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I really want to transition to a plant-based (vegan) diet. How did you transition to a vegan diet? Any advice please?


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#1 キラキラ

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Posted 22 April 2021 - 02:24 AM

I was vegetarian for about 5 years in the past. In the last year or so I've been eating pescatarian but eating plant based is something I've always wanted to give a go for both health and ethical reasons.

 

Please share your experiences with transitioning to a vegan diet.

Did you do it all in one go or slowly transition?

Any advice you have in regards to transitioning out non vegan foods that you really love would be much appreciated.

 

 

I really love a lot of non-vegan foods like cheese, cookies and chocolates and often have a lot of non-vegan snacks. How can I transition these out of my diet without feeling like I've lost something good? Do you guys have any alternatives to these sorts of foods that you can recommend?

 

(One thing to note also is that I am allergic to soy which i know is in a lot of vegan alternatives. Any ideas on how to get around this?)


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#2 Kidboo

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Posted 22 April 2021 - 03:04 AM

I've been vegetarian for about 5 years for now and kinda vegan for a year. I still allow myself eating some cheese in the New Years and other celebrations to treat myself but besides that I'm not eating any animal based-products. It was really easy for me to replace meat and other stuff with alternative options like products made out of oat. For my experience I recommend starting out eating plant-based food a couple of times per week and increasing the amount slowly so the threshold of needing to learn new recipes every day isn't so great. It also helped when i started planning my shopping list beforehand so i didn't by any non-vegan foods accidentally. Try googling what alternative products are available for chocolate, cheese etc. in the area you're living. I'm living in Nordic countries in Europe and we have many alternatives for chocolate and cheese which taste exactly like their animal-based versions 

 

Good thing that I noticed when i transitioned to vegan diet: my acne isn't that bad and it's actually getting better. About a month ago I also bought vegan face soap and other cleansing products and my skin hasn't been this good in ages. (I've always battled with bad acne and I've even visited dermatologist for that :( ) Idk im not sure but i guess it has something to do with my diet


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#3 MushroomWitch

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Posted 22 April 2021 - 03:14 AM

Hi hun, so when I went vegan I went all in, but I was never a massive fan of any particular non-vegan foods so it was easier for me. My advice if you have a few specific things you really don't want to part with, leave those till last and cut out all other non-vegan foods. Then you can take some time to get used to it and also maybe try out some alternatives of your favourites to see which ones are the best. Planning out your shopping is a great idea to avoid buying non-vegan foods and to stick to a budget as sadly vegan stuff is still a bit more expensive than 'normal' groceries.

 

Being allergic to soy isn't as much of an issue as you might think as a lot of companies and shops are coming out with soy-free foods at the moment, though this does depend on your location. I find that there are a lot of coconut or oat based products that taste great and are free from soya (a lot of vegan chocolate for example is made with rice).

 

(all checked for soy) For cheese I would recommend Violife Epic Mature Grated or Applewood Vegan Smoky Cheese, although I'm not sure what's available to you wherever you are (I'm in the uk). Same with chocolates and cookies, Nomo is a really good brand of vegan chocolate with multiple flavours, and a few places like Tesco (the Wicked Kitchen line) and even Subway are now doing vegan cookies and sweet treats. You could also try making your own cookies, it'll probably be cheaper and they'll taste just as good. Here is a link to one of my favourite cookie recipes, though they are a bit plain https://www.iloveveg...-sugar-cookies/ (can switch soy milk for any other plant milk but I have them without icing). You can also veganise normal recipes using vegan butter/margarine, egg replacer and plant milk, which works I'd say about 80-90% of the time (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/user/123568/recipe/chocolate-chip-cookies my go to recipe to veganise, works every time and is so good).

 

Honestly, the internet is a goldmine for information about everything, especially for checking out the vegan products available near you before you shop. A lot of supermarket websites also show ingredient lists for each of their products or publish lists of allergens/vegan foods (I know that Lidl in the uk does this). Just make sure to read labels before you buy stuff :)

 

Best of luck, and I hope this helped!!


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#4 runningwithyou

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Posted 22 April 2021 - 08:05 AM

First, I'm really happy you're trying to transition to veganism! There are plenty of dark chocolate, chocolate with oat milk, crackers, cookies, snacks, etc that are vegan :) Also, if you make a mistake when you're starting out, give yourself some grace and just remember that for next time.

 

I was vegetarian for 6 years before I had some realizations and became vegan. I went quasi-all in overnight in that I didn't intentionally buy myself anything with animal products in it from that day on. However, I detest waste, so I did not throw out any food, clothes, etc that I already had that contained animal products. I gave away some of the food I had that was unopened, but I had a half full shaker of parmesan cheese that I was using for the next few months. 

 

I think that mental cutoff while still being able to eat some things if I was really missing them helped, especially since you're more likely to already have foods you enjoy. I knew I wasn't contributing to additional animal cruelty, environmental destruction, exploitation of workers, etc, but I got a final goodbye to a lot of things.

 

Honestly, the less you eat things, the less you want them. I grew up eating literal bricks of cheese: I'd just eat half a block of smoked gouda or sharp cheddar for lunch (maybe with crackers). Now I don't even want cheese; I can't think of the last time I specifically thought, "oh dang I should put cheese on this". I've only bought alternative cheese when it was on clearance sale so I could try it out to advise others. My big thing was not buying any more Greek yogurt, but there's a ton of almond, coconut, oat, and soy alternatives. They're more expensive, but I'd just wait for sales and then stock up. Now I don't really look for them, if they're less than what I used to buy Greek yogurt for, I'll get them, but otherwise I'd rather just buy vegetables and vegan ice cream instead lol.


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#5 /magic.bird./

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Posted 28 April 2021 - 08:27 PM

Buy a vegan recipe/cookbook and go by that!

#6 𝕊𝕖𝕕𝕒𝕥𝕖𝕕

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Posted 29 April 2021 - 01:37 PM

This is the first time I've successfully done it so this is what I've done. I started taking Hippo7, which is a really good vegan multivitamin and it has everything you need. Had a vegan version of every meal I enjoyed that had animal products. For a little while you'll be hungrier and then you will adjust to it after about a week or two. I noticed when I avoid oil, I stay full longer and get full faster on smaller meals. I can't do the processed shit too much or too often because I will want to keep eating. As long as I stick to WFPB no oil, it's easy peasy. Also, investing in a cookbook that is quick and easy if you don't like meal prepping or you just don't want to think about it, helps a TON. There's also a lot of easy recipes out there that will replace what you're craving. 



#7 HailSeitan

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 05:07 PM

I was pescatarian for about 6 years, gave that up thinking it would improve my relationship with food, and now I've been vegan for the past year lol.

 

I transitioned over about a month and a half. It was relatively easy since I'd been used to restricting whole food groups already, but this was like the boss level.

 

I'm pretty broke, so I started by just eating what I already had but trying to add more fiber slowly (vegan diet can be extremely high in fiber, so I needed to prepare my digestive track).

 

When I ran out of a staple food (like cheese) I'd replace it with the plant based version. I'm super lucky to live in an area that has a lot of vegan restaurants and grocery stores, but exploring plant based options that are nearly as satisfying as the animal based version can be reaaaallllyyy hard.

 

Exploring new foods can be really rewarding in itself, especially when you've been restricting, so if you don't like a product, keep looking! There are LOADS of recipes for things like vegan cheese these days, and usually the ingredients are pretty common and probably already in your pantry. 

 

Take your time and don't beat yourself up for taking longer than you'd like. I'm still trying to decide what KIND of vegan I want to be. There's so much debate over things like bivalves being more closely related to plants than animals, so maybe possibly I can eat them? And how do I feel about the soy industry? There's no one way to do it.

 

Seasonings and condiments are now your best friends so stock up... keep an eye on your nutrition, like b12, calcium, vitamin d, and some amino acids are harder to get without animal products. I have a lot of supplements so my my skin doesn't dissolve along with my hair. And lastly, always carry some snacks with you when you travel. I've been stranded in the middle of bumfuck nowhere for ages surviving on granola bars and bananas and it's NOT FUN 


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#8 HailSeitan

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 05:16 PM

Oh oh oh! Also! You should try lenny and larry's protein cookies! I've started to order them in bulk off amazon.

#9 fite.or.dontfite

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Posted 02 May 2021 - 01:06 PM

Moo Free is a brand of vegan chocolate that does not contain soy.
Enjoy Life is another snack brand that does not contain soy. They sell chocolate and cookies and other snacks.
 
 
The best thing you can do for dairy cheese is stop eating it "cold turkey". It has some addictive qualities because of the casein. There’s a reason why so many people say cheese is the hardest thing to give up. Once you stop eating it, you should stop craving it in a few weeks. I suggest also waiting until you haven’t had dairy cheese for a few months before trying vegan cheese. Currently, vegan cheese is just never the same as dairy cheese and if you eat it still having a strong memory of the taste of dairy cheese, you may end up dissatisfied/disappointed.
In the meantime, there are some “cheese” flavoured things that may actually have no cheese in them. I’ve seen rice puffs and tortillas for example.
 
Trying new foods might just totally distract you from the foods you are cutting out of your diet! I hear a lot of people struggle with not feeling satisfied on plant-based diet. It might be they aren’t eating enough protein and carbs? There are a lot of protein sources other than soy. There are things made from wheat gluten, beans, chickpeas, lentils. Potatoes are also a source of protein (they are the real og superfood imo). Look up besan tofu btw, it is a tofu made from chickpeas, very easy to make and only two ingredients! (some recipes say to use chickpea flour but there are recipes with whole chickpeas if you have a blender). If you really like to experiment, you can also make tempeh from beans that aren’t soybeans too.
 
Generally, my recommendations would be:
  1. ALWAYS bring a vegan snack with you when you go out. 
  2. Make a vegan friend for accountability.
  3. Clearly define the reason why you want to be vegan to give you the drive to succeed.
  4. Just keep trying. If you mess up at breakfast, that doesn’t mean the rest of the day has to be messed up too.  



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