(Closed) NWR: Any Vegans?

posted 6 years ago in Cooking
Post # 3
Member
7587 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2010

I was a vegan for 3 years or so. (no longer for health reasons) It was a big adjustment from vegitarian to vegan. It does certainly effect you at restaurants and things. For me I called around and learned what restaurants in my area had vegan options. Then when friends would discuss going out to dinner I always had a long list of places to meet, based on my research. I found that most people had a hard time making a decision about this stuff anyway, so my suggestions were usually welcomed. 

Giving up cheese was the hardest. I cheated here and there for goat cheese. 

Post # 5
Member
1116 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

I’ve eaten little meat most of my life and experimented with being completely vegan this summer.  For me, I think I could do it except for butter! lol.  Cravings can be hard, but I’ve found that the longer you commit to eating a certain way, the less those things look good and the less you miss them.  For cheese in particular, daiya and nutritional yeast flake were both good alternatives for me.

I recommend getting some good Vegan cookbooks.  That made all the difference for me, and helped me feel more comfortable with a new way of eating.  They explain all the substitutes you can use, homemade dressings and sauces, and so on.  I have Veganomicon and love it!  I also have a few other books by the author, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, and they’re all fantastic.  Her website, http://www.ppk.com, has some good resources as well, but I find the book the most helpful.

I’m not sure where you are, but at least around here, veganism is increasingly common.  Most restaurants have gluten free and veggie or vegan options.  It may not be listed on the menu, but often the staff will know.  Another way is to pay close attention to the ingredient lists and get comfortable asking for substitutions and modifications to your meal. 

Post # 7
Member
1212 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I’m vegetarian and have been for over a decade. When I first decided to become a vegetarian, I thought about going vegan and even started in that direction. It’s pretty tough to do though, and you have to be very on top of what you’re eating to both actually be eating vegan and to be healthy.

May I ask why you are thinking of making this change? If it’s for health reasons, then you have to be really committed. There are lots of unhealthy vegans (and vegetarians) who basically live on things like fries.

Post # 9
Member
45 posts
Newbee

I second Veganomicon, or any of the author’s other books – Vegan with a Vengeance was the first one I got, and most of the recipes are really simple! I think the website that MerryC was trying to link you to is here: http://www.theppk.com/

I’m not even vegetarian, but about 80% of the meals I cook at home are vegan. Over time, the temptation to eat dairy has lessened so much, I barely miss it anymore and am moving towards cutting it out completely because I think that I have a mild lactose intolerance and have so much more energy without it.

Post # 11
Member
1212 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@MrsPinkPeony: It will probably be easier to eat a healthy diet without being strictly vegan. For example, if I didn’t hate the taste of fish and if I wasn’t grossed out by the idea of eating an animal, then I would definitely be eating fish because it’s so good for you (in moderation of course). But, if veganism seems really right for you, then good luck to you!

For ways to eat healthy, I’d suggest continuing with the almond milk or soy milk. Both are great! If you haven’t started eating tofu yet, I’d recommend trying it. It is a great way to get protein and it can be really yummy if done right. To make good tofu, try marinating it in something tasty overnight so that it picks up the flavour.

You should also probably be taking some supplements. B12 is a must, as it’s the one thing we vegetarians can’t get naturally, though some cereals are fortified with it. Also, calcium, because almond milk has a bit less calcium than milk and most people don’t get enough calcium anyways.

Post # 12
Member
1240 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I looove cooking with ener-g egg replacer. It’s sold at our local healthfood store. I use it to make cupcakes and no one knows the difference! So while I’m not vegan. I definatly use that.

Post # 13
Member
1111 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Me me me!  I am vegan and have been for almost 5 years.

(I got excited when I saw the thread title, so now I’m going to go back and fully read the posts.  I’ll add more if necessary.  Smile)

Post # 14
Member
1116 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

@MrsPinkPeony: Yes, the website is http://www.theppk.com.  Sorry!  I’ve tried Earth Balance as a butter substitute.  I find I don’t mind it for savory things, but for baking, it’s just not quite the same to me 🙂  But if you have another suggestion, I’d love to hear!  Also Caitlin over at http://www.healthytippingpoint.com is vegetarian, but often eats vegan too, and posts a lot of good recipes on her site.

Post # 15
Member
1111 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Okay, first – I think it’s awesome that you want to go vegetarian/vegan.  It is an amazing lifestyle; really fulfilling and rewarding.

Second – Once you put your mind to it, being vegan is not hard.  There is a bit of a learning curve, so definitely don’t be hard on yourself as you make mistakes, learn new recipes and information, find your own way, etc.  But just remember your reasons for being drawn to this lifestyle and before you know it, it will be easy.  Seriously, being vegan is just second nature to me now and I can’t imagine NOT being vegan.  It’s just awesome.  Not hard, not stressful, not restrictive; just all good things.

Third – I am really not trying to pimp my own blog (I’ve pretty much abandoned it, so definitely not trying to get pageviews or anything!) – but when I used to blog more often, I wrote posts about the issues you’ve asked about, and it’s easier to just link to them than repaste it here.  Wink

Here is a list of my favorite cookbooks and informational books.  I haven’t updated that list in awhile, so I would add Vegan Diner as one of my favorite cookbooks.  It is AWESOME, and contains a lot of healthy/filling comfort foods done vegan-style, which is perfect for this time of year.  The recipes are also super easy to make and don’t contain any “weird”/hard-to-find ingredients.  I love it so much & I use this book at least a couple times a week.

Here is a post I did about dairy, and my personal ethical and health-related reasons for not consuming it.

Here is a list of FAQs I get asked pretty regularly when people find out I’m vegan.  Smile

If you wish (no pressure, obviously), you can also poke around for recipes, my story about how/why I went vegan, tips on eating out with friends/for work, etc.

Lastly, check out a (free) podcast called Vegetarian Food for Thought on iTunes.  The host, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, is an activist, cookbook author, and cooking instructor in the Bay Area.  She is a wealth of knowledge, and SO inspiring.  Her podcast will be so helpful to you on your journey!  She has a newish book out titled, The 30 Day Vegan Challenge, and words cannot express how fantastic it is.  Rent it from your library or buy it ASAP because it is fabulous!  I guarantee you’ll love it and find it super helpful during your transition (and beyond).

Hope that helps!!  If you can’t tell, I love talking about the joys of veganism.  Tongue Out

P.S. I bet the great butter substitute you found is called Earth Balance.  That stuff is the BEST!

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