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90% Vegan vs. 100% Vegan

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Anyone eat a nearly vegan diet, but still had small amounts of dairy in their diets?  Does anyone have any experience with eliminating animal products 100% vs. 90-95%?  I'm wondering if there's a big difference as far as how you feel.


I'm struggling to give up my coffee and I love my cream!  The milk alternatives just don't cut it for me.  I skipped my coffee entirely yesterday and it made me very sad.  :(  lol




post #2 of 19

For me, I think it would make it harder.  I've only been a vegan for 1 week, so take this for what it's worth, but we went cold turkey.  Originally we had planned to only be vegan at home, and then we realized that might only make us eat out twice as often.  lol 


However, if you are only planning to use cream for your coffee then why not?  I don't think it has to be about being a certain percentage, necessarily.  There are no real rules, tailor your diet how it suits you.  If you are happy and feel well with a little cream in your coffee then do that.  That little bit of cream might actually help you to stick to a plant based diet because it will keep you from feeling like you are living with a restriction that you don't want to live with.


(This might not be agreeable to those who are vegan for animal rights reasons, but I am also and I feel like vegan with a little cream minimizes suffering more than 99% of the people minimize suffering, and it's a good step in the right direction.)


I don't drink coffee, so I don't really have any advice there.

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your thoughts.
post #4 of 19
I agree that you should do what works for you and makes you feel good. I don't call myself vegan even though I don't eat any animal products at all. I tell people that I eat a plant-based diet or that I am a strict vegetarian. I've had too many run ins with vegans and others challenging my food choices, clothing choices, or skin care products. I eat plant based primarily for health reasons although I love animals and am glad to honor them by not eating them. A little cream in your coffee does not seem like a big deal to me. We all do what we can and you need to be healthy and happy.
post #5 of 19
Actually I like the idea of not drawing attention to my vegan lifestyle choice, but my husband (not vegan, meat eater) keeps telling people. As for the cream thing, it's your personal choice. I think 90 to 95 percent is better than zero. So bravo for trying to be better, healthier person. But have you tried coconut coffee creamer? I think it's yummier than dairy cream.
post #6 of 19

Everyone's body has different needs, so it's more important you follow those needs and you'll be healthier for it. I know your question is about dairy but I can answer your question. i'm an ovo-veg, maybe 2-3 eggs a week. I know when i need them for energy and i feel a difference with what my body needs. Both my kids have dairy allergies and since i've been off dairy a lot of my congestion goes away. I've been 100% vegan on and off, but I know my body needs the occasional boost i can't get from other food sources, especially while breastfeeding. I'd say around 95% of my diet is plant-based.


As for coffee, i've always taken mine black with sugar. I just like the taste of coffee.

post #7 of 19

I have tried the 90-95% vegan diet for more than a year. I do feel a 100% vegan diet is different. I am also adjsuting to it as I am a new convert. I tried it before but was too addicted to some dairy products. I just feel hungrier but that also means I am learning to manage hunger more. (I am v. bad at it.) I feel like I might be losing some weight. I would go with the small amts. of dairy you crave. I did -  until I was ready to do away with it completely.

post #8 of 19

you know for me it was a personal challenge. 


i love milk in my tea. i drink black tea. not herbs. i never thought i could ever give up my milk in my tea. 


i mean come on. i was able to give up cheese. CHEESE. 


if i could do that i could do the same with my tea. 


it was horrible in the beginning. i missed my milk. but i went cold turkey. no substitutes. 


now for me its ethical reasons and to support my dd health required vegan diet. so that was my motivation. 


its actually opened up a whole new world for me. i found i can tolerate my tea weaker though. i cant have it as strong as i did with milk and sugar. 


and yet i am not a 100%. you put cream in your coffee, i eat dairy and meat at those rare social occasions where refusing them would be disrespectful to a family who have no idea of my food choices. 

post #9 of 19

I gave up dairy completely about a year ago due to GI stress, but before then I only ate it occasionally, so similar to you, OP. And for me it was only in the form of bought baked goods! As for eggs, I don't really like them and usually don't eat them, but when pregnant/nursing I find they help me feel level. So I am mostly vegan, I guess, but don't feel the need to label myself that way, even when I stop eating eggs at some point.


I'm not convinced that an animal-free diet will make you feel AMAZING, moreso than a diet that involves occasional animal products. Everyone's body is different. If cream in your coffee makes you happy, then go for it. Of course, you could eliminate it for a few weeks and see if you feel a difference... but unless you have a dairy sensitivity, you most likely won't. However, I've heard from several people that once you stop dairy and try to start it again, you suddenly can't digest it. This happened to me after I was 100% vegan 10 yrs ago, and recently happened to my sister last year after stopping dairy for only a couple of months. Just a word of caution if you do still want to include *some* dairy in your diet. 

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for your replies!
post #11 of 19

When I was 95% vegan occasionaly I'd end up consuming much more dairy than I'd like. It just kind of slipped into my diet invisibly.

Edited by Neera - 2/6/13 at 6:39am
post #12 of 19

Almond milk is awesome!!!  Coconut creamer is great in coffee as well!  My husband and I have been vegan 95% for 6 weeks.  I am doing it for health reasons, so my motivation is super high to stick with it.  I would have no animal protein whatsoever except kids still ask for it and husband wants it for a partial meal once a week.  From the research we've done, the 5% or less animal protein per week is where the real changes happen, so being at 95% is my goal and I'm happy with it for now.

post #13 of 19

I'd say I'm a 90-95% vegan. I was 100% for several years, but when I began grad school full-time, I just didn't have the time to cook meals every day and was heading towards unhealthy vegan eating (processed food). So, most days I eat a 100% plant-based diet, but a few days a week I will eat some plain Greek yogurt with fruit, a local, free-range egg or a piece of wild caught fish. It has really helped me to maintain a whole-foods diet while I've been too busy to do so while trying to remain 100% vegan.

post #14 of 19

Do what works for you.  We are transitioning from vegetarian to vegan and I think it will take a long time, if ever for us to go 100%  But as for coffee, fell ya! I switched to soy cream (not soy milk) about 5 years ago when I was faced with only that choice in a mountain cabin.  I love it and prefer it to cream.  I still get cream in my coffee at coffee shops, if soy cream is not an option.  I think soy milk is actually pretty disgusting in coffee.  You may find that getting through coffee withdrawls and just quitting coffee is a good option, it can take a week or more to feel normal without it, but it is pretty great not to feel dependent.    

post #15 of 19
I am vegan except for honey.
post #16 of 19
I am vegan except for honey.
post #17 of 19

I am a vegetarian who doesn't eat dairy or eggs but do eat honey. I'm not down with labels.

post #18 of 19
Coconut French vanilla creamer is really good. Wouldn't know the difference.
post #19 of 19

When I was vegan I was a strict 100% no animal products.... except honey, which I never felt a problem with. Maybe I'm just unsympathetic towards insects but I put them in a class of their own.


With that said, I wish I was a little more lax. I see now how I insulted people by being so strict on my diet. For example, at Thanksgiving one year I didn't eat anything which I could tell insulted my Brother (host) but there was nothing there that didn't contain dairy in it. I didn't really complain and just sat there with my Kambucha and emergency bars that I always had stashed in my purse, but I could tell it was an awkward situation. 


I think it would have been better to have a thought process similar to this : "ok, there is probably not a lot of dairy  in the yams so I can eat those. The asparagus is probably lightly coated with butter so that's not too bad.." I could have mad a modest plate and had some "real food" in me and kept my family happy without thinking I'm some stuck up snob that's too good for their food. 


Now I'm a Ovo- Veg but I'm not horribly strict about it. I won't let myself go hungry just because there is dairy in the food that is offered to me when I am at my friend's or family's house. Maybe if I wasn't pregnant I would be more serious about it; However, I feel like mine and my baby's health take priority over the cheese that's in an Amy's Lasagna (what my mom often offers me.)

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