Cool Tips for Vegans

Dree

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Joined
Oct 2, 2015
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42
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  1. Vegan newbie
At the beginning of this year I tried going vegan for whole month. I thought it'd be a fun exercise, that perhaps I'd gain some insight into my own diet and into the lives of those who live, well, a little differently than the rest of us.
Never expected it to become one of the most popular features of the year. Heck, the most popular recipe I developed last year was for Vegan Burgers That Don't Suck (It's true, they don't!).

Heres some few tips for newbies

  1. Start with an open mind. There's no surer way to guarantee failure than to go into it with a bad attitude.
  2. If cooking at home, give yourself extra time to cook, particularly at the beginning. For most people, designing meals 100% around vegetables is going to be a completely foreign concept, and one that requires planning and extra time in the kitchen, even for a seasoned pro.
  3. Take a look at your pantry. Is it full of meat-based condiments, dried pasta, rice, potatoes, and the like? If so, you're not going to have a fun time trying to cook. Make sure your pantry stays stocked with plenty of beans and whole grains, hearty leafy grains like kale, spinach, and collards, and other vegan-friendly sauces.
  4. Avoid convenience foods. I've yet to taste a vegan convenience product that I've liked. If all you subsist on as a vegan is poor frozen pizza, frozen vegan burritos, veggie burger patties and ready-made meals, you will not be a happy eater. Regular frozen foods are bad enough. Vegan ones are simply abysmal.
  5. Take a walk down the produce section. Going vegan is the perfect excuse to load up on all kinds of vegetables that you never regularly ate before. I call it diversity through restriction. As a meat eater, I often found myself resorting to the easy options—the steak or the burger—avoiding the often more interesting vegetable-based options. As a vegan, my diet has become much more diverse, and as such, more enjoyable.
  6. Do not be embarrassed. There has been the occasional moment when I felt I needed to explain myself, to rationalize to others why I'm doing what I'm doing. "Oh, it's just a writing project," or "just wanted to know the enemy, you know? Heh heh..." and I never felt good doing it. On the other hand, when I come right out and say, "it's something I've always wanted to try, because I tend to agree with a lot of vegan philosophy," I end up getting a lot more respect, an interesting discussion out of it, and the potential to actually impact another person. That makes it worth it to me.
  7. If you're going on a road trip, pack food with you. In fact, have snacks and emergency rations available to you at all times. It's not that you'll get hungrier as a vegan (at least, I didn't), it's just that on the off-chance that you do end up missing lunch or forgetting it at home, your options as a vegan on the road or in unfamiliar territory are not good. Some fresh fruit, a good salad, or even trail mix can be a life saver in those situations.
  8. So you messed up. Don't sweat it. Again, the key to being a successful vegan is to live the lifestyle as much as is reasonably possible. There may be some who disagree with me on this, but if you've just realized that you accidentally ate some butter or that the curry you just tasted had fish sauce in it, don't kill yourself. Stuck on the road with no prospect of vegan food for the next couple days? Well don't starve yourself, just do the best you can. The moment any diet stops being fun is the moment you begin to think it might not be worth it. That said...
  9. Stay strong. The first few days might be tough, but once you get into the swing of things, it becomes easier and easier. It's at the point for me now that even when I think about what to cook for dinner for me and my wife tonight, meat doesn't even enter my mind. (And I don't miss it).
  10. Don't judge others. So you disagree with someone else's lifestyle choice. So what? You're not perfect either. The best way to help people and win them over is to teach by action, no lecturing. Bring some vegan food over or treat them to a vegan meal. If you want to make the change and keep your friends while you're at it, you have to realize that not everybody is at the same place in their life, and not everybody has the same value system as yours.
 

Sally

Forum Legend
Joined
Oct 20, 2015
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Location
Isle of Wight UK
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Fry's frozen vegan foods are very nice. They are not ready meals, but make nice nuggets, strips, etc. Very useful for some meals where you just want to have mashed potatoes and veg and a bit of something else. Also the strips go very nicely in a sweet and sour sauce. Fry them first and then put them in, lovely. Very filling and provides protein.