Advice needed -from vegetarians and vegans-

mmnv79
mmnv79 Posts: 538 Member
I am not a vegetarian, but I don't really like milk and meat much. I have been buying different plant based drinks, but so far they are not great with coffee, as when mixed the drink curdle... What's the best one to make coffee? Also, I have been buying Linda McCartney and Tesco meat free products. I love the Tesco meat free hot dogs and they are very low calories. 67 per hot dog I think. But some of the other products are very high calorie and saturate fat, such the leek pastry parcels (72% rec. saturate fats I believe). I was wondering what foods and supplements vegetarians and vegans take. I have read that nuts and kale are great, but I don't know if that would be enough for having a balanced diet. Thanks!
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Replies

  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,878 Member
    I think you're in the UK. I'm in the US, so I don't know if you have all the same products that we do, but I find that the Silk and So Delicious brand creamers don't ever curdle in my coffee. Califia Farms makes my favorite -- a coconut-based half and half (but they're a newer brand so I'm pretty sure they aren't overseas yet).

    I am vegan and I eat just about everything that's vegan. Some of my staple foods are cabbage, beans, rice, pasta, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, carrots, apples, avocado, coconut, peppers, greens, seitan, tofu, tempeh, oats, olives, mushrooms, and cauliflower. Nuts and kale are great, but they don't have anything that you can't get from other foods. The two of them, in and of themselves, won't create a balanced diet. But they can certainly be part of a balanced diet.

    For supplements, I take B12, iodine, iron (due to having low test for iron in the past and because I'm a regular blood donor), a vegan DHA, and vitamin D.
  • estherdragonbat
    estherdragonbat Posts: 5,285 Member
    I don't drink coffee and only ever put sweetener in my tea, so can't help with your first question.

    As to the second, I'm ovo-lacto vegetarian and cook a lot of vegan dishes (typically I cook on Thursdays and live off it for a week). This past week, I had edamame donburi (it's a sort of Japanese street food. In this case green soybeans, tofu, shiitakes, scallions and sesame seeds with seasonings, over steamed rice) and Moroccan-inspired sweet potato stew with chickpeas. Tonight I'm having yellow split pea dal with tomato and spinach. It really varies. I also eat processed foods like Gardein and Yves (I'm in Canada; not sure if those are available in the UK).
  • mmnv79
    mmnv79 Posts: 538 Member
    Thanks Jane! Yes, I am in Northern Ireland. I live in a small place and the amount of fresh veggies and fruits available, as well as fish, is very limited. Same here, I am a regular blood donor and when I was checked recently, it was low and wasn't allowed to donate blood. I am currently taking Iron supplements the doctor gave me because my iron is too low. I'll Google D vitamin (I haven't a clue about nutrition!).

    I was checking an herbarium-pharmacy on line shop (Hollands & Barretts). I like a product called krill oil, it seems to have many benefits. Not sure if someone has heard of it...
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,878 Member
    mmnv79 wrote: »
    Thanks Jane! Yes, I am in Northern Ireland. I live in a small place and the amount of fresh veggies and fruits available, as well as fish, is very limited. Same here, I am a regular blood donor and when I was checked recently, it was low and wasn't allowed to donate blood. I am currently taking Iron supplements the doctor gave me because my iron is too low. I'll Google D vitamin (I haven't a clue about nutrition!).

    I was checking an herbarium-pharmacy on line shop (Hollands & Barretts). I like a product called krill oil, it seems to have many benefits. Not sure if someone has heard of it...

    Krill oil wouldn't be vegan (it's made from crustaceans), but it provides the same benefits as the DHA I take, the omega3 fatty acids that studies suggest may benefit our heart and brain health. If you don't get much fish (that's the main dietary source for most people), supplementing may be a good idea.

    Vitamin D we can produce for ourselves when we are exposed to sunlight, but many of us don't spend enough time in the sun to get this. In the US, it's often added to milk (not sure if that's done in Northern Ireland or not), so that's why I supplement it.
  • mmnv79
    mmnv79 Posts: 538 Member
    Thanks Esther! No, we don't have Gardein and Yves, just Linda McCartney and the own supermarket meat free range. I bought a vegetarian book and some of the recipes are amazing, although I have to modified them slightly as I can't get all those products here. Also, I have bought a Lebanese cousine book. It has lots of great vegan salads, moussakas and lasagnas made with aubergines, courgettes, etc. But obviously not meeting my needs as at least my iron is low.
  • HeliumIsNoble
    HeliumIsNoble Posts: 1,222 Member
    UK veggie here. Can't help you on the coffee, because I never got the taste for it.

    Veggies and vegans eat food that they like, and find ethically acceptable in amounts they want. If they are calorie-counting, it's just the same for us as it is for anyone else- we look at the calorie information and see if it will fit into our day.

    I prefer Morrisons Meat-free Range to Tesco's, but I am a huge fan of the new Linda McCartney burgers because the calorie to protein ratio is so good. There have been days before when I couldn't fit in a Tesco Peanut and Avocado burger without going over my goal, so I opted for vegan Quorn fillets, but I don't think that's really because the burgers are truly very high calorie. It's more to do with the volume of chocolate I'd had at lunch.

    I take a Vitabiotics B12 and general vitamin supplement and a calcium supplement, also by Vitabiotics, as insurance.
  • mmnv79
    mmnv79 Posts: 538 Member
    Thank you both. I'll look on those supplements.

    We don't have Morrisons, Co-op, Aldi, Asda etc. in Northern Ireland (at least not in the north west). We only have Tesco, Lidl. Iceland and Sainsburys, and they don't have a great range of vegetarian food, although they have increased their own brand meat free products recently.

    I seen that Hollands & Barretts sells dried tofu pieces. I'll need to search for recipes on that as it seems to be a great source of iron and calcium. I hope I like it, not sure what it taste like.
  • AliceDark
    AliceDark Posts: 3,886 Member
    edited July 2017
    The biggest thing I've seen new vegetarians and vegans do wrong is confusing "this replaces the function of meat in the meal" and "this replaces the nutrition that meat would give me." (Now that I think about it, it's not only new veggies; it's nearly every person who has ever tried to make a vegetarian meal for me as well). A good example I use a lot is replacing a hamburger with a portobello mushroom -- the mushroom replaces the function of meat, but not the macros. For that reason, I think it's really important for new vegetarians and vegans to carefully watch their protein intake, as well as keeping an eye on things like iron and B vitamins, to make sure they're not missing out on important nutrients.

    I'm ovo-lacto vegetarian, so I rely heavily on things like greek yogurt, cottage cheese, beans, eggs and whey protein to get enough protein. I don't tend to like meat substitutes as much so I don't eat them regularly, although there's nothing wrong with them and I used to eat them more frequently when I first stopped eating meat.
  • mmnv79
    mmnv79 Posts: 538 Member
    Thanks Alice. I never really liked meat. I was a child that had to be forced to eat my meat. I only had sausages when we had a BBQ, I enjoy them in that way. The smell of the oil and see all the fat in the wee tray of the Foreman's grill makes me sick. I think that's why I like the Tesco meat free ones.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,878 Member
    AliceDark wrote: »
    The biggest thing I've seen new vegetarians and vegans do wrong is confusing "this replaces the function of meat in the meal" and "this replaces the nutrition that meat would give me." (Now that I think about it, it's not only new veggies; it's nearly every person who has ever tried to make a vegetarian meal for me as well). A good example I use a lot is replacing a hamburger with a portobello mushroom -- the mushroom replaces the function of meat, but not the macros. For that reason, I think it's really important for new vegetarians and vegans to carefully watch their protein intake, as well as keeping an eye on things like iron and B vitamins, to make sure they're not missing out on important nutrients.

    I'm ovo-lacto vegetarian, so I rely heavily on things like greek yogurt, cottage cheese, beans, eggs and whey protein to get enough protein. I don't tend to like meat substitutes as much so I don't eat them regularly, although there's nothing wrong with them and I used to eat them more frequently when I first stopped eating meat.

    Wow, this is expressed really well. It's so true (at least in my experience as a newer vegan and doing mentoring of newer vegans). You can also see it with dairy -- things like plant milk, cheese, and yogurt often don't have the protein that a non-vegan might expect to find in them. If I have coconut yogurt with granola for breakfast, it's going to have much less protein than the equivalent non-vegan meal (which is fine, as long as you know to plan for it).
  • AliceDark
    AliceDark Posts: 3,886 Member
    AliceDark wrote: »
    The biggest thing I've seen new vegetarians and vegans do wrong is confusing "this replaces the function of meat in the meal" and "this replaces the nutrition that meat would give me." (Now that I think about it, it's not only new veggies; it's nearly every person who has ever tried to make a vegetarian meal for me as well). A good example I use a lot is replacing a hamburger with a portobello mushroom -- the mushroom replaces the function of meat, but not the macros. For that reason, I think it's really important for new vegetarians and vegans to carefully watch their protein intake, as well as keeping an eye on things like iron and B vitamins, to make sure they're not missing out on important nutrients.

    I'm ovo-lacto vegetarian, so I rely heavily on things like greek yogurt, cottage cheese, beans, eggs and whey protein to get enough protein. I don't tend to like meat substitutes as much so I don't eat them regularly, although there's nothing wrong with them and I used to eat them more frequently when I first stopped eating meat.

    Wow, this is expressed really well. It's so true (at least in my experience as a newer vegan and doing mentoring of newer vegans). You can also see it with dairy -- things like plant milk, cheese, and yogurt often don't have the protein that a non-vegan might expect to find in them. If I have coconut yogurt with granola for breakfast, it's going to have much less protein than the equivalent non-vegan meal (which is fine, as long as you know to plan for it).

    It took me a LONG time to figure this out for myself. I ate in a very unbalanced way when I first stopped eating meat, and I really wish I would've had a better grasp of nutrition because I would've saved myself from feeling terrible a lot of the time. Now that I'm aware of it, I see it in a lot of people and I (perhaps unnecessarily at times) try to give everyone the same information I wish I would've had.
  • HeliumIsNoble
    HeliumIsNoble Posts: 1,222 Member
    AliceDark wrote: »
    The biggest thing I've seen new vegetarians and vegans do wrong is confusing "this replaces the function of meat in the meal" and "this replaces the nutrition that meat would give me." (Now that I think about it, it's not only new veggies; it's nearly every person who has ever tried to make a vegetarian meal for me as well). A good example I use a lot is replacing a hamburger with a portobello mushroom -- the mushroom replaces the function of meat, but not the macros. For that reason, I think it's really important for new vegetarians and vegans to carefully watch their protein intake, as well as keeping an eye on things like iron and B vitamins, to make sure they're not missing out on important nutrients.

    I'm ovo-lacto vegetarian, so I rely heavily on things like greek yogurt, cottage cheese, beans, eggs and whey protein to get enough protein. I don't tend to like meat substitutes as much so I don't eat them regularly, although there's nothing wrong with them and I used to eat them more frequently when I first stopped eating meat.
    That is so true. Like @janejellyroll said, I've always noted it with the non-dairy "milks". When I'm talking about the nutritional properties of those (to someone who is genuinely interested!), I always say they're only substitutes for milk in terms of taste, texture and making cakes and coffee. Nutritionally, they should be viewed as mineral-fortified fruit juice (and fruit juice is an ingredient sometimes!). You don't expect to get more than negligible protein or fats in apple juice, so don't expect it from rice milk. The only exception to this in my experience is soya milk, which does have roughly the same quantity of protein per 100ml as dairy milk.
  • nevadavis1
    nevadavis1 Posts: 339 Member
    Sorry, they make specific coffee creamers here in the US that are vegan, though I don't use them since I'm a black coffee drinker. My mother uses almond milk in hers, though she does this thing where she warms the almond milk and then slowly pours the coffee or tea in while stirring... Dunno why, maybe that stops the curdling but I don't see how it works unless like her you're about 1/3 milk and 2/3 coffee. But I don't know what you have available there. Way back when I was in school my roommates found some powdered coffee creamer that was "accidentally vegan" --just basically some kind of completely artificial stuff-- but I can't really remember what it was and I didn't use it.
  • HeliumIsNoble
    HeliumIsNoble Posts: 1,222 Member
    Oh, P.S. just remembered. I got more calcium tablets last week, and I bought them from Tesco, because they have an offer on. Or at least they do on the mainland.

    These are the tablets. Osteocare, https://www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/258232284 and the multi-vits I use are actually the vegetarian antenatal tablets by the same company!
  • mmnv79
    mmnv79 Posts: 538 Member
    Thanks you both! I really appreciated!
  • rainbowbow
    rainbowbow Posts: 7,491 Member
    Yeah, something i generally recommend people do when they're setting up their diet plan as a vegan or vegetarian is to list out their favorite foods and what they want to eat on their diet. then plug it into cron-o-meter. then plan a couple test days (or better yet, make a weekly menu). does it meet your nutritional needs? calories, macro, and micronutrients?

    From there you can adjust everything accordingly.

    Like some others said it's pretty easy to assume these products will be playing the same role as meat or dairy products and they simply don't. They're just different. Especially plant milks which often lack any real source of vitamin d, calcium, fats, or even calories.

    As for the best in coffee... i'm a tried and true vanilla soy milk fan myself. it can be steamed and made into capuccino and acts very very similarly to milk. depending on the brand some may be fortified with nutrients and contain a pretty good level of protein too.

    Do you have Quorn in your area? I know the US brands (morningstar farms, tofurkey, boca, gardein, etc.) usually aren't available overseas but I can get Quorn in denmark so maybe you can get it in ireland. Anyways, if you can i highly recommend it since it's made of mycoprotein (mushroom) instead of soy. Soy is totally safe up to a certain level but it's not really a good idea to be consuming more than 10 servings of it a day which can be easy to do when first going vegan/veggie.
  • nowine4me
    nowine4me Posts: 3,986 Member
    I e been vegetarian for about 6 months and really don't like any of the fake meat substitutes or tofu. I eat a lot of beans and tempeh. A Lot. And I really like the PlantFusion Lean protein powder when I need a boost.
  • ghudson92
    ghudson92 Posts: 2,061 Member
    Hi OP, the Provamil nut milks that are available in H&B and Waitrose hold up much better in hot drinks than the standard ones like Alpro. This is because they are not watered down so much and contain less additives, they are more expensive but they taste so much better (IMO).
    The Linda McCartney range is great, especially the sausages! Unfortunately anything with pastry, like the cheese and leek parcels, will be high in fat so I tend to avoid those. I would recommend the Quorn southern fried nuggets they are insane and available in tesco. However, these are foods I only eat occasionally as they are very processed.

    I think you just need to play around with what you do and don't like and try to eat as many natural foods as possible. My own personal diet doesn't really fit neatly in to a category... I eat vegetarian/vegan most the week and have fish once a week.
  • HeliumIsNoble
    HeliumIsNoble Posts: 1,222 Member
    Just remembered. My mother drinks coffee, and raved about Alpro Single Soya Cream (https://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/default.aspx?id=255764252)
    when her local supermarket started selling it. Then they stopped and she was devastated.