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#1 Old 03-21-2008, 10:06 PM
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Hi everyone, I would like some advice about a new boyfriend I have who is vegan. I would say I am more on the vegetarian side: I do eat eggs, but I don't eat milk or cheese. However, I am not so fastidious about reading labels for that. If I buy crackers or cereal or something and it has small amounts if dairy-type stuff, I don't sweat it. It is more the milk and cheese I avoid for health reasons.



The guy is vegan for health issues only. So, he is okay with people eating meat around him and will go to restaurants (although he is very health-conscious so it is not is favourite thing). So he does not mind if I have crackers with dairy in them around. But I want to make sure, especially as he dislikes restaurants, that I have things around which he can eat in case he comes over. And I am a bit worried about what would happen if I ever took him to my mother's for dinner. She could vegify her soup no problem, and there are always side dishes, but it is very much a 'roast chicken and brisket' kind of family, and while we do have some vegetarian family members, no vegans. She already has to somewhat limit herself due to my food allergies, and even with that she does not always check the labels and there have been times I have not been able to eat things.



Here is my typical diet, for breakfast I always have oatmeal mixed with applesauce, or cereal with soy milk on the weekend. For lunch, I usually take a thermos with soup or pasta, and a fruit and vegetable (I like fruit!) Snacks, I eat fruit, dry cereal, some crackers (I can't eat many kinds due to my corn allergy) and things like carrots and salsa. For dinner it is similar to lunch, lots of soups and stews, sometimes baked or stir-fried tofu with veggies and rice or potato. Fairly healthy stuff for the most part.



BUT- I do not keep the following in the house due to my food allergies: green beans, corn and corn products (he is a health nut so I don't imagine he is into things made with corn syrup anyway), raw apples (I am VERY allergic to these although I can have them cooked) or flax. I do keep many vegetables, banana, grapes, citrus fruits, melons and berries.



SO...what sorts of things can I keep around if he visits. What should I, a non-dairy vegetarian but not so careful about checking labels for small amounts, and with the above restrictions in mind, keep around for him? And if he ever does get to my mom's for Friday night dinner, what should I suggest she might make for him? She already makes a separate kosher item for my stepbrother, so she is not opposed to putting some tofu in the oven or something if he would eat the side dishes. I guess the main issue is that I am not sued to reading labels (except for my allergies) so I am worried I will accidentally give him something that strict vegans would not eat.
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#2 Old 03-21-2008, 10:37 PM
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I'm willing to bet that you eat/prepare more vegan foods than you realize.



You can test the waters by picking out some things to prepare, and calling to ask if he likes it or not. Or, you can do the whole romantic thing and ask him to cook a special dinner for you.



As far as worrying about the labels...yeah, there's a lot of latin jargon on there that vegans (and even vegetarians) have had to learn to translate. You can't go wrong with anything made from whole foods. You ever seen an ingredients list on a cucumber??? Didn't think so.



Sticking to things made from whole foods would probably be best, not only because you'll know exectly what in them, but also because that's what he probably sticks to, being a health nut and all.



My personal recommendation for random group/family gatherings is always a burrito/taco dinner. You can have a variety of fresh ingredients in different bowls (even meat and cheese for the omni's), and let each person pick and choose what they want to put on theirs. Salsas, and especially that Taco Bell bottled sauce ($1) are vegan. Guacamole is supposed to be vegan, but I've never found any without whey...so I have to make my own from scratch. Tofutti sour cream is vegan, and takes a lot like the real thing. And, for the refried beans, always get the 'vegetarian' or 'fat free' to avoid lard.

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#3 Old 03-21-2008, 10:37 PM
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read labels for things like lactose, casein, whey, etc. there's probably a list around here somewhere. Also, most foods with milk (aside from the obvious ones like milk and cheese) have an allergen warning on them: "This product contains milk and soy". stuff like that.



does he eat honey? since you said it's for health reasons I wasn't sure, but strict vegans don't eat honey, so yeah.... anyways, if he doesn't you'll have to read for that. Honey is my bane-- I can remember to check for milk and eggs in things but for some reason I always forget honey!



Good luck.
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#4 Old 03-21-2008, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ficbot View Post




SO...what sorts of things can I keep around if he visits. What should I, a non-dairy vegetarian but not so careful about checking labels for small amounts, and with the above restrictions in mind, keep around for him?



That's an easy one. Go to his house and see what he keeps around for himself. Or just ask him. I sure he knows.



Quote:
And if he ever does get to my mom's for Friday night dinner, what should I suggest she might make for him? She already makes a separate kosher item for my stepbrother, so she is not opposed to putting some tofu in the oven or something if he would eat the side dishes. I guess the main issue is that I am not sued to reading labels (except for my allergies) so I am worried I will accidentally give him something that strict vegans would not eat.



There are lots of vegan recipes out there and since vegan food never mixes meat and dairy there is no kosher restriction there. What are some of the other kosher rules? It's surprising how many meals are already vegan -- like lots of soups, for instance. Or if your mom's making mashed potatoes she can just leave plain ones for him.
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#5 Old 03-21-2008, 11:27 PM
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I'm going to an omni friend's house for dinner tonight - I asked if I should bring something vegan and she said, "yes, might be easier - we're all having vegetable chilli with rice" So I said I'd stick with the chilli.



It's a amazing how many vegan recipes are just out there in "normal" circulation without anyone realising
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#6 Old 03-22-2008, 04:37 AM
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This thread is interesting for me, because it's the other way around for me. I'm the vegan and my hubby isn't. But I taught my hubby to read labels (there's no way around it, unless you have a Wegmans grocery store around you that marks stuff vegan, if it is).



I was vegan for health reasons at first. But, at that time, I wasn't so "strict." I avoided the obvious stuff like eggs, milk, ect. But if something had whey in it, I didn't sweat it (I'm a lot more picky now, though). Your boyfriend sounds more strict than that. I agree with the others. Find a few vegan recipes on here and cook for him. Or spead time with him at his place and talk about (or snoop through his kitchen LOL) stuff he keeps on hand and/or likes.
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#7 Old 03-22-2008, 09:38 AM
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I wouldn't overly worry about "accidentally feeding him" things that aren't vegan--as a vegan he'll know himself to check. Honestly, I'm sure he appreciates all the effort and thought you're putting in for him and I think it's absolutely adorable. (Definately deserves a bit smooch.) He knows that if you make a mistake--it's not because you don't care about his choices, its simply you didn't know any better. (There is SUCH a difference..)



All those fruits and veggies you have he'll eat, most of your crackers, cereals, and other bread products should be fine too. Obviously try not to buy eggbread and if you have the time while grocery shopping give your product's ingredients a quick glance for the aforementioned things to look out for. ("modified milk ingredients", whey, gelatin, and egg being the most common.)



My suggestion, since reading this all and trying to memorize what vitamins, nutrients, ingredients are vegan and which aren't is a pain if you're not vegan yourself, is to go to HIS house. :P See what he's eating--oh, he likes X brand name crackers of Y flavor? Ok. Oh, he's eating some Z brand name bread? Ok. If he's eating it he obviously will eat it so why not buy that. :P He can be adventurous and try new things AT HOME--it's not your job to introduce him to new foods, you just wanna keep him from starving at your house. :P Besides, you know he obviously likes those things.
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#8 Old 03-22-2008, 04:03 PM
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That's an easy one. Go to his house and see what he keeps around for himself. Or just ask him. I sure he knows.



^^^ this man is a genius.



seriously- just ask him. he's the one who will be eating it. you could even go on a fun date to the supermarket and label read together, do some cooking together, or he could suggest stuff that he loves, or pass along some recipes for you and your mum to use (stuff that you might like too!).



cut to the chase- its way easier than asking US, and way more likely to result in stuff he'll appreciate and enjoy- and he'll feel all touched that you care about him, awwww.
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#9 Old 03-22-2008, 04:07 PM
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you could even go on a fun date to the supermarket and label read together, do some cooking together



lol!!! I LOVE IT. The best part is that me and my longest term ex had the most fun grocery shopping (and then cooking) together. Restaurants left us feeling ripped off.
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#10 Old 03-22-2008, 04:30 PM
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lol!!! I LOVE IT. The best part is that me and my longest term ex had the most fun grocery shopping (and then cooking) together. Restaurants left us feeling ripped off.



my weird omni bf LOVES doing a little 'find new foods for jen' mission in the supermarket- keeps him outta my hair pretty well too, cos he reads labels at the speed of a stoned snail, and while he's entertained with pasta sauce jar labels, he's safely out of the cookie aisle (that boy could eat cookies for canadas national olympic cookie munching team).



i'll go get my regular stuff, leaving him somewhere reading labels, and usually ten minutes later he'll come running across the store with a big smile on his face and a triumpant glimmer in his eye, jar held aloft, proudly announcing 'i think you can eat this, and i like it too!!!'. and then i love him for being so sweet, caring, and making the effort (he's not exactly a huge fan of reading- it makes him sleepy), and he feels all clever and manly and capable and hunter-gatherer-provider-whatevery- and we both get food. its a big win-win situation.



awww, bless.
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#11 Old 03-22-2008, 07:40 PM
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my weird omni bf LOVES doing a little 'find new foods for jen' mission in the supermarket- keeps him outta my hair pretty well too, cos he reads labels at the speed of a stoned snail, and while he's entertained with pasta sauce jar labels, he's safely out of the cookie aisle (that boy could eat cookies for canadas national olympic cookie munching team).



lol!



I agree, its very cute you're trying to keep yourself prepared for him. I like the idea about going to the supermarket together, or just asking him what brands he buys and eats and whatnot. Communication, key!
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#12 Old 03-22-2008, 07:57 PM
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my weird omni bf LOVES doing a little 'find new foods for jen' mission in the supermarket- keeps him outta my hair pretty well too, cos he reads labels at the speed of a stoned snail, and while he's entertained with pasta sauce jar labels, he's safely out of the cookie aisle (that boy could eat cookies for canadas national olympic cookie munching team).



i'll go get my regular stuff, leaving him somewhere reading labels, and usually ten minutes later he'll come running across the store with a big smile on his face and a triumpant glimmer in his eye, jar held aloft, proudly announcing 'i think you can eat this, and i like it too!!!'. and then i love him for being so sweet, caring, and making the effort (he's not exactly a huge fan of reading- it makes him sleepy), and he feels all clever and manly and capable and hunter-gatherer-provider-whatevery- and we both get food. its a big win-win situation.



awww, bless.



It's posts like this that reinforce why I love your sense of humor, Jen.



To the OP, one way to go about it is to come back from the grocery shopping trip and put all the foods that are mainly for him in the same place, such as one drawer in the fridge or shelf in the cupboards. You could do the same at his place if you like things that he doesn't particularly care for. That makes it easier when one of you goes over to the other's place--you know where the stuff you want to eat is.

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#13 Old 03-22-2008, 08:18 PM
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It's posts like this that reinforce why I love your sense of humor, Jen.



To the OP, one way to go about it is to come back from the grocery shopping trip and put all the foods that are mainly for him in the same place, such as one drawer in the fridge or shelf in the cupboards. You could do the same at his place if you like things that he doesn't particularly care for. That makes it easier when one of you goes over to the other's place--you know where the stuff you want to eat is.



thats quite sneaky... i never thought of starting with a kitchen cupboard (safe territory). once you've got that down, then you can work upto getting a bathroom cabinet shelf of your own, and before you know it you'll have a designated drawer in the bedroom dresser, and pink scatter cushions on the sofa, and he'll not know what hit him, when, or how. very cunning.



seriously though, it is quite a sensible idea to have your own shelf in the others place- saves rooting about and makes it easy to see what you've got.
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#14 Old 03-22-2008, 08:21 PM
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thats quite sneaky... i never thought of starting with a kitchen cupboard (safe territory). once you've got that down, then you can work upto getting a bathroom cabinet shelf of your own, and before you know it you'll have a designated drawer in the bedroom dresser, and pink scatter cushions on the sofa, and he'll not know what hit him, when, or how. very cunning.



seriously though, it is quite a sensible idea to have your own shelf in the others place- saves rooting about and makes it easy to see what you've got.



Heh, I wasn't meaning to suggest she use the cupboard as leverage to anything else, or that she do it behind his back. Although if that's what floats the couple's boat, I'm not likely to judge.

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#15 Old 03-22-2008, 08:30 PM
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Heh, I wasn't meaning to suggest she use the cupboard as leverage to anything else, or that she do it behind his back. Although if that's what floats the couple's boat, I'm not likely to judge.



of course you weren't. thats just how my mind works. don't tell anyone.
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#16 Old 03-22-2008, 09:21 PM
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I really like the idea of going to the grocery store with him. He dislikes going to restaurants, which has been my standard date behaviour, so I was looking for creative things to do when we go out. I was thinking, once the weather warms up a littl, of having a picnic date. Maybe I should just bring him to the store with me to buy the picnic stuff



I am actually very interested in the food stuff. He is very into organic and stuff like that. I bet there are cool things he could show me at the health food store that I did not know about. I was a bit confused though because he said he does not follow cookbooks and I don't really know how to try new things without having a recipe, so I am not sure yet what he eats I suspect he will be perfectly happy to educate me though, he is really into the health side of food and I want to learn more about that anyway because it is good to be healthy



I also like the idea of having our own shelf at the other's place. There may be things he eats which I cannot due to my food allergies, and it would be nice to get to the point where we are not always reading labels with each other. Knowing that I can easily find stuff to eat at his place or him at mine would be convenient.



We are just starting to see each other but we really it it off! For example at the coffee shop, it was really crowded and I went to get a table while he ordered drinks. I told him I wanted a tea, but did not specify iced or hot tea, so he actually bought both and then let me pick! Isn't that sweet? It is early days yet, but I think he has potential.
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#17 Old 03-22-2008, 09:50 PM
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I really like the idea of going to the grocery store with him. He dislikes going to restaurants, which has been my standard date behaviour, so I was looking for creative things to do when we go out. I was thinking, once the weather warms up a littl, of having a picnic date. Maybe I should just bring him to the store with me to buy the picnic stuff



I am actually very interested in the food stuff. He is very into organic and stuff like that. I bet there are cool things he could show me at the health food store that I did not know about. I was a bit confused though because he said he does not follow cookbooks and I don't really know how to try new things without having a recipe, so I am not sure yet what he eats I suspect he will be perfectly happy to educate me though, he is really into the health side of food and I want to learn more about that anyway because it is good to be healthy



I also like the idea of having our own shelf at the other's place. There may be things he eats which I cannot due to my food allergies, and it would be nice to get to the point where we are not always reading labels with each other. Knowing that I can easily find stuff to eat at his place or him at mine would be convenient.



We are just starting to see each other but we really it it off! For example at the coffee shop, it was really crowded and I went to get a table while he ordered drinks. I told him I wanted a tea, but did not specify iced or hot tea, so he actually bought both and then let me pick! Isn't that sweet? It is early days yet, but I think he has potential.



aww, bless him, he sounds like a real sweetie with the tea! definately a good sign!



i understand the recipe thing- i don't really use them a lot- apart from baking-otherwise i tend to just put stuff together that just makes sense to me and in flavour combinations i know i like, and add new things here and there- its a bit like painting, you can do it by numbers, or just have an idea in your head, throw yourself into it, and just see what you end up with.



if he's eating things like veggies, whole grains, pulses, etc, and he knows how to cook each thing, then if he can't go too horribly wrong pick-and-mix ing it. its not too hard to try a new thing if you know how to cook it, and have a vague idea of what it'll taste like- if i buy something new (like a vggie or grain) i tend to look it up online, get an idea of what its supposed to be like, and what else might go with it, then play it by ear- make a few different things.



shopping for a picnic could be really good fun an afternoon in somewhere like wholefoods would be brilliant too- lots of exploring and discussing and sharing favourite things, giving each other new ideas for things to try, or just trying new stuff together (good thing we're talking about food, that could be entirely misconstrued otherwise ). i'd get saving your pennies now though- cos trying new stuff can be expensive when you're shopping somewhere like that!



i reckon you'll get the food stuff worked out ok- my bf is still a little scared to make me stuff, but he's got a firm grasp on what are the 'jenny foods' in the cupboards, and whats not ok for me ingredients wise, so he's getting there- its just got to become habit to reach for the right margarine, etc.



when my canadian wants to make me something like say ... soup... as a 'suprise' (not telling me what kinda soup it is), so he doesn't worry, i'll go and pile up my versions of everything thats a 'maybe screw up-able item' onto the counter for him- i'll get together all my stocks, my seasonings, etc, so he can choose what to use without worrying he'll pick up the wrong one (one of his ones) by accident. that helps take the pressure off for both of us, cos i'm not worrying about what he used, or hovering over his shoulder to check on him either - though obviously cooking together for a bit until he's got familarised with your needs would be incredibly sensible- nobody wants to make their partner sick or accidently kill them- thats like the ultimate faux-pas!
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#18 Old 03-22-2008, 10:00 PM
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nobody wants to make their partner sick or accidently kill them- thats like the ultimate faux-pas!



Oh, I've had a few.....oh that's another thread.



These all sound like winning ideas. I like the cupboard one, and use it in my home. My mother and son (both omni's) live with me, so I took over a cupboard and put all my stuff in there....works like a charm.
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#19 Old 03-23-2008, 08:44 PM
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I just about fell out of my chair laughing when I read this. That's my boyfriend! I mean exactly. It's a little scary actually...



And to the question asked - I think what everyone's said is pretty much perfect. I've been vegan for 5+ years (living in the chickin'-and-lard south for most of it) and I can't tell you how happy I get when it actually occurs to someone to inquire about my diet and what I do/don't eat. I think just the fact that you're so concerned about him and his diet will make him feel great and, as most people already said, he's your best source for the answer!



Quote:
Originally Posted by hoodedclawjen View Post

my weird omni bf LOVES doing a little 'find new foods for jen' mission in the supermarket- keeps him outta my hair pretty well too, cos he reads labels at the speed of a stoned snail, and while he's entertained with pasta sauce jar labels, he's safely out of the cookie aisle (that boy could eat cookies for canadas national olympic cookie munching team).



i'll go get my regular stuff, leaving him somewhere reading labels, and usually ten minutes later he'll come running across the store with a big smile on his face and a triumpant glimmer in his eye, jar held aloft, proudly announcing 'i think you can eat this, and i like it too!!!'. and then i love him for being so sweet, caring, and making the effort (he's not exactly a huge fan of reading- it makes him sleepy), and he feels all clever and manly and capable and hunter-gatherer-provider-whatevery- and we both get food. its a big win-win situation.



awww, bless.

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