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michellecross



Joined: 12 Feb 2008
Total Posts: 16

PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:42 pm    Post subject: Being a vegan Reply with quote

I've never ever considered being a vegetarian let alone a vegan!!! But I've been doing a lot of reading and research on the subject and seriously think it may be the way forward ( for me and the rest of the planet!)

ant vegans or vegan wanna be's out there? Suggestions/opinions?
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SvelteMe



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
Total Posts: 302

PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm vegan with the occasional lapse into vegetarianism. There is a group for veggies called Veggie Mania, though we've been pretty quiet lately. There is one called Vegan and Vegetarian Buddies, but it has been quiet since last spring.

Being vegetarian has been extremely easy for me, though being vegan has been a bit more of a challenge (haven't completely been able to give up the cheese!). Getting enough protein or calcium isn't really a problem, as some people think would be the case. There are plenty of non-animal sources of both, if you do your research. But you have to read a LOT of labels! You can't assume that there aren't any animal products in something just because it's not in a similar product (for example, Starburst candy is not vegan, while Mambas candy--pretty much the same thing from a different manufacturer--is vegan!).

The only thing that is pretty much impossible to get is B12, but you can take supplements. Omega-3 isn't the easiest to get in plant-form, but you can get those from walnuts and flax seeds, which you can get ground up or in oil form. There may be one other thing, but I can't think of it off the top of my head.

Seafood is pretty much the only meat that it is extremely hard to find in vegetable form--though not impossible if you are willing to order things off the internet. Can't say I've tried them, though I did use to get some great fake tuna. My two cats were even fooled by the smell and tried begging me for some! Laughing

And it is totally possible to be vegan and still eat unhealthily! Chips, for instance, are usually vegan. And the sodium content in a lot of fake meats tends to be high, just like it is with most processed foods.

There aren't a whole lot of us here on Diet.com, but there are some. Feel free to PM me or join Veggie Mania if you'd like to chat further on the subject!

Mindle


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ollieseh



Joined: 07 Apr 2008
Total Posts: 264

PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am interested but would probably only do a couple of days a week of vegan or vegetarian to start with.
But I would love the info!

Patty -
"Seeds of discouragement cannot grow in a grateful heart."
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SvelteMe



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
Total Posts: 302

PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, every bit helps, both you and the planet! Come on in, the water's fine! Wink

Is there anything in particular either of you (or anyone else) want to know or any areas of information you are curious about? I've been either vegetarian or vegan for almost six years now. I'm sure I'm no expert, but I've had some good role models and found some good experts and I'd be happy to pass on what I've learned. I can also send some URLs with general information and FAQs when I can (it may not be until next week though).

Mindle


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michellecross



Joined: 12 Feb 2008
Total Posts: 16

PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great to know there are SOME out there!! All is still very new to me!
I'm sort of not trying to do it perfectly but just making little changes at a time, bought soy milk for the first time yesterday!!

South Africa is a bit behind when it comes to finding fake meats, fish etc, so thats a bit of a problem.

At the moment my biggest hurdle is eating out! Trying to eat healthily I always chose a lean meat/chicken/fish and had a salad. Do you have any low fat, healthy suggestions for eating out?
Also how do you think I should approach the upcoming holiday season, I'd feel really bad turning down meals that friends and family have prepared, or asking them EXACTLY what has gone into the meal!

PS I HEAR you on the cheese bit... it's my favourite food!! Luckily I love tofu and that a slight cheesy texture Very Happy
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ollieseh



Joined: 07 Apr 2008
Total Posts: 264

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would love if you would post some URL's SvelteMe. I know this will take time for me but I would love some recipes and some websites to check out. Including a few meals a week at the beginning I think will be helpful! Thanks!

Patty -
"Seeds of discouragement cannot grow in a grateful heart."
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sunnyblu



Joined: 03 Apr 2008
Total Posts: 43

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a vegetarian failure. I actually gained weight. But here's why... I found that I was basically substituting cheese and other dairy for meat. I'd make a salad and say, oh, I need some protein and put in a bunch of cheese! not the way to do it. YOu can be a healthy vegetarian, but don't fall into the cheese trap. I've since found that for salads (which I eat a lot of), I can put in raw walnuts and different kinds of beans or legumes and get my protein. Of course there's soy and whole grains, too. Being a vegan is much harder because so much stuff has "hidden" animal sources in it. It's almost impossible here to get any kind of soup that isn't made with chicken broth, for instance! Good luck on your journey. I am now a "mostly" vegetarian, and just have fish or chicken a couple times a week.

SunnyBlu
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SvelteMe



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
Total Posts: 302

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry I haven't gotten the URLs just yet, but they are coming! But one off the top of my head that I can definitely recommend is www.fatfreevegan.com. They also have a message board that is a great place to get information about how to use strange ingredients, for instance. And several of the denizens of that site also have their own blogs.

Sunnyblu, you might try Amy's brand soups if you get them in your area. There are a few soups here and there that are vegan, but that is the only brand off the top of my head that I know has some vegan varieties. And if you don't see them with the other soups in your grocery story, you might look around further afield within that grocery. I've noticed some of the stores I frequent keep their "healthy, organic, or natural" foods separated from the rest of them and sometimes you have to hunt.

Yeah, cheese is a dangerous trap! And while there are vegan cheeses, they are expensive, don't melt well, and for the most part, pretty vile tasting. There is one (FollowYourHeart brand) that isn't bad if you include it in things where the cheese is not the main flavor. It's edible on pizza, for instance. But, again, you have to read the labels. There are even a few that say on the front that they are vegan, but when you look at the ingredients, there is casein, a milk protein.

Mindle


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agee309



Joined: 18 Jun 2008
Total Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been vegetarian for about 4 years and vegan for about 6 months and I went with a much different approach than a lot of new vegans and vegies. Rather than tryng to substitute meat and dairy with soy products and fake meat, I tried to find new and delicious vegan recipes that didn't require substitution.
I did this because I knew that if I ate substitutions I would always be craving the real thing and never actually enjoy the food. I also knew that I wouldn't be able to stick with it and would eventually revert to my old meat devouring self Razz
If your like me, I suggest just getting a few good vegan cookbooks (or even just recipes of the internet, the searches can reveal a whole new world of foods to you:)). Also, if there are fresh food markets near you, they are the best place to get fresh and tasty fruits and vegetables and for a much better price.
In terms of nutrients, I take vitamin B12 supplements once a day and eat plenty of nuts and tofu for protein. Everything else can be found in vegetables just make sure that you are eating vitamin rich foods to prevent any deficiencies:)
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michellecross



Joined: 12 Feb 2008
Total Posts: 16

PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great advice!

I have also been experimenting with various wholegrains, legumes, pulses etc.
Sigh, i HAVE gained weight since becoming a vegan (although I have on occassion had a cheese binge Sad )
I think I am struggling for 2 reasons: first , my portion sizes are out the window! Yes, I've years of experience judging portion sizes of chicken, fish and meat but what about chickpeas? lentile? quinoa? ( and the list goes on!). I'm also eating a LOT more fat than I used to : avocados, nuts, olives and plant oils. I've tried to research the calories content and compare it to the calories of other protein sources, but clearly it's not working....... (any suggestions?)

The second reason is far more pyschological/emotional: for the FIRST time in my life I'm not obsessing about everything I eat affecting ME, worrying over whether it will make me fat or not! Now I consider whre the food comes from, who/what was harmed in the process and the effect I have on the WORLD by what little old me chooses to eat!
Not a bad place to be... just new, and ironinc that breaking out of old starve-binge routines is causing me to gain weight!! (again, suggestions please!!)
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stmuse



Joined: 31 Mar 2009
Total Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a successful vegan. When I first went Vegan I lost 30 pounds. The great part is if you know your doing it for the animals it's a lot easier to pass by temptation. It's hard to order out for pizza, and buy candy at gas stations when you can't eat milk or eggs.
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getfitforsummer7



Joined: 16 Feb 2010
Total Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey guys,

i triedto go vegetarian for a few months a year ago and it just didnt work too well for me...

i found myself just eating lettuce all the time, and overeatin on pasta haha

but in my diet i might try to go 2 or 3 days a week of vegetarian along with the rest of my diet. Smile
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cameronchase



Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Total Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:32 am    Post subject: Looks like this board has been quiet for a while but.... Reply with quote

I figured I throw in a few things that I've come by in my 8 years as a vegetarian (with a few spurts here and there of vegan).

First, get yourself a few good cookbooks. Vegan With a Vengeance and Veganomicon are great ones to start with for vegans. The Moosewood Cookbook is one of the earliest vegetarian cookbooks and still one of the best. Appetite for Reduction is another great one specifically for those working to lose weight, as it finds ways to make great tasting vegan food that is also (sometimes ludicrously) low in fat. A Vegetarian Times subscription is also a great investment for building your base of recipes and there's always at least one article with an accompanying set of recipes dedicated to eating low-fat or losing weight.

Second, take a multivitamin, a calcium and magnesium, and an iron. I have often found that when I start craving meat, it's my body's way of telling me it needs more iron. I double my iron for a week or two and the craving vanishes.

Third, and this is really only opinion, though it seems to concur with most (I'd say 80%) of the people I know who have made it a great number of years as veg/vegans, is to mix up how you cook rather than looking for meat substitutes. Everybody has a few staples subs that they keep around (for me it's Gimme Lean Sausage Style soy sausage and for my roommate it's Quorn chik'n nuggets and patties), but in the long run, the substitutes are never going to taste as good as the real thing, but you can find new recipes and foods that taste better! For example, I've never really been a fan of "tofu burgers" or "tofurkey" or the next big thing in imitation meat, but I'll go crazy for a Morningstar chipotle black bean burger, a homemade chickpea cutlet, or a quinoa salad with sauteed veggies and feta.

The last thing I wanted to mention was for people who find that they overload on carbs (pasta, bread, etc.) when they try to eat veg/vegan. The trick I've found is changing the proportions of ingredients when you cook. Yes, serving veggies on a bed of pasta makes those veggies feel more like a main dish and less like a side. And that's great! It would suck to feel like you've been relegated to eating from the "Appetizers & Sides" part of the menu for the rest of your life. But by changing how you assemble your plate/sandwich/what-have-you, you can limit your need to overload on simpler carbs. Try making a wide, shallow bed of pasta (half the plate wide, not thick enough to entirely obscure the plate underneath) and topping it with at least as much fresh tomato sauce (canned/jarred works too, but pay attention to ingredients and nutrition facts), sauteed mushrooms, onions, peppers, eggplant, a few olives, and a clove or two garlic. Add some sauteed soy sausage (Gimme Lean! sausage style is great) or tofu braised in balsamic vinegar if you want to buff it up a bit. It's more satisfying than the pasta-heavy version and better for you! Subbing whole wheat tortillas for bread in sandwiches and adding more fresh veggie heavy filling, using mashed cauliflower instead of rice or mashed potatoes, etc. are other great ways to cut out simple carbs while still feeling, and staying, full and satisfied. (:

Anyhow, enough of my rambling. Just wanted to throw out a few ideas because I feel that everyone with the will to go veggies should be empowered with the tools and know-how to make it work for them!

SMILE. Because you deserve to love yourself.
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fitnesslover27



Joined: 31 Oct 2012
Total Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've considered the vegan lifestyle, and stuck with it briefly. I ate the foods below for certain vitamins/nutrients. There are great benefits, but you do have to organize your diet to get the right nutrients.

Broccoli, almonds, & soy are good for calcium.
Lentils, chickpeas, soybeans for iron.
Walnuts, flax sees for omega-3's. (i'm not big on fish)
Peanut butter, black beans for protein.

Hope this helps you with some background!
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erik9686



Joined: 08 Feb 2013
Total Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:06 pm    Post subject: Go Green! Reply with quote

Being a vegan has it's numerous benefits. It aids longevity due to the huge amount of anti oxidants necessary, for healthy cells and tissues in the body.

Get lean and stay green!
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