Having trouble with leaving meat alone

LeavePeaceHope

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Hi, I'm new here. I want to transition to a plant based diet. Mainly because I want to lose weight but also because I'm tired of putting horrible things in my body. My immune system is trash and I just feel overall awful. I remember when I ate healthier and just how much better I felt mentally and physically. I want to go back to that. I struggle with food. Mainly because I have short patience. I look at food for convenience and accessibility. I feel most vegan foods are cooked and hard to find or I just have to know what is and what isn't when shopping in the store. Opposed to non-vegan, I can just grab whatever I want down the street quickly or go to the store and select the cheapest option vegan or non vegan. Non-vegan lifestyle is just so much more flexible for a girl like me but it's so unhealthy, I hate it! On the bright side, if I had it I'd eat it. For example, when I decided to spend time shopping for healthier options, I ate the healthy food I shopped for until it ran out. I know I can be disciplined. I just value convenience and accessibility more than health right now. I'm a mother of 1 kid. FTM and full time job, that's stressing me the heck out (Long story about returning to office that's 4 hours away from my new home) I just don't have the time or energy to be vegan I guess. BUT I want to live more healthier. I guess this was a rant but if anyone could see through my babble and help, I'd appreciate it! #Hopeful :)
 

Lou

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Hello. Welcome to the forum.

About half way thru your "rant" I did see a solution to your problem. When I tell you what its called please don't dismiss it out of hand. Its both simpler and easier than you think. I call it meal planning and bulk meal preparation.

It's not an easy fix - but rarely those things are real or work. It will be lots healthier and lots less expensive. It does take an investment in time. But I'm calling it an investment on purpose. It will pay itself back. By the end of the week you will have saved time. And as you learn more about it and develop some new skills you will even save more time. For instance, the first week might be the hardest because you are making things you hadn't made before. but if you are like me, if you find something you like you will make it again and it will easier the second (or tenth) time you make it.

it will be healthier because you will only be eating really healthy meals. You will be making them mostly in advance so you won't be tempted to pick up something convenient on the way home because you already have something prepared at home. That is going to make this cheaper too. You can make snacks in bulk in advance too. That is really great as an incentive to keep eating healthy.

It will be cheaper because home made food is lots cheaper than take out. If you get good at meal planning there will also be less food waste.

If you are interested I can help coach you up. but to sort of pique your interests let me mention a few things I do.

Before I go shopping I take out a sheet a paper and plan every meal for the week. Then I check out the recipes and make my grocery list. Ideally this could mean just one shopping trip a week. During the lockdown, most weeks I was able to do just that.

I have really gotten into overnight oats for breakfast. They last almost a week in the frig. so I make 4 at a time. So breakfasts are just taking out the oats from the frig. but since I like my oats warm I do nuke them before I eat them. If I had to eat breakfast on the go, I would make muffins. maybe a dozen at a time and freeze the extras.

I'll freeze a loaf of bread and then turn the whole loaf into pb&js. Its a lot easier to make pb&Js with frozen slices. I put the sandwiches right back into the bag the loaf came into and stick it back in the freezer. They can be eaten for lunch or cut into quarters for snacks. They even can make a breakfast that can be eaten while driving.

I'm a big salad eater and I no longer make one salad at a time. I make at least 2 at a time. Sometimes I make enough for 4 days. There is a good video on how to make a weeks worth of salad at once.

I don't make pasta one dish at time anymore. I'll make up some sauce or just buy a big jar of sauce. Cook up a pound of pasta and add the sauce to it. It stays in the frig for almost a week or you can divide it up and freeze half.

Soups of course I make up in bulk. I also make rice up in large quanties. It stays in the frig a week or you can divide it up and freeze it. I'll also make mashed potatoes in bulk.

These are just some of my favorites but like I said if you're interested we can start a conversation on it.
 

silva

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LOL :rofl: :shrug:
I rarely disagree with Lou, but I am just not wired that way, and as much as I think it's a great plan.....:dismay:I'm not doing it!

You're used to things, you're used to 'normal'. It took me quite some time to fully feel the same way I did when I was omni, able to just shop and cook and think without feeling like I was being quizzed. Or on the Price is Right!

Ok, I stopped writing this and now came back and reread your post
YOU'RE 4 HOURS FROM YOUR JOB :argh:😲
How did that happen? Did you start it working from home and just now going to office?
I can only think of two things:
1) you make more money than anything closer and can afford those meal delivery, like Purple Carrot (and others)
2) You need a closer job
3) you need to move.

Anyway...if you can I suggest putting price aside until you get used to being a plant based eater. For me, that did take some months really. I remember being at home looking at food choices I either didn't want to do (as in meal planning) or having a hard time figuring how to put things together I would like. I started being veg trying to be all wfpb--that makes things really hard. Oil is truly an important thing to give up esp for weight loss, but if you like cheese, as I did, a very very hard thing to choke down.

Write a list of what your go to foods are right now. If you're willing to share we love to alter foods! We've all been there ourselves.
I grew up loving processed vegan foods myself, and while I still love them, I also know how to make some pretty tasty versions, that dont' take a lot of time.,

Do you have an Instant Pot?
 
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silva

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Very quick dinners:

buy those frozen edamame beans, shelled to sprinkle over veggies, grains, salads. In the pods to snack on--kids love these! (not sure of the age of course)

Frozen veggies. I like to pop a bag in the fridge in the morning so dinner is just a quick stir fry to heat. You can serve with noodles, or grains, or beans or lentils. Sauces don't have to be complicated--make a container of peanut butter thinned with some water, add pineapple juice, ginger, that chili garlic sauce. Save the pineapple to stir fry with the veggies

It's not so much about breaking habits as building habits.
 

Lou

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LOL :rofl: :shrug:
I rarely disagree with Lou, but I am just not wired that way, and as much as I think it's a great plan.....:dismay:I'm not doing it!

yes. but you are old and set in your ways. LPH is still young and open minded.
:)

YOU'RE 4 HOURS FROM YOUR JOB :argh:😲
Oh, I totally missed that. an 8 hour RT commute?!
That is untenable.
Write a list of what your go to foods are right now. If you're willing to share we love to alter foods! We've all been there ourselves.

Thats always a good place to start. No matter what the plan is.
I grew up loving processed vegan foods myself, and while I still love them, I also know how to make some pretty tasty versions, that dont' take a lot of time.

A lot of standard quick meals can not only be converted to vegan but can be converted to bulk cooking. Like rice, soup, spaghetti, oatmeal......

Do you have an Instant Pot?

If not, maybe a slow cooker?
 
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poivron

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Hi, I'm new here. I want to transition to a plant based diet. Mainly because I want to lose weight but also because I'm tired of putting horrible things in my body. My immune system is trash and I just feel overall awful. I remember when I ate healthier and just how much better I felt mentally and physically. I want to go back to that. I struggle with food. Mainly because I have short patience. I look at food for convenience and accessibility. I feel most vegan foods are cooked and hard to find or I just have to know what is and what isn't when shopping in the store. Opposed to non-vegan, I can just grab whatever I want down the street quickly or go to the store and select the cheapest option vegan or non vegan. Non-vegan lifestyle is just so much more flexible for a girl like me but it's so unhealthy, I hate it! On the bright side, if I had it I'd eat it. For example, when I decided to spend time shopping for healthier options, I ate the healthy food I shopped for until it ran out. I know I can be disciplined. I just value convenience and accessibility more than health right now. I'm a mother of 1 kid. FTM and full time job, that's stressing me the heck out (Long story about returning to office that's 4 hours away from my new home) I just don't have the time or energy to be vegan I guess. BUT I want to live more healthier. I guess this was a rant but if anyone could see through my babble and help, I'd appreciate it! #Hopeful :)
I can only imagine how stressful life must be if you have a kid and have such a long commute to your workplace. You have every right to do whatever makes your life more convenient right now.

Is there any way you can find a job that is closer to you, or move to a place that is closer to your job?

Veganism doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming, but you do need some time to wrap your mind around new ways of shopping and cooking. Even if you can't do it consistently right now, you can start thinking about it and trying some recipes or some of Lou's recommendations. Vegan staples like potatoes, rice, corn, beans and lentils are a lot cheaper than meat, eggs, and cheese. I believe soy milk is no more expensive than dairy. (I haven't looked at dairy milk in ages, so I can't say for sure.) Maybe you can learn a few new recipes using these ingredients?

A very simple and healthy way to eat is to have a large bowl of overnight oats with raisins, and then to have a large microwaved potato along with a side of steamed green vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, green beans, or collard greens for lunch and then again for dinner. You can open a can of beans, put it in a bowl, microwave it for about two minutes and eat that as an additional side dish. You can also make a big pot of chili over the weekend and eat it during the week. If fresh vegetables are too expensive, frozen is just as healthy. There is an amazing "cheese sauce" you can make with potatoes, oats, lentils, or cauliflower that will make the vegetables taste great. (It won't taste like cheese at first, but over time you will get to a point where you're convinced it tastes just like cheese.) You can eat apples or pears as a snack. If you can afford them, berries, fresh or frozen, are unbelievably healthy.

The most important thing is to eat enough. Many people who try going vegan underestimate how much they need to eat. As long as you keep oils really low and avoid fatty vegan foods (like nuts, seeds, avocados, coconuts, and chocolate), you can eat until you are satisfied, and you won't gain weight.

The only supplement you need is vitamin B12, which is cheap. Other than that, make sure you buy iodized salt because not all salt includes iodine.

Here are the cheese sauce recipes:

In the recipe that includes cashews, I use white beans instead because cashews are expensive and high in fat, and I don't particularly like the aftertaste.

Good luck! The good news is that the longer you do it, the easier it will get. In the beginning, you may miss meat, but after a few years, it seems really gross, and one doesn't feel drawn to it. Your taste buds will change before you know it. You will also learn to simply avoid the parts of the grocery store that have non-vegan items. I also think you will find that you are actually spending less money on food than you used to, and enjoying food more than you thought possible.
 
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Humble Carrot

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Doing great things never come easy. If it were easy, it wouldn't be great. The benefits you will see from a whole food plant based diet will be more than worth your efforts in the long run. Think long run.

Cook beans and rice and put them in containers and in the fridge. These items can be used to make lots of different meals and quickly.
 
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Tom L.

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Lots of good advice from the posters above, but I want to emphasize (as they did) that buying/preparing food in bulk saves LOTS of money and time. I only buy things in bulk when I know I like them and will eat them before they spoil. (Within the past week I bought over 25 lbs of rolled oats- my favorite breakfast since the 1960s- or maybe even earlier). Once you've gotten yourself a few recipes that you know you like, are nutritious, and can be frozen in 2-or-3-portion batches, you can schedule your cooking on your days off.

My jaw almost hit the floor when I read about your 4-hour commute to work (I hope that's round-trip and not each way!!!!!!).
 
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feather

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That commute sounds pretty time consuming, and what to eat along the way?! There was a truck driver, she drove, so was sedentary, that figured out how to bring food into the refrig in the truck, and eat wfpb'ed, in one of the support groups I used to read and enjoy. She did great because she had no other way to get healthy food into her. She learned to buy only vegan food at truck stops, and her exercise was so limited because, she was driving and sitting, day in and day out, that is hard. Fresh fruit, prepped raw veggies, hummus, oatmeal 'cookies', all good traveling food.

I'm a bulk buyer and batch cooker for years now, even before I fixed my diet. Instead of focusing each and every meal on what I'm going to eat (actually both husband and I), I spend a day or so a week, batch cooking. There are things to stuff the refrigerator and freezer with that make meals, ready to warm up or microwave. If my refrigerator and freezer are stuffed full, we always have food to eat, that is my job, fill the refrigerator and freezer. Meal time comes, heat and eat.

This is a short list of things I make in advance batch cooking that can be frozen or refrigerated for immediate consumption. Almost all are in 1 quart containers, or 2.5 cup individual microwave plastic servings. Breakfasts-oat groats or steel cut oats. Whole wheat sprouted hamburger bun shaped bread, to be cut horizontally and toasted. Lunches and dinners: Tomato mushroom spaghetti sauce, ww spaghetti noodles, ww any pasta, brown basmati rice, cook any grain-red wheat, white wheat, barley, rye, lentils. Baked beans, Mexican Beans, Chili Beans, plain beans. Hummus. For the refrigerator only, raw vegetables chopped or sliced or as finger food. No-cheeze sauce. Oil free mushroom gravy, 20 baked potatoes, oven browned potato wedges. Oil free tomato dressing by the quart. Complicated salads in big bowls wrapped in plastic-lettuces, tomatoes, broccoli, diced pickles, some kind of cooked grain (see above), some color of legume or lentil--I only own 4-4 cup salad bowls. Oat cookies made of applesauce or pear sauce, banana, squash, oatmeal, flax, cinnamon, raisins or apricot diced.

I will add to that, I do make no fry stir-fries over rice but not in batch cooking, though I make enough for 4 but there is just two of us. For a treat we have pizza no cheese every few weeks.
Yesterday I focused on making cookies for the freezer and refrigerator. White bean peanut butter powder date paste was one new flavor. Black bean cocoa date paste vegan chocolate chips, we've had this a few times. Our staple to replace breakfast is our Oat cookies mentioned above.

With all this food, we eat exactly what we want. When-ever we want it.
 

Lou

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Thirty years ago I took a job 65 miles away. My intention was to find an apartment closer to work. And I did - and it was a great place but there was some sort of delay and I ended up commuting for 2 - 3 months.
Also cause this was the Bay Area I had to leave my house super early in the morning to beat the traffic. and then I ended up leaving work really late to miss the traffic on the way home. If I remember it was like 14 hour days.
Back then I wasn't vegan and I ended up eating a lot of breakfasts in my car and eating a lot of dinners in cheap places. I think it was a lot of McDs and BKs.
Up until recently that was the worse 3 months in my life.
 

Tomas

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As always, it is easy for me to talk seeing, as some here know, I have been vegan since birth. It is therefor quite difficult to me to judge the difficulty of leaving meat out of your eating habits seeing for me it is the natural thing to do. But that is just the thing isn't it? You need to commit to something and have it become a natural reflex to not eat meat. There are, nowadays, many tools that can help you: apps, videos, coaches, food options, etc. that weren't available when I was growing up and in many ways you can become an informed vegan much faster than you could in the past (even with limited nuritional options mind you). You just need to find what works for you.

I can however tell you that there's no real need for special products to be vegan. You can eat vegan with very basic foods. I don't know where you live but even the smallest supermarkets here have some vegan or at least vegetarian options if you find those necessary (like non dairy milk, vegan cheese, vegan cream, vegan yoghurt, vegan burgers). Thing is though that meat replacements like veggie burgers are not a necessity and you can avoid those by eating more beans, nuts, green leave veggies etc. to have a balanced diet. If you have difficulty with this I'd suggest finding or contacting a dietician who can help you set up a healthy vegan diet. Do however be aware that veganism isn't really a diet, it is a way of life. Changing a "way of life" is not done in a day. It is a process of changing habits and mindsets. I'm sure this forum has plenty of food guru's that can offer up some awesome recepies too though :D. I'm not much of a writer of recepies and basically just wing it in the kitchen so I wouldn't be the best person to "cook up" a meal plan :D.
 
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