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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a frequently frustrated vegetarian/vegan wannabe. I have a zillion veg*n cookbooks, "Diet for a New America", PETA material and have a very difficult time maintaining. The longest I have been able to go without meat thus far is 3 months. Otherwise, I last a few days to a week. I am married with 2 children and the only one in the family that is making the attempt. My attempts tend to be toward strict vegetarianism after reading about factory farming to include the dairy/egg industry. Veganism, as much as I want that to be a goal, is simply too expensive - with a family to raise, I do not have the resources to spend $7.95 for shampoo vs. $1.78, etc,etc. Believe me, I tried to do that with shampoo/conditioner, soap, all of my makeup and vitamins. These items had to be special ordered as I live smack in the middle of Texas cattle country. I travel 50 miles when I want alfalfa sprouts or eggless mayonnaise. Am I making this harder than it has to be? What am I doing wrong? And what do I do when I get an OVERWHELMING craving for a bacon cheeseburger?! HELP! I don't want to give up!!!!!!
 

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One thing at a time. I'll start with a couple.<br><br><br><br>
Firstly, buy your own seeds and do your sprouts at home. I grow alfalfa sprouts at home all the time. It's the only way I'll eat them. You just need a jar, some cheese cloth, and an elastic. They're also WAY cheaper this way, and take only seconds every day.<br><br><br><br>
Vegan mayo... why not order it online? You can get ones that are fine out of the fridge until you open them. Try Spectrum's vegan mayo, you can order it here: <a href="http://www.worldpantry.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/CategoryDisplay?cgmenbr=189238&cgrfnbr=191668" target="_blank">http://www.worldpantry.com/cgi-bin/n...cgrfnbr=191668</a> This is the kind my husband loves.<br><br><br><br>
I totally hear you on the shampoo. I used to be a bargain basement shampoo purchaser myself, so it's been a HUGE adjustment to pay like $10 a bottle. I know there are some brands out there that are not tested on animals (vegan too I believe) that are just store brands, but someone else will have to help with that.<br><br><br><br>
I have to special order a lot of stuff too, and there are many products I can't even get, being in Canada.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so so much for the advice - and I can't wait to try growing my own sprouts. Excellent idea. Where do you get the seeds to start off with? And I'll check out the worldpantry site - that's one I haven't looked at. I've ordered from veganstore and veganessentials. Again, thank you. Believe it or not, you are the first person I have ever "talked" to that doesn't believe barbeque is a food group. I feel better already.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Becky, it's understandable that you feel frustrated: it seems like your environment is working against you! It can be tough making the switch to a vegetarian lifestyle, but I assure you, once you switch and the changes become habits, it gets easier.<br><br><br><br>
First of all, don't try to do everything at once. Make some small changes. Small changes are more sustainable over time than sweeping changes. Start by just cutting out red meat. Buy some fake meats so you won't feel like the odd one out at your meals. Get used to the substitutions, and once you are comfortable with those changes, and feel like they are habits that are easy to live with, then make another change (for example, give up chicken next). It doesn't matter what order you do it in - do what works for you!<br><br><br><br>
As for your cheeseburger craving: What about a veggie burger with veggie bacon and tofutti cheese slices? It could be just the thing <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
Good luck!!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/carrot.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":vebo:">
 

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Becky- try right here! <a href="http://www.sprouting.com/usastore/enter.html" target="_blank">http://www.sprouting.com/usastore/enter.html</a>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>xambecky</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Thanks so so much for the advice - and I can't wait to try growing my own sprouts. Excellent idea. Where do you get the seeds to start off with? And I'll check out the worldpantry site - that's one I haven't looked at. I've ordered from veganstore and veganessentials. Again, thank you. Believe it or not, you are the first person I have ever "talked" to that doesn't believe barbeque is a food group. I feel better already.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"></div>
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Becky, I have never shopped at worldpantry myself (shipping anything in from the US is atrociously expensive) but it is Spectrum Organic's online store so I imagine it's ok.<br><br><br><br>
I'm the only person you've ever talked to who doesnt believe BBQ is a food group? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/shocked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":eek:"> That must be so hard. Good for you for trying your best, and doing something that's probably not too popular where you are. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":hug:">
 

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Becky - why don't you take it in steps? It sounds like going all the way at once is overwhelming you. One idea is that you could change only your diet first - go lacto-ovo vegetarian but make an effort to cook mostly vegan meals. It will be easier for you to order in a Texas restaurant when you eat lacto-ovo rather than vegan! After doing that for awhile, then you could make the plunge to totally vegan eating, all the time. Then you could try to gradually switch to more animal-friendly shampoos, soaps, toiletries, etc.<br><br><br><br>
I'm sure it's tough living in Texas - I have the advantage of living in Seattle where I can walk to my neighborhood Trader Joe's and buy cruelty-free shampoo for $3.50 a bottle, as well as reasonably priced cruelty-free detergents, dishsoaps, lotions, etc. At any other stores, these items are WAY more expensive, so I'm sure it could be cost-prohibitive for you.<br><br><br><br>
I know you already said you have a zillion veg*n cookbooks, but I would be remiss if I didn't recommend <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Vegan Planet</span> by Robin Robertson. It is my absolute favorite, and most of the recipes do not involve "specialty" ingredients but rather focus on beans, grains, fruits, and veggies.<br><br><br><br>
Good luck! We are all here to support you anytime! Remember that doing something is better than nothing, and it's okay to start small! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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I agree with the others who have suggested taking it in little steps. Even little things you do can help. The Walmarts around here carry Morningstar Farms bacon - most of their products are just vegetarian and not vegan, if that makes a difference to you. When you have a craving for a bacon cheeseburger, get a veggie burger, some veggie bacon, some veggie slices (most of which are also vegetarian, but not vegan), and make your own. I bet they'd be pretty good. You can also deal with your cravings by recognizing why you're craving them - is it the companionship of the BBQ? the salty tastes of many comfort foods? Once you have that figured out, you can deal with cravings easier.<br><br><br><br>
But, really, take a breath, and make little progressive changes so you can make sure they work for you and your family. In your situation, it just might take a bit more planning and thought than it does for others.
 

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Good luck xambecky. Remember that one slipup is no reason to throw in the towel; if you've only eaten meat once this week you're still making a difference.<br><br>
I agree with everyone else, take it in small steps, try one thing at a time, even remove one meat at a time. And don't get too stressed about it, the cravings will go in time. Soon you'll be looking at meat and wondering why you ever considered it food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You guys rock!! I so appreciate all the tips, advice and encouragement. I tend towards an "all-or-nothing" mentality that sometimes works against my endeavors. Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps . . .
 

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Well done for trying to be veg*n, it sounds like it's very difficult where you are, especially if you have to cook meat for your family all the time too. For when you get the bacon cheeseburger cravings, you could see if you can find some alternative food that you can eat instead that will beat them (veggie burgers, or something substantial/salty/chewy/whatever) that you can keep in the freezer or cupboard for emergencies. Alternatively, or as well, when you get cravings for meaty stuff try and focus your mind on why you want to be vegetarian - if it's for the animals remember how much suffering they have to go through to become that cheeseburger, and hopefully that should help put you off wanting to eat it at all. Good luck!
 

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A lot of this food can be made at home. Vegi burger can be made (there are a lot of good recipies on the web). TVP is light and can be shipped-- red-star yeast. Soymilk and ricemilk can be made (rice milk can be made without any special tools). You said you are in Texas. Are there any Oriental/Indian grocery stores near you? They often have a huge variety of different rices, sea-weed, legumes that they dont have in regular grocery stores.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Gita</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
You said you are in Texas. Are there any Oriental/Indian grocery stores near you? They often have a huge variety of different rices, sea-weed, legumes that they dont have in regular grocery stores.</div>
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I doubt she has this unless she lives in or around a large city in Texas. She's probably limited to what her local supermarket carries, taking a long drive, and ordering online.<br><br><br><br>
xambecky, does the supermarket you usually go to do special orders? It's worth looking into. You might have to buy in bulk this way, but if you've already tried something and know you like it, it would save you long trips to and from the nearest health food store.<br><br><br><br>
When it comes to looking for cruelty-free personal and household products, try looking here first: <a href="http://www.caringconsumer.com/resources_companies.asp" target="_blank">http://www.caringconsumer.com/resources_companies.asp</a><br><br><a href="http://www.caringconsumer.com/shopping_guide_07.asp" target="_blank">http://www.caringconsumer.com/shopping_guide_07.asp</a><br><br><a href="http://www.compassionateconsumer.com/e_guide.php" target="_blank">http://www.compassionateconsumer.com/e_guide.php</a><br><br><br><br>
Household cleaning can be pretty inexpensive. There's not much cheaper than baking soda and white vinegar.
 

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I agree with pretty much what everybody else has said.<br><br><br><br>
1. Try cutting back slowly. First cut out the meat, then try dairy and eggs, then try the household products. It does seem like you are overwhelmed. After you've been doing it for awhile, it won't be a problem at all. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
2. Again, what everybody else has said. Want a bacon burger? Take a boca patty and some fake bacon and have one. You can sometimes get good prices on boca burgers at costco if you have one near you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks again everybody for ALL the tips and supports. It really really helps.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Shampoo etc- there are many brands that arn't tested on animals and are cheap. Avon, for example has some good sales and you can order them instead of driving 50+ miles. Peta has a list called "Cruelty Free Shopping Guide" which has a good list of companies that don't test on animals. There are larger lists that comply by different standards that other animal rights groups put out as well<br><br><br><br>
Food- when you do make your 50 mile trip into town, stock up on a few things that'll make your life more enjoyable. I understand if it's hard to get a whole bunch of money together at once, so maybe you'll nead to wate a couple of weeks and while waiting eat what you can get from local stores. Some good things to stock up on are: cases of unfridged soy milk, unfridged egg-free mayo, unfridged hummus etc. as you would like. Many of the items that you nead to keep cold can be found in the form where they can stay in storage elsewhere until opend, so just look around<br><br><br><br>
For those awefull cravings- try veggie burgers, soy cheese and other cruelty-free stuff. For almost every animal product you crave, they'll be a recipe for your own or a ready-made alternative available. (and if you find some good vegan bacon, let me know)<br><br><br><br>
I understand living cheaply, I'm 17 yrs old with my only "job" being babysitting, and my mom only gives me $15/week for food etc., but you can do it! Don't use it as an excuse (buy some orriental ramon noodles <-- some brands are vegan and it's a 12.5 cent meal), and meat is very expensive, after all...
 

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ok, everyone has had great advice so far. like them, i recommend starting in stages. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
one of the things that saves money is doing things for yourself.<br><br><br><br>
for example, while it costs more on the onset, in the long run making your own soap (for personal care and home care) saves a lot of money. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> and, you know that it isn't tested on animals or had animal ingredients. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
also, for a lot of these things, you can involve children in these projects. having 'soap making day' is really fun. i recently made arrangements to learn soap-making from a friend--she does it with her *young* children (ages 4 and 7). of course, she is very careful with the lye (only she handles the lye), but she lets the kids stir while melting, measure and add the ingredients, and help pour into molds. So, there's a lot that becomes a fun project for the family AND they get to enjoy the results! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
but, the most simple shampoo recipe that i have is this: baking soda and apple cidar vinegar. using about a teaspoon of baking soda in yoru hand, add water and make it into a loose paste. work it into your wet hair and scrub your scalp. rinse. then, use about 1/2 cup of ACV and spray or pour it on your hair. let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse. you'll have very clean, shiny, soft hair! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
very inexpensive and vegan. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 
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