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Going from vegetarian to vegan?

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Mar 29, 2012, 10:10pm   #1
ahs483's Avatar
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ahs483
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Hi ladies!

I am currently a vegetarian and have been considering going vegan for a while now. I would like to take the next step and start working to become vegan by slowly cutting out any non-vegan foods. Has anyone done this? were you successful? I think the hardest part for me will be cutting out things that contain eggs and dairy (I don't buy milk, i buy almond milk, but right now I still eat things containing milk and eggs and thats what I really want to quit) and CHEESE. I eat a lot of cheese so I am a little nervous but I think I can do it!!

Any stories?
Mar 30, 2012, 12:04pm   #2
ahs483's Avatar
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ahs483
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no one? grrrrr
Mar 30, 2012, 3:16pm   #3
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BertyT
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I tried being a vegan but it was just too difficult. I guess I am semi vegetarian because eat fish, eggs and cheese.
Mar 30, 2012, 4:25pm   #4
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CuTe_ClAsSy
Member
My good friend is a vegan. It's seems quite difficult. You basically can't go out to restaurants or really eat at other people's houses either. You have to cook your own food most of the time and sometimes you'll lack variety in your diet. You also need to be careful that you're still getting all the nutrients from the foods that you cut out, which can be challenging. You will also probably get very sick if you accidentally eat something with non vegan ingredients. But if you put the proper time and effort into it you shouldn't have much of a problem, particularly since you are already a vegetarian. In time it will just become normal for you. My friend loves it. Good luck!
Mar 30, 2012, 5:05pm   #5
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IcansPotaFake32
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I tried this for several weeks with a few friends which was great. We tried our hand at making green smoothies and I have to say I think I perfected my recipe. I work in NYC so there are tons of options for pick up. I also like sushi with sweet potato or carrot or avocado and cucumber. I loved Brad's raw kale chips (cheezy flavor).
We bought this book written by Kim Snyder about eating vegan for beauty. I also like the raw food places in the city and think they definitely have cheeses figured out better than other vegan cuisine. They make an interesting sub for a parmesan and you can also make one yourself.
I didn't lose any weight and to be honest there is a pretty famous celeb that I saw at Candle 79 the other day which is a vegan place here and she's a well known vegan and pretty big. She does have amazing skin though. Truth be told you can go overboard on nuts and high fatty vegan foods too.
I think it's worth trying for a few weeks. I now incorporate my vegan things into my mostly vegetarian lifestyle (like the green smoothie). There's also a fantastic blog that I recently found called chocolatecoveredkatie that features all sorts of vegan desserts. I also like peasandthankyou recipes on her blog and have made many variations of the tofu on her blog.
Mar 31, 2012, 2:16pm   #6
s
snibor
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If you're nervous and will have to give up foods you like, why do it? Everything in moderation...that is my motto.
Mar 31, 2012, 4:27pm   #7
ahs483's Avatar
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ahs483
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Originally Posted by snibor
If you're nervous and will have to give up foods you like, why do it? Everything in moderation...that is my motto.
I don't really want to get into ethics but I do not approve of the way the animals are treated/inhumanely killed and therefore I do not want to eat those foods and support that industry. I LOVE meat, I LOVE dairy, I LOVE cheese, but to me, the sacrifice is worth it.

I do not want this to turn into an ethics debate or anything like that, its just my personal reasoning and id just like to leave it at that. (not saying that you WERE, just saying for anyone else who might comment)
Mar 31, 2012, 5:08pm   #8
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Cornflower Blue
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I went from vegetarian to vegan in the late '80s for about about 2 years, so successful for the 2 years, although unsuccessful overall....

Anyway, you seem to have it nailed - no dairy products. There's a lot of alternative milk substitutes nowadays so that shouldn't be a problem (apart from the cheese, and even then I bet you there's a substitute for it somewhere). Don't know about egg substitutes though, but you never know.

I just remember being a food label expert and also doing a lot of home cooking that mainly involved beans, lol. However, getting to know your spices and herbs is time well spent as flavour maketh the meal (imo!) Also remember having a bit of a thing about alfalfa sprout and marmite sandwiches. Even though I'm now an omnivore, I would truely love one of those sandwiches right now!

Good luck and just make sure you get enough protein.
Apr 1, 2012, 3:32am   #9
Mette's Avatar
Mette
rÍveuse
I did it about 8 months ago and it wasn't hard at all. I love being a vegan!

There are so many "replacer" products available now days that it doesn't seem like I go without anything that I enjoyed when I was a vegetarian. For example, instead of dairy ice cream, I have Tofutti soy icecream or cocolicious coconut ice cream. Instead of cheese, I can make cheese with cashew nuts, or I can buy dairy-free cheeses like shreeze, cheezly or daiya. There are lots of milk alternatives available - soy, almond, oat, coconut, hemp, rice or quinoa (to name a few).

When it comes to things like pasta, I usually buy a wholemeal spelt pasta and if I am eating out and wanting to order pasta, I always make sure that the pasta has no eggs in it.

I didn't really eat eggs before I went vegan, but there are egg replacers available. I do enjoy scrambled tofu now days when I go to vegan cafes for breakfasts - it's delicious!

There are lots of mock meats available, but I don't have them often. I sometimes use a soy protein when I want to have a mock-bolognaise, but this is rare.

I'm happy to answer any questions that you have. Since going vegan, I've lost about 10kg (about 22lbs). My asthma has gone, I have lots of energy and I feel so good. I have blood tests every ~3 months to ensure that I am getting enough nutrients.

It took me about 3 weeks to find my groove as a vegan. I had to really stop and think before I went shopping or before I made anyting. Now days, it's all so normal for me that I don't even need to think about it.

I hope it works out for you, it's one of the most rewarding decisions I've ever made.
Apr 1, 2012, 3:43am   #10
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Mette
rÍveuse
Just an afterthought about eating out:

There are restaurants that are awesome for vegans and some that are not so great. Fast food is generally not an option due to nearly everything having animal products.

Restaurants that are great include Thai (if you get them to hold the fish sauce), Chinese, Italian (just stay away from parmasan, cheese, cream, and always check whether the pasta has been made with eggs). Middle eastern restaurants are great (lots of hummus! Lots of tabouli!) as are some Indian restaurants (just be careful of dairy).

I went out for lunch today and we had:
- Tofu with szechwan pepper and stirfry vegetables
- Vegetable and chickpea curry with mango chutney
- Baked apple crumble with berries, passionfruit sorbet and rasbperry sorbet

All vegan and all delicious!
Apr 1, 2012, 10:04am   #11
ahs483's Avatar
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ahs483
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Originally Posted by Mette
I did it about 8 months ago and it wasn't hard at all. I love being a vegan!

There are so many "replacer" products available now days that it doesn't seem like I go without anything that I enjoyed when I was a vegetarian. For example, instead of dairy ice cream, I have Tofutti soy icecream or cocolicious coconut ice cream. Instead of cheese, I can make cheese with cashew nuts, or I can buy dairy-free cheeses like shreeze, cheezly or daiya. There are lots of milk alternatives available - soy, almond, oat, coconut, hemp, rice or quinoa (to name a few).

When it comes to things like pasta, I usually buy a wholemeal spelt pasta and if I am eating out and wanting to order pasta, I always make sure that the pasta has no eggs in it.

I didn't really eat eggs before I went vegan, but there are egg replacers available. I do enjoy scrambled tofu now days when I go to vegan cafes for breakfasts - it's delicious!

There are lots of mock meats available, but I don't have them often. I sometimes use a soy protein when I want to have a mock-bolognaise, but this is rare.

I'm happy to answer any questions that you have. Since going vegan, I've lost about 10kg (about 22lbs). My asthma has gone, I have lots of energy and I feel so good. I have blood tests every ~3 months to ensure that I am getting enough nutrients.

It took me about 3 weeks to find my groove as a vegan. I had to really stop and think before I went shopping or before I made anyting. Now days, it's all so normal for me that I don't even need to think about it.

I hope it works out for you, it's one of the most rewarding decisions I've ever made.
Thank you for your insight! You gave me hope that I can make this work! I will let you know if I have any questions
Jun 3, 2012, 7:09pm   #12
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purseprincess32
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I'm been a vegetarian most of my life ..since I was in 7th grade and I'm 35. I became vegan for a little while when I was dancing in a dance company but I couldn't keep any weight on and was told to gain weight.. So I had to switch back to being a vegetarian because I was unable to maintain my weight and was dropping weight so quickly. If you decide to become a vegan and you're a physically active person than..I'd suggest you take the the transition slowly by dropping certain food and adding new ones.Also, make sure to balance all your nutrients, protein etc.

I have retired from dancing and have slowly switched back to becoming vegan and it's pretty easy.
Jun 3, 2012, 8:20pm   #13
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papertiger
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I am not a vegan, not even a vegitarian but I don't eat meat and I do think about every product I pick up. I buy good quality leather handbags and don't like nylon and plastic or the other 'alternatives' that I think pollute and destroy the Earth more. I have 2 (rescue) cats and I feed them meat. I just wanted to say this straight first, I also believe there are issues and we should think about them but there are also different approaches for treading lighter on the planet. At the same time I think you are correct, being a vegetarian dosen't make that much difference to the 'animal industries' or (lack of) animal welfare whereas being a vegan does.

There is no reason why you shouldn't just weed dairy, eggs and other animal derived products slowly, forget the vegitarian-vegan labels, just having less animal derived food is worthy in itself until you have worked out how to feed yourself so your body, mind and spirit do not suffer. I have quite a few friends who are vegans, some for health reasons and some for ethical. One friend does not substitute animal protien with soy because she thinks they are equally bad for the body and the planet. Another is OK with anything so long as there is no animal ingedient and I have another friend who is a practicing Buddhist and much of the food he cooks and eats has a corresponding philosophy behind it. It's not just a question of being a vegetarian one day and a vegan the next.

There are some great books around for meal ideas and also some that discuss all the various different foods from round the world like tempeh (which is delisious in stews btw) and how to combine some surprising foods to make first-class proteins.

A vegan diet does not always mean healthy, keep away from sugar, corn syrup, processing chemicals because those foods deplete your body of nutients you won't easily replenish. You also don't have to go all 'exotic'. Seeds, nuts, root and green veg, dried and fresh fruit are all high-energy foods and you don't need to be a nutritionist to combine them.

Someone said about vegans can be fat or whatever but IMO anyone can overeat. I think its better to eat natural foods like fresh oranic nuts than low-fat, processed, shrink-wrapped food that is full of preservative, even if it says Vegan Friendly on a label.

BTW, I knew someone who was anorexic before she became vegan, the control she felt over food replaced the control she felt towards starving herself and she 'made friends' with food again which probably saved her life. Like I said before don't feel bad if you don't become a vegan overnight or when/if you do have a slip-up, the world is not set-up to make it easy.
Jun 4, 2012, 1:18am   #14
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Elaine<3
Baby Arlo
I'm a vegetarian but I understand what you mean and agree with all of the ethical reasons for eating vegan. I don't know what you have available where you live but in SoCal I buy all of my dairy products (eggs, cheese, milk, butter, cream ect.) from ONE farm (they distribute to select health food stores, farmers markets, and co ops). I actually drove the 150 miles to visit the farm itself and have seen how the cows and chickens are treated (they welcome visitors). After seeing it for myself I have no ethical qualms about buying these animal products and I believe the products that come from these healthy and well cared for animals are better for my family.

Anyways, long story short if you don't want to give up certain animal products you may want to look into local farm sources in your area that you would feel okay buying from. I know eggs in particular can be a very important part of a vegetarian diet and it might be especially easy to find someone local who treats their chickens well and is happy to sell some extra eggs.

If you decide to go full vegan I recommend looking into buying a pressure cooker and making friends with all of the "super food" grains.

Good luck!
Jun 4, 2012, 1:29am   #15
alliemia's Avatar
alliemia
love shopping!!!
I'm not vegan, but I saw that Alicia Silverstone has a cookbook called The Kind Diet for vegans. Maybe it will give you some ideas.
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