Hello from a newbie

Alex Amarelo

Mar 28, 2019
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Portugal (The Island of Madeira)
  1. Vegan newbie
Heya guys, I'm from Portugal most especifically from the Island of Madeira, my real name is Alexis Fernandes (you can call me Alexis if you want if you plan to get more based in real names, I don't mind) however, and since I am an aspiring singer, I decided to adopt a nickname for myself in the music world which is Alex Amarelo (if it sounds easy for you, you can also call me just Alex if somehow you like my artistic name the most).

I came to tell you, I'm planning on becoming vegan for the first time ever (I have 3 cousins who already are, 2 girls and one guy), so I planned to get as many advices as I could, but then I started to wonder, am I really going vegan? (You'll see why I ask you this further). Some people told me I shouldn't take all the ingredients today, and instead of that I should do things slowly, by taking one ingredient and replacing with another (per month). I have watched few minutes of some documentaries and by knowing that not only I could help myself and my health but also all the environment, by knowing all that I started to think maybe I should become vegan. The problem is...I already spoke with a nutricionist that works along with me, and she told me I should do some blood exam before reducing any ingredient. Man, I ain't gonna say no. 'Cause you know, a nutricionist IS a nutricionist. However (and I know this does have nothing to do with veganism, I am pretty conscient about that!) I thought myself that "if I lose myself any ingredient by becoming vegan" (and I would do this ONLY in case of emergency) maybe I would take some pills from the pharmacy, those with vitamins and other stuff included. I am already on the process of taking meat out of my meals so maybe from now on I'll see what happens.

Do you have any opinions about this?

What do you think about the emergency solution?
BTW, I'm not going for the pills unless I'm in a very very bad state, which fortunatelly is not happening until now.

Also, I'll be glad if you give me some tips of things that I SHOULD eat. Because I already planned on not eating meat, and fish will be the next to go to the trash. But I don't want to forget one thing, and I am afraid of forgetting something.


Catalin V. Manea

Forum Novice
Apr 11, 2019
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Maple Ridge, BC, Canada
  1. Vegan
Hey welcome. How about you slow down a little bit and enjoy the process. Like do what the hell is what you feel doing and do not overthink things too much. Then if you need extra help I can take a look on what you do and give you some advice. Use www.cronometer.com to track it down and see if you lack nutrients. And good job by the way!


Forum Legend
Jun 8, 2018
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San Mateo, Ca
  1. Vegan
Hi, Alex!
Welcome aboard.

I can give you some good advice about a few of those things.

Neither here nor there but you used the word "ingredient" a few times in your post. And I don't think that is the right word. I tend to be careful about words in general and in many cases too picky. But maybe you could go back to the dictionary and figure out which word you should be using. I would suggest one but I'm not sure what you meant. Maybe the word "nutrient" is what you should be using.

Getting an exam now with a blood test is really a good idea.
Not sure what you meant by "a nutricionist IS a nutricionist." but I believe a blood test is a good piece of advice. First off, if you have any deficiencies now and then become vegan and they persist. Well, you won't be able to blame the vegan diet. but maybe even more important, some things might actually improve and I think knowing which ones and by how much will make you feel even better about being vegan. In science, we call it a baseline. And it's impossible to evaluate things without a baseline.

That brings up another "nitpick" of mine. Here in America, many people get the words Nutritionist and Dietician mixed up. I don't know what the deal is in Portugal. But here in California, a Registered Dietician (RD) has an advanced college degree (more than 4 years). They take exams, get certificates, and there is a governing body the administers them. A Nutritionist is just someone who calls themselves a nutritionist and may not have any formal education. If your friend is an RD than their advice is worth listening to. If they are a nutrionist then you can decide on their own merits.

As far as transitioning to being vegan there is no ONE way. Whatever works best for you is the best way.

But my suggestion is to do it in steps. This is the way that my favorite vegan personality, Collen Patrick Goudreaux, suggests.
Make a list of all the meals you ate last week. Circle any that are vegan or almost vegan. Call that Group One and put them in your meal plan for week 2. Then look at all those meals and pick out one or two that can easily be turned into a vegan meal. That would be like making a pasta sauce but without meat. Or making a burrito without meat. Or split pea soup without ham. Those are Group Two meals and add all the Group One meals and Group Two meals to your meal plan for week 3. Next up is to look at your meals from week one and find a few that can easily be converted to vegan meals. Instead of just removing ingredients this will require substituting. Some substitutions will be easy. Like plant milk for cow's milk. And some will be harder. Like subbing tofu for chicken. The next and last step is to get a vegan cookbook and find some meals you think sound good or easy or whatever and those go into your meal plan for week 5.

At the end of week 5, you may not be entirely vegan. In fact, you don't have to be entirely vegan ever. But in just 4 weeks you can make some excellent progress in becoming vegan. And it should be pretty easy and painless.

You call them pills. We call them supplements. And there is one supplement you are going to need: B12. Once you go completely vegan you need B12. It is not found in any plant foods. But you may not need to take B12 as pills. Many foods are "fortified" with B12. I get my B12 by drinking soy milk that has been fortified. In some areas, Nutritional Yeast is fortified and can be added to many foods. Also, most multivitamins have B12.

The other nutrients that vegans sometimes come short on are iron, calcium, Vitamin D, and Omega 3s. But not every vegan is deficient in these or needs to take supplements. most smart vegans pay closer attention to vitamins and minerals than regular people. Lots of plant foods contain Iron and calcium. Our bodies make vitamin D if you are exposed to sunlight. Omega 3 is something I'm still learning about but I think that a tbsp of ground flax seed added to our meals every day takes care of it. Your nutritionist friend may even have some good advice and suggestions on these nutrients. IMHO, a multivitamin is a good cheap insurance policy that can ward off deficiencies.

Last piece of advice. check out our thread on what we eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You will get some great ideas about what vegan meals you can eat and make right now. We also have a section for recipes.
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Forum Practitioner
Mar 19, 2019
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Start eating sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, poppy seeds, pine nuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts etc.

Mix them up and eat them daily, and you'll never lack any minerals.

Seeds can easily be added to sandwiches, hot meals and salads, you barely taste them and they add extra crunch.
I love eating nuts along with dates for dinner.
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