Any Vegans out there with advice on starting out?

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I've been going vegan for a while, at first I jumped in but it felt too restrictive. So after reading a few books, I just started adding veggies and eating 'less' meat. I feel great. But thought some other vegans could help motivate me!! Please feel free to friend me!!
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Replies

  • peabean26
    peabean26 Posts: 78 Member
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    I'm not a strict vegan, but we eat mostly vegan meals in my house. One cookbook that I love is Isa Does it. It has fantastic meals for a family. I usually add protein (tofu, seitan, tempeh) since her food is a bit carb heavy and I'm trying to cut carbs too.
  • browns1908
    browns1908 Posts: 9 Member
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    I have been vegan since Jan 1st. I didn't transition...but alot of people that I know started with Meatless Mondays and then added on additional meatless days until they were totally vegan.
  • browns1908
    browns1908 Posts: 9 Member
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    By the way...what about it seems restrictive to you?
    I never liked dairy products so that part was easy for me...giving up eggs and seafood is another story. LOL.
  • Rocbola
    Rocbola Posts: 1,998 Member
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    The advice i would give includes:

    Seek out the high quality produce that will keep your body running optimally. "Vegan" can be Coca-cola and Corn Chips, but the best foods are the whole natural foods, especially fruits and vegetables.

    Try a new recipe every week. You won't always like 'em, but some you will. You will soon develop a list of great goto meals that you like, and the know how to prepare them. Then, you will never feel restricted by lack of food choices.

    Join one of the vegan groups on this site. They are typically a lot more supportive than the general site.
  • hopedangling
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    oooh! I just discovered her- Isa -( peabean26) yesterday! I downloaded a free kindle book and am looking forward to more of her books!!
  • hopedangling
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    Joined Rael!! Thank you!!
  • hopedangling
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    Thanks Browns 1908!! What I find restrictive is I LOVE MILK EGGS AND CHEESE. And my boyfriend is Celiac - we live together...so finding foods we both thrive on is hard. Making separate meals is fine with us. I'm in Colorado so vegan is pretty accepted at just about any restaurant - so eating out is easy. I guess its cooking and finding good alternatives at home that is hard, or what I find restrictive. It's snacks and ingredients in some things I find hard to stay vegan with - I'm a big time carb lover - where my BF would have a salad, I'd order a burger. So - its just modifying everything right now and ADDING veg and not eating red meat is what I am doing so far. I started in January too - gave up - and got back on - it just feels better when there is no meat in my diet. For both health and EARTH/ANIMAL reasons!
  • hopedangling
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    Thanks Rocbola!! I'm with you on the healthy end of Vegan! I'm trying to have more protein in my diet via veg and complex carbs - little or no starches just for now, and i love TEMPEH and Quinoa actually...I like your recipe idea! Once a week is a good start!
  • Lmans77
    Lmans77 Posts: 58 Member
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    I've been probably 80-90% plant based since the beginning of the year, and during a couple month stretch last spring.
    I think you are taking a good approach. Focus on adding in, and not so much taking out.
    If I really focus on eating the things I know I should (fruit, greens, seeds, raw and cooked veggies, legumes) then really there isn't too much space left for the unhealthy stuff.

    I remember Dr. Furhman's advice in Eat to Live when I get overwhelmed...simplify, simplify. Fruit for breakfast, massive salad with beans for lunch, then more cooked and raw veggies for dinner with a potato/grains/starch.
  • perrinjoshua
    perrinjoshua Posts: 286 Member
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    I have been vegan for about five years now. Previously I was a vegetarian for about 10 years. Prior to that I followed the Atkins diet and was a complete carnivore. Here is how I transitioned: I read Skinny ***** which turned me vegetarian in about 30 minutes. I still ate eggs, fish and milk products because I couldn't give up the cheese either. Finally, I read another book called Eating Animals and that's what made it possible for me to let go. I wish I hadn't waited so long to read either of these two books but the last one in particular. I know I will never go back. Right now I'm trying for more of a 80/10/10 lifestyle with less and less cooked foods in my life. This is just a new thing this week but it's something I've been leaning towards to some time. Enjoy your journey wherever it takes you, just to continue to be the healthiest person you know how to be. I commend your efforts to become vegan, to me it is a more spiritual way to eat. God bless.
  • _Zardoz_
    _Zardoz_ Posts: 3,987 Member
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    I'm a Vegan (for ethical reasons). I've actually been one for around 15 years and before that a Veggie. Feel free to add me but just to say after a while you'll find that Vegan food in a lot of ways is less restrictive and the variety will amaze you. Just because you are eating a Vegan diet does not mean it's healthier. There are many vegans eating very unhealthy diets as there are many omnivores eating healthy ones
  • hopedangling
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    Lmans77 - awesome!!! Thank you! Yes, I'm finding that too, that I don't have room nor want unhealthy stuff, I eat about every 3 hours - whether its a handful of almonds or my lunch so its been pretty great. I did this years ago and my body loved it. I like the 'simplify' rule!!
  • hopedangling
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    Thanks Perrin! This has been a long time coming for me as well. The cheese is so hard! And my mom raises her own chickens who live in a happy healthy loving environment so for now those are the only eggs I eat. I have always loved almond milk and soymilk and ricemilk so that is okay too. and some vegan cheese is awesome -but I'm with you -the less cooked the better. Thanks for the kind words and encouragement!!
  • hopedangling
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    Thanks fatdoob! Yes, I have my attention on health. Some people say vegan/veg and think they are healthy -and you are right - carnivores too! I have a client who teaches/owns a cross fit gym and is all Paleo. She is super fit and healthy - but I can't do all that meat. My body really does love it when I eat 'fresh' raw foods and plant proteins. Friend request sent!
  • jaz050465
    jaz050465 Posts: 3,508 Member
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    I'm not recommending it as I don't know enough about it but just found a site which gives vegan meal plans. You have to pay though -,www.getmealplans.com
  • rjdunn87
    rjdunn87 Posts: 385 Member
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    I've been vegan for about a year now and I weaned myself into it over the course of a few weeks (doesn't seem like long, but I was already not eating much dairy or meat so it wasn't so bad). I definitely recommend continuing what you're doing now which is to cut things out of your diet slowly and add more fresh fruits and veggies, get yourself used to it, and also do some reading and research on the best ways to make sure you're still getting all of your necessary nutrients.

    Feel free to add me if you like, my diary is open and I'm always happy to share recipes. I second the Isa Does It suggestion - we cook out of that literally almost every night! Her blog, theppk.com, has some great recipes as well. I also really love ohsheglows.com, another vegan blog and she has a new cookbook out which I haven't had a chance to play with too much yet but it looks great!
  • addydaddy94
    addydaddy94 Posts: 18 Member
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    Everyone in my family is a vegan except me..I can't even cook meat in the house..iv lived with this long enough. Veg ain't all that bad. Besides it makes eating non vegan things occasionally much more delightful
  • thatpixichick
    thatpixichick Posts: 77 Member
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    If you're a big meat and dairy eater, start by just cutting down here and there and finding alternative recipes, such as beans and green lentils instead of mince in chilli/spaghetti bolognese. Almond/coconut milk is yummy. There are plenty of dairy alternative yoghurts and cheese etc, most supermarkets will have their own range of these. Buy lots of fruit and veg, and do your research on reaching your macros. I'm pretty lazy with my macros so I wouldn't recommend looking to my diary for inspiration haha but it's something I know I need to look at and you should, too.

    Good luck, add me if you like :flowerforyou:
  • hopedangling
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    Thanks RJDunn!! I have come across that website too Love it. I think having fun creating meals and trying new things will get me through. I will subscribe to those blogs, they sound great! Just mentally, knowing I'm not going cold turkey has helped tremendously! Friend request being sent!!