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For me, the decision to go vegetarian nearly a year ago was completely ethical. I had wanted to do so for years, but couldn't beause of my family.

Now, I've been a vegetarian for a while, and have cut out eggs and most dairy from my diet as well...but I really want to have a completely vegan lifestyle, especially beause I am going off to college this year. I think it's a perfect time to make the change.

What I'm looking for is some tips on how to make the transition as easily as possible. I'd like some advice on how to eliminate animal products from my life, some suggestions for products/brands that are vegan, or really just any sort of advice/support related to going vegan. My parents think I'm completely insane for wanting to do this, so it'd be nice to hear some support from others who have gone vegan :]

Thanks!
 

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Some quick tips:

Try to add more veggies into your diet instead of eliminating right away. This could help you in several ways.

1. Gradual change is not so much of a shock to your body or your routine. If it's slowly incorporated into your routine then it is easier to stick with it. Think long-term change vs. "New Year's Resolution"

2. Veganize some of your already favorite food. There are plenty of vegetables that can already take the place of certain textures. For example, avocado can make a great butter substitute as it is creamy as it is.

3. *Stay away* from processed "vegan" food as much as you can. (a)It's hard to tell if they are truly 100% vegan. (b) You may become dependent on all of the processed food and miss out on amazing vegetables. (c)Since you are changing your diet, you'll want to make sure to eat as much naturally dense food as possible and veggies do cut the mustard on that.

Good luck and I hope that helps.
 

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I'm a new Vegan too, but had to go cold turkey, full throttle into it because of severe allergies. I love the Earth Balance marg. I was shocked to like it alot better than the Becel the family uses. It tastes and spreads like butter, but is Vegan. Another surprise was the Veganaise, like it just as much as the normal brand I used before going Vegan. I've got the Ener G egg replacer, but had a hard time finding it locally. I haven't had the time to try it out yet. Silk Vanilla Soy coffee cream is great for your tea and coffee. I've used soy milk many times in place of milk in baking and have had good success with it. It doesn't affect the taste of baked goods. You should take a B12 supplement for the first little while, but since I'm also a newbie to being Vegan, perhaps someone else can give you further info on it. Hope that this helps you out.
 

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Vegweb.com!

Its an all vegan recipe collection website with maybe thousands of recipes in it. And there's literally a recipe for everything! When I was transitioning I would be hungry for dougnuts or poptarts or pizza and I would search for a recipe and lo and behold they have a recipe for a vegan version! I would make it and be very pleased with myself. Eventually I kept doing this, and essential foods in my fridge and pantry were eventually replaced with vegan versions until I was entirely vegan. When there was something I couldn't find on the website, I would google search it (ex. "Vegan Alfredo sauce") I usually will find a vegan blog that has the recipe that best suits my cooking level. I found my transition to be very easy because of this. Nowadays have a few vegan cookbooks, or I'll cook more on a whim, or eat more raw, than use vegweb, but it's a very handy tool to have.

Hope this tip helps
 

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Quote:
1) I didn't do it all at once. First knocked off ice cream. Then knocked off cheddar cheese. Then scrambled eggs, then eggs, in baking, etc...it took me about 4 or 5 months to stop eating the stuff altogether. Different things work for different people, but that way really helped to keep me from just feeling overwhelmed.

2) Don't let yourself forget why you're making the decision to stop eating the stuff in the first place - whether your motivation was health-related, or animal ethics-related, or environment-related, or all three. It's easy to fall back into old comfortable patterns when you forget about the reasons why things need to change!

3) Learn to cook! Maybe you already do cook, I have no idea, hahah, but it wasn't until after I went vegan that I really got into cooking. No matter what kind of diet a person has, it's going to be healthier if you know how to prepare your own food with whole ingredients in it. Know exactly what you're putting in your body, and make sure you know enough about nutrition so that you can be aware of the effects that things have on your body. We definitely don't learn enough about nutrition in high school!

When I first went vegan I thought I'd be living off salad, smoothies, and trail mix. But I figured, if there are cookbooks being published that are full of all-vegan recipes, there must be more than salad and smoothies (I didn't think I could eat bread, pasta, chocolate, or even peanut butter!). So I went out and picked up a few cookbooks and realized how many delicious possibilities there are out there. With even just one or two good cookbooks, I have never in my 2.5 years of being vegan had a shortage of ideas of what I could have for dinner on any given night. Even if you don't like to cook, there are several books out there with fast and easy recipes that are no problem at all.

Oh another tip - the "faux meat" products have been helpful to people in the past on weaning themselves off real meat products, but I personally wouldn't recommend relying on them too much in the long run. They are often highly processed and packaged and can be expensive, and I've never eaten real meat before but if I had then I'd imagine I might feel weird eating processed foods that are meant to simulate it. It might just make you want the original even more. But I know lots of people who have no problem with it either. In general though, protein is best obtained through legumes, nuts, whole grains, and seeds, not through highly processed faux-meat soy products!

That's the personal advice. Here are some links with lots more information:
http://liberationbc.org/resources
http://www.earthsave.ca/resources

This website was my bible when I first went vegan until I got overwhelmed and finally just got some real cookbooks:
http://vegweb.com/

And again - don't let yourself forget why you're making the change! It makes it so much harder when you let the information slip out of your head. Personally I was having so much fun with all the new foods and dishes I was cooking that I didn't have time to miss any of the old dairy products that were ****ing up my health before anyway!
- Recently written by a friend on FB answering the same question
 

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