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Old 09-05-2018, 11:51 PM
 
Location: The World
3,012 posts, read 1,811,747 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaraC View Post

I'm talking about expensive fresh fruits and veggies, and lean red meat and quality fish. A truly healthy diet that does cost more than 3.5 dollars a day in the US.

Vegans don't eat meat and fish. I didn't gather from the OP's post that s/he is only thinking about eating vegan for budget reasons. It was worded more like s/he was wondering if it's possible to be vegan on a $120 budget. And yes, I believe it is.
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Old 09-06-2018, 07:38 AM
 
Location: The analog world
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I think it's possible, but you're going have to be very careful to ensure that you are receiving adequate nutrition from your diet because you'll have little room for error.
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Old 09-06-2018, 10:06 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
16,736 posts, read 20,490,725 times
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Originally Posted by randomparent View Post
I think it's possible, but you're going have to be very careful to ensure that you are receiving adequate nutrition from your diet because you'll have little room for error.
Not true. You can get all you need from plants, without having to worry about how to do it. The only vitamin you will need to supplement, after being vegan for quite some time - something like 3 years - is vitamin B-12.

And the only reason you need to supplement B-12, is because we wash the soil off of our vegetables. Vitamin B-12 is in the soil. If you gather plants from the soil, and don't wash it off, you would get Vitamin B-12.

Or, you can eat animals that eat plants that aren't washed, and so they ingest soil - and they get it into their system, so when you eat the animal, you get the vitamin.

But, that is the only vitamin you have to worry about as a vegan. There is no tricky formula. If you just ate some beans or rice, or corn and some veggies, you'd be fine. People have thrived on just a diet of potatoes, for instance.

So, this notion that you need meat in order to have a well-rounded diet, without some really complicated plan, is just not true.

I've been vegan for a little over a year now. I do take Vitamin B-12 supplements, but that's it. My blood tests show that I'm not anemic, etc. My blood pressure is great. No more reflux. I feel 10 years younger at least.

Just saying, it doesn't make any sense that I feel at least 100% better without animal products, and without following any kind of complicated formula, and I'm someone on a very low income, without the ability to purchase any kind of fancy produce, etc. - if there was something vital missing from my diet.

But, I don't try to convert anyone. I wish health and happiness on most people, but I'm not going to force my opinion on anyone. If you want to eat meat, good on you. And I can sit with you at a table while you eat meat, no big deal.

A vegan diet is working for me, for what I want and how I want to feel. I wanted to get off of all of the medications they push on people nowadays, like statins for cholesterol, high blood pressure medication, reflux medication, etc. I'm now off of all medications and feel a million times better.

Not saying it's for everyone, but it is definitely working for me and my health.
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Old 09-06-2018, 10:29 PM
 
Location: The analog world
15,572 posts, read 8,749,121 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
Not true. You can get all you need from plants, without having to worry about how to do it. The only vitamin you will need to supplement, after being vegan for quite some time - something like 3 years - is vitamin B-12.

And the only reason you need to supplement B-12, is because we wash the soil off of our vegetables. Vitamin B-12 is in the soil. If you gather plants from the soil, and don't wash it off, you would get Vitamin B-12.

Or, you can eat animals that eat plants that aren't washed, and so they ingest soil - and they get it into their system, so when you eat the animal, you get the vitamin.

But, that is the only vitamin you have to worry about as a vegan. There is no tricky formula. If you just ate some beans or rice, or corn and some veggies, you'd be fine. People have thrived on just a diet of potatoes, for instance.

So, this notion that you need meat in order to have a well-rounded diet, without some really complicated plan, is just not true.

I've been vegan for a little over a year now. I do take Vitamin B-12 supplements, but that's it. My blood tests show that I'm not anemic, etc. My blood pressure is great. No more reflux. I feel 10 years younger at least.

Just saying, it doesn't make any sense that I feel at least 100% better without animal products, and without following any kind of complicated formula, and I'm someone on a very low income, without the ability to purchase any kind of fancy produce, etc. - if there was something vital missing from my diet.

But, I don't try to convert anyone. I wish health and happiness on most people, but I'm not going to force my opinion on anyone. If you want to eat meat, good on you. And I can sit with you at a table while you eat meat, no big deal.

A vegan diet is working for me, for what I want and how I want to feel. I wanted to get off of all of the medications they push on people nowadays, like statins for cholesterol, high blood pressure medication, reflux medication, etc. I'm now off of all medications and feel a million times better.

Not saying it's for everyone, but it is definitely working for me and my health.
You've jumped to inaccurate conclusions about what I think about the value of plant-based nutrition and my own dietary choices.

She needs to think about her caloric needs, and she's working with a very tight budget that does not give her much leeway for meeting her caloric minimum of about 1200 calories per day. That's my only concern.

As for B-12 supplementation, it's likely that her body has already stored enough to maintain her health for a couple of years even in the complete absence of B vitamin rich foods, but eventually, she will have to find room in her budget to purchase supplements, as you pointed out.
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Old 09-06-2018, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
16,736 posts, read 20,490,725 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randomparent View Post
You've jumped to inaccurate conclusions about what I think about the value of plant-based nutrition and my own dietary choices.

She needs to think about her caloric needs, and she's working with a very tight budget that does not give her much leeway for meeting her caloric minimum of about 1200 calories per day. That's my only concern.

As for B-12 supplementation, it's likely that her body has already stored enough to maintain her health for a couple of years even in the complete absence of B vitamin rich foods, but eventually, she will have to find room in her budget to purchase supplements, as you pointed out.
Beans, lentils, corn, rice - really cheap, good sources of pretty much everything you need. Add some frozen spinach, canned veggies, or fresh veggies on sale. Extremely easy and cheap to meet caloric needs.

With one 99 cent bag of split peas, and a few onions and carrots and some garlic, you can create a huge pot of soup that will last a long time, and that can be canned up or frozen for later meals.

Beans are about the same price and make a huge pot of healthy food, same for lentils. Brown rice is super cheap. Stir fry a few veggies, add some soy sauce or stir fry sauce.

It's easy to live on very little if you eat whole grain starches. Very satisfying and healthy. And very, very cheap.
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Old 09-07-2018, 12:56 AM
 
1,721 posts, read 1,173,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randomparent View Post
I think it's possible, but you're going have to be very careful to ensure that you are receiving adequate nutrition from your diet because you'll have little room for error.
On a positive note there won't be hardly any if at all obese people living on $120 a month Vegan diet.
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Old 09-07-2018, 07:59 AM
 
Location: The analog world
15,572 posts, read 8,749,121 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
Beans, lentils, corn, rice - really cheap, good sources of pretty much everything you need. Add some frozen spinach, canned veggies, or fresh veggies on sale. Extremely easy and cheap to meet caloric needs.

With one 99 cent bag of split peas, and a few onions and carrots and some garlic, you can create a huge pot of soup that will last a long time, and that can be canned up or frozen for later meals.

Beans are about the same price and make a huge pot of healthy food, same for lentils. Brown rice is super cheap. Stir fry a few veggies, add some soy sauce or stir fry sauce.

It's easy to live on very little if you eat whole grain starches. Very satisfying and healthy. And very, very cheap.
You've made some excellent suggestions here, and these are the foundation of my diet, too. To ensure adequate calories, I would add tahini, olive oil, and lemons. They can be used to make a dressing that is not only delicious but is also a great source of micronutrients that complement the beans, grains and veg forming the basis of a plant-based diet.

The OP might have to search around for the least expensive fruit and veg. I've had the greatest luck at my farmer's market where one stall charges just $10 for a large bag of choose-your-own fresh veg. On Sunday, I came home with four potatoes, five large tomatoes, four carrots, a couple of jalapenos, a bunch of green beans, a large head of broccoli, four beautiful zucchini, a cucumber, some gorgeous kale, three onions, a bunch of radishes, and a head of garlic. That's a lot of food for $10, and it's easily kept my son and I fed through the week combined with the beans, grains, herbs/spices, and other vegetarian basics I already had at home.*

Right now, my summer diet consists mostly of grain bowls. I tend to cook a couple of pots of grains and beans early in the week. My favorites of the moment are farro and cannellini beans, which combine well with summer veg and are very filling. Standards that can be found in my pantry all year long include black beans, garbanzo beans, oats, quinoa, and brown rice. You'll also find a bunch of herbs growing in a half-barrel outside my kitchen door, which is a whole lot less expensive than buying them at the grocery, but you don't have to have a plot of land to do this. My college-age daughter keeps pots of herbs on her dorm room window sill.

* Note: my teenage son is not a vegetarian, so I also keep dairy, eggs, and chicken/fish in the house specifically for him, which I prepare a couple of times a week. My spouse also eats meat, but he is a traveling consultant, so I feed him only on the weekends, and he's more than happy to eat home-cooked vegetarian meals after a week of hotel food. I have two other children, one who is fully independent and is not a vegetarian while the other is a college student and is a vegetarian, although not a vegan.

Last edited by randomparent; 09-07-2018 at 08:32 AM..
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Old 09-07-2018, 12:25 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
20,999 posts, read 25,765,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
........... My monthly grocery budget is $162 .........
You are spending $162 and OP wants to spend no more than $120. You are spending 35% more than OP has in the budget, and in order to do that, you are relying heavily upon the food bank.

And sorry, but a diet of black bean soup made with wilted celery would get old really fast. It's possible to live on that sort of diet, which everyone here is admitting, but it is not very interesting food. There are lots of good vegan meals, but variety costs money and many vegan staples cost money. If you want variety in veggies beyond celery, carrots, onions, and potatoes, the budget is going to need stretching. Variety in fresh fruit beyond a banana once a week, is going to cost money.

Yes, OP can do it. OP is just not going to get lots of fun vegan things to eat.
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Old 09-07-2018, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
16,736 posts, read 20,490,725 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
You are spending $162 and OP wants to spend no more than $120. You are spending 35% more than OP has in the budget, and in order to do that, you are relying heavily upon the food bank.

And sorry, but a diet of black bean soup made with wilted celery would get old really fast. It's possible to live on that sort of diet, which everyone here is admitting, but it is not very interesting food. There are lots of good vegan meals, but variety costs money and many vegan staples cost money. If you want variety in veggies beyond celery, carrots, onions, and potatoes, the budget is going to need stretching. Variety in fresh fruit beyond a banana once a week, is going to cost money.

Yes, OP can do it. OP is just not going to get lots of fun vegan things to eat.
Not sure why you're bringing up the fact that I go to the food bank, although that's a good point - OP, if you qualify to go to a food bank, I highly recommend it as a way to stretch your budget and they will usually give you some free beans and rice.

But, we come back to what your definition is of "fun vegan things to eat" and that it must equal something so expensive that the $120 budget would be impossible, if someone wanted them. What would that be? Can you be specific? What type of fruit or produce would be necessary to make someone happy that a person couldn't afford to buy on this budget, that there wouldn't be a reasonable alternative for?

For instance, if you were really wanting some fruit, and your option was a $5.00 rare mango or a $2 in-season cantaloupe that would last you all week -- couldn't you decide the cantaloupe was fun enough? I can. It's really not that hard to do. Variety doesn't have to be expensive to be fun.

Last edited by NoMoreSnowForMe; 09-07-2018 at 10:31 PM..
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Old 09-07-2018, 10:23 PM
 
Location: The World
3,012 posts, read 1,811,747 times
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I'm kinda with you, NoMoreSnowForMe. I have never been vegan and can't picture it, but I can't imagine it would be impossible to stick to this type of diet (for one person, of course) on this type of budget. Really, I can't.

Many of the foods that people can't imagine leaving out of their diets/budgets are foods that vegans don't eat anyway.

I actually think that I could eat off of about $30 a week if it were just me, and I'm not vegan or even vegetarian. It's my husband who eats the most, prefers a lot of variety, prefers more expensive cuts of meat and whatnot. It might be a bit of a challenge, but I really think I could do it...as long as I don't have to include my alcohol in the budget.
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