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Vegans please help me!!!?

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  • Vegans please help me!!!?

    ok so i went vegan a week ago after being a veggie//i have literally no clue what to buy so i have been living off of peanut butter toast :P
    it has been Pretty hard but i have some questions for the..more experienced vegan
    will i loose weight by going vegan or will i gain?
    sample SHOPPING list?
    any supper fast recipes?
    i need some cheap easy foods to buy that taste good
    i hate fake meat it is gross
    and lastly i am a vegetarian i have soy milk for smoothies and breakfast cereal and i never liked eggs so what do you think how hard will this be
    ps. i have been vegan before for like a month then i quit because it was hard (lame i know)

    Last edited by CHANDLERS WISH; 04-02-2010, 03:29 AM. Reason: removed outbound links

  • Make sure its dairy free peanut butter mind! But thats all the advice I can give right now. Dont Hare Krishnas eat only Vegan?
    Happy and Taken!


    • There are some great vegan recipe sites, google is your friend with that. Obviously you can eat any fruit or vegetable, nuts ...

      Though some foods may sound like they **should** be vegan because they don't contain meat or dairy , be sure to take a closer look. A lot of places use lard in their cooking of even just plain beans, which is animal fat, and not at all vegan.

      Go to your local natural foods store and you can find everything you can imagine made without eggs and milk from bread to cookies. Read ingredients learn to find subsitutions for things that you like to eat as just about anything can be made cruelty free with a little effort and a little sacrafice to texture or taste.

      Some people gain weight when becomeing vegetarians because they carb it up too much. But a person eating healthy will probably lose some weight becoming vegetarian (i know I did)

      Vegans on the other hand, I don't see how you could possibly GAIN weight unless you sat around drinking oil and eating sugar lol.

      Make sure you are getting all of your vitamins and nutrients your body needs from the foods you eat and choose suppliments to help you achieve that.

      Depriving your body of its basic componants can lead to very unwanted side effects like hair loss and mal-nutrition.

      There is vast info on the net on becoming vegan or vegetarian in as healthy way as possible... be sure to look into it.
      Scars remind us of where we've been...they don't have to dictate where we're going.


      • Vegan 101

        Great topic!

        Dork had a lot of good points. I've got some more...

        People assume that I miss out on a lot of food, but the truth being a vegan makes you seek out new ingredients and flavours, and that's the key.

        Basically you have to rethink your food pyramid, and improve your awareness of what foods will give you what nutrients. Do research into different foods and try out lots of new recipes. It's really just time and effort and practice. Some pointers that may be very obvious:

        For meat:

        Legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc) contain lots of protein and other nutrients like iron, so make a great meat substitute. They fit it with a wide range of dishes and flavours. However do prepare them properly; if you use canned be sure to rinse them properly, and if you boil them from dry beans scrape off the froth. This stuff can make you very flatulent and can be a real drawback from veganism if you don't take steps to prevent it. Also, if your diet is not already high in legumes you will need to introduce them slowly, as they can irritate your bowel more if you go from none to two cups a day. Some legumes, like the delicious aduki bean, need to be combined with a starch (eg. potato) in order for their protein to be fully bio-available.

        Shop around until you find a tofu you like. They vary a lot in consistency and taste, and as a rule organic is much better, as with every food. Steer CLEAR of TVP: looks like you already dislike fake meat but TVP can be sold here in Australia as canned nut meat or canned and/or dried vegan mince etc. Also, tempeh is the ****. Instead of pulverizing the soy beans and then fermenting them they are pressed and fermented whole. The texture is much more satisfying, the taste is better, and in general tempeh is better for you than tofu.

        Veges: Eat lots and lots and lots, then eat more. Veges are practically fat free, have lots of water, often fibre, and a huge variety of nutrients too. Especially if you're male, and especially if you work out, etc, you may find you have to eat twice as much food in a day as you did before, so fill up on veges.

        Carbs: White bread is the devil. No more peanut butter toasties. One friend described white bread to me as junk food: it really is: There's nothing of value in it. It's tempting to replace meat and dairy in your diet with carbs, as Dork said, so try to keep them to maybe a third of the size of each meal...? And always opt for wholegrain pasta, bread, brown rice etc...

        Try new grains like Quinoa. It is delicious! and very high in protein. Cous cous is great too.

        Fruit: Fruit juice is not good for you. Studies show that high intakes of fructose can upset children's stomachs as much as dairy lactose. Raw fruit, however, is very important. Variety is key. A frozen banana is the basis of any "natural" vegan icecream, way better than silken tofu etc,. and avocados have vital Omega 3 an 6 and also lots of calcium.

        Dairy alternatives: Make sure soy milk is as natural as possible. For instance, on the Aus market at the moment there is a soy milk made with 3% soy protein isolate. The one i drink on the other hand, has 15% whole soy beans; same amount of protein, completely different healthiness and taste. If it says it is calcium fortified, great. In some recipes oat or rice or coconut milk works better than soy. Soy cheese is good every now and then, but beware as it is high fat and low value, like dairy cheese. Steer CLEAR of margarine. It's practically a petroleum product; I've heard it is grey before they dye it yellow.

        Sweetners: I know most vegans don't have honey, but personally I do. I'm vegan for the environment as much as for animal welfare, and if you can get honey that is produced locally (ie within a hundred or so miles), ethically and biodynamically, then to me that seems better than sugar from a sugar plantation 10 hours away. I've heard that after they cut down the crops they wholesale burn the paddocks, so lots of animals probably die from that too.

        Supplements: Take 1 to 2 tbsp of flax seed oil daily. This is high in fatty acids and nutrients very similar to fish oil, but without the fish. Look up symptoms of Omega 3 and 6 deficiency and you'll see why you should take this. Also, make sure you include "yeast flakes" or maybe vegemite in your diet, to add B group vitamins which you'll be missing.

        My doctor recommends that women with a tendency to iron deficiency take iron tablets one week a month. For both men and women i would recommend going to the doctor's/naturopath's up to 4 times a year so you know how going vegan is affecting your levels. Most people do not need to take a multivitamin, but magnesium, zinc, and B group vitamins are often low in vegans. After the first year if it seems you know what you're doing, then stop getting your blood tested.

        Weight loss:

        Initially when i became vegan I lost weight, but gradually put it back on, primarily because of peanut butter sandwiches! You have to make time to make good food. Also, a number of mainstream crisps and candy and cookies are vegan but trust me don't go there. I tend to comfort eat some times and there are several foods i wish i hadn't found out were vegan. Also i no longer keep peanut butter or bread in my house! Satiety is probably a major problem with going vegan and all i can recommend for that is: make sure you are getting a good amount of fibre and protein, as well as drinking lots of water.


        I would really recommend you buy a textbook to help with nutrition. I was given one by a friend and this is great as it describes what each vitamin, mineral or fatty acid etc does for your body, what deficiency symptoms are, and then presents a table of the foods that have the most of each thing in it, usually with about 20 foods in each table. The one I've got is called the Encyclopedia of nutritional supplements by Michael T Murray, and I keep it in the kitchen next to all my cookbooks;

        "The accidental Vegan" by Devra Gartenstein. My favourite vegan cookbook. It's American.

        "The complete Vegan Cookbook" Susan Geiskopf-Hadler and Mindy Toomay

        American vegetarian food tends to be massively heavy on cheese and eggs but if you look elsewhere this is not the case. Middle eastern and Indian cultures in particular have a huge variety of recipes that are vegan or easily adapted. Look at books at a library or a friends house and in my experience, the prettier the pictures, the plainer the food.

        Sample shopping list:

        2 carrots
        2 heads broccoli
        6 kipfler potatoes
        butternut pumpkin (squash)
        1 avocado
        1 continental cucumber
        1 can lentils
        1 can crushed tomatoes
        frozen peas
        frozen corn
        1 can red kidney beans
        biodynamic honey
        toffutti cream cheese
        soy milk
        coconut milk, 1 can
        organic firm tofu, 500g packet (half a pound?)
        tempeh, 360g packet
        dry aduki beans, 1 cup
        brown rice
        cous cous
        nori sheets (for sushi!)
        crucial spices: Tumeric, Cumin, Chilli, Coriander, Dill, Thyme, and a Cajun blend (or make your own, but then that's another 6 spices)
        6 fuji apples
        5 bananas
        vanilla extract
        vegan toothpaste
        recycled toilet paper
        natural dish detergent
        licorice (check that it is vegan, but usually it is)
        dried dates
        turkish delight (check that it is vegan, but usually it is)
        roasted almonds
        decaf coffee, organic fair trade if possible
        loose leaf chai tea
        blackberry jam
        english muffins

        Everything in that list i regularly buy again and again. It depends what veges you like, but from that list this week i've made a pea and potato coconut curry with rice, spicy dhal with pumpkin over cous cous, roast vegetables with cajun tofu steak, sushi, pasta primavera, banana smoothies, rice pudding; plus lots of snacks.

        **Removed outbound links**
        Last edited by LanaBear; 04-16-2010, 09:53 PM. Reason: Removed outbound links


        • I am taking the less extreame approch and eating mostly organic. I think meat is healthy and I am not ready to give it up. But the only grocery store near me is Wal-mart so I can't eat all organic. I try though, I am planting a garden. If you have a garden you will know exactly where your food is coming from and whats been put on them. And it;s acually relaxing to work in a garden, If you like that kind of thing.
          sigpic☮“I am convinced that the women of the world, united without any regard for national or racial dimensions, can become a most powerful force for international peace and brotherhood.”☮


          • One thing that you may also want to consider is the "raw food" lifestyle, which is also vegan. There's a restaurant in Boston that's owned by one of the revolutionaries of the raw food lifestlye. I went there when it first opened b/c I had to check it out. It was actaully really quite amazing. I had gnocci made from hazlenuts which was sensational.

            While I personally don't subscribe to it, it was really good, and honestly if I had the time I'd try more recipes than I have, and I know that the owner has quite a few recipes available online that you may like. Her name is Alissa Cohen. And I hope that her name isn't edited! I'm not trying to solicite!


            • I've been vegan for 2 years. If the OP is still around, send me a pm!


              • Originally posted by Anon_1990 View Post
                Make sure its dairy free peanut butter mind! But thats all the advice I can give right now. Dont Hare Krishnas eat only Vegan?
                And, I don't think I've ever seen peanut butter that is NOT dairy free. Even chocolate peanut butter is (that I've seen) always dairy free.

                The only one that HAS dairy is Nutella - chocolate hazelnut butter.


                • Originally posted by PandaPaws View Post
                  I've been vegan for 2 years. If the OP is still around, send me a pm!
                  OP has been banned.


                  • Both my kids were raised vegetarian in their early years and now both have gone vegan. I'm moving that way but not entirely. Thought it might be nice to revive this thread and see if we can get some tested recipes going.
                    We've found that the flax egg substitute for recipies works well

                    1/2 cup water
                    2 TBSP flax seed
                    Bring to a boil, cook 5 mins (less at lower altitudes) let sit - will thicken as it cools gets an eggwhitish texture as it does, will keep a few days in the fridge.

                    Also can sub applesauce for the shortening in many baked goods. I know shortening may be 'vegan' but it isn't at all healthy. We actually like cakes made with applesauce better than with the fat.


                    • Originally posted by WildChild View Post
                      I know shortening may be 'vegan' but it isn't at all healthy. We actually like cakes made with applesauce better than with the fat.
                      I use Spectrum brand shortening, which the only ingredient is organic palm oil, so much better than Crisco or something. It's not in many recipes I use anyway, but a few.

                      I also use a powdered egg replacer, Ener-G is the most common brand. Or 1/4 c silken tofu for 1 egg. Most times I just use vegan recipes to begin with so I don't have to worry about what to sub in, so much easier that way!


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