait until you're hungry to think about what you're going to eat. Cooking veg*n takes more thoughtfulness than "meat, heat, and eat" and your chance of success increases with being prepared.

- Don't think you have to, pardon the expression, "go cold turkey." If you have existing non-vegan foods or clothes around don't throw them out. No sense in wasting them. Just get to thinking about how to replace them with vegan versions when the time comes.

All the best,

Rinchen
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#11 Old 07-11-2013, 02:19 AM
 
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Don't be a meek vegan as it does nothing for yourself, the animals or the planet. Be proud you are vegan, openly discuss it at the right times and NEVER EVER apologise for it. Educate yourself and then others and promote the lifestyle in a positive and creative light.

Don't beat yourself up if you find some strange animal product in your food just learn from it and move on.
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#12 Old 07-11-2013, 05:59 AM
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Take your time to learn every single animal ingredient out there. If you rush in with the intention of learning ALL the e-numbers by heart and knowing exactely what drinks are non-vegan, you're going to burn yourself out. Instead, focus your food on some tried and true favourites, such as pasta with a marinara sauce or a simple beans and rice dish with vegetables.

 

After a while, as you get more comfortable with your new way of eating and living, start looking into what brands of shampoo, make-up, laundry detergent etc., are vegan. You can get a lot of apps for smartphones regarding e-numbers. 

If you drink, barnivore.com is an indispensable resource as they list vegan-friendly beers/wines/spirits etc., as well as the ones that are non-vegan. 

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#13 Old 07-11-2013, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logic View Post

~ Eat legumes, they should be your new "meat" (e.g., make them a part of most of your meals).
~ Ensure you're getting enough calcium, ideally by consuming 2~3 servings of low-oxalate greens (kale, collards, etc) or alternatively by calcium fortified foods (soy milk, calcium set tofu, etc).
~ Include a reliable source of omega-3's in your diet: flax seed, chia seed, dark leafy greens, etc. If you cook with oil, do not use an omega-6 rich oil, instead use canola (ideally expeller pressed) or olive oil (ideally extra virgin).
~ Take a B12 supplement.


Lastly minimize empty calories (refined flours/sugars, vegetable oils etc), they get in the way of obtaining your nutrients especially those that occur in lower levels in plant foods than meat (iron, zinc, riboflavin, etc).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sigen92 View Post

Take your time to learn every single animal ingredient out there. If you rush in with the intention of learning ALL the e-numbers by heart and knowing exactely what drinks are non-vegan, you're going to burn yourself out. Instead, focus your food on some tried and true favourites, such as pasta with a marinara sauce or a simple beans and rice dish with vegetables.

 

After a while, as you get more comfortable with your new way of eating and living, start looking into what brands of shampoo, make-up, laundry detergent etc., are vegan. You can get a lot of apps for smartphones regarding e-numbers. 

If you drink, barnivore.com is an indispensable resource as they list vegan-friendly beers/wines/spirits etc., as well as the ones that are non-vegan. 

 

Logic, Mojo and sigen92 - can you post how long you've been vegan (or veg) so I can include that info. Thanks! Good tips. 


~ Jennifer
 
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#14 Old 07-11-2013, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer C View Post

 

 

Logic, Mojo and sigen92 - can you post how long you've been vegan (or veg) so I can include that info. Thanks! Good tips. 


Vegan 7 years

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#15 Old 07-11-2013, 09:50 AM
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Vegan 2.5 years smiley.gif
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#16 Old 07-11-2013, 01:03 PM
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Learn to make some easy to make "treats" early on. Something like microwave coffee cup brownies, or even keep some treat style pre-prepared vegan foods like so delicious ice cream. Ive seen new vegans go "health gung ho" right off the bat, and end up giving up because they either don't allow or aren't aware of vegan treats and end up feeling like they are punishing themselves. Obviously eat such things sparingly, but if a new vegan is struggling a little bit, a nice treat helps take the edge off. smiley.gif

Edit: another tip I almost forgot about: every week or so chop up various veggies like onions, bell peppers, etc and place each in a small Tupperware container so you have immediate access to those things to just add to a dish in a hurry.

And yet another tip, save your cuttings (like the shafts of brocoli) and chop them up and throw them in a plastic freezer bag in the freezer. Also do this for any veg that is about to turn. After about a week, you should have enough for a soup base and basically an easy "free" meal. smiley.gif

Veggie 1 year 7 months. Vegan 1 year, 1 month.
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#17 Old 07-12-2013, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Jennifer C View Post


Logic, Mojo and sigen92 - can you post how long you've been vegan (or veg) so I can include that info. Thanks! Good tips. 
Vegetarian, though my diet is near vegan. I stopped eating meat over a long period of time, but haven't touched it in the last 4 years or so.
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#18 Old 07-13-2013, 09:53 AM
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I almost always say the same things:

 

1. Set small, achievable goals and work towards them. It's about progress not perfection. (Imagine overcoming obstacles before you encounter them - set yourself up for success.)

2. If you slip up just dust yourself off and try again. Relapses are common and aren't a good excuse to give up.

3. It gets easier every day. The longer you're vegan the easier it gets; it will become second-nature.

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#19 Old 07-14-2013, 07:17 AM
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Thanks everyone so far! This is going to be a great article. 


~ Jennifer
 
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