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Old 07-13-2021, 08:33 AM
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Since I am trying to explore veganism, I would love to know what kind of difficulties have y'all have faced while becoming vegan/ switching to vegan food? Would love to hear your responses.
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Old 07-16-2021, 07:31 AM
Location: Elsewhere
88,515 posts, read 84,688,123 times
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Not so much difficulties, but adjustments (disclosure: I have never been fully vegan and am no longer even vegetarian, but I do have vegetarian/vegan days and eat and enjoy vegan meals).

In my experience, I get hungry faster on vegan food and so have to supplement with more frequent meals and/or snacks in between larger meals. The danger in that when eating vegetarian is that at first I often made poor choices in order to feel full. French fries and cheese (not together) were too of those poor choices. I never in my life had high cholesterol until I became a vegetarian. Obviously a vegan won't be eating cheese, but watch out for those fries as far as calories go.

Psychologically, getting over the idea that there has to be a central feature of the meal with sides as accompaniments can get in the way. In our meat-centered-meal society, that's how we are programmed to some degree. Dinner is <insert meat> with potatoes or some other starch and a vegetable on the side.

Fortunately, you can talk yourself out of that and enjoy a meal of all plant foods. One of my favorite meals is seasoned black beans (w/tomatoes and chilies or similar spices) and rice with sweet potatoes and greens. That one IS filling.

AARP magazine (which if you are under 50 you probably don't see, lol) recently had a good article on eating more plants. Someone came up with the idea of eating 30 different plants a week. It makes for a fun and interesting goal and makes you more conscious of having a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains.

Each plant only counts ONCE, so, for example, if you eat peanut butter on a rice cake every day, that still is only two plants.

Another challenge is to get yourself to try new things. I would never have looked twice at some grainy thing in a bag called "farro", but I had a meal made with it at a vegan restaurant and I really liked it.

Good luck. Look at it as an adventure and an expansion, not a restriction.
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Old 07-16-2021, 08:56 PM
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it was not pleasant to give up all dairy, but i had to because of getting sicker and sicker from a dairy allergy. Since it was even less pleasant being sick all the time, i gave up all dairy. but that was not because of wanting to be vegan, it was because of wanting to feel better.

it was many years later that i thought about becoming vegan, and my motivation was because of (yes, i kid you not) i was interested in dating someone who was vegan and thought this would give me an in with the person. it did. i became very interested and this person taught me a lot and i quite liked spending time with them. They said (and I found this to be the case also) that giving up all meat was easy, but they had a really hard time giving up fish. in particular this person had a hard time giving up salmon because they were living in Alaska at the time and had the pleasure and joy of abundant and plentiful supply of delicious fresh fish and smoked fish. In particular they said the very very last thing to give up and they still missed it and craved it, was smoked salmon.

So I was vegan for a time, and then we broke up, and i continued to be vegan for several years because i quite liked it, it agreed with me. For a lot of people giving up dairy is the hardest, because if they are vegetarian they bulk up on dairy, and then when they decide to go vegan, it's really REALLY hard for them to give up the dairy.

Eventually i added back yes fish, and also eggs. but it's going on something like 15 years for no meat, 25 years for no dairy. It feels great.
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Old 07-17-2021, 03:51 AM
Location: California
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If you have started your vegan diet plan due to some lactose intolerance then I suggest to consult doctor and he will design a vegan diet plan. Vegan is all about to keep yourself far from animal by products but the fact is that it provides alot of vital vitamins. But if you are doing it on cultural and ethical grounds then I would suggest that try to take some vital supplements that might fill the needs of nutrients.
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Old 07-17-2021, 09:11 AM
Location: Florida
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Vegan is harder to get used to than vegetarian, you have more diet restrictions and may not like the taste of vegan cheese or milk. Fortunately, you have a lot of tasty options now as compared to twenty years ago. Vegan food has come really far in taste and selection. I like some vegan dairy products better than the real ones.

You will probably find yourself focusing in on different grains and beans. I did and discovered a lot of new options like quinoa. If you like junk food, you’re in luck, most of it is vegan. A long time vegan friend would devour four or five bagels in one sitting. You’ll start to crave certain foods.

I joined a vegan group who would go out to dinner once a month. It was good to try different food options, and there are tons of vegan recipes online if you like to cook. A favorite dish was a French cassoulet, took forever to make, but it was tasty and non vegan spouse liked it too.

It was too hard to cook for a non vegan spouse, but I learned a lot about expanding your food choices. Lots of people say being vegan is one of the healthiest things you can do.
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Old 07-20-2021, 01:32 PM
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I became vegan overnight. Had no problems at all transitioning, no cravings for meat or dairy.

My only problems eating vegan is staying away from junk and processed foods, but had that problem even when I ate everything.
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Old 07-20-2021, 03:08 PM
Location: Denver CO
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You will most likely need to take a B12 supplement. All other nutritional needs can be readily met on a vegan diet.
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Old 07-21-2021, 11:58 AM
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I would advise doing it in increments. Cut out one type of meat. After a couple of months, another. Then another, until you are no longer eating meat.

Then do the same with dairy and eggs. Mayonnaise is probably the easiest thing to set aside, as Helmann's makes a pretty good vegan version that even smells like regular mayonnaise. Or you could choose not to keep dairy and eggs in your refrigerator, while easing off them in general because they are in most store-bought baked goods and restaurant meals. That's what am doing, barring yogurt and small amounts of cheese.

One thing that often trips people up is finding a substitute for milk. Going from regular to soy milk is very noticeable. Some people don't mind, but soy milk is unappealing to me. I suggest working down to skim milk, and then from there trying almond milk. I have found that almond milk is the most flexible--it works best in home-baked vegan goods and it works well with cereal. You can even play around with combinations. I like almond-coconut milk on cereals like banana-nut crunches.

Another issue is ice cream. There is an easy fix for that, however. Peel, slice and freeze a banana for at least two hours, then pulse through a food processor or high-speed blender. Stop every now and then to scrape the sides down. At first it will look like crumbles, but if you keep pulsing and scraping, next thing you know, you have "nice cream." The pectin in bananas gives it ice cream texture and taste. You can add other things to it, as well, like frozen strawberries, cocoa powder, etc. There are many recipes online for "nice cream."

Take vegan products on their own merits. Although things like Impossible Burgers, Beyond Meat, and Field Roast products do a very good job of tasting like beef, not all vegan products and recipes will be exactly like products derived from animals. Instead of using "does this taste the same as the other" as a barometer, I suggest using "does this taste good?"

I do like to use meat substitutes at times, such as vegan Italian sausages in pasta sauce and recipes that call for Italian sausage. Sometimes you just need that heartiness.

A quick way to avoid products that have animal-derived ingredients and components is to look at the label. If there is anything other than 0% cholesterol, the product is at least partly derived from animals. Dietary cholesterol does not occur in plants at all.

Regarding B12, yes, supplements are an easy way to get B12. Just as cholesterol doesn't occur in plants, neither does B12. You can get B12 through other foods, but supplments are simplest.



Recipe Sources

I think the above is enough to get you started, but I will also share my favorite vegan recipe sources here:

America's Test Kitchen Vegan for Everybody Cookbook - the chocolate chip cookies are spectacular

America's Test Kitchen Complete Mediterranean Cookbook - while not vegetarian, it includes good vegan dishes and some of the non-vegan recipes can be adjusted to leave out the meat

I think America's Test Kitchen also has a plant-based cookbook. Generally you can't go wrong with that publisher.

Food Network Summer Pasta Cookbook - plenty of vegan options, not really a book, more like a special supplement magazine, you will probably have to get this secondhand, but it looks like this.

Prevention's Easy & Delicious Plant-Based Meals - not always vegan, but the vegetarian options can be adjusted, same issue with secondhand, it looks like this.

Forks Over Knives - at newsstands, grocery stores, and drugstores like CVS. This stuff is a little hit-or-miss. The recipes can be time-consuming and about half the time there is some exotic or specialty ingredient that you have to go to a fancier store like Whole Foods to get. However, if you like to cook and bake and you don't mind hunting down ingredients like arrowroot powder, it could be fun. I enjoy it, when I have the time.

Also, click around social media with the hashtags #vegan #veganrecipes and so on. There are tons of vegan chefs and bakers on social media and the recipes are often very good.
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Old 07-22-2021, 03:58 PM
Location: Springfield, Ohio
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It's a lot easier now than it used to be, even in rural areas thanks to natural food products being sold at the big chain groceries now. I agree it's best to do it slowly....cheese is the hardest to give up because it's in everything and the vegan cheeses mostly aren't good (IMO) whereas other vegan substitutes for the foods you're accustomed to eating transition pretty easily.
You just have to think of it as a new way of eating and realize you're leaving behind the type of diet the majority of the world eats. It can be tough to ignore all the advertisements and all the explaining people want you to do over your diet, but in the end it's worth it. You see all the side effects (whether health, environment or moral) animal-based diets have and realize you're making the correct choice, even if it's a harder road.
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Old 11-28-2021, 12:50 PM
Location: Arizona High Desert
4,792 posts, read 5,898,927 times
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I went vegan after watching animal abuse youtube videos 8 years ago. I was vegetarian 26 years before that. When I saw how hard it was to find substitutes for cheese, whipped cream, etc. I got discouraged because Daiya was about the only brand. However, year by year, vegan foods mushoomed, and snowballed, so to speak. We are living in great times when mainstream companies offer vegan options, and cow farmers are growing hemp and oats instead of killing animals. I am hearing far less criticism of veganism these days. During the lockdown, 80 % of the vegan "meats" were being bought up by meat eaters at my local grocer. They thanked me for the "heads up" because they feared animal flesh, cooked or not. I hope they stuck to the vegan offerings, even if it means empty shelves for me from time to time.
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