Considering a vegan lifestyle - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 03-21-2008, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I cannot believe I am saying that. This from the woman who once adored meat. But I hate the way I feel. Hate the way my body feels. Hate the way my child reacts to certain cleansers, products, food.

I want to be healthier.

WHERE DO I START. I have no idea how to be vegan or what to avoid. Can anyone help?
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#2 of 12 Old 03-21-2008, 12:45 PM
 
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I would start with a good cookbook. Start getting some recipes under your belt that you really like. I actually found it easy to cut meat out first and then eventually I did dairy and eggs as well. I think it can be an easier transition to do it gradually but I know people who have done it all at once as well. I think if you cut out some of the junk and then purposefully add in more fruits and veggies each day that you'll start to see a big difference.
Try to stop buying foods that are in boxes and processed and making them from scratch. Experimenting with different whole grains (ie quinoa, couscous, amaranth, etc) can give you some great protein and nutrients as well.
Good luck!
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#3 of 12 Old 03-21-2008, 01:51 PM
 
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I just wanted to say, please read, if you haven't already, "Is this Your Child" by Doris Rapp. She also has a newer book called "Our Toxic World: A Wake Up Call" that you might be interested in. It's not specifically vegan, but it does have a lot of info about toxins in foods.

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#4 of 12 Old 03-21-2008, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks!

I will have to read those books.

Abrielle is actually only eating a few things because of food sensitivities. She eats rice pasta and we will be trying quinoa (which I love). I figure with her diet it would be easy to make the transition.

The meat won't be hard for me, neither will dairy or eggs. Not a huge milk fan, never eat eggs much. So that will be easy!

I think once we get into the swing of things, it will be much easier.

I will pick up a cookbook and I have a friend who eats raw, so I will get her help too.

THANKS AGAIN!
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#5 of 12 Old 03-21-2008, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My other question, is being vegan on a budget. I have shopped at whole foods once before and it was crazy expensive. Is there a way to curb costs? I think there is a local farmers market in the summer, that might help. We are not able to grow a garden right now, although I would love that.

Thanks!
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#6 of 12 Old 03-21-2008, 02:14 PM
 
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usually only the fake meats anc fake cheeses are really expensive, and nut milks/soy milk can be. If you try to get more protein from beans, lentils etc than from processed soy products it'll be a lot cheaper. you can also just buy tofu and marinade it and then use it, that's pretty good, too.
For more info on going vegan try to find the book "becoming vegan" at your library, and you might want to check the following sites for info on nutrition:

vegan health

vegfamily info on health
and there's more I can't think of right now.
my survival tips:
READ THE LABELS. In fact, find out what all is from animals first. here's a list and I'm pretty sure the peta site would have that info. it seems a lot at first but you'll quickly figure it out. it helps to not buy so many processed foods, too.
don't go out to eat so much at first, because eating out is a whole other story. unless you have awesome veg restaurants you'll have to scrutinize menus, and maybe that'll make you feel depressed. It does that to me
experiment with foods to see what you really love. that way you won't feel you're missing anything.
have fun and find people who are also vegan. you're friend is, right? that's cool.

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#7 of 12 Old 03-21-2008, 02:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NaturalMindedMomma View Post
My other question, is being vegan on a budget. I have shopped at whole foods once before and it was crazy expensive. Is there a way to curb costs? I think there is a local farmers market in the summer, that might help. We are not able to grow a garden right now, although I would love that.

Thanks!
I think you'll find that being vegan is much cheaper! Like someone said, the fake meats are more expensive (and so are the fake cheeses and cream cheese, sour cream, etc.). If you switch to a whole-foods based, vegan diet, I think that you will find your grocery bill goes down instead of up.

Try buying in bulk - flour, rice, quinoa, dried beans, etc. Keep a well stocked pantry with the basics, and then plan your weekly meals around whatever produce is fresh and affordable.
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#8 of 12 Old 03-21-2008, 04:46 PM
 
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Yes, I find it much cheaper to eat a more vegan diet than it ever was before when we ate a lot of meat and dairy. We're not totally vegan (we still eat a lot of cheese), but have nearly cut out meat. Plant sources of protein are sooooo much cheaper than any of the meat I was willing to buy.

There are definitely some good cookbooks and reading out there. We started by just cutting out meat and once that became easy, then cutting out eggs. And then milk. We still eat cheese, like I said, but that's my next step.

Pretty soon, we will be vegan (and it'll be much easier once we don't live with my parents anymore - they're the queen and king of meat and potatoes!)

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#9 of 12 Old 03-21-2008, 06:00 PM
 
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I'd like to second the book Becoming Vegan - it's written by two dietitians and is CHOCK FULL of awesome vegan nutritional info, including sample meal plans, raising vegan children, etc.

Go to your library and check out some cookbooks - everyone has their favorites. I really like Vegan with a Vengeance (especially for bruch stuff and baking), Veganomicon is great for a little fancier, delicious meals, Vegan Planet is good so far (and huge!), and I also like The Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook - lots of good "meaty" recipes in there (including how to make your own seitan). Vegan Lunch Box is also great for kid-friendly stuff, although it might be hard to find at the library.

Also, here are some links to check out:

VegCooking.com - good source of basic vegan cooking info, including some videos, lists of ingredients, "ask a chef" column, recipes, etc

If you're like me and you LOVE cooking shows, get your fix at Everyday Dish - the left hand side has the videos, and the right hand side is the recipes. Sometimes it just helps to see someone cook something first, you know? Like how textures should be, and sometimes they throw in tips or tricks that are great to know.

Also, it's really fun to check out vegan food blogs. I have a link in my siggie to mine - and on the right hand side I have links to a bunch of other vegan food bloggers that I read regularly. It's a nice way to get ideas, recipes AND support for your vegan cooking! People are so awesome and supportive, you'd be surprised.

You can also get ideas and recipe reviews at The Post Punk Kitchen Forums.

Oh, and just the other day I read 25 Money Saving Tips for Vegans, so there are some ideas on how to do vegan on a budget. It can take some planning, but it's worth it AND totally cheaper than buying meat and dairy. You just have to watch the convenience food - like it probably costs $1 to make 4 veggie burgers from scratch, but you'll end up spending $3-5 on them if you buy them frozen at the store, y'know?

Good luck! You can do it!

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#10 of 12 Old 03-22-2008, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow thanks! Such an array of advice!

I went shopping today and bought some things.
I got
organic black beans
plain granola
sliced raw almonds
marinated tofu
hot peppers
apples
blueberries
strawberries
rice milk
bananas
a basil plant
cukes
green beans
green peppers
vegan friendly hummus
spelt bread
whole wheat couscous


I only spent 70$ and got enough for 2 weeks probably.

It was weird, I had to walk by the meat and felt nauseated. I have never felt that way before.

So here is my next question. Vegan spills over into other areas. Leather, household products.
We currently live with my parents and I have to use what they have here for cleaners and I have TONS of beauty products that I want to use up. After that I guess I should look into animal free/ animal cruelty free products as well?
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#11 of 12 Old 03-22-2008, 02:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NaturalMindedMomma View Post
My other question, is being vegan on a budget. I have shopped at whole foods once before and it was crazy expensive. Is there a way to curb costs? I think there is a local farmers market in the summer, that might help. We are not able to grow a garden right now, although I would love that.

Thanks!
I just wanted to add that being vegan does not mean you can only shop at expensive stores like Whole Foods (though sometimes they do have great sales). Stop and Shop, Hannaford, and Shaws are New England grocers that have decent "health food" aisles to supplement whatever produce you're buying. Stop and Shop has their own line of organics that include affordable rice and soy milks, beans, breads free of artificial sweeteners and HFCS, and tofu. Hannaford has similar store brand organics as well.

Veganism does spill over into other areas of life, but it makes sense to use up what you already have instead of throwing it away needlessly. Even places like Target are carrying environmentally/vegan friendly cleaning and household brands such as 7th Generation and Method. So, hopefully when you do transition you'll find it fairly hassle free.
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#12 of 12 Old 03-22-2008, 05:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NaturalMindedMomma View Post
marinated tofu
Here's a good recipe for a marinade. You can bake tofu for about 40 minutes at 375. It's cheaper than buying it premade.

Quote:
After that I guess I should look into animal free/ animal cruelty free products as well?
You can go here and here to find out which companies are cruelty-free.

You can always start buying your own cleaning products and stocking up on cruelty-free beauty products. I try to buy one replacement item every time I shop.

dm
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