CoffeeAndYoga

Going vegan?

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In September 2013, I decided to become a vegetarian. Cutting out meat was super easy and I also ended up losing 10 pounds in a few months. Unfortunately, with a busy schedule of full time work and full time schooling, I found it too easy to start eating unhealthy. I still kept my vegetarian diet but I ended up adding unhealthy food to my daily routine. In December 2014, I switched back to eating meat. Seven months have now passed and I can feel a complete difference in myself from first starting out as a vegetarian to not being one. I feel sluggish, I have little energy, and I also gained the 10 pounds back. I also found myself feeling guilty after eating meat. These past few weeks I have been tossing the idea of being a vegetarian again around. I finally decided to give it a shot and became a vegetarian again on July 3rd. Yay! After binging on documentaries about veganism on Netflix, I thought "What the hell. Why not?" And now I am trying to transition into veganism.

 

So now that that's over with, I have a question for anyone who wants to answer. What is the best and easiest way to make the transition from vegetarianism to veganism? Not only am I wanting to do this for health reasons, I finally allowed myself to open my eyes up to how animals are treated on animal farms. Lets just say that I'm ready to donate all the dairy and egg products that are in my house!

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I find these couple of websites helpful for recipes: http://deliciouslyella.com/and http://ohsheglows.com/ - I also love both of their cookbooks. Especially the DE one as the recipes are super simple. I'm not sure if the book is out in the US yet though.

 

As for transitioning - I'm not 100% vegan or veggie I must admit although I do eat veggie/vegan 95% of the time. For me products such as milk and yoghurt are the easiest to switch out. I like almond milk in most things. If you like a good cup of english tea rice milk works best. I find soy milk has a funny taste. Again this might be a UK thing but Alpro do amazing chocolate pots which are vegan. 

 

My advice? Don't be too strict or hard on yourself especially if you are eating out :) 

 

I hope those random things help!

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It sounds like you are pretty in tune with how your body (and spirit) reacts to food. I can relate to what you wrote about in many ways. I recall being a McDonald's-eating college student in the late 1990s who turned vegan instantly after watching a horrifyingly brutal slaughterhouse video. Despite the fact that I didn't really know how to cook and that it wasn't easy to find prepared vegan food anywhere at the time, it was the easiest decision I had made because that video f**ked with my head more so than did the discomfort of giving up the foods I loved and the convenience factor. 

 

After being vegan for a year, I became a homeless activist and ate out of dumpsters for a while, and basically had to give the vegan thing up (pizza dumpsters tended to be the safest ones, after all). I felt sluggish, just as you described. Fast-forward several years and I tired to go back to being vegan but struggled. But once you see that grotesquely-disturbing video, image, etc., you can't "unsee" it. For me, I cause spiritual harm to myself when I eat animal products simply because I can't shake those images from my head, and it's a heavy burden for my heart to bear. Physically, veganism is very difficult on my body this time around, though. So it's one of those things where I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't, and it's a toss-up as to whether my physical or spiritual health wins out on any given day.

 

The easiest way I've found for myself to eat vegan consistently is to not try to substitute vegan foods for the "real" thing because I feel a sense of deprivation when I do. Others may say that it's the only way to make it work, though. When I think about the animals in the videos and images, it's enough for me to not pick up that piece of cheese, etc. When I'm at someone else's house as a guest, I usually just eat graciously whatever it is that's being served without avoidance because in the grand scheme of things, I'm not influencing their buying habits and sharing food is a form of nurture that our world so desperately needs. Unless you ask (as you indirectly did here), you won't know what my dietary leanings are.

 

Because I don't tolerate beans and soy, I'm struggling with how to eat so that I can pull off the vegan thing. I've been re-evaluating my nutritional needs, how I feel after eating foods, and then spending some time each weekend prepping food for the week. If I don't (and I often don't), it's inevitable that I'll slip. Or I'll just skip a meal (not advisable). So my answer doesn't necessarily help you much...it's more intended to let you know that I hear you and I'm struggling with the same thing!

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Maybe finding vegan recipes that you find tasty can help the transition.  What about substituting coconut milk for fat and butter (especially in desserts if you miss that)? Would lentils work as a protein (at least for Kristi who can't tolerate beans and soy)? For instance, I made this dal recipe with coconut milk multiple times.  I think that site is a good for finding other interesting recipes - my friend uses it to make for her vegetarian husband (who would also like to be vegan).

 

I can't offer specific advice about transition since I'm an omnivore, except I can recommend things I've found delicious and was pleasantly surprised to realize they were vegan. Some naturally occurring sources of umami that are vegan are kombu (kelp), used to create flavorful broths (when a recipe calls for chicken broth, for instance), and shiitake dried mushrooms.

 

If it gets too hard to find enough protein, could you consider pescatarian? There are sustainable fishing efforts, it's debatable whether seafood can even feel or remember pain, and most Japanese already regard fish as part of vegetarianism. 

 

Good luck!

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reach out to...  Caryn AT carynhartglass DOT com ... and tell her you know Larry from High School

She is very active in promoting a vegan lifestyle, lecturer, created podcasts, does radio programs, and is the creator of http://responsibleeatingandliving.com (REAL.com)

 

Thank you, Larry! My employer won't let me check out that website so I will have to do it when I get home. =]

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I find these couple of websites helpful for recipes: http://deliciouslyella.com/and http://ohsheglows.com/ - I also love both of their cookbooks. Especially the DE one as the recipes are super simple. I'm not sure if the book is out in the US yet though.

 

As for transitioning - I'm not 100% vegan or veggie I must admit although I do eat veggie/vegan 95% of the time. For me products such as milk and yoghurt are the easiest to switch out. I like almond milk in most things. If you like a good cup of english tea rice milk works best. I find soy milk has a funny taste. Again this might be a UK thing but Alpro do amazing chocolate pots which are vegan. 

 

My advice? Don't be too strict or hard on yourself especially if you are eating out :)

 

I hope those random things help!

I had actually talked to my Fiance about being vegan and he said that it's impossible to be 100% vegan unless you can get away from all the ptrotroleum based products. Unfortunately, it is also found in clothing. Needless to say, I'm okay with not being 100% vegan. It'll be a little difficult to get rid of all the processed foods in my diet but that sort have intake has slowed down a lot.

I took a look at deliciouslyella.com and I loved it! I found that she also has an app and its only $5.04! Totally worth it!

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Because I don't tolerate beans and soy, I'm struggling with how to eat so that I can pull off the vegan thing. I've been re-evaluating my nutritional needs, how I feel after eating foods, and then spending some time each weekend prepping food for the week. If I don't (and I often don't), it's inevitable that I'll slip. Or I'll just skip a meal (not advisable). So my answer doesn't necessarily help you much...it's more intended to let you know that I hear you and I'm struggling with the same thing!

Can you handle oats? Today was the first time I have ever had and used quinoa. It's an oat that is high in protein and iron. It's easily adaptable to the flavors you're cooking with and it doesnt have a funky taste! I only had the original kind of quinoa - I know there are a couple of other kinds but I've never used them. Nuts also have quite a bit of protein in them as well as iron.

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I finally put my pinterest account to good use and came across a yummy recipe for One Pot Mexican Quinoa. It was absolutely amazing! So far this transition to vegetarianism is going a lot easier than the first time. Headaches and energy loss were my problem then. I thik as long as I can find vegan recipes to use, create vegan snacks, and learn not to take the easy way out and go for a bag of chips I will settle into this new lifestyle fairly easily. I'm really excited about using my Deliciously Ella app! I've also found some interesting "nice cream" recipes that I'm eager to try out.

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reach out to...  Caryn AT carynhartglass DOT com ... and tell her you know Larry from High School

She is very active in promoting a vegan lifestyle, lecturer, created podcasts, does radio programs, and is the creator of http://responsibleeatingandliving.com (REAL.com)

  

Thank you, Larry! My employer won't let me check out that website so I will have to do it when I get home. =]

Got this from my friend....

The website is http://responsibleeatingandliving.com, not real.com and I can be contacted at info@realmeals.org. I also do private coaching (just started in June and love it.) You might recommend checking out my What Vegans Eat blog: 

http://responsibleeatingandliving.com/?cat=650.
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Can you handle oats? Today was the first time I have ever had and used quinoa. It's an oat that is high in protein and iron. It's easily adaptable to the flavors you're cooking with and it doesnt have a funky taste! I only had the original kind of quinoa - I know there are a couple of other kinds but I've never used them. Nuts also have quite a bit of protein in them as well as iron.

 

Oats and wheat don't seem to bother me, although when I don't eat them my stomach appears flatter. I like quinoa in moderation :)

 

 

Maybe finding vegan recipes that you find tasty can help the transition.  What about substituting coconut milk for fat and butter (especially in desserts if you miss that)? Would lentils work as a protein (at least for Kristi who can't tolerate beans and soy)? For instance, I made this dal recipe with coconut milk multiple times.  I think that site is a good for finding other interesting recipes - my friend uses it to make for her vegetarian husband (who would also like to be vegan).

I love lentils, but my digestive tract hates them, lol :P

 

I'm going to check out some of the links people have shared...and that app you mentioned, CoffeeandYoga. Thanks for posing your initial question!

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I'm not a vegan, but I've been a vegetarian for 8 years. I believe I could be a full vegan if I wanted to, but I don't see the point in limiting myself. I eat eggs and fish (infrequently, but still). Eggs are an important staple to my diet, I eat them for protein, and they make for a quick and easy meal whenever I need them. Sometimes, I just I really want sushi, I think depriving myself of that or anything that you really want creates a bad relationship with food. So for me, I make sure I eat healthful and wholesome as often as I can, but if I'm craving chocolate I'll eat it. 

 

 

Okay, in all honesty chocolate is the only reason I don't commit to the vegan  :P

 

Anyway! I actually just read about this hybrid diet of a paleo and vegan diet called pegan. I am currently reading the book and it seems pretty manageable to me. It has great options if you're already a vegan, but it also doesn't seem that restricting to a person who is a meat eater. I hope you find the right plan that works for you! :) 

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I became a pescetarian at the beginning of this year, and am hoping to transition into full vegetarian next year. Although I eat about 95% fully vegetarian. I found my transition quite easy because I never would eat much meat anyway.

However, what I'm getting at, and wanting to share with you, is an AMAZING raw brownie recipe that I found the other day. It's really opened my eyes to all the possibilities for raw desserts. After I tried it, I found recipes for raw cheesecakes, raw cookie dough, etc. And it's all vegan! So this is really making it easier on me to eat "nicer" desserts. Desserts seem to always be an obstacle to a vegan lifestyle. Anyway, I hope this helps you out, even if just a little. :) 

Here is the recipe: http://www.mynewroots.org/site/2011/04/the-raw-brownie-2/

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Got this from my friend....

Awesome! I can't wait to check it out. I'm so pumped about becoming vegan. It's even more exciting that it's a continuous learning experience!

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I'm not a vegan, but I've been a vegetarian for 8 years. I believe I could be a full vegan if I wanted to, but I don't see the point in limiting myself. I eat eggs and fish (infrequently, but still). Eggs are an important staple to my diet, I eat them for protein, and they make for a quick and easy meal whenever I need them. Sometimes, I just I really want sushi, I think depriving myself of that or anything that you really want creates a bad relationship with food. So for me, I make sure I eat healthful and wholesome as often as I can, but if I'm craving chocolate I'll eat it. 

 

 

Okay, in all honesty chocolate is the only reason I don't commit to the vegan  :P

 

Anyway! I actually just read about this hybrid diet of a paleo and vegan diet called pegan. I am currently reading the book and it seems pretty manageable to me. It has great options if you're already a vegan, but it also doesn't seem that restricting to a person who is a meat eater. I hope you find the right plan that works for you! :)

I do have to say, I'm going to miss sushi. However, we don't have any good sushi restaurants in town - that makes it harder to get access to sushi. I haven't decided if I will completely stay away from sushi or not since I don't get it very often. Seriously, it's like twice a year? Maybe even three times a year? Okay, I should correct myself and say nagiri instead of sushi. I actually can't stand the taste of the seaweed wraps!

 

There are vegan options of chocolate out there! I haven't tried any, myself, but I also live in a fairly small town that doesn't offer awesome things like vegan chocolate or even vegan ice cream!

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I became a pescetarian at the beginning of this year, and am hoping to transition into full vegetarian next year. Although I eat about 95% fully vegetarian. I found my transition quite easy because I never would eat much meat anyway.

However, what I'm getting at, and wanting to share with you, is an AMAZING raw brownie recipe that I found the other day. It's really opened my eyes to all the possibilities for raw desserts. After I tried it, I found recipes for raw cheesecakes, raw cookie dough, etc. And it's all vegan! So this is really making it easier on me to eat "nicer" desserts. Desserts seem to always be an obstacle to a vegan lifestyle. Anyway, I hope this helps you out, even if just a little. :) 

Here is the recipe: http://www.mynewroots.org/site/2011/04/the-raw-brownie-2/

Thank you so much for sharing this! After I finally quit eating processed desserts - snickers, twix, etc - I found it so much easier to not eat as many sweets. Especially since I'm eating a lot more fruit! However, I have been wanting to try and make my own vegan icecream now. =) I finally got paid today and I think that I will definitely have to buy the stuff to make the raw brownies!

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I thought I'd let you all know that my transition is working greatly! I'm actively avoiding meat, eggs, and dairy. The only time I may consume dairy is if it happens to be in something that is processed. Also, my processed food intake is way down! I've also lost 6 pounds. =)

 

I also wanted to share one of my absolute favorite recipes I have found thus far!

http://deliciouslyella.com/vegan-banana-pancakes-gluten-free-dairy-free-sugar-free/

 

These pancakes are absolutely amazing. Vegan or not, I think everyone should try them!

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