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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so I decided that I will be vegan and sugar/alcohol free for a week to "cleanse" and then probably do vegetarian, supplemented with occasional fish, which would technically pescetarian.

~ No animal protein for 48 hours. My face already looks thinner (not in a bad way) and my eyes look unusually bright (not sure what that's about.) I seem to be constantly eating but am eating "healthy" foods and apparently losing visible body fat.

~ Wondering about cutting out dairy, even if I still ate eggs and fish. Guacamole is a great alternative to sour cream on Mexican food, almond rice and coconut milk are great milk replacements, and apparently nut cheeses have a much better flavor than soy cheese. I do like soy in the form of tofu and edamame, but the "faux dairy" soy products are totally yucky. That got me last time I tried to be vegan: I LOVE CHEESE. However, even if I was pescetarian cutting out dairy could potentially decrease my chances of getting sick, I think, as it creates mucus in the body among other things. I could at least keep cheese to a minimum, and skip milk altogether.

~ Doing this mostly for health and environmental reasons.

Will update thread again in a few days, and as I go along with this experiment. I've found some really satisfying forms of protein, and I love beans so I'm not concerned at all about iron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the good luck wishes guys!

@abigaleblues mmmm pressed juices....I have a hard time with juice fasts, though, can't do them for more than 24 hours usually.
@NeonBomb I'm actually not worried about missing protein, and I love beans anyway, and eat nuts. I actually like tofu!

The B12 thing is a concern of mine, though, but I know there are vegan sources of B12 as well as vitamin supplements (I have a B complex at the moment anyway that I can take).

My primary worry is about myself craving cheese. I had this absolutely delicious vegan burrito the other night from a local Mexi-Cali restaurant (affordable place, too, not sit-down prices) that had beans, rice, tofu, sauteed veggies, salsa, and adding guacamole made it so that I did not miss the cheese or sour cream. But I am one of those people who eat things like blue cheese, Gorgonzola, nice soft chevre, etc. I also like pizza. Of course, I know I can get alternative pizza (I have before, either frozen or from a restaurant) I found that I don't really care much for soy cheese. I've seen some faux cheeses at grocery stores that I haven't tried, though, and I've read that cheese made from nuts is so much tastier.

When I first moved to California a couple of years ago, I ate lunch at this raw place, ate a totally vegan meal, and it was absolutely fantastic. It was expensive, though. I believe I had nut cheese with that meal, I couldn't believe they could make such good food from raw ingredients.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You could try some tahini for those cheese cravings!
Thanks! I also am looking into recipes that use nutritional yeast, because apparently it has a "cheesy" flavor and also provides B12
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Have you tried Daiya soy cheese? OMG-- the best!

I would be willing to bet you are shedding water weight rather than fat at this point, but that's a good thing because it means you're eliminating toxins (and excess salt?). There's lots of evidence to suggest that a plant-based diet is the way to go. If you're interested, check out NutritionFacts.org | The Latest in Nutrition Related Research. Granted, the guy who runs the site is a vegan, so it's a bit biased. He's also a MD, for whatever that's worth. ;)
Cool. I already watched a couple of videos and will check more out. I love collecting nutrition info. Thanks!

P.S. Also going to try Daiya in a vegan mac and cheese recipe, methinks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, nutritional yeast does add a bit of a cheesy flavor to foods, and it has TONS of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. I was floored the first time I saw its nutrition label. I don't use a lot of recipes that call for it, but I add it to soups and pasta sauces for a little extra flavor.

Cheese is a tough one for me, too! I recently tried this recipe, though, and loved it (substituted chili powder for the chipotle powder). I'm not sure how many people would mistake it for actual dairy cheese, but I think it's delicious. Good luck!
It's only been four days but I've had no cheese cravings. Today I had Wheetabix with coconut milk for breakfast, raw carrot sticks and red pepper hummus with olive oil and plain almond yogurt for lunch, and a vegan black bean and rice burrito with plain tortilla chips and guacamole for dinner, and I didn't miss cheese or dairy at all. I actually was pleasantly surprised with almond yogurt, it didn't have a sickeningly sweet taste or anything.

I also managed to not eat any soy today, because I want to be careful that I'm not TOO reliant on soy, and I know I ate a lot of tofu and edamame the first couple of days.

I've also lost three pounds, like literally a pound a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So I tried Road's End Shells and Chreese w/ some Earth Balance and coconut milk, and it made me feel like I wasn't craving dairy. In fact between almond yogurt and this and putting soy milk in my coffee I should be fine.

I still want to try Daiya if I want to make pizza or enchiladas or something with a heavier cheese flavor.

After a week Ive noticed I actually have a lot of energy, Ive discovered some really good food, and I dont feel deprived.

However, I can't promise that Ill never eat sushi again.

I have no craving for meat right now at all, but probably bc Im getting a lot of healthy fats and vegan protein. Chicken actually sounds gross to me.

I think cheese and fish are my main cravings and Im finding good dairy alternatives, and Im just thinking if I mostly eat vegan and if I ate fish or cheese occasionally its not the end of the world, its still a healthier and more sustainable diet overall.

I actually think I might be mildly lactose intolerant. Ive had less bloating since I haven't eaten dairy in a week. Wheat doesn't bother me at all though, I can even eat seitan without any effect on my digestion and Im 100 percent sure of it since I am not eating dairy and ate seitan yesterday.
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok. Learned that I must supplement cheese and fish DEFINITELY one to two days per week. Yesterday became fatigued and had a problem that is attributed to vegetarians eating too much plant food and not enough protein. I was digesting food too fast. Not diarrhea but bright green feces, from liver bile ...

Um no. This will not continue. In fact last time I tried to go vegan I remember feeling like I had IBS or something.

So I think two days per week at least one meal should contain cheese or fish or both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes, it was the lack of protein or something. Thursday, after 7 days of vegan eating, the 7th day full of fatigue and intestinal horrors, I ate first pinto beans with extra cheese and fresh tortilla chips for lunch then for dinner had grilled ahi tacos and more beans and cheese. I slept like a baby that night and my stomach calmed down. I also got my energy back on Friday. On Friday I ate more fish (had sushi last night with a friend after kirtan) and also allowed myself some sugar (but not HFCS!! Never!!!).

I think Ill do vegan five days per week, fish and dairy the other two days and one day a week allow myself to have sugar if I want it.

That way my diet is relatively clean and sustainable but still balanced and having desserts one day a week will keep me from feeling deprived, like Im "on a diet."

I really tried to get enough protein doing vegan with things like soy, nuts, beans, tofu, buckwheat and seitan and felt great for 4-5 days, but something was wrong, and eating fish and cheese for just one day made me feel tremendously better again.

It was like my body detoxed, and that felt good, but then after a week there was nothing left, and it was not a good feeling.

I know veganism is difficult to do "right" and its definitely true in my case. I think more vegan meals and less animal products is the answer for me, not total vegan diet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
@fourtines Even if you consumed meat and dairy, the majority of the diet is somewhat meant to be what vegans already consume anyway; its meant to be as naturally as possible with minimum junk food (there is also vegan junk food and its equally as horrendous, there is a lot more to dietary science in truth). The whole notion that people who give up meat and dairy become healthier is misleading especially when factoring it the fact that some people were already living unhealthily eating shit, under consuming the majority of how recommended diet, probably not exercising or watching their calories too. If you are doing this because of PETA good luck... else don't fool yourself over "dietary benefits" if you want the true picture.
I'm not interested in PETA; however, I am interested in sustainable farming and the health of my body. Yes, eating a largely plant based diet is sane, however, I'm not sure veganism is supposed to be a long-term diet for most people. On the other hand, vegetarians are some of the healthiest people, and many practitioners of yoga are vegetarian or vegan.

I will tell you that eating less meat and no dairy seemed to enhance my feeling of lightness and mobility in developing my core in yoga classes, and Americans consume FAR TOO MUCH MEAT. Even cultures which eat meat (we discussed this another thread already) eat less meat. Check out the people who OWN the Chinese restaurant....just look at what they're eating and what is on the buffet. Compare the two. Rice or noodle soup and veggies, and maybe a small piece of meat or some egg for the owners; big plates of fried meat for the American customers.

It's a combination of things, and we can discuss this more extensively if you insist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I HAD FOOD POISONING LAST WEEK.

So I've been eating vegetarian for the past week, and over the weekend I was on a yoga retreat so I ate totally vegan for like 72 hours (the vegan food was catered and included in the price of the retreat, so was really nutritionally well-balanced and borderline gourmet)...and I think, AGAIN, that eating too much dairy might be bad for me.

When I was eating vegan I noticed that I felt lighter, no matter what actual volume of food I ate, did not have the same heaviness in the digestive tract or indigestion.

However, after 72 hours, by lunchtime of the day after the retreat ended (today) I ate some cheese because I began to have the pervasive feeling that "something was missing."

When I say "something was missing" I mean missing in my body, like I needed more protein or something.

I think it's healthy for me to do vegan 2-3 days at a time, but not full-time. This feeling that something is missing is weird. Because I wasn't experiencing it at all in terms of flavor or quantity or satisfaction of meals. In fact, the vegan meals I had on the retreat were absolutely superb (things like green salads with massive amounts of veggies, fruit and/or nuts; portobello mushroom steaks with grilled onions and cashew butter v-"cheez"; potato and tofu moussaka with marinara; fresh made breads with Earth Balance spread and/or natural jams; homemade baked oatmeal and breakfast muffins with pumpkin nuts and raisins or bananas and chocolate; homemade granola; spicy vegan chili; chickpea and rice "soup for the soul"; green tea and raspberry birthday cake...you get the idea...)

So I think maybe I should cut out dairy but throw in protein like eggs and fish on some days? Because I just ate cheese and damn I feel heavy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I highly recommend you remove all dairy from your diet and marvel at how awesome your skin will look. ;)
The odds of this happening are quite low. Low.



Also, I have a co-worker and friend who is lactose intolerant and doesn't consume very much dairy at all (occasionally if its in something) and she has adult acne...

She doesn't drink alcohol and isn't big on sweets, either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Yeah, diets are not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. Milk generally makes my skin happy. :proud:

Back to the experiment. My Grandma ate meat up until the very end (she lived to be 97) and was healthy enough that she lived alone, walked everyday etc. I think genetics and a lack of processed foods (she always cooked her own and had a very Mediterranean diet) play a part.

I tried to go vegetarian once but I hated it - my body didn't like it. I have quite a few vegetarian friends who love it though. So whatever works. Keep us posted on how this is turning out for you. Would love to hear how you feel in the long run. Sounds like you're being smart about it.
I'm a big fan of listening to my body and I believe you can eat meat - but especially fish and white meat poutry - and live to be 97. My mom's aunt (her mom's side) lived to be into her 90s and my mom said she never stopped walking and always worked in her garden.

I think eating a variety of fruit and vegetables with lean meats is fine; if bread was really as bad as some people try to make it out to be, also, then pray tell why is the life span so long in so many countries which have bread or rice as a primary staple? It isn't bread that's the problem, but refined sugar and not eating enough fiber. Trans-fat, processed sugar, and junk foods are what I believe are killing people.

My grandfather lived to be 80 and ate fried chicken until he died. But he also ate whole wheat bread starting around age 60, religiously took vitamins and fish oil supplements, ate a lot of fish actually (my whole family seems to have the "we like fish" gene), and ate a lot of fresh fruit and raw or cooked vegetables, being a Southerner, and having grown his own food at some points. He did not have an exemplary diet, he enjoyed eggs and sausage as well, but he also was always physically active, walking, gardening, and even working part-time until his 70s.

Probably if he had been even more rigorous about his diet he may have lived a bit longer, but he outlived several of his older siblings, who died around age 70 or 72. His younger brother, though, has lived past 80 now I think.
 
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