Location: Ideas >> Vegans & Vegetarians
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Posted November 21st, 2012 - 5:02 am by from Hawthorne, United States (Permalink)
I want to start a vegan diet but have no idea where to start?

any tips?

Posted November 21st, 2012 - 5:56 am by from Turin, Italy (Permalink)
Hi Jonathan, what can we do?
Congratulations for the idea vegan! get to see here, for example: http://www.vegansociety.com/

would you like cooking recipes?
every a good day....

Posted November 21st, 2012 - 6:41 am by from Utrecht, Netherlands (Permalink)
Hi Jonathan,

Heather Nauta has a lot of great videos with both recipes and nutrition advice:

http://www.youtube.com/user/healthyvegan/videos?view=0

www.vegweb.com has a massive database of user-submitted recipes, and there are many great cookbooks out there.

Where are you starting from? Are you a vegetarian or an omnivore? How health conscious are you? Are you into cooking? Any allergies or intolerances? What are your reasons for going vegan?

A few random tips:
- don't see it as a restriction. See it as an opportunity to explore loads of delicious new plant-based foods that you may never have tried before!

- On the whole, I would stay away from faux meats, cheeses etc. To me most of them just don't taste very good, but more importantly, many of them are heavily processed, full of hydrogenated vegetable fats, too much salt, dodgy additives etc. In stead of trying to replace foods with vegan versions, I would change your way of cooking and eating to mostly whole plant foods. If you do enjoy the mock stuff, have it occasionally as a treat, but don't make it a major part of your diet. In stead, experiment with pulses, whole grains, healthy vegetable fats etc. You can make great veggie burgers etc. from scratch, there are millions of recipes out there.

- non-dairy milks can be fine, but if you're health-conscious check the ingredients: a lot of them have a lot of added sugar. There's a lot of variety out there: soy, almond, oat, hazelnut, rice etc. etc. Try some and see what you like best! You can make your own, too, if you have a good food processor or blender.

- especially if you're going from omni to vegan, make sure you eat enough: most plant-based foods are a lot less calorie-dense than animal products, so while you may be eating the same volume of food, you could be getting far fewer calories. If you start feeling a bit weak soon after transitioning, this is the most likely reason. Snack on nuts, dried or fresh fruit etc. between meals, or eat more meals. (I frequently have 'second lunch' at around 4 :D)

- Read up on nutrition in general, and on vitamin B12 and Omega-3 DHA and EPA in particular. http://www.veganhealth.org/ has a lot of great info based on a lot of research. Personally I take a multivitamin for vegans (VEG-1 http://shop.vegansociety.com/product_info.php?cPath=33&products_id=318&osCsid=edi56shan493lvugorqfjhg695) and an Omega 3 DHA & EPA supplement. There is a lot of debate about this, but the majority of research points towards the importance of at least supplementing B12 as a vegan.

Posted November 21st, 2012 - 12:22 pm from Edinburgh, Scotland
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Posted November 21st, 2012 - 4:59 pm by from Aurich, Germany (Permalink)
To my experience, the best - in the sense of most realistic - way to become vegan, is to 'veganize' what you normally eat. I agree that much of the mock stuff is heavily processed, but there is also a lot out there that is healthy enough. I would not like to eat fruit and veggies only all day and also would not consider that very realistic - at least in my case. If you want to, you can send me one or two recipes of your favourite recipes and I'll show you what I mean. :-) (Even though I haven't got much overview of the American market and you might have to do stuff from scratch). In any case: Good luck and bon appetit! Your decision is right. :-)

Posted November 21st, 2012 - 9:28 pm by from Utrecht, Netherlands (Permalink)
Ah, but mostly avoiding heavily processed stuff doesn't mean "just fruit and veggies every day". My dinners of the past week:
- cuban black beans and rice, with a mango, avocado and coriander salad
- stewed kale with oven-roasted beetroot and potato-corn burgers
- pasta with grilled aubergine, oven-roasted tomatoes, lots of garlic and basil, and nutritional yeast-ground almond 'parmesan'
- lentil burgers with tomato salsa, oven-roasted potato wedges with rosemary, and a marinated beetroot-mizuna salad
- tomato-courgette pilaf with a chickpea-cumin-rocket dish
- thai pumpkin-bok choy stew with rice
- variation on ribollita soup (onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes, potatoes, white beans and kale)

Posted November 21st, 2012 - 9:51 pm by from Aurich, Germany (Permalink)
Yes, I totally agree with you, Charlotte, but that's what I meant: I would make some sauce with nutritional yeast instead of melting processed mock cheese, rather than eating nothing 'cheesy' at all... but you can only do that if you know how to cook and not everybody can. But there's a few things you first need to get the hang of and you need to get started somewhere!!! Hmmm... btw will you have me over for dinner some time soon? :-) Your menu simply sounds too delicious! :-)

Posted November 21st, 2012 - 5:57 pm by from Utrecht, Netherlands (Permalink)
Haha, let me know if you find yourself in the neighbourhood of Utrecht some time, we'll make a feast together!! :D

No, you're right, it definitely does require re-learning to cook. I think it really helped that I had already been vegetarian for many years - less to re-invent :-)

Posted November 21st, 2012 - 5:38 pm by from San Francisco, United States (Permalink)
Hi Jonathon, I didn't read the other comments so I don't know what you heard already, but one idea: the most intense and high energy vegan way to go is raw organic. I do it just sometimes but when I do it feels undeniably better than anything. Just lots of organic fruits ans veggies, especially the dark colored ones reds and greens and nuts and seeds. Surprisingly you can eat almost any vegetable raw that you would normally cook, except potatoes and maybe eggplant. And also surprisingly if you make a salad you can put almost unlimited ingredients and they will taste good together. Best is to cut them up very small and chew well, best for taste and health. Even more extreme which I''ve never tried is raw food mono where u just eat one raw ingredient at a time throughout the day. Supposedly totally transformational. Anyway lots of other ways to be vegan. Justtideas, best of luck with everything with the changer and whatever else it affects in your life :)

Posted November 26th, 2012 - 2:18 am from Portland, United States
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