Going from Omni, to Veggie..To Vegan??? Help!!! - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-05-2008, 10:17 AM
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Okay, so I am new to being an actual vegetarian, have been since late December. Dont really care for much meat anyhow. Well, I just read the book Skinny *****, and now I think that I really want to aim at becoming vegan! I thought I knew about the farming issues, but I wasn't aware of how bad they are! And I really didnt know just how unhealthy some of the dairy and such can be for you. I just hate the thought of putting chemicals like the pesticides and antibiotics in my body. My question is: do you think this is actually a doeable goal? I have nothing at all against what kind of veggie someone is, this is a personal decision for me. What are some foods that you guys reccommend? I am going to the grocery store later on today to revamp my kitchen with all sorts of good items. Any advice or tips I really apprecialte!... if anyone thinks it should be moved feel free!! Thanks sooo much!
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#2 Old 01-05-2008, 11:23 AM
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You've come to the right place. There are a few threads about starting veganism that you might want to read through.



I think I might go vegan...questions/concerns?

I'm a new VEGAN and I need HELP! (Please)

Weaning Off Dairy...The SUPPORT Thread!



I think being vegan is a very realistic goal, just take baby steps and learn as you go.
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#3 Old 01-05-2008, 11:35 AM
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My advice if you're going to be veggie before vegan is to use little dairy in your diet. The worst thing you can do is base your meals on egg or cheese because it will be so much harder to think of meals without. I went from omni straight to vegan. I found that as soon as I stopped eating meat and cheese I stopped having cravings for it. It was only when I was consuming it that my body wanted more. I don't know if that's the same for anyone else.



I base a lot of my cooking on beans. Beans are great. I use chopped tomatoes a lot, veggie stock and just whatever veggies I like. I make lots of soups and stews, especially in winter. Or stir fry. Or pastas with my own sauces. Experiment!



I don't really reply on processed foods much. I have a few bean burgers in the fridge but they're only got special/lazy occasions.
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#4 Old 01-05-2008, 12:05 PM
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Yes it is definitely doable! You don't necessarily have to go vegan overnight- if you need to make a gradual change that's perfectly fine. Just do whatever works best for you. What specific products are you looking for? (example: cereal, margarine, snacks, ice cream, bread, etc. ?)
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#5 Old 01-05-2008, 12:29 PM
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I find that I didn't really CUT out dairy, eggs etc. I just slowly started replacing those items with vegan items and eventually all of the animal based foods got pushed out on their own with out putting myself in withdrawls for cheese etc.



Staple Foods:

LOADS of fresh fruit/veg

applesauce (baking)

veg stock

Earth Balance

Various grains ( quinoa, couscous, bulgur, brown rice, basmati rice )

Canned items (diced tomatos, lentils, chickpeas, white beans, tomato paste)

VERY well stocked spice rack



Tofu ( if you like that kind of thing I personally do not)
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#6 Old 01-05-2008, 12:45 PM
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Congratulations on your decision!



I became a Vegan for Environmental reasons when I found out the impact that the meat and dairy industry have on the environment and greenhouse gases.



I am suprised at what an easy decision it was to do.



Make sure you do this healthfully. Research what vitamins and minerals you need to pay attention to such as B12 and Vitamin D and make sure you are getting enough of those.



I would suggest incorporating some whole foods and some processed foods to start.



My favorite processed are Tofurky Italian Sausages. There has never been a meat-eater yet that I have fed these to that hasn't loved them.



Cliff Builder Bars are Vegan and are a great meal replacement when your in a pinch.



When I'm not dieting or training for a competition, I love Vegetable Sushi, Sweet and Sour Tempeh sauteed with Veggies, Seitan Sandwiches with BBQ sauce, etc.



Good luck. I know you can do it!!!
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#7 Old 01-05-2008, 01:15 PM
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Yay, good for you for making the decision to switch!



I can't add much to the above, just go as slowly or as quickly as you feel able to and as someone much smarter than me wrote recently in a thread, remember that veganism is a journey and not an end goal
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#8 Old 01-05-2008, 08:24 PM
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If all you have access to are mainstream supermarkets, then you've got a real problem. These markets aren't designed for people who want to eat low-on-the-food chain plant-based diets. The first thing to recognize that 90% of the stuff available in mainstream supermarkets these days isn't food but highly processed recreational drugs. You'll need to track down the other 10% to survive. Many carnies aren't aware of just how limited their supposedly maximally varied diets actually are, having never been exposed to the wide variety of plant-based foods you can get at 'alternative' supermarkets. The moral of the story: make an effort to find good markets!



Good luck!

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#9 Old 01-05-2008, 08:36 PM
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I have to disagree. My experience is that it's very easy to get staples like pasta, rice, beans, tofu, vegetables, and mock-meats at major grocery stores but it is harder to find specialty products like soy cheeses, seitan, and vegan chocolate chips.



I do over 90% of my shopping at Kroger and Meijer stores, and then I hit Whole Foods and Trader Joes because they have vegan chocolate and ramen and the tofu, tofutti, and soymilk costs a few cents less.
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#10 Old 01-05-2008, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firegirl365 View Post

Okay, so I am new to being an actual vegetarian, have been since late December. Dont really care for much meat anyhow. Well, I just read the book Skinny *****, and now I think that I really want to aim at becoming vegan! I thought I knew about the farming issues, but I wasn't aware of how bad they are! And I really didnt know just how unhealthy some of the dairy and such can be for you. I just hate the thought of putting chemicals like the pesticides and antibiotics in my body. My question is: do you think this is actually a doeable goal? I have nothing at all against what kind of veggie someone is, this is a personal decision for me. What are some foods that you guys reccommend? I am going to the grocery store later on today to revamp my kitchen with all sorts of good items. Any advice or tips I really apprecialte!... if anyone thinks it should be moved feel free!! Thanks sooo much!



i haven't found it difficult to migrate from vegetarian to vegan. the only thing i'd caution you about (because your body is used to certain foods) - mind your fiber at first. it can be easy to get more than you are used to and end up with more gas and more bowel activity than you anticipated



i went vegan after reading skinny ***** too (i was already vegetarian). there have been a variety of reviews on that book but it seems the authors knew what they were doing. we should find out how many of us it affected and send them an email letting them know.
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#11 Old 01-06-2008, 06:43 PM
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Thank you guys sooo much for the great advice! I know that I will find all the support I need here. I do need to mention that I am lucky enough to be only 5 minutes from a grocery store that carries LOADS of veggie AND vegan items, tons of fresh produce, and lots of organics! Also, I have really come to like whole grain breads and such, and brown rice over this past year, along with many veggies and ethnic foods like mexican which I'm pretty sure has alot of vegan versions. I would like to try more Thai and Indian food. And I need to learn to like more fresh fruit!! What foods do I need to keep a close eye on for animal byproducts? Are most cereals and breads/pastas safe??? You guys are the best!
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#12 Old 01-06-2008, 07:22 PM
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Wow go you!

Thats so awesome that you have all these choices right in front of you, makes things so much easier, less clutter!



Haha im happy for you!
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#13 Old 01-06-2008, 08:18 PM
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Read labels very carefully. Research what ingredient names are because the manufacturers sneak things in where you least expect it!! Especially stuff like gelatin... its everywhere. Good luck and welcome!!

"Women & cats will do as they please, & men & dogs should relax & get used to the idea." Robert Heinlein
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#14 Old 01-07-2008, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firegirl365 View Post

Thank you guys sooo much for the great advice! I know that I will find all the support I need here. I do need to mention that I am lucky enough to be only 5 minutes from a grocery store that carries LOADS of veggie AND vegan items, tons of fresh produce, and lots of organics! Also, I have really come to like whole grain breads and such, and brown rice over this past year, along with many veggies and ethnic foods like mexican which I'm pretty sure has alot of vegan versions. I would like to try more Thai and Indian food. And I need to learn to like more fresh fruit!! What foods do I need to keep a close eye on for animal byproducts? Are most cereals and breads/pastas safe??? You guys are the best!



this should help as far as Cereal and regular grocery store food. Lists cereals, breads, snacks, etc. that are Vegan. Its how I found out Jello pudding was actually Vegan



http://www.vegcooking.com/guide.asp
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#15 Old 01-09-2008, 10:03 AM
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Another Skinny ***** fan here! I'm not quite vegan yet but all the food I cook and eat at home is vegan (I'm not a very good ingredient nazi in restaurants.) Don't worry about being perfect all at once, just keep trying to do a little bit better than you did the day before. Definitely when going from omni to lacto/ovo, do not, I repeat DO NOT replace meat with cheese and eggs! Not only will you gain weight, you will hinder your progress towards your ultimate goal of being vegan. Also, the list of vegan packaged foods in the book should be regarded as acceptable junk food. Frozen veggie burgers and chik'n nuggets are nice once in a while or when you really really don't have time to cook or when you get invited to a barbecue but the more foods you prepare yourself, the better off you'll be health-wise. And if you're trying to lose weight, still cut back as best as you can on fat.
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#16 Old 01-10-2008, 02:14 PM
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I've mentioned it b4, but I don't trust PETA's "vegan" list. They often include products that contain D3, gelatin, milkfat, etc. According to the person who replied to my email, any of that is OK because "95% vegan is vegan." I have checked the "snack" puddings (made by jello and others) at my grocery and they pretty much all have milk in them. It's been a while, but the last time I checked the jello pudding box mix, it also had some non-vegan ingredient (I think milk in some form).



I agree with the others, it's great that you're on the vegan "path"...just don't be too hard on yourself if you're not "perfect." It's not really possible IMO, but do your best and learn what you can
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#17 Old 01-10-2008, 02:47 PM
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It's certain an achievable goal to move to a vegan diet. I think how difficult it is depends on whether you are used to cooking meals from scratch, or tend to use a lot of packaged products. I always cooked most of my own meals from basic ingredients, so I have very little trouble making a vegan meal - the spaghetti with meat just becomes spaghetti with mushrooms. The chicken stir-fry just becomes a tofu stir-fry, etc.



The trouble is that many, many of the packaged, processed foods have some animal products in them (often dairy), so you have to read ingredients all the time, and it can be frustrating to discover that much of what you'd been putting in your shopping cart each week isn't vegan. If this is your situation, I'd recommend you not try to change everything at once. Just keep noticing what's not vegan and looking from something else to use instead.
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#18 Old 01-12-2008, 12:18 AM
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Hey

Im a convert after Skinny ***** too!

Im going vegetarian then vegan. As others have said, if you are making the transition slowly, try to avoid "replacing" the meat you used to eat with eggs and dairy.

The way Im doing it is cutting out all meat (duh :P), now I've cut out all "direct" dairy and eggs, that is I don't cook with them or consume them by themselves, but if process stuff has dairy and eggs in them thats ok (for now of course). I wanted to do it whole hog, but once I started reading ingredients and discovering that almost everything has milk/egg I decided a more ease-in approach.



Also, most of the meat substitutes here contain milk and eggs So I've had to stray away from those (but I don't know if thats just here in Australia, or the US too).



and good luck !
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