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Chatterbox, MOTM August 2013
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Have questions about a vegan diet? Ask here.


The purpose of this thread is to share information about eating a plant based / whole food diet.

I'm happy to answer any questions, and know that there are several vegans (and almost vegans) here at PerC who may also be happy to help.

Please read through the thread before posting your question. It may have already been answered.

Discuss only the vegan diet here, not the vegan lifestyle in general.


Please note:

Please don't post negative, anti-vegan comments or criticize vegans or vegan diets.
If you wish to debate the merits of a vegan diet, please start a thread in the debate forum.
 

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Chatterbox, MOTM August 2013
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Why be Vegan?
Difficult?
Do you guys "cheat"?
Do you think it would be better if the entire planet was raised vegan?
Please ask specific questions about the diet. This isn't a debate about the merits of worldwide veganism
 

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Is it hard to maintain a full and healthy vegan diet?

How much knowledge is required on what to eat to maintain a diet that has everything the body requires?

How hard did you find it to change your diet to a vegan diet?

How would you compare it to your previous diet..what do u notice that is different?
 

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Have questions about a vegan diet? Ask here.

The purpose of this thread is to share information about eating a plant based / whole food diet.

I'm happy to answer any questions, and know that there are several vegans (and almost vegans) here at PerC who would also be happy to help.


Please note:

Please don't post negative, anti-vegan comments or criticize vegans or vegan diets.
If you wish to debate the merits of a vegan diet, please start a thread in the debate forum.
Just read your other post about how you became vegan overnight! Wow, that's great! I think the biggest thing stopping me (and likely others) is having a broad knowledge of what you can eat that will still satisfy you. WHen I first did the Clean Program I really struggled b/c I just assumed I couldn't eat anything! By the following year when I did it again, I had done so much reading and learning about all the different foods you could eat and now have a whole binder full of recipes!! Needless to say, my second time around was super easy. I feel I need to do the same thing with veganism as it is something I am interested in. I think I have one foot in the door with the binder of recipes I started (not all vegan but many are, or can be).

Oh...and one other thing stopping me is the thought of vegan mayonnaise and vegan cheese. Blehk.. LOL

Are there any resources you would recommend for recipes?
 

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Chatterbox, MOTM August 2013
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Is it hard to maintain a full and healthy vegan diet?
It can be difficult at first, as with anything, you will be making changes. It took me a month or so to get into the swing of it, where I wasn't really thinking about it ... just eating.

How much knowledge is required on what to eat to maintain a diet that has everything the body requires?
You do need to make sure you eat a varied diet that includes, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, and you do need to take a vitamin b-12 supplement. (animals store b-12 - you get it when you eat their flesh, there are few good plant sources) But, after a while, it becomes the new normal. If you are already eating a diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, the only real change you will make is using dairy substitutes and substituting your meat sources with a plant-based source. The most common question I hear is "where do you get your protein?" (whole grains, beans, legumes, tofu and even small amounts in fruits and veggies) You'll get enough on a vegan diet. If you work out a lot and require more protein to build muscle, just eat more protein. I work out every day and do fine on the diet. There are vegan body builders.

How hard did you find it to change your diet to a vegan diet?
It's not that difficult, but you should educate yourself first with basic information. If you have trouble with the thought of giving up all meat and dairy all at once, you can ease into it. Give up one thing at a time ... ease into it.

How would you compare it to your previous diet..what do u notice that is different?
I posted this in another thread:

In about 2 months, I lost about 15 pounds which brought me down to a healthy weight, and have kept it off. I had been trying to lose that weight for years.

My choloesterol went from 192 down to 158 (last checked about 3 months ago)
My fasting glucose went from 98 to 90

My joints stopped hurting, I sleep better, feel better, look better and have way more energy.
 

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Chatterbox, MOTM August 2013
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just read your other post about how you became vegan overnight! Wow, that's great! I think the biggest thing stopping me (and likely others) is having a broad knowledge of what you can eat that will still satisfy you. WHen I first did the Clean Program I really struggled b/c I just assumed I couldn't eat anything! By the following year when I did it again, I had done so much reading and learning about all the different foods you could eat and now have a whole binder full of recipes!! Needless to say, my second time around was super easy. I feel I need to do the same thing with veganism as it is something I am interested in. I think I have one foot in the door with the binder of recipes I started (not all vegan but many are, or can be).

Oh...and one other thing stopping me is the thought of vegan mayonnaise and vegan cheese. Blehk.. LOL

Are there any resources you would recommend for recipes?
I will disclose that I had a couple of nights the first few weeks when I first started where I ate a few bites of meat off my hubby's plate. But, I lost my taste for it quickly. At the end of the second week, I tried a bite of chicken breast and spit it out. Haven't had any meat since.

I'm not a big fan of vegan mayo or vegan cheese either. I like and use vegan sour cream, though. If I eat a veggie burger, instead of vegan mayo, I will smash up an avocado or spread hummus on the bun.

As far a recipes: I usually just take a regular recipe and re-think it as vegan. I'll substitute portobella mushrooms, beans and rice, or tofu, or a bean, tofu or soy-based product. So spaghetti with meatless meatballs, cheeseless enchiladas stuffed with beans, rice, corn, olives and topped with soy sour cream and tomatoes, etc.

My favorite recipe? Portobella mushroom tacos. I just chop them up and saute them with garlic and onions, seasonings. Add steamed kale and tomatoes, avocado and salsa in soft shell tortilla.
 

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My wife read somewhere that a healthy diet requires at least 350 grams of vegetables a day. We eat a lot of veggies for omnivores but we don't think we eat quite that much. As a vegan, do you think you eat that many vegetables?

What we do is try to eat as many different ingredients as possible in every meal. Most of these are vegetables, but each in smaller amounts. We also eat very small portions of meat when we do, which is hardly every day. We are both lean and fit, though our cholesterol could be lower.

Dinner I made tonight had garlic, ginger, yellow onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, broccoli, bean thread noodles, and shrimp, plus a salad of kale, lettuce, arugula, cucumber, grape tomatoes, red onion, avocado, and balsamic vinegar. So 17 ingredients if I count the vinegar. That's about usual for us. I could easily be vegan and we are some days. Kind of hard to convince her to go all the way vegan.
 

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I enjoy vegan food, and I'd like to introduce some vegan meals in my weekly diet plan (esp. dessert). Are there any specific dishes that would be easy to prepare (accessible ingredients etc.) for someone new to veganism. My partner is vegetarian. I eat meat, but my diet is mostly vegetarian. So, I am very familiar with vegetarian cooking. Hopefully, vegan dishes won't be too complicated for me lol.
 

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Not specifically diet related so I hope it's acceptable, but do you find that you have to eat more often?

I'm not vegan (or even vegetarian) but I lean toward fruits, vegetables and whole foods, and I find it incredibly annoying that my family basically shops with the intent of having one huge meal a day, which I just can't do.

I can't stuff myself and go hungry the rest of the day like they do, I need a fruit or vegetable every few hours but we just aren't set up for that.
 

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Chatterbox, MOTM August 2013
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My wife read somewhere that a healthy diet requires at least 350 grams of vegetables a day. We eat a lot of veggies for omnivores but we don't think we eat quite that much. As a vegan, do you think you eat that many vegetables?

What we do is try to eat as many different ingredients as possible in every meal. Most of these are vegetables, but each in smaller amounts. We also eat very small portions of meat when we do, which is hardly every day. We are both lean and fit, though our cholesterol could be lower.

Dinner I made tonight had garlic, ginger, yellow onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, broccoli, bean thread noodles, and shrimp, plus a salad of kale, lettuce, arugula, cucumber, grape tomatoes, red onion, avocado, and balsamic vinegar. So 17 ingredients if I count the vinegar. That's about usual for us. I could easily be vegan and we are some days. Kind of hard to convince her to go all the way vegan.
That salad sounds good. If it was a medium(ish) sized portion, that was probably 2 servings of leafy greens, and one serving of veggies. The shrimp dish depending on the serving size was probably 1/2 cup to 1 cup of cooked veggies - 1 or 2 servings.

I don't weigh my food, my point of reference is a cup. So volume, rather than weight.

In terms of a serving of vegetables, generally a serving is one cup, raw or 1/2 cup, cooked.
Salad greens are measured as a raw vegetable, one cup, firmly packed.
I don't actually measure it, I just kind of "eyeball" it. You get a feel for it after a while.

I eat 4 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of dark, leafy greens a day.
That sounds like a lot, but it is easily accomplished like this:

Two cups (that's about 2 fistfuls) of dark leafy greens (kale, arugula, spinach, swiss chard, collard or mustard greens, romaine lettuce) as a base for a salad, topped with a cup of raw mixed veggies with lunch. (that's 2 servings of greens, and 1 serving of veggies)

One cup of cooked vegetables served with dinner (that's 2 servings of veggies)

One cup of raw veggies as a snack. I like to cut up fresh veggies and use hummus as a dip. (that's 1 serving of veggies)

As a side note, my husband isn't a vegan. He still eats meat and dairy, though much less than he used to. He eats what I fix for dinner (vegan). If he wants to have dairy or meat, he generally takes a purchased frozen entree to work to eat at lunch, but he does also eat frozen vegan or vegetarian meals at lunch. Every once in a while, he will request that I cook him a piece of fish or chicken for dinner, but it's becoming more and more rare. I don't think he'll ever go completely vegan, but he enjoys the vegan meals, and likes eating in vegan restaurants.
 

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Chatterbox, MOTM August 2013
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Not specifically diet related so I hope it's acceptable, but do you find that you have to eat more often?

I'm not vegan (or even vegetarian) but I lean toward fruits, vegetables and whole foods, and I find it incredibly annoying that my family basically shops with the intent of having one huge meal a day, which I just can't do.

I can't stuff myself and go hungry the rest of the day like they do, I need a fruit or vegetable every few hours but we just aren't set up for that.
Vegan or not, eating smaller, more frequent meals is preferable to eating 2 or 3 large, heavy meals.
Much better to keep your blood sugar levels stable.

If your family won't buy fresh fruit, maybe you could buy frozen.
Frozen fruit is a good substitute for fresh, because it's frozen right after it's picked, it retains nutrients.

I eat 5 or 6 times a day:

breakfast, lunch, dinner and 2 or 3 snacks.

usually my snack is a piece or serving of fruit with a few nuts, or some popcorn, or a fruit smoothie

The smoothie is usually my after dinner snack. We eat an early dinner (5:00). I have the smoothie about 7:00
One cup soy milk, 1 tablespoon flax seeds, 1 cup frozen mixed berries.
 

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@MsBossyPants

They buy fruit and veggies, probably even more than some households do. Problem is that it's treated as an extra rather than a main. So it's like meat is the bulk and the other stuff is for sides, but what I'm looking for is the inverse.

What you do sounds pretty much like what I do but at that rate I go through it fast, in comparison to the rate that it is bought.

When I lived closer to a market I'd food shop every 1 to 3 days, walking, but now it's a pain because its further away and I don't like cars. And they pack the regular freezer and the full sized one in the basement with meat - mainly for my dad. -.-
 

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Chatterbox, MOTM August 2013
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I enjoy vegan food, and I'd like to introduce some vegan meals in my weekly diet plan (esp. dessert). Are there any specific dishes that would be easy to prepare (accessible ingredients etc.) for someone new to veganism. My partner is vegetarian. I eat meat, but my diet is mostly vegetarian. So, I am very familiar with vegetarian cooking. Hopefully, vegan dishes won't be too complicated for me lol.
Sorry, but I can't help you with dessert. I don't eat many sweets. I try to avoid sugar. If I go to a vegan restaurant that serves dessert, I might have a few bites, or share a dessert, but generally fruit is my dessert of choice.

The difference between a vegan and a vegetarian diet - instead of dairy as the main protein source, protein in the vegan diet comes from whole grains (as with vegetarian) and from beans, legumes, lentils, peas, soy, nuts and seeds.

I tend to make simple things. Like this:

I just cook a batch of lentils, or beans and keep them in the fridge along with quinoa, and brown rice. Then at meal time, I just and throw some lentils and quinoa, or beans and rice in a wrap with some kale and tomatoes, or heat it up and serve it with some steamed veggies.

I'm not much of a cook. I don't really use many recipes, I just throw things together.

Anyone else care to share some recipes?
 

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Thanks:) I usually use sugar substitutes in desserts. I am not a sugar fan, either. I will be browsing some good websites for recipes. I was just curious if you had any personal favourites from when you had just made the switch to a vegan diet.
 

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Chatterbox, MOTM August 2013
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Do you have to eat things like tempeh? I hate tempeh.

Where do you get EPA and DHA omega 3 oils from?

Do you eat grains?

What are your thoughts on phytic acid?

How would you suggest a newbie start eating veg and stop eating animals?
I don't care for tempeh. Don't eat it.

Omega 3 research is currently a hot topic with vegans. I get my info from Jack Norris. He is a registered dietitian who is also a vegan. He is the co-author of the go-to manual on eating a plant based diet: Vegan for Life (co-authored with Virginia Messina, also a RD) If you are interested in eating a plant based diet, this is where to start. The information is nutrition based, not life-style based. (It's not about killing cows and chickens, it's about your digestive system)



From his website, here is the opinion as to omega 3s, EPA and DHA;

Jack Norris RD» Blog Archive » Omega-3s in Vegetarian Diets (it also pertains to vegans)

This is where the definition of "vegan" becomes important. A true vegan would not take a fish oil supplement because they shun all animal products in food, don't wear leather, or use products tested on animals. If you are not comfortable with that, but still want to eat a mostly vegan diet, don't label it as vegan. If you would like to supplement your diet with a fish oil supplement, do so. Call it a plant based/whole food diet.

I eat 5 or 6 servings of whole grains daily: whole grain bread, (I eat flourless sprouted grain bread- shown below)

brown rice, quinoa, steel cut oats, and other whole grains. A serving is one slice of bread, 1/2 cup cooked grains, I cup cooked oatmeal.

The phytic acid issue ... I soak my lentils, sprout them. This greatly reduces the amount of acid. Because it may interfere with the absorbtion of certain minerals, I take a multivitamin to insure that I am getting the minimun RDAs.

As discussed in other posts, do whatever works for you. It's hard for some people to give up meat all at once, or at all. Pick one day a week where you don't eat any animal products - Meatless Mondays, or stop eating breakfast meats, try eating less meat overall, give up one animal at a time, work into it slowly. Do whatever works for you. Just make sure you replace the meat with other plant based protein souces. Being vegetarian or vegan isn't just about fruits and vegetables.
 
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