or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › Nutrition and Good Eating › Vegetarian and Vegan › Going Vegan! Please help
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Going Vegan! Please help

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

So I have decided to make the switch from a Clean Eater to a Vegan Clean Eater.  I read Alicia Silverstone's book Saturday and I am in the process of reading Kathy Freston's book and decided now is the time. 


Where to start?  I am not looking for processed Vegan Junk food. 





post #2 of 37
Thread Starter 
We have Whole Foods and Trader Joe's here.
post #3 of 37

Congratulations!  I've been vegan for 1 year and 4 months, and I don't think I will ever go back to a non-plant-based diet.  I would start by giving yourself at least an hour of kid-free time at the supermarket armed with a list of foods you'd like to try.  There are some great recipes in The Kind Diet- we use a lot of those recipes as our staples. The hardest part of the transition is learning which foods are vegan and which aren't.  TJ's has a vegan sign that they use to indicate a plant-based food, and they have a list on their website of all their vegan foods if you wanted to print those out to bring with you.  But be sure to buy: 1)beans beans beans, 2) gardein (most Morningstar Farms foods are NOT vegan), 3) soy or almond milk, 4) collard greens or some other leafy green, 5) vegan cookies.  I love vegan chocolate chip cookies, 6) vegannaise.  There's lots of other things, but I would steer clear of trying to fill the gaps in my diet with meat analogues right when you're starting.  They can be awesome, but they can also be really bad.  same for cheese- don't go crazy trying to find a good cheese substitute, because it just doesn't exist.  daiya comes close, but I've learned to live without cheese and I only miss it occasionally.


there are a lot of web resources as well- the post punk kitchen has some good recipes, the Seitan Bourgonoine (sp) that was on Martha Stewart last week is really, really tasty, and there are a lot of vegan blogs.


Make sure you have snacks on hand so you don't end up eating non-vegan just because you're in a rush or don't have access to a vegan snack when you need it.  After awhile you'll get used to having vegan snacks or waiting until you can have one, but for now just try to have a luna bar or Kind bar, or a bag of nuts and raisins in your bag for emergencies.


Also, remember it's not an all or nothing deal.  Every vegan meal you eat is a good meal.  If you're in a situation where you can't eat a vegan meal, don't give up.  Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again another time.


Finally, it really helped me and my family for me to write up a set of ground rules- I'm American Indian, so one of my ground rules is that I will eat whatever is served to me if it's ceremonial food.  I can't refuse food if I'm a guest in someone else's house during a ceremony, and that trumps vegan.  I also made a deal with my husband that I wouldn't make a huge fuss out of getting vegan food at restaurants- life is too complicated to have to insist on a refund if my veggies were sauteed in butter.  I do what I can NOT to be in that situation in the first place, but I have to be flexible.  Now we mostly go to restaurants that have a vegan item explicitly listed on the menu, but sometimes I can't avoid it.


Good luck!

post #4 of 37

Good for you!! Going vegan was the best thing I ever did for my health AND for the environment!


One thing I'm doing right now, because I've recommended it to so many people I know, is the 21 day vegan kick start provided by the physicians committee for responsible medicine. They have weekly meal plans, celebrity advice, forums, and TONS of easy recipes to follow. It's free to sign up for too, http://pcrm.org/kickstartHome/

A book I really like right now is Crazy, Sexy, Diet. The title sounds kind of silly, but it is chock full of really useful information, especially about raw vegan eating.


Some foods I use a lot of in cooking right now are, kale, long grain brown rice, black beans, spinach, nutritional yeast flakes, braggs liquid aminos, bananas ( can use as egg substitutes in baking), quinoa, and coconut milk.

post #5 of 37

Ravensong, gorgeous picture!


I also suggest Crazy Sexy Diet too. Great book to really get you in gear. 

Grab the book Veganomicon. Changed the way we eat vegan forever. Weekly we have snobby joes (lentils), pineapple quinoa stir fry, tomato cous cous. We love this book. This really saved us because we don't eat imitation meat or cheese, and this book is perfect for that.

Also, coconut milk is delicious as well as hemp vanilla. I don't know if it is vegan but my sister just told me that they have a good hemp milk. 


Best of luck!!


Also: Nutritional Yeast is a great way to get your b-12. 


post #6 of 37

Two resources I like are Becoming Vegan: The Complete Guide to Adopting A Healthy Plant-Based Diet and Raising Vegetarian Children: A Guide to Good Health and Family Harmony. I loooove Crazy Sexy Diet and the book that made us switch from omni to vegan (overnight almost a year ago) was The China Study.


You will find that your taste will change. Some stuff I tried pretty early on I didn't like and 4 months later I thought it was the best thing ever.


We don't do pretend meat much. The only thing we get regularly is veggie pepperoni because it's fun on pizza (a good use for Daiya cheese, we make our crust using Earth Balance shortening but I think Crisco is also fine).


When we switched, the first thing I did was find replacements for things we ate regularly, especially baked good and breakfast items. We borrowed Vegan Brunch from the library and ended up buying it. It has our go to pancake, waffles, tofu scramble and muffins recipes.


If you enjoy cooking, you're going to have a lot of fun in the kitchen.


We buy Veganaise, Earth Balance buttery sticks, some non dairy milks. The coconut based ice creams are better than the soy based ones.


Random tip: if you don't care for the texture of tofu, try freezing it first. Once thawed and pressed, it's better,  chewier (sp?) and soaks up flavour.



post #7 of 37
Thread Starter 
Thank you! I do make my own pizza crust, so that is no problem. I know some Vegans don't use yeast. I probably will continue to use it though. March 2010 I started my weightloss journey. I started by doing the old Weight Watchers Core program. But then I found Tosca Reno and I started eating Clean (about 95% clean). But now I have decided to make the next step to Vegan. I thought Vegetarian at first but then I thought, I don't drink milk and I use very few dairy products, why not go to Vegan? So here I am... I am down nearly 72 pounds but I have another 35 or so to go. That's why I don't want to eat junky type foods just because it is Vegan.
post #8 of 37
Thread Starter 

I requested all the books you guys mentioned from the library.  smile.gif


Question, nutritional yeast.  Where do I get that?  Is it in bulk or package?

post #9 of 37

Down 72 pounds! You are awesome! Did you do that on the core program?? That is really inspiring mama!

Well, I am a "that chubby vegan" because I have a mean sugar addiction that I really need to kick. 

On a side note, if you need egg replacements in your baking recipes I am your gal ROTFLMAO.gif


We use RedStar Nutritional Yeast. You can get it at your natural grocer, but bulk is fine too I think.


I am starting the 21 day cleanse in Kris Carr's book on friday. I am trying so hard to steer clear of sugar in all forms. I even have to cut back on fruit. Hopefully the 21 day cleanse will get me on the right track and help me lose some pounds. 



Forgot to mention that the hemp milk I was talking about was at Trader's. 



post #10 of 37
Thread Starter 
I lost the weight by eating clean. Cutting out processed foods, white flour, white sugar. I started on Core but hated the thought of counting points for items I felt I shouldn't. So somehow I found out about Tosca Reno and eating clean. Thats how I lost the bulk of my weight. But since mid January my weightloss has stalled. I found Alicia Silverstone's blog several months ago. Then finally I went and read her book this past Saturday and Kathy Freston's Veganist. That's when I decided I need to move to the next level. That eating animal products is unhealthy. I had already cut the majority of the processed cr*p out, I already stop eating beef, I only eat shrimp. So to move to the next level shouldn't be too hard. It is getting the chicken, eggs, greek yogurt out of my life is what will be more difficult. Those are things I have relied on this past year.
post #11 of 37

The Kind Diet is such a good an encouraging book. I loved it! Congrats on going animal free! You have a lot of great tips here!

post #12 of 37
Thread Starter 
What I like about the book is, it isn't pushy, it isn't preachy. Doesn't get into the awful things animals go thru. In Veganist, I honestly had to skip that part. I get too upset. Which is a good thing. It means I have feelings there for the animals. But reading that section before going to bed isn't a good idea.
post #13 of 37

Congrats on switching to vegan! Done right, you will feel amazing!


You've got lots of great tips here already, I'd also suggest VegWeb for recipes. They have a ton of stuff on there, and they allow comments and ratings on recipes, so you have a good idea of how things will turn out. I use that site constantly!


You can try using amaranth flour in recipes. It's a great source of protein but can make things a little sticky sometimes, so I mix it about half and half with whole wheat flour.


Also- be sure to take some vitamins. Sublingual B-12 is important for vegans, and I also take a vegan multivitamin, vegan DHA, and calcium/magnesium at night. Protein powders can be good too but avoid soy protein because of the way it is processed. I use a vegetable protein mix that includes pea and hemp protein. It tastes great in smoothies!





post #14 of 37

Wow, I'm very impressed KatWrangler, the weight loss is really amazing.  Not to mentions all the life style changes you are making.  thumb.gif


I am subbing, there is a lot of great information here.  I have never been vegan, felt like it was to hard.  I have been veg before, off and on, fell off the veggie trail so to say. greensad.gif


Anyway, just wanted to give you a pat on the back, way to go!! 

post #15 of 37

Also I wanted to add emmalol thanks for all the information you shared.  That's wonderful that you are American Indian, and proud of your heritage. 


  thank you for saying:


Also, remember it's not an all or nothing deal.  Every vegan meal you eat is a good meal.  If you're in a situation where you can't eat a vegan meal, don't give up.  Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again another time.


Good advice for a lot of people.

post #16 of 37

Thanks, Anna!  When I slip, I always try to remind myself that 99.9% of my foods friendly and ethical, and that puts our world one hair closer to kindness.  That .1% slip-up is not the end of the world.  And when I need reinforcement, there are great resources on the web too.  I have a twitter feed, and a lot of other vegans tweet as well, so I can just go and read all the posts with a #vegan hashtag.  Usually there's something inspiring there to refuel my vegan motivation.

post #17 of 37

I'm a vegan doing weight watchers. I've lost 32 pounds so far this time, before my baby 6 years ago, I lost 100, but with pregnancy, low milk supply (exacerbated but not caused by dieting) I had to walk away for a while and not even look at the scale. Then it took me a couple of years to get back on track after weaning. All said and done, I gained 75 pounds back when I finally got my act together. 43 pounds to go to my pre-preg weight!


Some of my favorite meals are red lentil curry made with light coconut milk and tons of veggies with quinoa, whole grain pasta (with tons of veggies) and some sort of sauce - sometimes I splurge and do a cashew alfredo, sometimes I eat tomato, some times I make green spaghetti, which is basically a pesto and tofu ricotta mixture. Right now, I'm all about the strawberry marinara. Tacos- either just bean ones or marinated tempeh, enchiladas - spinach and mushroom, sweet potato black bean, and we have a freezer stash of tamales that we made. Bean soups - I like white bean and kale, right now I have a black bean and veggie one. Stir fries - veggies, tofu and sauce on brown rice, Thai curry. Tofu fish sticks, homemade veggie burgers and oven fries, tofu scrambles, curry tempeh. Breakfast I usually eat a veganized version of my pre-vegan favorite - egg fried tofu (in 1/2 tsp of olive oil with salt, pepper and nutritional yeast) sauteed spinach and lemon juice on VERY lightly buttered toast (1/2 tsp again). Lunch is often salad with beans, grains, fruits and nuts added, sometimes leftover soup or other dinner.

post #18 of 37

Catnip! Yum! Good for you for getting back on track! We are all doing our best huh? How do you make the coconut curry???

Do you make sweet potato & black bean tomales? YUM!

Emmalola, I agree, that was awesome of you to point out. My biggest problem is our family, but I have had to learn to accept people for who they are and respect their traditions. 



post #19 of 37
Thread Starter 
I am hungry! Spill the beans on the recipes.
post #20 of 37

The recipe for the curry (and it works with any veggies, not just pumpkin. I like cauliflower right now), black bean sweet potato enchilada, and white bean kale soup are on my blog: http://catnip13.blogspot.com/



Strawberry Spaghetti

Start the water for spaghetti, whole wheat is really, really way better for this, the stronger flavor and coarser texture really complement the berries. Heat a cast iron skillet, add a tablespoon or two of good, fruity olive oil, and a pound of strawberries hulled and quartered.once the berries have started to reduce and thicken, add 2 tablespoons of either really good balsamic vinegar, or a balsamic reduction, 3 cloves of minced garlic, a half teaspoon of salt and a several cranks of fresh ground black pepper. Mix the sauce into one pound of cooked spaghetti, garnish with toasted pine nuts.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Vegetarian and Vegan
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › Nutrition and Good Eating › Vegetarian and Vegan › Going Vegan! Please help