Becoming Vegan 🤯 advice/guidance anyone?!

Hi all, I have decided to eliminate meat and dairy from my diet and source my nutrients from plant based foods, this is a huge step for me considering I haven’t really thought about the impact that my food that I shovel into my mouth on a daily basis had on my insides, for health reason I have concluded this is probably the best thing for me and I can see why, ten years ago, my gastroenterologist advised a plant based diet. Let’s just say I was naive to it all and after watching the documentary on Netflix called What the Health, I’m more determined to feed my body food that will protect me. The truth is, I don’t really know where to start as this is not an area I’ve ever thought of delving into. Does anyone have any vegan recipe’s that they could share, that are easy to throw together to start me off? I’ve tried looking online but it’s stressing me out! If you could recommend any app or website that can sway me in the right direction I will be forever greatful! Thanks x

Replies

  • gmcurtis
    gmcurtis Posts: 22 Member
    Hi! I’ve been plant based for two years now. At first it was a bit daunting as I needed to find new go-to recipe websites and recipes. It was tough at first trying to figure out what to eat but I stuck with it and it’s opened up a lot of new things I didn’t eat before! I’ll give you a few of my go-to websites:

    Rainbow Plant Life
    It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken
    Minimalist Baker
    Cookie + Kate (vegetarian but with vegan and veganizable recipes)

    There are tons of sites but these are what I use the most. If you have Instagram, start following lots of recipe account. Tons of inspiration!
  • Inowantobefatanymore
    Inowantobefatanymore Posts: 12 Member
    gmcurtis wrote: »
    Hi! I’ve been plant based for two years now. At first it was a bit daunting as I needed to find new go-to recipe websites and recipes. It was tough at first trying to figure out what to eat but I stuck with it and it’s opened up a lot of new things I didn’t eat before! I’ll give you a few of my go-to websites:

    Rainbow Plant Life
    It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken
    Minimalist Baker
    Cookie + Kate (vegetarian but with vegan and veganizable recipes)

    There are tons of sites but these are what I use the most. If you have Instagram, start following lots of recipe account. Tons of inspiration!

    Thank you for that information! ❤️
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,878 Member
    I recommend checking out veganhealth.org, it's a good website for evidence-based vegan nutritional information.
  • Bex953172
    Bex953172 Posts: 3,768 Member
    I've also watched that documentary, and not to put it down because I really liked it too but some of the research is cherry picked, I'm not here for a debate I'm just making you aware if you're basing your change over it then be aware the documentary itself may not be entirely accurate (as with a lot of documentaries) but seeing as it was suggested to you previously then go for it!!

    However, my advice, start slowly, I tried to go all out in one go and I started to find it hard to find meals, was finding I was hungry a lot and put off by cooking because I simply didn't know what to cook etc.
    I think first I changed my butter, milk and cheese to vegan friendly options. Then I looked for the vegan versions of meals I know how to cook like spaghetti bolognese.

    I started to look at new recipes, unfortunately It was at this point that my partner and I decided to go back to eating meat. My partner wasn't fond of the meat alternatives. I personally could have carried on without the meat alternatives apart from the mince because I liked that. But we also have kids and they weren't fond either, so a few things made us decide not to carry on any further.

    I think I also downloaded an app for switching to vegan, I can't remember what it was now but worth searching through the App Store.

    But long story short, transition slowly at a pace that's easy for you.

    Good luck and I hope you succeed where I didn't! :)
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,181 Member
    I recommend checking out veganhealth.org, it's a good website for evidence-based vegan nutritional information.

    I second this. The documentary you reference is highly agenda driven (as many documentaries are) and data is cherry picked to fit the narrative.

    I don't personally know any vegans that went from being omnivorous to completely vegan overnight...not to say that there aren't any, but as a general observation it seems rare. Everyone I know who is vegan or has eaten a 100% vegan diet at some point had to make the transition...it wasn't an overnight thing. Some have remained vegan while others have adopted vegetarian or pescatarian diets and others went back to being omnivorous but simply more conscious about good nutrition and eating there fruits and veg.

    A good friend of mine tried years ago and he said it was a lot harder than he thought it would be...not necessarily the eating plant based aspect, but he didn't really have much nutritional knowledge and never really took the time to learn so he ended up anemic along with some other nutritional deficiencies. Nothing that couldn't be fixed with proper nutrition (vegan or otherwise) and/or supplementation, but it was just too aggravating for him. He does consume animal products again, but he's one of those that does now pay a lot more attention to his fruit and veg and other plant based sources of nutrition and is more of a chicken or fish guy vs a hot dog or bratwurst guy.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,225 Member
    Hi all, I have decided to eliminate meat and dairy from my diet and source my nutrients from plant based foods, this is a huge step for me considering I haven’t really thought about the impact that my food that I shovel into my mouth on a daily basis had on my insides, for health reason I have concluded this is probably the best thing for me and I can see why, ten years ago, my gastroenterologist advised a plant based diet. Let’s just say I was naive to it all and after watching the documentary on Netflix called What the Health, I’m more determined to feed my body food that will protect me. The truth is, I don’t really know where to start as this is not an area I’ve ever thought of delving into. Does anyone have any vegan recipe’s that they could share, that are easy to throw together to start me off? I’ve tried looking online but it’s stressing me out! If you could recommend any app or website that can sway me in the right direction I will be forever greatful! Thanks x

    "What the Health" is an advocacy piece, not accurate, balanced reportage.

    Think about it: What are the odds that humans can achieve optimum health by eliminating a whole class of foods that most human societies have consumed to some extent through millennia of natural selection? Low odds, I'd say. Further, there's at least one essential nutrient vegans typically must supplement, because it's not in plant foods. (No, not protein: B12.) How can veganism be an *optimal* diet for health if it *requires* supplementation?

    Vegan diets can be very healthful, no question. But health IMO is not the key reason to become vegan, because omnivorous diets can also be very healthful. If the goal is health, focus on healthy eating, using foods you enjoy that contribute to that. It's not super complicated: Get enough protein, healthy fats, fiber, boatloads of varied, colorful fruits and veggies.

    Adopting a vegan diet is a tangent, health-wise, a side trip. It's fine to do, but vegan diets can be unhealthful, too, and in fact it's a tiny bit more complicated/difficult to eat a healthy diet while vegan (not enough difference to be prohibitive, but that little difference does exist).

    There are excellent reasons to become vegan (or a fully plant based eater, which is close but not identical). Those reasons don't include "it's the only or very best route to optimum health".

    BTW: I'm not a shill for Big Meat; I've been vegetarian for almost 47 years. (Being vegetarian isn't better for health than omnivory *or* veganism, either, if you ask me.)

    I can recommend this as "a website that will sway you in the right direction", or at least a more science-based direction, by providing some counterpoint:



    It's just an interview with an expert, though, not a lively and persuasive piece of entertainment.

    If you choose to become vegan, the nutrition site and recipe sites recommended above are good sources for nutritional info and recipes respectively (I wouldn't necessarily trust all the recipe blogs/sites for detailed nutritional advice, because there are a lot of myths common in the world. People like to believe that their way of eating is objectively "best", and we tend to collect information to help us believe that's).

    Best wishes!
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,878 Member
    Good discussion here. I will say that I don't consider veganism to be at all about self-protection, although I do think vegans (like non-vegans) can certainly choose to adopt dietary habits that are associated with reduction of risk. But in my mind, those are two different things and I do find myself frustrated by vegan advocacy efforts like "What the Health" because they come across as so manipulative and ultimately unhelpful to animals.
  • Inowantobefatanymore
    Inowantobefatanymore Posts: 12 Member
    Thankyou so much everyone of you for your amazing input. I’ve taken on board all of it and I’m going to do some research myself. I don’t expect to turn vegan overnight and at that I’m not sure how realistic I will find sticking to it but I’m willing to give it a shot and be more food conscious of anything! X bucket load of fruit and veg 😂 wish it didn’t cost so much lol
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,225 Member
    Thankyou so much everyone of you for your amazing input. I’ve taken on board all of it and I’m going to do some research myself. I don’t expect to turn vegan overnight and at that I’m not sure how realistic I will find sticking to it but I’m willing to give it a shot and be more food conscious of anything! X bucket load of fruit and veg 😂 wish it didn’t cost so much lol

    Not sure where you live, but frozen fruit/veg can be less expensive than fresh, but still very tasty/nutritious. In fact, frozen may retain more vitamins and such, because they tend to be fresher when frozen than the "fresh" veggies we buy at grocery stores.

    Also, while the details differ by location and season, there tend to be certain veggies/fruits that are pretty inexpensive fresh. It's fun to look around to see what's most affordable, figure out how to cook it up to be yummy even if it's something you haven't eaten before.

    Best wishes!
  • mel941980
    mel941980 Posts: 48 Member
    I was a vegetarian for 10 years and slowly transitioned into veganism 18 months ago. I personally didn't want to support the dairy industry anymore. Additionally, I was having major digestive issues eating eggs and cheese.

    Here are some things that helped me:

    Researching vegan crock pot meals. There are so many!

    Imperfectfoods.com has some awesome and affordable plant-based options along with produce.

    Track your protein!

    I've always taken multivitamins, but I added an iron supplement to my daily routine.

    Like all successful lifestyle changes, veganism has roadblocks you must maneuver. You have to plan holidays and outings more closely as there aren't always a lot of vegan options.

    CICO is king. Track your calories.

    Be prepared for everyone's opinion and commentary on the lifestyle. I've personally never been healthier; my blood pressure and cholesterol are lower than ever and I've lost 87lbs since January, 2020. Prior to this I tried everything from Weight Watchers to the low carb lifestyle without long-term success.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,878 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Thankyou so much everyone of you for your amazing input. I’ve taken on board all of it and I’m going to do some research myself. I don’t expect to turn vegan overnight and at that I’m not sure how realistic I will find sticking to it but I’m willing to give it a shot and be more food conscious of anything! X bucket load of fruit and veg 😂 wish it didn’t cost so much lol

    Not sure where you live, but frozen fruit/veg can be less expensive than fresh, but still very tasty/nutritious. In fact, frozen may retain more vitamins and such, because they tend to be fresher when frozen than the "fresh" veggies we buy at grocery stores.

    Also, while the details differ by location and season, there tend to be certain veggies/fruits that are pretty inexpensive fresh. It's fun to look around to see what's most affordable, figure out how to cook it up to be yummy even if it's something you haven't eaten before.

    Best wishes!

    Yes, OP, this. I eat a lot of what is cheap in my area -- cabbage, onions, apples, frozen berries, broccoli, carrots, canned tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, etc. Then I supplement with seasonal produce and everything else is a bonus. Frozen fruits and vegetables can make this a very affordable lifestyle.
  • mikhnpaitsmum
    mikhnpaitsmum Posts: 125 Member
    Been a vegan for 8ish years- kinda lost count and a vveggie for 7more before that. No websites to suggest but I do have an open diary if you want to add me and see some meal ideas.
  • katelaurel390
    katelaurel390 Posts: 89 Member
    edited May 2021
    Hi! I've been vegan for the last 4.5 years (vegetarian for ~7 years before that) so happy to share anything that may be helpful.

    I would recommend slowly transitioning, rather than taking on such a big change all at once. Much better chance of it 'sticking' instead of it seeming super daunting. Maybe start with a few vegan meals a week and work towards a fully vegan day, and keep adding on. Or cut out one meat product at a time. Before I went vegetarian, I was only eating chicken, eggs, and cheese. By the time I cut out chicken, being vegetarian was super easy! Then cutting out eggs and dairy was even easier to become fully vegan.

    It also doesn't have to be super expensive!! A lot of health vegan staple items are inexpensive, especially in bulk - beans, oats, rice, tofu, frozen fruits and veggies, etc. It'll add up if you go for mock meats and cheese and stuff. I like those on occasion, but I try to keep it simple!!

    My favorite websites to find good recipes: hot for food, minimalist baker, oh she glows and good old pinterest! lol

    Feel free to add me if you'd like to check out my food diary and get some ideas.
  • AlannaWulf194
    AlannaWulf194 Posts: 24 Member
    I try to eat plant based breakfast and lunches a lot just so I have lower calories. My easy go to breakfast is two pieces of low calorie bread with either avocado or this hummus like spread I make by blending garbanzo beans with water and seasonings. I typically make a fruit smoothie with just fruit and water too. For lunch I make a big batch of soup with whatever veggies I have on hand and a handful of pasta or rice. I have also done baked potatoes with a vegan chili on top. That's super filling, very low calorie, and cheap.
  • Hazel1012
    Hazel1012 Posts: 1 Member
    I've been Vegan/Whole Food Plant Based for about 4 years and there is definitely a difference between "vegan" and "whole food plant based." Vegan can include a lot of processed and not very healthy foods (ex: oreo's are vegan) but once I really changed to a whole food plant based (and a low oil/low sugar) diet, my health has improved drastically. I would also recommend watching "Forks over Knives", it's about 10 years old but has a lot of good research and medical experts (it's a bit less preachy/agenda driven) . There is also a forks over knives website: https://www.forksoverknives.com/
    They have a lot of great recipes and they also have a meal planner subscription that will give you your grocery list and recipe instructions for each day. Could be a good way to initially get started with healthy recipes to try :-)

    Feel free to reach out if you have other questions/more suggestions/etc. Good Luck!
  • JNettie73
    JNettie73 Posts: 1,126 Member
    I have been vegetarian for 20+ years. Sad to say, I have not been healthy about my food choices and have overeaten for most of that time. Now I struggle with health issues, to no fault but my own. I am in the process of getting back on track and transitioning from vegetarian to whole food/ plant based. I can use some more plant based friends. Feel free to add me.

    As far as recipes... I recently have become obsessed with making cashew "cheese". I use it as a dip for veggies, thin it out and use as a salad dressing, put on top of foods. It is so good!
  • _xsrs_84
    _xsrs_84 Posts: 16 Member
    I’ve been vegan for six years, and went vegan literally overnight after only two months as a vegetarian. Feel free to send me a friend request if you want to look at my diary for food ideas! Also happy to message with you if you have any questions.

    Favorite accounts to follow are Minimalist Baker (not 100% vegan recipes but tons that are), Vegan Richa (for Indian food), Oh She Glows, and Chocolate Covered Katie for healthy-ish vegan desserts.

    Going vegan was hands down the best thing I’ve ever done - lost the bit of excess weight I was carrying, my skin cleared up, and I just felt better all around, not to mention the ethical and environmental side. Best of luck!
  • I get most of my nutrients from fortified cereals and Vega premade shakes (not vegan but don't eat many animal products and don't believe in eating pork). I respect the vegan lifestyle but I do think it's super important to support local honey beekeepers by purchasing their products bc of colony collapse and the importance of healthy bee's to our plantbased foods :) 💛🐝🖤
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,878 Member
    I get most of my nutrients from fortified cereals and Vega premade shakes (not vegan but don't eat many animal products and don't believe in eating pork). I respect the vegan lifestyle but I do think it's super important to support local honey beekeepers by purchasing their products bc of colony collapse and the importance of healthy bee's to our plantbased foods :) 💛🐝🖤

    For those who are interested, there are many ways to support bee populations other than supporting commercial beekeeping. In fact, some beekeeping practices may even contribute to CCD and make the overall bee populations more vulnerable.
  • littlegreenparrot1
    littlegreenparrot1 Posts: 651 Member
    Have a look at the Veganuary website.

    They encourage people to go vegan for a month to try it, so the recipes are easy.