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My transitioning trouble

Discussion in 'Transitioning' started by Chamaedorea, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. Chamaedorea

    Chamaedorea Member

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    Hi all,

    I am not a vegan. Not even a vegetarian. It is soooo difficult for me to change.
    Most of the stuff I am used to eating, is not vegan. Some is vegan, but unhealthy - so I should not eat that either.

    My family does not approve of veganism and I still need to cook for them. Only vegan food they like are oats with fruit. That is a good start i guess, but i need more foods. I would like to try to change. I know there are good reasons for veganism and healthy lifestyle.

    Today I have started my day by eating bread and cheese and something sweat after that. No willpower. It was the easy stuff to find and eat in my home. And tasty, which is hard to restist. But trying again. Maybe if I admit my mistakes here, It might motivate me to not do them so often. That is what I am hoping for.

    I have never kept any kind of diets, never was able to make myself. I am not overweight, so not much motivation either. Till now.

    I am a bit old (40), change is really very difficult for me. I live in a European country, much of the stuff mentioned on the vegan forums on the internet is not simply available here. But I keep reading and looking for tips!

    I have not eaten any meat today. I have eaten diary. I have not excercised.

    I welcome any tips/or questions from you guys as a big help to motivate myself.

    Sincerely
    Chamae
     
  2. Lou
    Joyful

    Lou Active Member

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    Well, it all starts with the desire for doing less harm to animals. That's the first step. And maybe even the most important one.

    Coleen Patrick Goudreau has a strategy that I found really helpful. Write down all your meals for one week. At the end of the week circle all the meals that were vegetarian. Most people don't eat meat for every meal. Then make a meal plan for the following week that includes all those. again write down all your meals for week 2. Then go thru the meals for week 2 and circle the ones where meat can be easily left out (like leaving the meat out of spaghetti sauce). Week 3, look for meals where the meat can be easily substituted for. Start with the easy and available ones. Then for week 4 you actually start chucking out some meals and replacing them with vegan meals. Hot oatmeal instead of fried eggs. Peanut butter and jelly instead of bologna and cheese. Bean burgers instead of hamburgers. Steamed veggies over rice or rice and beans instead of whatever. Week 4 might take another month. Take it slow and easy. One step at a time. Finally, you can find a vegan alternative for almost everything. Just google "vegan" and your favorite meal. Chances are that someone has already invented it.

    For more inspiration check out Goudreau's podcast channel " Food for Thought". Here is an example
     
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  3. hopeful
    Creative

    hopeful Active Member

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    Welcome to the forum!

    I like what Lou said. Also, something really key (in my opinion) is being prepared with vegan food that's already prepped (cut up veggies and fruits, little baggies of nuts, etc.) so you can go to it when you are hungry and not need to give it a lot of thought. Some substitutions are pretty easily, like swapping soy milk (or alternative) for cow's milk, soy yogurt for dairy yogurt, etc. Meal planning in advance can also help a lot.

    Have you read any books on going vegan or looked through any vegan cookbooks? They might help!

    :)
     
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  4. Lou
    Joyful

    Lou Active Member

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    And I like what Hopefull said. When you get home from the grocery store wash and cut up the veggies. and spit up the bags of nuts and seeds into serving sizes. Then when the family members are hungry they go for the easy to eat veggies, nuts, seeds and fruits that are ready to go. Winning the convenience battle goes a long way to winning the war against junk foods.
     
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  5. Chamaedorea

    Chamaedorea Member

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    Hi,
    thank you for the comments!

    For me, my health plus the environment are the main motivations. I am not proud to admit that, but to be honest, I have eaten meat my whole life, so I got used to the idea of harming animals (its not nice, but nature is ruthless as well). But I do care a bit, I did my best to buy bio meat as much as I could in past few years. Now I would love to eat as few animal products as possible.

    my 1 isse is: Wast majority of my weekly meals used to contain meat or at least some milk product. So I will need to find new recepies. To change nearly ALL of my foods is dificult for me.
    I have a cookbook fom Michael Greger, I am excited about it. I have tried a few recepies only so far. Unfortunatelly my family hated the main dish I cooked. But they liked a chocolate smoothie (that was actualy a recipe from lighter.world).

    2 issue: I will also need to give up the fast restaurant near my office, where all my coleagues eat. This will be difficult, because we usually talk during lunch and I do not have much opportunities to connect with my coleagues otherwise.

    3 issue is time. To cook personaly seems best, but it is time consuming. I think if I always cook more and freeze it for later simple use, I could manage this one.

    4 is family, I am now cooking for 4 men. They do not seem eager to get less meat at all. Quite the opposite. I think if I find really tasty vegan recipes I can get them to eat less meat, but I am not even hoping for them to go vegan with me. I think I need to start first and see how it goes.

    I went for a swim this morning and made cherry ice-cream (just a few dates, banana and cherries - simple and delicious).
    I am cooking some beans now (for me, my boys will not want to eat that).

    Chamae
     
  6. StrangeOtter
    No Mood

    StrangeOtter Active Member

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    Could you bring along something you premade at home? Or perhaps the restaurant can make you salad without animal derived products? Some restaurants are really cool about it if you ask politely. Even pizza without cheese is possible and surprisingly delicious. If everything else fails, eat peforehand or after and have just something to drink while communicating with your colleagues. If they find this strange it's a great oppornity to tell them briefly about veganism.

    I have this notion that you aren't completely sure about where you stand and vegan ethics aren't perhaps yet a concern for you? In this case you maybe could eat whatever is on the menu and practice veganism when it's feasible. To me, as a vegan that would be disastrous, disgusting and depressing. It's up to you how strongly you feel about it. In the end, veganism is not a diet, it's an ethical lifestyle that you adopt internally and that changes the way you precieve what is food and what is an product of torture, murder and rape.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
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  7. Chamaedorea

    Chamaedorea Member

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    StrangeOtter - the food selection is limited in the Office restaurant. They cook, but do not serve any dishes which are not on the menu. They always have 4 dishes to choose from + few pre-prepared salads (with chicken brest or with tuna). The salads are only available if you come in early. One of the four dishes is sometimes vegetarian, but not always and it is not vegan.
    On some days it is good, if there is meat with lentiles for example, than I can have lentiles only. They are too salty, but good. Sometimes I can have have salad and just not eat the meat, but this I try to avoid because it is a waste of money and the meat as well (they will not keep it, I need to trow it away). Other days it is not possible to eat vegan there (not unless i want to have rice/potatoes only, which would be weird and not much nutricious).
    Some people bring left overs to eat during lunch to work occasionaly, but it is usuall to eat them in the kitchen where we have a microwave, not in the restaurant.
     
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  8. Chamaedorea

    Chamaedorea Member

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    StrangeOtter - and yes, you are mostly correct. I am not as sure about where I stand. Surely not as much as you are. I would like a slow change. That is probably the only thing I am sure about. I am not able to change from one day to another, so I will still eat non-vegan foods at least sometimes. In the begining probably a lot.
    Also as mentioned, my family is not vegan at all. I know there are vegans for whom (simplified) "meat is murder" and who are OK with non-vegans, but I think it would be hard for me to see it this way and yet let my family eat meat at the same time. Not sure.
     
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  9. StrangeOtter
    No Mood

    StrangeOtter Active Member

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    That is really misfortunate. I'm sorry if I repeat myself and am not really of any help, but I must still inguire if you could take sandwich with you? Or is it maybe possible to ask directly from the kitchen staff if they could prepaire a vegan dish just for you every day beforehand? I mean that might be more work for them but if there would be some customer with an serious allergy they would follow the same protocol.
    I don't know if this is of any help.
    It's awesome that you are trying your best and interested in finding advices. I hope that I won't come up as too nutty for you. Sometimes my vegan vitriol and conviction shines through no matter how I try to keep it at bay.
     
  10. Chamaedorea

    Chamaedorea Member

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    One the other hand I would like to try to be vegan, not just when it is feasible. There may be some exceptions, I am sure there will be many. But I eat at work one big meal almost each day, that would seem too many exceptions to me. I will probaly just not eat at work. It is not a great adavantage of being vegan for me, but I think it is worth it.

    StrangeOttes - thank you for the comment, it is kind. I can imagine that is is difficult to "keep the vitriol at bay", thank you for doing that :).
    I do not know where you are from, US maybe? But it does not work like this in my country/not in the work restaurant. They will not prepare a special meal, not even for a customer with allergy. They started informing about the potential alergy ingredients just last year, that was a big improvement for them. Before, they did not even do that. People with alergies need to eat elsewhere. There ate other restaurants near by, but not so fast, so it takes too much time and primarily, I would eat alone there. To bring something and eat it quickly alone in the kitchen seems a better option.

    (It seems that there is a post limit which I have reached, so I try to add it here.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
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  11. StrangeOtter
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    StrangeOtter Active Member

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    We all have to start from somewhere. If just one step at a time. Everyone I know is non-vegan and it can get me down sometimes but I have differentiated myself from them and I try to understand their reasons to be omnivores. In other words I have my reasons to be vegan but I realize that not everyone is or will become.
    Sometimes the journey is very long. I had been vegetarian for half of my life before becoming vegan. I know it can be hard, trust me. But it doesn't have to be; when you grow into it navigating through non-vegan world becomes a second nature.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  12. StrangeOtter
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    StrangeOtter Active Member

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    It's awesome that you want to become vegan, I'm so glad for you.
    That's too bad if you don't get to eat. You'll grow hungry. What about some homemade salad with tofu and nuts? You'll get grumpy and start envying the omnivores if you miss a meal especially if it's the biggest meal of the day. I'm not saying that I know better than you -who knows, maybe that works for you. But I would be hugry as hell.
    Maybe I don't grasp how difficult this situation in reality is for you. I just try to give some advice.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  13. StrangeOtter
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    StrangeOtter Active Member

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    That restaurant is a real dilemma it seems... Could your co-workers eat with you in the kitchen sometimes so you don't have to be alone? But there are some benefits with eating alone too: you have time to read books or do other solidary activity while eating.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  14. Kellyr

    Kellyr Active Member

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    I think the first thing I'd suggest is to give yourself a break and then start telling yourself you are open to new ideas and opportunities.

    Change can be difficult and scary and I know for me, personally, it's ripe ground for me to come up with excuses - "I can't because... etc."

    You might want to check out the 21 Day Vegan Kickstart guide. It has helpful steps you can take.

    Get your hands on some good cookbooks. I've read the reviews for Dr. Greger's cookbooks "How Not to Die", and there's a lot of negative feedback, even from vegans, saying the food just is not that good (which disappoints me because I find his overall message to not eat meat to be very compelling.) Find a cookbook that actually has great reviews. I would personally recommend "Oh She Glows" by Angela Liddon. She rigorously tests each of her recipes and even meat-eaters tend to like the food. She also has a lot of recipes available for free on her website.

    I agree with previous advice to transition slowly. Just start finding opportunities for vegan meal options whenever you can squeeze them in as much as you feel comfortable with. This means you don't have to stop going to lunch with your colleagues. If they have vegan options available at the time when you go, even if it's only once a week, then take it. Get past self-guilt of feeling "wasteful" if you choose to have a salad but remove the meat yourself (ask a colleague if they'd like your extra meat, but if they decline, that's fine.)

    Educate yourself on health vegan nutrition, as well. Check out pickuplimes.com - Sadia has a lot of great advice.
     
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  15. StrangeOtter
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    StrangeOtter Active Member

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    If you want to learn how to cook tofu, it'll make your life easier in the long run.


    You can find delicious recipes from YouTube. Here is some that I find useful.
    Cheap Lazy Vegan (click)
    VeganBlackMetalChef (click)

    What Kellyr said holds great wisdom. Sometimes going vegan involves mixed feelings of regret "why didn't I start sooner?" or shame "why can't I transition faster?" and on the other hand feeling like missing out on all the familiar foods and treats. Good news is that just by eating less meat and other animal deprived products help save animals and environment. Making your own research while gradually transitioning is usually more effective on the long run in opposed to going cold tofurky while experiencing emotional turmoil.
    I'll stop spamming this thread now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  16. Veganite
    Meh

    Veganite Super Moderator Staff Member

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    One quick tip I learned recently was freezing your tofu. Yes, freezing it, I said. It makes it like a sponge. After it thaws, you wring it out like a proverbial sponge, then it will absorb the flavors way better. Marinading really soaks into the tofu. It made a night and day difference in the flavour.
     
  17. Chamaedorea

    Chamaedorea Member

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    Hi all,
    thank you all so much for the tips and links!
    I will go trough it on weekend, I have a very busy day today.

    The advantage is, that I am not at home and there is no refrigerator with (for me unfortunatelly unresistable) cheese selection here in the office, yey :). So I am doing my best to eat like a vegan today. I had some tomatoes, beans, bitter melon, avocado, tofu and nectarinen. I will have some dinner at home. Not sure what yet, but I am determined to keep it vegan today.

    Questions: 1) is there any vegan alternative to bree cheese?
    2) what is your favourite simple to make cooked meal? I went trough some of the youtube videos already, but usually they are not quite easy to make or the ingredients are not simply available.... I may just have been unlucky with the videos, I will keep looking!
    3) what do you eat with bread which can be simply bought in the grocery store? I was looking for some hummus today, but they had none. Only cheese, salami, mayo-spreads etc, no vegan stuff :(, the only thing I found was the tofu.

    Have a great vegan day :)
    Sincerely
    Chamae
     
  18. Veganite
    Meh

    Veganite Super Moderator Staff Member

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    1/ Brie Cheese

    This Vegan Brie Cheese is surprisingly similar to the real thing, easy to make and seriously addictive!

    Course: Appetizer, Snack
    Cuisine: French
    Keyword: vegan brie, vegan camembert, vegan cheese
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 64 kcal
    Ingredients
    For the cheese:
    • 120 g (4oz) mochi (the hard firm mochi sold in blocks)
    • 100 g (2/3 cup) raw cashew nuts
    • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
    • 1 tablespoon miso* (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
    • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
    • Salt, to taste
    To serve (optional):
    • Crackers (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
    • Fresh fruit (grapes, apples, figs)
    • Dried fruit (apricots, figs, dates, cranberries, prunes, sour cherries)
    • Nuts (almonds, pistachios, walnuts)
    Instructions
    For the cheese:
    1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)

    2. Place the mochi and cashew nuts in a pan along with 50ml (1/5 cup) water
    3. Cook on a medium heat for around 10 minutes, until mochi has melted and become sticky
    4. Turn off heat and add nutritional yeast, miso, vinegar and salt
    5. Use either a blender, food processor or hand-held stick blender (this is the easiest option as you can just do it in the same saucepan) and whizz until completely smooth
    6. Transfer the mixture to a small baking dish (I used a mini tart dish) lined with baking paper

    7. Bake in oven for around 20 minutes, until a slight crust has formed
    8. Leave to cool once out of the oven, then keep covered in the fridge overnight before cutting and eating
    To serve:
    1. Delicious served as part of a cheeseboard alongside crackers, fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts etc
    2. Keeps covered in the fridge for a good few days
    Recipe Notes
    One word of caution: melted mochi is extremely sticky, so once you have removed the sauce from the pan, please soak your pan in boiling water immediately - otherwise you'll have a very tricky washing-up situation on your hands!

    *If you have trouble getting hold of miso, you can substitute with tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten-free), and add extra nutritional yeast and salt if necessary.

    Source

    2/ Simple easy meals:

    You can't go wrong with rice and beans. I also love black bean & yam tacos/burritos. A quick hummus always hits the spot. I can whip up a lentil or chickpea curry pretty fast as well. I find sushi and summer rolls pretty fast to put together as well.

    3/ Sandwiches and bread:

    I love my peanut butter and banana sandwiches, both closed and open faced. Tofu fries up nicely, and works very well as sandwich meat. You can take it a step further and make some tofu bacon for a BLT. Tofu can also be scrambled into a mock egg mixture, in which could be made into mock egg salad. Tomato cucumber sandwiches taste good to me. You can also take a stab at making your own seitan. It's actually quite easy, and slices into awesome sandwich fill. If you find a falafel recipe, they also taste great in a wrap or sandwich. I also love cooked mushrooms like a mock pulled pork style sandwich. I prefer King Oyster mushrooms for that.


    *
     
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  19. Kellyr

    Kellyr Active Member

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    I just made a simple one-pot meal from Oh She Glows (I swear I'm not sponsored by her, I just love her recipes!)

    Can't believe how easy it was - just dump everything in a pot and cook it.

    One Pot Quinoa and Black Bean Wraps
     
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  20. veganDreama

    veganDreama Active Member

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    Hello and welcome!

    There are plenty of vegan options for sandwich fillers. I had avocado sandwiches today. Also peanut butter and/or humus and salad leaves. It all tastes delicious.

    Also I make myself curried soup. Just stick some vegetables and a tin of mixed beans into the blender and add some curry paste to it. It tastes delicious and you can make it with practically any vegetable you have on hand.
     
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