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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Second full day of my veganism retry, but my plant-based meal preparation has been pretty decent for some time.<br><br>
Well, tonight was rather different. I had this whole Mexican dinner planned out in my head, and it did NOT work the way I envisioned. Ended up eating only a portion of what I made, and it was not that great. One of my goals was to have a meal made up entirely of things I already had, so I didn't want to go out and order something. What is even more frustrating is that we don't have any vegan restaurants around here, so I can't really run out and order something fast when dinner proves to be a disaster. There are a TON of restaurants in my part of the world, but I can think of only two or three places that even have vegan options, and they're few and far between on the menus.<br><br>
I've just felt so discouraged tonight. I'm a grad student and I work, so I don't have endless time to cook from recipes. And typically I have to experiment somewhat anyway because I'm financially limited and can't afford an endless supply of groceries. I also can't afford to lose weight because I don't weigh enough as it is. Making brownies tomorrow morning for sure, so easy calories there. And now that the weekend is here, maybe I'll have extra time to cook. But I'm a bit uneasy, guys and gals. I feel like my best options for quick calories are processed vegan entrees, and I try to avoid excessively processed food wherever possible. Plus it all adds up quickly because many of these items are very expensive.<br><br>
Okay, admission time. Yes, I want to be healthy and keep my weight up. But what I'm really concerned about here is proving to my parents (my dad especially) that I will not just survive, but <i>thrive</i> on a vegan diet. Now I'm an adult and don't live with my parents anymore, but they worry about <i>everything.</i> When my dad found out last year that I had gone back to vegetarianism, he literally shouted, swore, and stomped out of the house because he thought I was going to destroy my health. Severe reaction, no? Well he finally came around (for the most part) because he saw that I was indeed thriving.<br><br>
Obviously he wouldn't react well to the idea of me even <i>considering</i> veganism again. He thinks you have to measure out and analyze all of your food to make sure you get enough nutrition, etc. I need to prove to him that veganism is both honorable and healthy -- if you do it right, of course -- and not as difficult as it sounds.<br><br>
But it's starting to feel difficult. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("> Not throwing in the towel, but I'm getting discouraged.
 

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Have you ever looked at vegweb.com? They have thousands of recipes on there with reviews and have a whole section for quick and easy meals.<br><br>
What about your dinner didn't work out? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("> My idea of quick and easy Mexican : beans, instant rice, guac or salsa, lettuce, tomato, tortillas . Spoon beans, rice, salsa or guac or both and wrap in tortillas. Or in cooking disaster situations you can always make a "<i>run for the border"</i> and get a variety of options at Taco Bell for under $1.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"><br><br>
Even though you are trying to avoid eating out , when you do find in situations where you have no choice <a href="http://www.veganeatingout.com" target="_blank">www.veganeatingout.com</a> is a very helpful site.
 

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About restaurants, try searching here: <a href="http://www.vegguide.org/" target="_blank">http://www.vegguide.org/</a><br>
There maybe more than you know.<br><br>
About staying healthy, start by sticking to this guideline: <a href="http://pcrm.org/health/diets/pplate/power-plate" target="_blank">http://pcrm.org/health/diets/pplate/power-plate</a><br>
And be sure to eat enough calories. Stock up on a few basics (like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or bean burritos, lentil soup or pita and hummus, etc) to help fill in the gaps as you adjust.
 

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'Lo Sadie and sorry to hear about you frustrating experience.<br><br>
No way am I a dietician but it does sound to me like you need to eat tons of carbs.<br><br>
I do know a lot about cooking vegan on a tight budget though. Potato, rice and pasta are all 'as cheap as chips'.<br><br>
Have you checked out the recipes section here for new ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>fadeaway1289</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3030438"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Have you ever looked at vegweb.com? They have thousands of recipes on there with reviews and have a whole section for quick and easy meals.<br><br>
What about your dinner didn't work out? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("> My idea of quick and easy Mexican : beans, instant rice, guac or salsa, lettuce, tomato, tortillas . Spoon beans, rice, salsa or guac or both and wrap in tortillas. Or in cooking disaster situations you can always make a "<i>run for the border"</i> and get a variety of options at Taco Bell for under $1.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"><br><br>
Even though you are trying to avoid eating out , when you do find in situations where you have no choice <a href="http://www.veganeatingout.com" target="_blank">www.veganeatingout.com</a> is a very helpful site.</div>
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That's usually my favorite Mexican-style meal, too. I decided I'd try something fancy and it failed miserably. Left the rice on the burner too long, the picante sauce I bought was terrible, forgot to turn down the heat for my sauteed veggies after a while and burned my chopped garlic (I really wasn't with it, I guess), the avocado I had in my fridge was slightly too ripe and I added too much lime juice to it. Blah. Should have gone with the simpler option.<br><br>
Thanks for the suggestions. I've used vegweb before, but I haven't seen the "quick and easy" section yet -- I'll definitely give that a good look-through. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> Had no idea veganeatingout.com existed -- hopefully it'll come in handy when I just don't feel like cooking. Hehe.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ElaineV</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3030450"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
About restaurants, try searching here: <a href="http://www.vegguide.org/" target="_blank">http://www.vegguide.org/</a><br>
There maybe more than you know.<br><br>
About staying healthy, start by sticking to this guideline: <a href="http://pcrm.org/health/diets/pplate/power-plate" target="_blank">http://pcrm.org/health/diets/pplate/power-plate</a><br>
And be sure to eat enough calories. Stock up on a few basics (like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or bean burritos, lentil soup or pita and hummus, etc) to help fill in the gaps as you adjust.</div>
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One thing I plan to do this weekend is try out lots of quick and easy basics that are calorie-laden. I figure that the more I practice making them, the less time it'll take to prepare these meals and snacks. Thanks for the links!<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Clueless Git</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3030452"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
'Lo Sadie and sorry to hear about you frustrating experience.<br><br>
No way am I a dietician but it does sound to me like you need to eat tons of carbs.<br><br>
I do know a lot about cooking vegan on a tight budget though. Potato, rice and pasta are all 'as cheap as chips'.<br><br>
Have you checked out the recipes section here for new ideas?</div>
</div>
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Yep, I LOVE looking through the recipes section on this site. There are lots of vegan recipes all over the internet, but I trust the opinions of VBers more than those of random internet people. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> Regarding budgets, I have realized that the basic vegan staples -- notably grains and legumes, and some produce items -- are indeed "as cheap as chips." (Love that expression!) I've been building up my collection of dried herbs and spices, so I guess I should probably experiment with flavor when putting together those cheap, basic (but healthy) meals.<br><br>
I really appreciate everyone's support. This is something I want to make a permanent part of my life, but I'm starting with small goals (like this week-by-week trial run) so as to make my transition smoother than it was last time around.
 

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Give yourself some time. I started my transition 4 months ago, and I can count the number of vegan entrees that I can cook on one hand, and that's with one finger up my nose <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"> It only gets easier.<br><br>
As for your concern about fat and calories. My rule from day one was to have plenty of nuts on hand for snacking. I may not be where I am today without nuts <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D"> They have tons of healthy fats, and are a good source of protein along with lots of other nutrients...
 

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i agree with the whole restaurant thing.<br>
tons of vegetarian options...but vegan not so much :[ stinks i know.<br>
everytime i go out to eat i do NOT want to eat a plan salad and/or frenchfries.<br><br>
thankfully i live close to philly which has tons of vegan restaurants :]<br>
still wish there was some IN MY STATE-nj<br>
im still under my parent's insurance and im not allowed to drive across the bridge...even though i am NINETEEN and DONT LIVE AT HOME and PAY THEM $50 A WEEK FOR MY INSURACE >.<<br>
plus paying the toll is annoying and begging my boyfriend to drive me is aso equally ennoying
 

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I would highly recommend getting a rice cooker -- even a relatively cheap one. It makes making rice so much easier -- you can even do spanish rice. Plus it keeps the rice warm, so you don't have to worry about coordinating the rice with other stuff. If you have a little more to spend (about $100), you could get an electric pressure cooker -- I use mine almost daily. Great for grains, beans, soups, stews, etc. It's almost impossible to screw stuff up in there, and it cooks so much more quickly. I really wish I had gotten one years ago!<br><br>
It can take some time to find tried and true recipes and techniques. But it will be worth it in the end, I promise. Sometimes looking for recipes online can work - I would go for recipes that are simple without a lot of steps or ingredients and have lots of good, detailed reviews (not "This was great!"). A few vegan cookbooks are a good investment as well, as you can generally be more sure that the recipes have been tested.<br><br>
While you're still getting used to the change in your diet, I wouldn't shy away from buying convenience foods. The word "processed" is really used loosely and inappropriately -- a lot of frozen dinners aren't really much more "processed" than what you would make at home. They may be a little higher in salt, but if you're a young healthy person that's not too big of a deal. Most people don't have time to cook every night. I'm working on stocking up my freezer with leftovers, but I still keep frozen pizzas (Amy's cheeseless and Tofurkey) in the freezer as well. For lunches I've been eating a lot of Smart Deli turkey and Tofurkey slices.<br><br>
As far as restaurants, I just eat at regular Mexican restaurants and ask for my meal without cheese and sour cream. Most places around here don't use lard, but you might need to ask about that as well. I also love Thai (ask about fish sauce) and Indian food (ask if they use ghee, which is clarified butter) -- pretty easy to find vegan options. It's easy to order a vegan pizza at just about any pizza place - just ask for veggies and no cheese. You might get funny looks, but that's not your problem. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Darth Zucchini</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3030650"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Give yourself some time. I started my transition 4 months ago, and I can count the number of vegan entrees that I can cook on one hand, and that's with one finger up my nose <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"> It only gets easier.<br><br>
As for your concern about fat and calories. My rule from day one was to have plenty of nuts on hand for snacking. I may not be where I am today without nuts <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D"> They have tons of healthy fats, and are a good source of protein along with lots of other nutrients...</div>
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Nuts you can eat, or nuts you can talk to here on the internet, like me?<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"><br><br>
@SadieP-All joking aside, you might also want to invest in a crock pot as well as a rice cooker...it's autumn, heading into winter. I know there's tons of vegan soups and stews recipes out there. If nothing else, you might ask for it on your Christmas wish list. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/santa2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":santa:"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/elf.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":elf:"> Good luck with everything.
 

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Erik Marcus' Ultimate Vegan Guide is a good resource although it covers far more than just recipes.<br><br>
VO's "Guide to Cruelty Free Eating" gives a condensed version of great advice, but I'd recommend the comprehensive and superior "Vegan for Life" by Jack Norris and Ginny Messina if you can afford to shell over a little cash. It's a great book whether you're a beginner or a decades long veteran of the veggie wars. I'm somewhere in between. :p<br><br><br>
edit: Wasteland Survival Guide is a Fallout joke. It's not an actual thing, yet, but it would be a lovely title for a vegan or animal advocacy book.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone, you're awesome! I very much appreciate the support and advice. Good news -- yesterday was SO much better than the day before. I made delicious homemade hummus to eat with lunch, and then immediately afterward, I made a successful batch of vegan brownies!! Brought the brownies and a sample of my hummus over to my parents' house for a movie night with my mom, and she loved both of them! My successes thus far both outweigh the failures and reinspire my confidence. Today's Day 4, and it should be fairly easy because it will mostly consist of leftovers and throw-together meals. DEFINITELY in need of this break from intense cooking. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 
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