Hello, I need help !!

Gary48

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Hi, I'm pretty sure you've all read a very similar post to this one a million times, but I'll take you through it once again and hopefully some kind hearted soul(s) will point me in the right direction.
So my name is Gary, I am 52 and I live in Scotland. Currently a meat eater but over the last 5 or 6 years I'd say I'm becoming more and more aware of foods that my body just will not tolerate anymore. Chocolate has gone as well as cheese, anything spicy, just about anything fried and my list of meats that I can eat is down to pretty much chicken, turkey and fish.
Recently after one of my IBS "bad weeks" I spent around 10 days eating vast amounts of vegetables, not a lot of meat and nothing fried (or anything which uses oil to cook it) I had one of my best spells where I had no gut problems at all. During this time the only thing I drank was water. I went back to my "normal" diet as I felt what I was eating wasn't giving me the proper balance of nutrients as I had no idea what a balanced vegetarian/vegan diet looks like. Sure as fate though the gut problems returned.
Recently I've watched a couple of documentaries on plant based diets versus meat diets (The Game Changers, Forks over Knives) and an awful lot of the health issues discussed (mainly in Forks over Knives) I already see in myself.
The statistics given in these documentaries Re: Land given over for animals raised to be slaughtered, the pollution created from these industries and the health costs of treating conditions brought on by the Western diet are shocking enough, but if I'm totally honest with you all my interest in moving away from a meat based diet lies mainly in my own personal health concerns, (apologies to all if that sounds incredibly selfish).
So my situation is this; I would like to move to an entirely vegan diet. I would rather not eat "substitute" products (processed fake meats) but I can't just go on eating a plate of vegetables. I need to learn to make meals and a properly structured eating pattern. I also do alot of running and fitness stuff so my new diet would need to keep me going through that.
I suppose this whole post could have been shortened to "Help, where do I start?" but I'm Scottish, we like to talk ! So any help or pointers would be very much appreciated. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read this post and to anyone who is kind enough to reply.
 
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Madorin

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Hi :)

I'm new here myself (didn't even write an introduction post yet) but I thought I'd try to answer your question anyway.

First of all, you going vegan for yourself is completely fine. In the end I personally don't care why anyone is vegan, I'm just happy they are.
I started for environmental reasons (after being kind of flexitarian a few years for my own personal health) and the ethical reasons came in when I already was vegan. Now I'm vegan for all of it.

I barely eat any meat substitutes myself and stick to 5 basic food groups to get all my nutrients.
This is based on the recommendation of a vegan nutritionist who wrote an awesome book about how to be healthy on a plant based diet and about all the cliches about veganism that exist. So far it's only available in German but they are working on an English version.

The mentioned food groups are:

1. Wholemeal grains
2. Legumes
3. Fruits
4. Vegetables
5. Nuts and Seeds

I try to eat from all those food groups every day. For example, for breakfast I eat porridge (made with soy or oat milk) with (frozen) blueberries and nuts or nutbutter almost every morning.
For lunch or dinner I like to combine cooked spelt, brown rice or wholegrain pasta with lots of veggies and some legumes.

At first I didn't know how to get the legumes in but it's fairly easy.
You can put chickpeas in a curry or lentils in a chili bowl or you can add peas into a stir fry. You can use tofu or tempeh if you feel like it as both those things are made from soy beans and therefor are packed with protein. There's even pasta made from all sorts of legumes. I personally love pasta made from red lentils in combination with a nice tomato based sauce.
You can make pancakes from chickpea or red lentil flour.

If you want to add a nice sauce to your veggies you can make creamy sauces from plant milk and nut butter. Use white almond butter if you want it to become creamy or cashew butter if you'd like it to also have a nice "cheesy" touch to it. This is annother great way to get nuts and seeds into your meals if you don't want to top everything with sesame. :D

Btw if you use plant milk try to use one that is fortified with calcium.

I think you do need to experiment a little but maybe this can be guideline for you.

Another tip I could give you is to buy frozen fruits and veggies. This way you always have something at home and if you're feeling lazy you just cook up some prepared frozen veggies or you can add frozen fruit to smoothies.
They have the same (sometimes even more) nutrients as the fresh produce and it makes life a lot easier sometimes.

And definitely get all kinds of spices and get creative with them. Spices can help you make different variations of the same meal base.

Hope I could at least give you some ideas here.
 
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Welcome Gary!

Mama Chickpea's primary reason for cutting out the meats/dairy was for health benefits. Regardless of the reason, all of the benefits are gained, so good for you nonetheless.

As for foods, some that have been doing this for a while may have their alternate views, but the easiest basis of any meal you're replacing the unhealthy stuff is start simple: Beans and rice. It might sound plain, but that's only if you don't 'spice' it up a little. Try a different bean every day. Try a different combination of herbs and spices with your varying types of rice daily. The combinations are endless, and that's just the bassis of the meal, not counting all of the other vegetables and fruits that can accompany it.

One of our favorites is taco rice: Beans cooked in a taco sauce seasoning, served on top of rice with lettuce, tomato, and guacamole. It's delicious! One of my favorites is homemade sushi rolls, where you can get creative with the substitute (sauteed mushrooms, beans and sriracha for a spicy tuna taste). If you like the spicy, there's Kimchi Fried Rice.

A quick, easy, healthy breakfast option is overnight oats.

Just some ideas to get you rolling.

I wish you success with this new phase of your life and WELCOME to the club!
 

Andy_T

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Gary, first of all, welcome to the forum!
If you are concerned about following a balanced diet giving you all the nutrients, I would suggest to maybe use an app like Cronometer that can track what you eat in a day and tell you if you are missing anything...
 

Lou

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Where a forum member recommends to
1. See a Doctor
2. Read a book
3. Use CronOmeter

First off, Welcome to the Forum.

You've already had some smart friendly people give you some good advice. but I think you have to back up some.

You mentioned IBS and that is a pretty big red flag. You jokingly said that your whole post could have been shortened to, "I need help." that is not true. You would have to shorten it to, "I have IBS, what should I do?"

I have one friend who I have been seeing weekly for years and we talk about IBS once in a while. I'm not an expert or anything, I would say I'm like a 2 on the knowledge scale. The worst thing is that IBS isn't really a very clear cut syndrome ( i guess that is why it called a syndrome and not something else). Different people react in different ways.

It sounds like your version would be compatible with a Plant-Based Diet. I think you should be surer before you jump in. I'm pretty sure that SOP for IBS now is something akin to an allergy test. It helps the doctor predict how you might react to different foods. which is a lot better than just experimenting on yourself. You might find there are some foods or types of foods that you think you need to avoid but don't. And vice-versa.

There are some new treatments for IBS. There are even some new medicines for it. One approach is to change your gut bacteria.

So I guess if I was to shorten my post to just a few words it would be. Step 1: see your doctor.

The heartening thing about plant-based and IBS is that there is plenty of evidence that a victim of IBS may have issues with their gut bacteria and how they respond to different foods. And it's pretty well established that a plant-based diet changes a person's gut bacteria.

There are several really good plant-based doctors who have written books about the plant-based diet and health. They all pretty much preach the same thing although with minor variations. You probably should to go to the library and get at least one of these. How Not To Die, and Eat To Live are the two that I have read. McDougal, Barnard, and Edelstein are also top names in this field. Most of these books have diet plans that go with them. In the beginning, a lot of people find it nice just to follow a diet plan. But all these books give you the knowledge you need to figure out a diet plan for yourself. You could go to the libary and check them all out and decide which one you like and return the rest.

Short version. Step 2: get a book.

Oh. worth mentioning. If you don't like to read, all of the above doctors have YouTube channels. So you could just pick one and watch the videos. Dr. Gregar has the NutritionFacts channel. Barnard has the PCRM channel.

The last thing I think is worth mentioning addresses your concern about Nutrients. You should create a profile in CronOmeter. Its a website and there is a free version. (the free version is more than adequate - the subscription is sort of pricey. ) There is a bit of a learning curve for it. There used to be a really short video tutorial that was great. but they updated the website and removed the tutorial. I'm not sure you really need it but there are some really good written instructions on the site. You should at least start with a perusal of the instructions but a lot of it is totally intuitive.

CronOmeter does allow you to personalize your nutrition requirements but that takes more knowledge than most people have (maybe something that a professional health care person would use). The defaults are good enough for most people. Like anything the more you use it the better you get at it. And you don't have to use it every day for the rest of your life. Most people just use it for exactly what you want to use it for. Just to make sure you aren't missing something.

So the short version: Use Cronometer.
 

Gary48

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First of all thank you everyone for answering. In honesty I think this is something I may have to ease into, not because I'm not sure I want to do it or that I'm testing the water, but more in terms of finding replacements for what I currently eat.
I've got breakfast covered already as I love porridge, just need to swap out the dairy milk and toss in some nuts or fruit and that's my day started. I drive a cab for a living so eating a healthy lunch has always been a challenge. Recently though my wife discovered an electric lunch box which plugs into the car 12v port so heating this up is now possible too.
I think considering my working hours and my training (mid life crisis has me wanting to do an Ironman even though I've never done a single triathlon in my life !!) I may have to meal prep on a Sunday. Calories will have to be explored also as due to training i'm quite a bit above the average adult male daily count.
Like I mentioned in my first post though, I think this is a direction I'm going in naturally rather than just waking up one day and deciding, "Right, today I become vegan." If anyone has ever suffered from IBS they'll understand what an impact it has on your day and how nervous I can become if I'm more than 5 minutes away from a toilet LOL. The only respite I get from this now is when I eat what I call a simple diet that is uncomplicated for my system to digest, invariably that has consisted of a wheelbarrow full of vegetables, water only for drinking and very little meat.
So a bit of work to be done going forward but nothing that scares the living daylights out of me. Thanks again for the replies so far.
 

Emma JC

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welcome to the forum Gary - you have been given great advice by everyone

You are wise to consider this a journey and wise to be careful along the way because of your gut situation.

My step daughter has Crohns and going on a plant-based diet has helped her tremendously both in the weight department and the gut department and yet she still has to be careful. Some new vegans eat a lot of raw vegetables and I would say that you should ask your doctor about this and maybe consider that the most fibrous of vegetables should be cooked. I have never been diagnosed with any intestinal issues and yet know that uncooked broccoli, for example, and other uncooked vegetables can cause some issues and so I prefer almost all my veggies cooked. Fibre is one of the best things about a plant-based diet and you will have the most amazing :poop::poop: and yet overdoing it with fibre can also be an issue. Overnight oats and semi-raw oats are also not good for my digestive system and so I would suggest that you continue to cook them as you likely already do being a good Scotsman!

Lots of potatoes and sweet potatoes, beans, lentils, greens and veggies you like, berries (frozen is fine), bananas, citrus! The food is delicious... just check out some of the "what I had for breakfast, lunch, dinner" threads on this forum. The rice and beans base idea is a great one as you can just add the spices you love and whatever vegetables you have around. Throw in some canned tomatoes occassionally for extra tastiness. Buddha bowls are also a wonderful invention and if you google them you will find lots of youtube videos that can help.

All the best with this journey and feel free to ask more questions and keep us up to date with your progress. Is your wife onboard?

Emma JC
 

TofuRobot

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Look up Chef AJ - she has a channel on YouTube and makes eating WFPB really easy with simple recipes. Her videos are kind of long sometimes, but she's got a ton of energy and is really motivating/inspiring.

Welcome to the group!
 
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aarinolaayy

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Hi, I'm pretty sure you've all read a very similar post to this one a million times, but I'll take you through it once again and hopefully some kind hearted soul(s) will point me in the right direction.
So my name is Gary, I am 52 and I live in Scotland. Currently a meat eater but over the last 5 or 6 years I'd say I'm becoming more and more aware of foods that my body just will not tolerate anymore. Chocolate has gone as well as cheese, anything spicy, just about anything fried and my list of meats that I can eat is down to pretty much chicken, turkey and fish.
Recently after one of my IBS "bad weeks" I spent around 10 days eating vast amounts of vegetables, not a lot of meat and nothing fried (or anything which uses oil to cook it) I had one of my best spells where I had no gut problems at all. During this time the only thing I drank was water. I went back to my "normal" diet as I felt what I was eating wasn't giving me the proper balance of nutrients as I had no idea what a balanced vegetarian/vegan diet looks like. Sure as fate though the gut problems returned.
Recently I've watched a couple of documentaries on plant based diets versus meat diets (The Game Changers, Forks over Knives) and an awful lot of the health issues discussed (mainly in Forks over Knives) I already see in myself.
The statistics given in these documentaries Re: Land given over for animals raised to be slaughtered, the pollution created from these industries and the health costs of treating conditions brought on by the Western diet are shocking enough, but if I'm totally honest with you all my interest in moving away from a meat based diet lies mainly in my own personal health concerns, (apologies to all if that sounds incredibly selfish).
So my situation is this; I would like to move to an entirely vegan diet. I would rather not eat "substitute" products (processed fake meats) but I can't just go on eating a plate of vegetables. I need to learn to make meals and a properly structured eating pattern. I also do alot of running and fitness stuff so my new diet would need to keep me going through that.
I suppose this whole post could have been shortened to "Help, where do I start?" but I'm Scottish, we like to talk ! So any help or pointers would be very much appreciated. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read this post and to anyone who is kind enough to reply.
Hi Gary!

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You can have a browse through what's available here:



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Also, with regards to your gut issues, there is a 30 days to healthy living plan that helps completely transform your gut!

If you would like more information or aren't really sure where to get started, I can help you pick the products that are best for you, and also get them at a discounted price.

I hope this helps x
 
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