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#1 Old 09-22-2014, 08:01 AM
 
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Question Help!

After reading about the dairy industry, I so want to be a vegan. Cutting out meat, I can do. My problem is also cutting out cheese, milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream (!)etc. Nothing tastes like milk unless it IS milk and I LOVE milk! I tried almond, coconut and soy ice cream the other day...disgusting. Just because it's frozen does not make it ice cream. I also tried soy sour cream...also not good. (I did get soy butter, however, and I love it!) I'm 64. I don't know if I can realistically make this switch unless they come up with better-tasting products. Can't teach an old dog new tricks...or can you?
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#2 Old 09-22-2014, 08:58 AM
 
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Hi!
I had quite the same problem with cheese and eggs! That's what i do: first i go vegetarian, then i slowly cut dairy products one by one, starting with what i love less! At the same time, try to inform yourself, read and watch video about how animal are abused in the dairy industries. Don't force yourself, take your time to do the change. One day you will realize that the taste of milk can't be a valuable reason to abuse and kill cows and you will also slowly become less addicted to it.
I hope i was helpful, good luck with your vegan/vegetarian experience!
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#3 Old 09-22-2014, 09:37 AM
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HinAgnes, if you don't like the plant milks, just don't drink them. We don't need milk, cheese, sour cream, etc in our diets. Look at vegan recipes, you'll be surprised!
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#4 Old 09-22-2014, 10:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Agnes Smith View Post
After reading about the dairy industry, I so want to be a vegan. Cutting out meat, I can do. My problem is also cutting out cheese, milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream (!)etc. Nothing tastes like milk unless it IS milk and I LOVE milk! I tried almond, coconut and soy ice cream the other day...disgusting. Just because it's frozen does not make it ice cream. I also tried soy sour cream...also not good. (I did get soy butter, however, and I love it!) I'm 64. I don't know if I can realistically make this switch unless they come up with better-tasting products. Can't teach an old dog new tricks...or can you?
It seems you have your value system worked out so maybe overtime, when you eat that piece of cheese, yogurt, sour cream, etc. you will not feel good about eating it so that naturally you won't want dairy because it will cause you emotional discomfort. This process of going vegan can't be forced if you are trying to be realistic. You will need time to adjust to a new experience. It is OK to know about what happens in the dairy industry and slowly shift away from the old mode of eating/living. I don't think age has necessarily to do with not being able to "give up" dairy but probably, linked to the emotional ties we have with food more than anything... Dairy is usually associated with comfort foods (pizza, cookies, casseroles, ice cream, etc.) that people transitioning feel the need to find "replacements" for the emotional gratification these foods provide. And when the replacement foods don't provide the same comfort level, then there's a feeling of being deprived. Feelings of deprivation will cloud your ability to remember why you want to be a vegan in the first place--for the animals. It will make you think you are giving up dairy when in actuality, you are really choosing not to participate in animal abuse.

If you can't transition to a full vegan diet over time, because you can't emotionally align with your new value system, then organic grass-fed pastured dairy can be a possible alternative so that at least you have the option of making your own yogurt, sour cream, etc. Not that this is a better option over regular dairy since dairy will always be dairy, no matter where it comes from or how it is produced. It's better to stay on the diet you want to be on, for health/better world, than to completely veer away from it. At least this way, it will give you more time to adjust and do what feels right for you-- some grass fed dairy and the rest of your diet vegan.

If you don't want to bother giving yourself time to adjust to a 100% vegan diet and just want better tasting options to go full on vegan, the best non-dairy vegan options are always home-made. There's really no getting around this. Store bought is highly processed and lacking in flavor.

Ideas for non-dairy vegan MILK, BUTTER, YOGURT, CHEESE, SOUR CREAM, ICE CREAM, MILK CHOCOLATE (most of the sources of dairy cravings have been covered below)

Vegan milk-- best tasting in my opinion - Almond milk, coconut milk
1) Make your own almond milk (cheaper than store bought and less watered down). A lot of people also use soaked cashews but I think almond milk is lighter and better for cereal.
2) For higher fat vegan milk, use a can of coconut milk. For something creamier, use 100% coconut cream and mix with water -- just as creamy as milk if not better tasting.

Vegan butter - very time consuming to make this but there are recipes online on how to do it. Extra virgin olive oil is easier as a replacer if you just need something to flavor vegetables with or dip bread in.

Vegan Yogurt -- Soy, Almond, Coconut Milk
You can get a cheap yogurt maker and some culture. Everything can be ordered over the internet for less than $30 -- (vegan yogurt starter kit is about $8 and makes 8 tubs of yogurt and a yogurt maker is $20) -- Extremely easy to make yogurt at home. Process takes about 8 hours where you either use store bought vegan milk or make your homemade vegan milk, heat milk, let it cool, put the culture in, plug it into the outlet and 8hrs later you have yogurt. Just as tangy as storebought with the healthy probiotics.

Vegan Cheese -- Raw cashews work best for this.
Soak cashews, blend, add nutritional yeast and seasoning, set with agar agar flakes. 8hrs later you have a block of meltable home-made vegan cheese. There are tons of vegan nut cheese recipes online. All the recipes now for cashew cheese shred and melt just like regular mozzarella/cheddar. You will not miss cheese after you make one of these recipes and see it actually melt if you end up using it for vegan pizza. Store bought vegan cheese has a lot of processed oils/tapioca filler to get the cheese to melt making it not taste like regular dairy cheese, so it really falls short of real cheese.

Vegan Cottage cheese - no idea for cottage cheese. You'll have to google if there is a replacement for this.

Vegan Sour cream - 100% coconut cream/top part of 1 can coconut milk, lemon juice
Whip the cold cream with a handheld mixer, whisk, or even a fork, add lemon juice.
This is the only cream that will match the consistency/color of real sour cream once it is whipped.

Vegan Ice cream - raw soaked cashews or cream part of coconut milk/100% coconut cream
Blend raw soaked cashews/high fat coconut cream with other ingredients and pour into ice cream maker. It is just as creamy as regular dairy ice cream. Too many ice crystals form when there's not enough fat/sugar so cashews/coconut milk work best for ice creams.

Milk chocolate and white chocolate if you are going 100% vegan are pretty much non-existent.

Vegan Milk chocolate-- raw cashews soaked, coconut oil (makes a softer chocolate), 100% natural cocoa powder, sweetener of your choice-- Optional: replace coconut oil and cocoa powder with 100% chocolate baking bar

There are coconut oil based chocolate recipes online but I like to put blended raw cashews in when I want some milk chocolate. Set in break apart chocolate molds. Tastes like a Hershey's/Nestle chocolate bar. Shredded coconut, raw almonds will give you Almond Joy bars. If you want a harder chocolate use a 100% chocolate baking bar instead of coconut oil.

Vegan White chocolate- coconut cream, raw cashews soaked or raw macadamia nuts soaked, coconut oil, sweetener of your choice

Replacing the dairy on a vegan diet is slightly time consuming but people who make their own dairy replacements don't find it hard to stop eating dairy after they see how good the home-made alternatives taste.

Hope this helps. There's no harm in making adjustments to your diet and figuring out what works/doesn't work, as long as it is easy/practical for you to stay the course.

Last edited by prismcolour; 09-22-2014 at 11:48 AM.
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#5 Old 09-22-2014, 11:18 AM
 
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it takes time. Just keep reading about the dairy industry and bite by bite it will not be worth it. Nothing tastes good enough for that kind of suffering IMO
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#6 Old 09-22-2014, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agnes Smith View Post
After reading about the dairy industry, I so want to be a vegan. Cutting out meat, I can do. My problem is also cutting out cheese, milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream (!)etc. Nothing tastes like milk unless it IS milk and I LOVE milk! I tried almond, coconut and soy ice cream the other day...disgusting. Just because it's frozen does not make it ice cream. I also tried soy sour cream...also not good. (I did get soy butter, however, and I love it!) I'm 64. I don't know if I can realistically make this switch unless they come up with better-tasting products. Can't teach an old dog new tricks...or can you?
You can retrain your taste buds, you just have to be willing to try. My husband used to think even the idea of soy milk was gross, now he loves his vanilla soy milk and brags to me about how his brand is so much better than the one I prefer. As far as cheese, try not eating any for a significant period of time and then try a substitute. Of course, it will not be exactly like cheese but I have found that they do satisfy the salty cheesy tastes I crave. Also, some people think coconut yogurt is better than the real thing. My husband just made the switch to soy milk and he just turned 67.

When you get those cravings think of the all the wonderful things you get to eat and the multitude of choices you have in your life, then think of the animal suffering that is caused in the dairy industry.

Last edited by Huckleberry; 09-22-2014 at 11:58 AM.
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#7 Old 09-22-2014, 07:03 PM
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Hey Agnes!

Firstly, congratulations on making this decision to even look into how to change your diet! A lot of people don't.

When I first went vegetarian, I wasn't aware that we had good vegetarian bacon. If I'm completely honest, I've yet to find really, really, good vegetarian bacon. I probably never will now because it's been years and my tastebuds have changed.

Bacon was my favourite thing to eat.

But here's where it came undone for me, I like bacon because of the taste. Taste is a poor reason to do anything, much less take the life of someone else.

So, it might help to examine your reasons for why you want to give up dairy. Those reasons are obviously very important to you, I dare say (without knowing you, so it's just a shot in the dark) that when you found out what was going wrong, it hit a part of you deep down. The same part of you that cares for any animals in your life, the part of you that says to swerve when there's an animal on the road, the part of you that gets angry when you hear about someone hurting an animal, maybe even the part of you that knows what it is to love a baby.

This is all just going out on a limb, but I'll put it out there that you don't want to hurt animals. That's probably one of your core values as a person, it's so natural to you to NOT hurt animals that you probably don't think about it much, but it's part of you. Not consuming dairy aligns with that value.

Is a taste worth going against such a strong value that you hold? I dare say it's not.

Unfortunately, nothing in the veg*n world will taste exactly the same as cow's milk, or anyone else's milk because we can get close, but we can't replicate things exactly. That's just something to accept right now.

Having said that, after a little while (like I did with bacon) your tastebuds do change. Try not having dairy for 30 days. What can it hurt? In that time, you can break a habit.

And while you're not having dairy, put nuts on your food (pine nuts are my favourite, but cashews are good too!). Experiment with making your own cheese, play around with things you can make with nutritional yeast! See it not as giving something up, but as building your repertoire and expanding the foods you DO eat.

As for 'can an old dog learn new tricks'? Yes. Most definitely. And 64 is far from 'old' in my book. You have a lot more of your life to live, so why not spend it living in accordance to how you feel inside?
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#8 Old 09-22-2014, 08:03 PM
 
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Nutritional yeast on everything!
Vegan mac n cheese. Yellow colored tofu scramble. Yellow cashew cheese. Yellow colored zucchini "cheese" fries. The list goes on.
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#9 Old 09-22-2014, 09:36 PM
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I recommend the book "Never too late to go vegan".

I went vegan overnight and too looooooved dairy-based ice cream. But after some time I tried the vegan ice cream and it was awesome. I guess the taste buds adjust. Give it a try, you won't die without ice cream

Good luck!
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#10 Old 09-23-2014, 02:26 AM
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I went vegan overnight in February 2011. I was intolerant to most dairy (especially straight milk and most cheeses) but did tolerate Greek Yogurt and used to eat that a lot for breakfast. When I went vegan, I pretty much avoided all the vegan commercial "cheeses" and yogurts for a very long time, even the vegan "meats". It challenged me to rethink the whole way I ate and be much more creative with cooking and preparing food. I did use nutritional yeast a lot (I like to make a thick sauce with nutritional yeast, sweet potato or pumpkin, spices, and plant milk or water) and learned to make homemade nut based "cheeses" or sauces. I am intolerant to cashews but almonds always work well for me in place. For my calcium (and other bone building) needs, I concentrate on using blackstrap molasses in hot cereals, sauces, baked goods etc as it is high in calcium and also iron. I eat at least a minimum of two cups a day most days of low oxalate leafy greens like collards, bok choy, brocoli, kale, mustard and turnip greens (add them to soups, salads, sandwiches, casseroles, or eat raw with fresh fruit etc). I try to include sesame seeds or tahini or almonds in my diet as often as I can for their calcium content. I had never heard of tahini unti I went vegan. it is a sesame seed paste and works very well to make creamy dressings, sauces, and hummus. When I missed the thick creaminess of Greek Yogurt, I experimented with plant based foods that could give me the same texture without a ton of added sugar (most vegan yogurts are too sweet for me though I have grown to like them more). I sometimes blend extra firm tofu and add a little cocoa powder, maybe a banana or berries to it, and a little plant milk or water, maybe some stevia (I grow my own stevia leaves). It makes a rich pudding that is not too high in sugar. Not the same as Greek Yogurt but good in it's own way. Smoothies with frozen bananas, leafy greens, other fruits, maybe some vegan protein powder or chia seeds or ground flaxseed, are very nice for thick creamy texture too. No plant milks are needed to make those. Bananas really add to the creaminess of smoothies. But high density fruits like mango, apricots, peaches, and the like work too.

After two years of avoiding most vegan yogurts, cheeses, and meats, I eventually began to incorporate them here and there and found that I liked them more than I probably would have in the beginning. Taste buds do change a lot as you learn to eat differently. Also, for me it was all about ethics and I would have done anything (and still would) to no longer support the brutality of animal farming and other forms of animal abuse and exploitation. It goes well beyond food for me, but I do understand that food is the biggest change that is hard for people. My Mom tried to go vegan in her sixties but struggled and went back. But she is also gluten free and due to diverticulitis/diverticulosis can not eat nuts, seeds, corn etc. But I do think it goes beyond that for her in that she spent her entire life believing you need to eat a certain way to be healthy and also food is comfort for her and it was very hard for her to let go of that. I still think she could have done it logistically. I spent hours and hours with her showing her all of the foods she could still eat and enjoy, but she doesn't have the same drive and determination to be vegan. She also lives in a monastic community that discourages her from living this way, which I find ironic. Personally I still think it can be done. Older people do go vegan and stay that way. For some it just takes a longer period of adjustment and slowly cutting down. Maybe that is what would work for you?

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#11 Old 09-23-2014, 04:07 AM
 
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I went cold turkey from dairy and realised it was an addiction of sorts. I no longer think about it or care for it as the further I went from the eating of it the more I started 'hearing' the messages about the conditions cows have to put up with in order for me to have my cheese and yoghurt.
I went off diary for health reasons, I stay off it for ethical reasons.
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#12 Old 09-23-2014, 09:38 AM
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Thanks Tiger Lilly for all this great info/recipes for vegan cheeses! I'm Vegetarian but am trying all that I can to eliminate most dairy and get close to Vegan. I know it's a journey as was becoming Vegetarian. I am going to try to make my own vegan cheese the next time I make my lasagna or eggplant parmesan (I've posted the first already for all to have and will post the second soon). This forum is such a great resource for me!
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#13 Old 09-23-2014, 01:20 PM
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I was ovo-lacto-veg for four years before turning full vegan seven years ago and haven't looked back. During those four years, I had a long laundry list of rationalizations to explain away my behavior. Then one day something happened and I couldn't deal with the lies anymore.

The longer you go without eating animal products, the easier it is to trick yourself that the vegan substitutes really taste good. Remember, you're not trying to fool yourself into thinking the substitutes have the exact taste and texture as the animal products they're replacing. You just have to get to a point where you can enjoy them for being "good enough." Doing a side-by-side taste test between daiya cheddar slices and real cheddar slices and not being able to tell the difference is not the goal.

When it comes to yogurt, I first switched to Whole Soy Co. vegan yogurt, and that was a little different than dairy yogurt, but the change wasn't all that dramatic. That was at least 6-7 years ago. Now I try to limit soy whenever it's convenient (I do a sucky job at avoiding it overall) so I've switched to So Delicious greek style almond or coconut yogurt. The change from regular soy yogurt to greek style was a much more dramatic change for me than the initial switch from dairy to non-dairy. Now that I've been eating the greek style for over a year, I'm used to it and I don't like the non-greek styles, whether they're soy, coconut, or almond. I'll eat them if I need probiotics and I don't have any other choice, but given the choice, just give me blueberry or strawberry greek style almond, which I like even more than the coconut. The fact that I've never had greek style dairy yogurt probably helps a lot. I have no memory to compare against my current consumption.

Last edited by DTASFAB; 09-23-2014 at 01:22 PM.
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#14 Old 09-23-2014, 02:21 PM
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Dairy contains a very addictive substance. "Dairy from cows also contains exorphins. These exorphins are especially concentrated in cheese. Like the polypeptides found in wheat gluten, those that are found in dairy are able to bind to morphine receptor sites in the brain. The exorphins that are found in dairy are called casomorphins." Heroin addiction can be very hard to break. I guess it takes will power.

Here is an article on LinkedIn, the 10th biggest website in the country. It has on it the CDC, Harvard School of Public Health and American Heart Association saying to eat more fruits and vegetables. It is called

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#15 Old 09-23-2014, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Agnes Smith View Post
After reading about the dairy industry, I so want to be a vegan. Cutting out meat, I can do. My problem is also cutting out cheese, milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream (!)etc. Nothing tastes like milk unless it IS milk and I LOVE milk! I tried almond, coconut and soy ice cream the other day...disgusting. Just because it's frozen does not make it ice cream. I also tried soy sour cream...also not good. (I did get soy butter, however, and I love it!) I'm 64. I don't know if I can realistically make this switch unless they come up with better-tasting products. Can't teach an old dog new tricks...or can you?
Agnes -

Congrats on your desire to be a vegan. I did it later in life, so did my wife.....so it can be done. Just change your mindset.

Do some research on what is actually in the milk, cheese, and other dairy you are so fond of. To put it bluntly.....antibiotics, bacteria, growth hormones, chemicals, blood, pus, and many other non-desirable substances are in dairy. Cheese has a more increased concentration of these substances than milk. Humans do not need cow's milk. It's a huge scam by the dairy industry. You don't need soy, almond, or any other milk either.

I was a vegetarian, but held onto cheese. I did some research & was overwhelmed with the adverse health effects of dairy. I went vegan overnight.

From a health perspective, it's a no brainier. If you just like the taste of milk and cheese.....you'll have to live with the negative health effects.....like high cholesterol levels, increased fat intake, higher heart attack / stroke risk, etc.

Ever hear of a vegan / vegetarian dying of a heart attack? Exactly......

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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#16 Old 09-23-2014, 04:54 PM
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My recommendation for milk is Silk Heart Healthy. I never liked dairy milk, but my son loved it and swears that's the closest to it for taste and creaminess. You will find commercial soy products to be very different from each other. Just look for ones with soybeans (8th Continent for ex. is made with soy flour)

Soy and almond yogurts are very different. I'd stay away.

You can do wonders with tofu, --but it takes experimentation. I like to mix silken tofu with lemon juice and a bit of sweetener for a sour cream. You can add herbs and use regular tofu for more feta like.

Daiya is a vegan cheese that most groceries have. It comes in shreds and blocks. I think the shreds are just like American cheese for grilled cheese.

You may do best with sorbets instead of ice creams. Pierres has a chocolate sorbet that happens to be vegan. It's dark, so if you like dark chocolate you may like it. I forgot about that!

Chocolate. You can find rice milk chocolate. I've had some homemade that was amazing, but had a store bought bar that wasn't very good. For dark chocolate look for cocao butter, sugar, cocao liquor, maybe vanilla. No casien or whey or cream or lactose (lactate is vegan)

Nutritional yeast does not taste like cheese. I like it in certain things, but I would never say it tastes cheesy on it's own. If you do buy some you will probably love it on popcorn. In sauces you need to find how to balance the other ingrediants. It took me a long time experimenting with things like lemon juice and spices till I found what I like

It takes time to change. I have found I'm eating more new foods than foods I've given up. The beginning is hard.

I'll get back with tips on books and websites. Amazon.com vegan cookbooks often have good "look inside" features.
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#17 Old 09-25-2014, 11:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agnes Smith View Post
Nothing tastes like milk unless it IS milk and I LOVE milk! I tried almond, coconut and soy ice cream the other day...disgusting. Can't teach an old dog new tricks...or can you?
Hi Agnes. Just imagine that you are not an "old dog" but a human being with brain and ability to control your actions. In this case you can help yourself and an American practitioner Neal Barnard can explain why you have difficulties switching to vegan food in his lecture: "Chocolate, Cheese, Meat, and Sugar -- Physically Addictive". As he explains, it takes about three weeks of adaptation and an old type of food becomes vapid to you (as new one does now).

Good luck
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