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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, VeggieBoards.

As you can tell, my name is Victoria. =] I'm 22 years old, I live in New England, I love to write, I would love to run a marathon in 2 years time, I love Harry Potter, people say I listen to really crappy music, I can't find a job to save my life & I do not have a car, and parfum is my weakness. Now that we have that established, let me try to talk about myself without thinking I'm conceited or a loser.

I was a vegan from age 12-20. Then the economy took a nosedive, lack of job means lack of funds means I've got to move back in with my parents. Oh joy. Since living back at home and being completely penniless I haven't been eating the diet I so miss with my entire being. I had to start eating what everyone else in the house ate[we'll get to that later..]. So, moving back in with my folks has been pretty tough. It's always been a toxic environment here, ever since I can remember. The stress level of everyone in my house is ridiculously high[even when the economy was jumping for joy!], and there is literally no escape, as I've said multiple times, I've not got a job. I live in a tiny a££ small town that has no job opportunity. I'd be perfectly content getting a job in town....if I could. I would love to walk or bike or run to work. But, there is sadly nothing here. And being without a car makes it even more rough as I can't get out to find a job elsewhere.

Going back to the money issue, since the economy isn't doing so well it makes food and petrol prices sky high. Well, the food prices are so astronomical because of the fuel prices and the fact that we get food shipped here from freaking California when we can perfectly well grow the same sh*t here. /rage[maybe]... Anyway, everything financially being how it is in my household, my parents just have enough money to pay the mortgage, utilities, etc...they do NOT have credit cards[smart, smart[evil buggers], so there really isn't MUCH left over for sustenance. There are four of us living under one roof, mum, dad, and a sibling. We barely get through the week on food, so buying vegan alternatives[or even buying fresh fruit/veg] for me is completely out of the question. [EDITTT: The only thing we can afford to buy is my Silk Organic Unsweetened Soymilk.] I am so completely lost, it hurts. My entire family is completely stubborn, so converting them is out of the question. I just honestly don't know what to do about my situation regarding my own diet/lifestyle. If anyone has any suggestions/ideas/thoughts/comments, I would gladly take them.

Moving on...I really want to train for a marathon, I used to run in 5k/10k races, but that was 2 years ago and I am entirely out of shape now. I've let myself gain 14 pounds in the last 2 years since[mainly because of my meat-eating-ridiculously-fail-diet]. Granted I WAS between 111-115[5'6"] so it's not that big of a leap, and I'm still in the "normal" range for my height. But having been an athlete[besides running I did gymnastics, Ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, acrobatics, pointe, etc.. for 15 years] for most of my life, 14 pounds is depressing and a wake up call for all you meat eaters out there! Rawr. Anyway, yesterday I started back up a training programme for running, just so I can get out of the house and get moving. I really want to stick with it, as marathons are something I've always wanted to be a part of.

This is all I really have to say for now[I think], thanks for listening to/reading my sh*t show.
 

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That's quite the intro!


Welcome to VeggieBoards, Victoria. I hope you find support, get encouragement and make some friends here. Good luck on your marathon training - that is an impressive goal. I run (actually, jog
), but don't do races because I tend to be too hard on myself in anything competitive.

As for your family, although I know you said you can't convert them, perhaps you can partially. Head to your library or the internet and find some vegan recipes and take over the cooking a few times a week. You don't need expensive substitutions, just concentrate on a healthy variety of whole grains, beans and legumes, and vegetables.

Good luck!
 

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I'm sure those of us here can help you out in advice where we can.
I hear ya on the economy, I probably have it worse than you, but people think I have an amazing diet and I work off about $2/day for food.
Also been in a place I was not happy with (happen to have been in the northeast), but make due the best you can.
Best wishes.
 

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I'm confused, you eat meat at your parents house?

Just live off lentils till you can get a job, I buy massive bags of organic lentils for 2.99, and that's in Canada, I'm sure the US has lentils and dried legumes for super cheap. Tons of carbs and protein in legumes. You can get pounds and pounds of dried beans and lentils for the price of , say, four chicken breasts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, I eat meat since I've moved back in with my parents. And it has been weighing hard on me mentally....and now physically. Thank you everyone for your suggestions, I can't wait to get back to the lifestyle I once loved living. And thank you for the good luck wishes in my training! I'm very hyper competitive, so I really miss running races.

@t0mmy: What are you eating? And I'm sorry to hear you've been in a bad place, I hope things are and continue to get better for you.

@KrisMTL: Do you happen to have any recipes for beans/legumes that still remains fairly cheap. I have a ton of spices, so throw some at me. o:
 

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Thanks, also note I said "used to be" in a place I wasn't too happy with... so it's in the past. I'm much much happier now. Just wanted to point out the impermanent situation we are in. Take every opportunity to make things the best we can and work for where you want to be :^)

I am eating more and more raw vegan foods and focusing on super foods. I've got a HUGE appetite, and since I switched to more raw foods and raw foods I am getting more nutrients... which quells my hunger. It makes sense if nutrients are destroyed with cooking then less cooking means more nutrients and more nutrients means my body doesn't need as much food.
Hearing that you want to get back into a healthy and happy lifestyle and away from the lifestyle you are surrounding by is good to hear. You'll get as much support from me (as I am sure everyone else here) as possible.

Definitely go with the lentils as suggested. Also rice is incredibly cheap. And of course just go to your grocery store and see what you can get for $2... it may seem impossible, but you can get a good lunch full of fresh foods like carrots, potatoes, celery, corn, squash, greens, etc. to go along with your rice and beans. Remember, spices make everything taste better ;^D
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisMTL View Post

I'm confused, you eat meat at your parents house?

Just live off lentils till you can get a job, I buy massive bags of organic lentils for 2.99, and that's in Canada, I'm sure the US has lentils and dried legumes for super cheap. Tons of carbs and protein in legumes. You can get pounds and pounds of dried beans and lentils for the price of , say, four chicken breasts.
Great suggestion. Eating meat is a much more expensive lifestyle. (Maybe this could be your argument to you fam). Why did you chose to revert, out of curiosity? Try eating everything but, perhaps? And trade in the soy milk for beans and lentils to compensate for the bulk of your meal!


Welcome and best of luck, btw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@Vegan Wannabe: Why did I revert back to the omnivorous lifestyle? Like I stated before, I moved back in with my fam, I have NO job and we don't have the money to buy ME separate meals, it is very disheartening. When I do eat dinner, I do tend to skimp as much on the meat and eat as much vegetables and whatever else that's not from an animal as I can. Being an avid animal lover, and having been a vegan for 8 years to suddenly eating meat again is an absolute shock to my body and mind. It's depressing and I don't know what to do about the situation as I've said, I literally have nooooo money of my own. So I eat whatever my family can provide for the time being.

@t0mmy: I was actually looking into Raw Veganism just before I moved back home, I bought the first edition of this book. But, unfortunately have not gotten around to using it. How do you do it on such a cheap budget? How do you find these fresh vegetables and fruits so cheap? My family literally JUST gets by week-to-week on the budget we have. I would love more than anything to give up meat again. I'm tired of feeling sluggish and bloated, unclean really.. =/
 

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You know, I really don't know how I do it. lol. I'm in the same kind of economic bind you are in, so I just allotted myself a dollar for food to see what I could do and my first meal was $0.89 and all items purchased raw and organic. I do stock up on staple foods by the bulk, so grains and beans are not really scare around me, so what I do is just pile on raw fruits and veggies on top of rice and beans and surprise myself.
That 89 cents I used to purchase my lunch turned out to be one of my favorite meals I've had. Turned out to be staple lentils with a garam masala sauce and veggies piled up on top of it with raw seeds coupled with a bowl of rice with the fruits piled on top as well as some more seeds/spices as seasoning. It's funny, because even if I didn't want to follow a vegan and raw diet it would come down to that by necessity. ^___^ haha

A bit more interesting part of the story, the more raw food I've eaten the healthier, happier, and more energetic I am. It's no wonder raw food cures cancer and other "terminal" illnesses... but one step at a time. Keep that raw book for the near future. Getting yourself back into a diet that makes you happy starts with a good mindset, and you have one, so everything will get back together for you.

(also want to ask if you're around second hand smoke)
 

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Originally Posted by OMGvictoria View Post

@Vegan Wannabe: Why did I revert back to the omnivorous lifestyle? Like I stated before, I moved back in with my fam, I have NO job and we don't have the money to buy ME separate meals, it is very disheartening. When I do eat dinner, I do tend to skimp as much on the meat and eat as much vegetables and whatever else that's not from an animal as I can. Being an avid animal lover, and having been a vegan for 8 years to suddenly eating meat again is an absolute shock to my body and mind. It's depressing and I don't know what to do about the situation as I've said, I literally have nooooo money of my own. So I eat whatever my family can provide for the time being.
Yes, I got the money thing. I apologize, I phrased my question incorrectly. I guess my point is that eating vegan can be incredibly cheap and going back to eating meat just wouldn't be an option for me as I am an ethical veg. I'd live off of beans and rice if I had too. I hope you can find ways to work around it. Good luck to you and your fam.
 

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Welcome, Victoria!

I see you're in New England... not too far from me. Generally, most vegan foods are fairly inexpensive. The exceptions are convenience foods like soymilk, non-dairy cheeses, veggie burgers, etc. I call them "convenience", but the fact is, they take a lot less time and work to prepare and they tend to be a lot tastier than what I make from scratch. They also cost more than the "real" things they're replacing. But staples like whole grains and legumes really aren't costly at all. Once you buy something in a small amount, try it, and find you can prepare it in a way you really like, you can buy it in bulk and really save a lot (you won't have to make quite as many grocery shopping trips either). Other foods such as herbs, nuts and seeds are more expensive, but they go a long way and don't really cost much compared to things like coffee, tea, soda, or prepared cereals. (Seriously! A lot of common breakfast cold cereals cost more per pound than meat!!!)

I don't know how good a cook you are. Since money is an issue, if you need to find some razzle-dazzle dishes that are fun to eat as well as vegan and nutritious, you might try getting vegan cookbooks out of the library and trying recipes you might like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I cannot thank you all enough for your generosity and all of your help! My mother had some money this week to splurge on me, she was so kind and understanding. All I had to do was ask! I can finally go back to the lifestyle I loved and was happy in. This is what I got:





I love you all!! <333 Thank you.

EDIT: I added the totals from my receipts and it came to: $38.53 and some of that stuff will last me for WEEKS! so my weekly bill will be MUCH less in the next two weeks.
 

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Very happy to hear things are working out. Family should be understanding, and remember to repay them with your understanding as well.
Good choice on items! ^__^
I'd suggest more variety in fresh fruits-- Next time you go out for food add in some citrus fruits, bananas, mango, pineapple, etc. (did you know avocado, tomato, and eggplant are actually fruits?).
Same goes with the greens -- add in some kale, collard greens, broccoli, asparagus, etc. if you can. Try chopping them up raw on top of your staple foods (rice/beans) and you'll be surprised just how much better they make everything :^]
Additionally, look into sea veggies. They pack tons of nutrition!
That's the best advice I can give to help make sure you stay health and energetic so you can do all the things in life you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@t0mmy: Are sea vegetables expensive? What is the price range and what kind of "veggies" are they? Seaweed?
I absolutely love citrus, I didn't want to push my luck with my mother this week. Haha. If next week is another good week I'll definitely throw some more fruits in there. I'm actually very deficient in a lot of vitamins & minerals[I have to go in for IV treatments just so I don't keel over and die, rofl.] and my doctor suggested I eat more fruit, which I definitely need to work better at doing. It's just so expensive and I never know what's in season in my region. Please share any secrets you have!! I'm a complete mong, I know. ¬_¬
I did know that avocado, tomato and eggplant are fruits. =] I'm not a fan of raw tomato, I have to have it processed. Rofl. I love avocado, I was actually going to buy a couple but it was so expensive, 2/$4. Is it normally that high in price? I'm kind of scared of eggplant, I never really cooked with it before and I have never touched it! So I'm nervous that whatever I do with it will come out terribly.
I actually LOVE kale and chard, so I'll definitely be adding that next week! I have some vegetables already in the freezer, they just weren't in the photo. Haha. And I have a TON of rice, that also was not in the photo. We always have it on hand.

What do you do for sauces? I love sauces and I would love to know what you're using. =]
 

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First of all, welcome!

I am much newer to this than you, but...

I live off of about $4.70 per day, but I am currently using protein powder and a few other things, such as raw almonds that increase costs considerably and something you probalby have no use for. I also eat about 2300-2400 calories day, so it is likely that your consumption is much lower.

Healthy Fats
Whole Flaxseeds, ground ($1.29/lb) ($0.045 per 16 grams -- just over 1 TBSP)
I grind them in a Krups 203-42 fast touch coffee grinder (about $16 on amazon.com) and just add them to other things, like my morning oatmeal.

Raw Almonds ($3.42/lb) ($0.21 per ounce)
These may seem expensive at first, but at the price I get them, they're pretty cheap. I eat about 2 ounces a day, which gives me good, healthy fats at a good price.

Grains
Rolled Oats ($0.89/lb) ($0.08 per 1/2 cup, uncooked)
These are cheaper to buy in bulk than picking up a container of quaker oatmeal. They also taste so much better that I can forgo adding sugar or other additives. Add 1 cup of water to 1/2 cup of these for an 8 cent breakfast. Quaker Oats, on the other hand cost $4.99 per 42oz countainer where I live. At 30 1/2 cup servings, that is 16.6 cents/serving, which is more than 2x the cost for something not nearly as good as the bulk version. If you prefer quick oats, you can use those, which will cost the same, but whole oats only take slightly longer to cook anyway.

Quinoa: ($2.99/lb) ($0.42 per 1 cup cooked)
Depending on where you live, these may vary in price and by you they may very well be cheaper, but this is a very healthy grain.

Legumes
Lentils ($1.19/lb) ($0.20 per 1 cup, cooked)
These don't have to be soaked and only take about15-20 minutes to cook. I add some oregano, cayenne, cumin or whatever other spices I feel like. Then I mix them with the quinoa and I get an easy, tasty, filling meal.

Vegetables
Carrots, celery, broccoli and other vegetables can be cheap if you keep your eyes out for sales and stock up. I check out any local farmer's markets, because he foods are often times MUCH less expensive. Prices may vary on these, but they will fill you up.

There are many other options, but those are a few suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
@couveture: Thanks for your insight as well. If you read my first post I'm not new to veganism at all, I was a vegan for many years, I just had to revert back to omnivorism until I could figure something out financially. I was just going about being vegan ALL wrong before. I was buying those prepackaged meals and whatnot, instead of going out and buying beans, legumes, etc like I should have done in the first place. I probably went about it all wrong because I was a teenager with little to no time in their agenda..haha. I literally was doing dance and gymnastics 6 days a week, sometimes seven and not getting home until 11 at night. So I would just buy those stupid things and not take the time to sit down and cook something.

Raw almonds ARE expensive, I love them, I always have. They are delicious. I've never tried to make anything WITH flaxseed before, I would always buy it processed into something. So that would be great to get into that. We ALWAYS have oats in my house, it's a staple, since it's so damn cheap. Quinoa is something I haven't had in a long time, so I'll definitely be picking that up next shopping trip!

I actually e-mailed the coordinator for our local farmer's market about 2 weeks ago and she told me it doesn't open until 25 May, so I'm excited to be headed there as soon as it does!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by OMGvictoria View Post

@t0mmy: Are sea vegetables expensive? What is the price range and what kind of "veggies" are they? Seaweed?
Yes, sea veggies = "seaweed", but a lot of people refer to them as "sea veggies" because they're not thought of as "weeds" amongst those who eat them. They really shouldn't be expensive, but they could be sold as a "specialty item" which would mean they could be marked higher than they should be.
The kombu I buy at an Asian market is $1.29 for 100g (dried); when I soak the kombu it doubles in size (or more) and lasts forever, it goes great in miso soup and a sea veggie salad. Hope you can find a good deal like that, because the amount of nutrition you get from sea veggies is tremendous.

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I absolutely love citrus, I didn't want to push my luck with my mother this week. Haha. If next week is another good week I'll definitely throw some more fruits in there. I'm actually very deficient in a lot of vitamins & minerals[I have to go in for IV treatments just so I don't keel over and die, rofl.
IV treatments, really? Ah, definitely throw at least one orange into your groceries every week! Just one orange would stave off most vitamin deficiencies (apples are actually really great as well!)

Quote:
It's just so expensive and I never know what's in season in my region. Please share any secrets you have!! I'm a complete mong, I know. ¬_¬
Where exactly do you live? Because oranges, apples, and pears are generally found everywhere year round.

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I love avocado, I was actually going to buy a couple but it was so expensive, 2/$4. Is it normally that high in price? I'm kind of scared of eggplant, I never really cooked with it before and I have never touched it! So I'm nervous that whatever I do with it will come out terribly.
Yeah, avocado is generally expensive unless you live in Mexico or something. It sucks. Sometimes I can find them for 99 cents each, but even that is kind of expensive. But I love them so much I get them whenever I can :^d..

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I actually LOVE kale and chard, so I'll definitely be adding that next week! I have some vegetables already in the freezer, they just weren't in the photo. Haha. And I have a TON of rice, that also was not in the photo. We always have it on hand.
Cool, usually the worst thing is when people don't like those kinds of greens. Usually they just don't give it a chance. But they're really nutritious, and I'd say to chop up a little and try eating a bit of it raw and see how you like that. Sometimes it's great raw with just a little dressing and crushed nuts/seeds on top.

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What do you do for sauces? I love sauces and I would love to know what you're using. =]
My sauces are usually very simple. Lemon/lime juice, soy sauce, pepper, apple cider vinegar, herbs (basil/thyme/rosemary/etc), balsamic vinegar, coconut milk, oils of choice (olive/flax/sunflower/peanut/etc.), chili paste, and seeds of all kinds.... there's a million and one ingredients you can use. Usually it involves a vinegar, an oil, and whatever herbs/spices would go with the dish you made. But those ingredients I listed are usually good to put on top of greens.
 
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