Help-Want to be WFPB vegan

gjclayton

Newcomer
Joined
Mar 23, 2021
Reaction score
7
Age
38
Location
UK
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Want to be whole foods plant based vegan but loosing my way!! Help if you can...

Hello all.

I am very new here and this is my first post.

My partner and I have been a vegan for a number of years and for the most part I don't miss eating meat and dairy at all.
I am 38 and trying to exercise regularly with calisthenics and kickboxing (lockdowns allowing).

I would like to try to commit to the whole foods plant based way of cooking as at the moment I have fairly all encompassing cravings where I want to eat processed sugar based foods, processed vegan foods in general (fake meats etc), as well as carb heavy white breads and pasta etc.

I have spoken to two nutritionists about getting guidance for this but I haven't found them to be helpful really. One was fine, but uninspiring and the other just appeared to be pushing his own brand of supplements, he barely talked about "real" food at all!!

Anyway, I love food. I love flavours and textures and looking at whole food plant based recipes leaves me so cold. Steamed or raw vegetables, no oil, few varied sauces etc.
I feel like I'm starting to burn out a bit from it all.

I want to develop discipline and healthy habits that mean I don't turn to sugary snacks or eat a loaf of white bread a day, but I want to enjoy the food I am eating. I want it to taste of something. I don't want to be eating soup five days a week.

I am totally willing to accept that I will need to make sacrifices, or even just recognise that food tastes good in of itself and that it doesn't need to be fried or covered in a fatty sauce.

Can anyone provide any guidance or advice? Maybe a strategy to warm myself up to this slowly? Get rid of cravings first and then look to introduce whole food ingredients and cooking techniques into my life slowly, so that are reinforced?

Before I choose to be vegan food was "my thing", lots of fresh ingredients, unusual meats, offal, lots of restaurants, cook books etc. Becoming vegan didn't mean that stopped, but trying to seek a healthier lifestyle is making me think that most of the things that I used to enjoy and revel in are now, no longer "allowed". Is this true?

Anyway, thank you so much for taking the time to read this long first message. I really appreciate any time anyone is able to give to my questions.

Thank you all so much.

GJC
 
  • Friendly
Reactions: Lou

Emma JC

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Reaction score
4,610
Location
Canada
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
welcome again

I would suggest spending some time watching the whole food youtubers, like Simnett Nutrition, High Carb Hannah, Chef AJ, etc. If you google "whole food plant based youtubers" you will get a ton of suggestions.

Also some of the WFPBed doctors like Dr McDougall, Dr Greger, Dr Esselstyn, Dr Barnard 💕 etc. There are great sources out there that make whole food plant based interesting and tasty.

As I said in my other post, it is all about the spices! We use lots of them and lots of garlic and onions and ginger and we don't shy away from carbs at all. I do shy away from oil, as much as possible, and have been eating way too much Gardein and Fieldroast recently, but do find that things like Soy Curls, and TVP, are very helpful and eat very little raw (other than fruit and greens) it just doesn't appeal to me either. Lots of potatoes and sweet potatoes! Lots of tasty pastas, pizzas made on whole grain flat rounds, rice with curries and fresh veggies, so much good to choose from.

We look forward to sharing this journey with you.

Emma JC
Find your vegan soulmate or just a friend. www.spiritualmatchmaking.com
 
  • Like
Reactions: Freesia and Lou

gjclayton

Newcomer
Joined
Mar 23, 2021
Reaction score
7
Age
38
Location
UK
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Thanks so much.

I subscribe to Simnett Nutrition and if I'm honest his food rarely appeals to me. A hige bowl of random veg, with a random sauce on top. He does create some interesting stuff and I use some of his recipes regularly, but watching his videos has put me off a bit.
I do want to give it chance though. I'll def check out the other youtubers.

Part of me wonders whether the people that make these kinds of foods ever really ate anything interesting and they are satisfied with bowls of veg. BUT! I also know that I am dictated to by my cravings often and therefore it's probably more about me changing my way of looking at things.

I crave sweet treats after dinner and I yearn for carb heavy meals. I LOVE white bread and can eat loaves at a time! I recently gave up caffeine altogether as I think it was contributing to anxiety problems I was experiencing, and that has been fine.

As I said, I'm looking to creat new habits that see me ditch sugars and white carbs and thrive on fresh fruit and delicious whole foods!

I came across the following 7 day plan, which while not being totally foccused on whole foods, pretty much is anyway:

I might give some of the suggestions a go.

Thanks again for your response.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lou and Emma JC

Lou

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Reaction score
9,551
Age
66
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Hello, GIC and welcome aboard.

I see from Emma's post that you have started another thread. I'll check that one out later.

Emma has already made some excellent observations and suggestions. Now it's my turn.

First off, and I do hate saying this but I think some of your "road blocks" or "obstacles" are imaginary.* I'll get more into that in a bit.

There is a side issue I want to address that might or might not be a thing. You used the word nutritionist. This might be just a word usage thing. Also it might mean different things in the UK. And a lot of people use the word dietician and nutrionist interchangeably adding to the confusion. Here in California, nutritionist is a meaningless word. But dietician, especially Registered Dietitian is a real thing. In California, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. But an RD has qualifications. they are highly trained professionals. Their schools are credentialed, they are liscenced by the State, and they are tested (and re-certified on a regular basis). Although I suppose there are many excellent nutritionists there are also a bunch of charlatans who hang up a sign and have no qualifications at all.

Back to the topic on hand, Emma is a big fan of YouTube. And if you prefer video she has made some great suggestions. However, I lose patience with videos. I prefer books. Plus just about anyone can make a YouTube video nowadays. But there are still guard rails in the publishing world. The best books on WFPB seem to be all written by MDs, too. Although there are a lot of good books (Emma already listed some of the best authors), you don't have to read more than one. Pretty much they are all about the same except for some details. If I had to recommend just one I would recommend How Not To Die.

Another thing that I hear a lot about both veganism and WFPB is that you have to stop thinking about what foods are being eliminated and start thinking about what foods can you add. And maybe the key to that is cookbooks. Although I have almost completely gotten away from cook books and now just use the internet for recipes.

But I think for you, a cookbook would be a great idea. Can you visit a library?

Almost every author Emma mentioned also has a cookbook. I would suggest just going to the library and getting one. There are also many recipes to be found with Google. Search for "whole food plant based recipes" there are a million of them.

Going WFPB does not mean you can't still be a foodie. You just have to be a different kind of foodie. One door closes and another opens.


* Well, not imaginary. What is another word for not real?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Emma JC

Emma JC

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Reaction score
4,610
Location
Canada
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
yup, I hear you on the bowls of veggies and I do not follow everything that any of the youtubers do, exactly, instead what I do is watch a lot of different people and then I take ideas that they have, research for other similar recipes online and then take the parts that I like and just make my own version - example, I made a curry last night inspired by one I watched Derek make one in the iPot, I looked at his recipe, looked at others and then made my own with what I had available - I did not put the rice in the curry, I made it separately and put the curry on it, I also used a pita as a sopping up tool etc

as many here know I make an oatmeal breakfast which I call a dog's breakfast because I add a ton of items to it, some are for health reasons, some are for taste and it is a way for me to eat a lot of whole foods, all at once and only have to make 2 meals a day.... here's what's in it...
1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/4 teaspoon of broken up wakame ( I put both in a pasta bowl, pour on water and microwave for a minute), the I add 2 medjool dates, 1/4 cup of cooked brown lentils, cup of frozen berries then back in the microwave for a minute and a half - then... 1 tablespoon of ground flax, a sprinkle of hemp hearts, 2 tablespoon peanut butter powder, 1 teaspoon of dark cocoa powder, a scoop of greens powder, a sprinkle of cayenne, a 1/2 of turmeric/pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon of Genestra scorbatate (vit C powder), 1/4 cup plant milk - mix this altogether than added a sliced banana, a handful of chopped walnuts and cinnamon (mix again) - it takes me a long time to eat (which is when I watch youtube) as there are so many items to chew well

funny thing is my honey and I make our own breakfast/lunches on week days (we normally eat around noon) and he chooses the opposite most days - a noodle soup base with added wakame, lots of frozen veggies, chili peppers, green onion, garlic, noodles, miso etc - I love that kind of meal also but I love my bananas and fruit more...

but both of our individual meals have a theme - add as many whole foods and spices as possible and don't worry if the carb is a white or whole wheat noodle/pasta - I love steel cut oats too but I save those for Saturday mornings and have rolled oats during the week

we love carb heavy meals and we offset those carbs with lots of cooked vegetables

for dessert, we do occasionally have vegan ice cream (Breyers) and have just a couple of scoops of it each and added thawed frozen berries or cherries on top and have a cookie or two - I also keep dark chocolate around and will have just a couple of squares of it when I crave dessert or a couple of vegan chocolate cookies which I keep in the freezer - we often just have some popcorn or a few potato chips for dessert

we also make large pots of split pea/veggie soup, bean tomato veggie soup, chilis etc and then freeze portions so that we don't have to cook every night - sometimes we serve those smaller portions on potatoes or sweet potatoes or on rice

we also LOVE pasta and we don't really sweat the small stuff over whether it is white or whole wheat - we probably have each 50% of the time, we just add lots of veggies and greens, mushrooms.olives, cherry tomatoes and garlic and onions - when we don't use spaghetti sauce we use just a small amount of oil to brown the garlic and onions - sometimes we make some soy curl strips for the top, other times some Yves or Gardein meatballs

it is really important to enjoy your food and, as Lou says, think of all the wonderful foods you can have instead of what you can't have - I love beans and rice and hot sauces and curries and fruits and veggies and it is so much fun to combine them in new and different ways with the occasional Fieldroast sausage thrown in :D

I hope this is a bit helpful.

Emma JC
Find your vegan soulmate or just a friend. www.spiritualmatchmaking.com
 

gjclayton

Newcomer
Joined
Mar 23, 2021
Reaction score
7
Age
38
Location
UK
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
This is all really helpful thank you!

Some great advice that I will take a look through and reflect on. Sorry for delayed reponses, due to time differences and work!

I think the "nutritionist" comment is key here. I definitely got the impression that these people were self appointed experts. I have definitely been burned by one of them, trying to sell me their powered super foods blend and saying that fresh fruit and veg wasn't great because it lacked nutrients etc.

Anyway, I have heard of some of those writers and Doctors and will look into buying a whole food cook book. Your ideas have really helped and I love dates so I'll try out some of those easy swaps too.
I'm going to start out easy and try to implement some of your ideas into my daily eats.

I really do appreciate your attention to this and your responses. They have really helped me to see the possibilities here.

Have a great day!
 

David3

Forum Legend
Joined
May 19, 2016
Reaction score
1,707
Age
52
Location
California, USA
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Want to be whole foods plant based vegan but loosing my way!! Help if you can...

Hello all.

I am very new here and this is my first post.

My partner and I have been a vegan for a number of years and for the most part I don't miss eating meat and dairy at all.
I am 38 and trying to exercise regularly with calisthenics and kickboxing (lockdowns allowing).

I would like to try to commit to the whole foods plant based way of cooking as at the moment I have fairly all encompassing cravings where I want to eat processed sugar based foods, processed vegan foods in general (fake meats etc), as well as carb heavy white breads and pasta etc.

I have spoken to two nutritionists about getting guidance for this but I haven't found them to be helpful really. One was fine, but uninspiring and the other just appeared to be pushing his own brand of supplements, he barely talked about "real" food at all!!

Anyway, I love food. I love flavours and textures and looking at whole food plant based recipes leaves me so cold. Steamed or raw vegetables, no oil, few varied sauces etc.
I feel like I'm starting to burn out a bit from it all.

I want to develop discipline and healthy habits that mean I don't turn to sugary snacks or eat a loaf of white bread a day, but I want to enjoy the food I am eating. I want it to taste of something. I don't want to be eating soup five days a week.

I am totally willing to accept that I will need to make sacrifices, or even just recognise that food tastes good in of itself and that it doesn't need to be fried or covered in a fatty sauce.

Can anyone provide any guidance or advice? Maybe a strategy to warm myself up to this slowly? Get rid of cravings first and then look to introduce whole food ingredients and cooking techniques into my life slowly, so that are reinforced?

Before I choose to be vegan food was "my thing", lots of fresh ingredients, unusual meats, offal, lots of restaurants, cook books etc. Becoming vegan didn't mean that stopped, but trying to seek a healthier lifestyle is making me think that most of the things that I used to enjoy and revel in are now, no longer "allowed". Is this true?

Anyway, thank you so much for taking the time to read this long first message. I really appreciate any time anyone is able to give to my questions.

Thank you all so much.

GJC
.
Welcome to the forum!

Whole food plant based diets can still include wholemeal bread and pasta.

There is plenty of vegan haute cuisine. You can find some high-end vegan restaurants in your area through http://www.happycow.net, or similar website.

Indian and Middle Eastern dishes are delicious, are never boring, and contain plenty of healthy beans, lentils, grains (you can choose whole grains), and vegetables. Certain east Asian cuisines also feature these things. Mexican dishes can be centered around a plate of beans and corn/rice, with spicy salsa and avocado. Portuguese caldo verde, Italian wedding soup, and Northern Spanish lentil soup are simple dishes that can be made vegan.

Pickled artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, marinated green olives, and other dried/salted vegetables can add a lot of flavor to pizza and (wholemeal) pasta.

Spicy and healthy sauces include hummus, mustard, salsa, and balsamic vinegar.

I'm a big fan of soups that include lentils/beans, whole grains, onions, and dark green leafy vegetables. Plenty of flavor from a simple of broth of water, low-salt tomato sauce, and smaller amounts of low-salt soy sauce and hot chili sauce. The soup greatly reduces the bitterness of green vegetables (especially collard greens and mustard greens) down to a pleasant addition to the overall flavor of the soup.
 
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: gjclayton and Lou

gjclayton

Newcomer
Joined
Mar 23, 2021
Reaction score
7
Age
38
Location
UK
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Just another quick question:
Does Greger's book "How Not to Die" (terrible title btw!!) give you practical information and plans and recipes on how to focus on WFPB?
I don't really need the science as much as I need guidance, hence my attempts with nutritionists....
Thanks!
 

gjclayton

Newcomer
Joined
Mar 23, 2021
Reaction score
7
Age
38
Location
UK
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
PS: I just found the "How Not to Die Cookbook"!
It gets good reviews too!
 

shyvas

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Reaction score
29,719
Location
Somewhere in the South
Lifestyle
  1. Other
Just another quick question:
Does Greger's book "How Not to Die" (terrible title btw!!) give you practical information and plans and recipes on how to focus on WFPB?
I don't really need the science as much as I need guidance, hence my attempts with nutritionists....
Thanks!

Hello & welcome.

What kind of food/recipes are you looking for? What were your favourite omni recipes ?

I cook a lot but don't read any complicated books written by nutritionists. I prefer to keep things simple and listen to
my own body. Food has to be quite healthy but also tasty. :D
 

silva

Forum Legend
Supporter
Joined
Jun 3, 2012
Reaction score
11,899
Location
USA
Just another quick question:
Does Greger's book "How Not to Die" (terrible title btw!!) give you practical information and plans and recipes on how to focus on WFPB?
I don't really need the science as much as I need guidance, hence my attempts with nutritionists....
Thanks!
It is a surprisingly good read, but the HNT Diet book is also excellent. It's not about weight loss as much as human physiology, psychology, and research into generations of humans disgesting and processing food.
I agree on the titles of both-try and recommend to someone and it immediately becomes contentious.

If you can get both the "die" and "diet" (which again, is based on the DD principles and not about low cal) from the library first I would recommend that. If for nothing but the sauces, seasoning blends, and ideas. I can't say I follow any recipes, ever, but I found these books very helpful.

PlantPure Kitchen & PlantPure Nation are two other books wfpb.

I really like this site for recipes and ideas-
 
  • Like
Reactions: Emma JC and Lou

Sproutskies

Forum Senior
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
Reaction score
239
Age
28
Location
Colorado, USA
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Maybe the goal for now is not to go 100% fully into a strict way of eating. Maybe go 3-4 days on and the rest of the week alternate back to your regular diet. Over the long term just adjusting more and more into your whole foods diet. During this transition phase you could introduce and look up new recipes to increase your ability to make the healthy food taste good. There are thousands of soup ideas in existence which would not taste exactly like the other. Maybe it's more about changing the mental model in your mind and trusting that even foods that sound boring can get a flavor boost with enough creativity.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Emma JC and Lou

Lou

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Reaction score
9,551
Age
66
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
PS: I just found the "How Not to Die Cookbook"!
It gets good reviews too!
Yep! Almost all the WFPB Doctor/authors have "companion" cookbooks.

I've borrowed a good selection of them from the library. and if you can get to the library I would recommend a borrow before you buy approach.

I am a big user of my local library and avoid buying books as much as possible. Vegan chefs are always giving me their ebooks just for me giving them my email address. then they send me their newsletters. Which IMHO, is a really good deal. Their newsletters are full of recipes, too.

I certainly haven't checked out all the cookbooks that are out there. I was very favorably impressed with The Fork Over Knives Cookbook, with over 300 recipes I think it's the most extensive.

I'm also pretty sure that both How Not To Die and Eat to Live contain both sample meal plans and recipes which is a pretty good way to jump in.

And... if you just google a little big more you can find websites that have sample recipes from these cookbooks. Here are a few I found.









Oh! that reminds me. The app/website 21 day Kickstart, has a 21 day meal plan with recipes. And its free!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Emma JC

silva

Forum Legend
Supporter
Joined
Jun 3, 2012
Reaction score
11,899
Location
USA
I'm really struggling lately. I KNOW, I have eaten very close to 100% DD for over a month--my endurance was exponentially increased, no sign of asthma or allergies, no joint pain, flexibility increased, stamina increased. I think I felt better than I was prepared to deal with? Really, I think that must be the biggest issue here, because again, I woke up one day and my cravings were all back, and I fought a while, then caved.

I've been trying to keep my eating as wfpb as possible till dinner. I had chickpeas, farro and brussel sprouts with a balsamic vinegar, dijon and date paste mix. It was 'tasty', but but but....
I wish I could be hypnotised or something. I just need to get out of the rut I'm in and start new things. Today I'm going to hike a new park. I've been doing way too much sitting when I'm home
 
  • Friendly
Reactions: PTree15 and Emma JC

Lou

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Reaction score
9,551
Age
66
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
I'm really struggling lately. I KNOW, I have eaten very close to 100% DD for over a month--
DD?
Dooms Day?
Designated Driver?
Dear Daughter?
Due Diligence?
Dolby Digital
Doctor of Divinity.
Development Disability??
 

silva

Forum Legend
Supporter
Joined
Jun 3, 2012
Reaction score
11,899
Location
USA
DD?
Dooms Day?
Designated Driver?
Dear Daughter?
Due Diligence?
Dolby Digital
Doctor of Divinity.
Development Disability??
Daily Dozen :joy:
I'm a lurker on a Dr Greger facebook! Here's a good one they use that threw me for some time- WOE: way of eating
I have the app on my phone and was checking off each catagory as I went. It was fun for a time, them it all turned around o_O:worried:
It's like how can chickpeas have been my favorite bean and now I dislike them so much? Or sweet potatoes?
 

Lou

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Reaction score
9,551
Age
66
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Daily Dozen :joy:
Oh there is also the Dirty Dozen which is also an app I have on my phone. it lists the 12 foods with the most pesticide residue. the dirty dozen app also lists the Clean 15.

I have The Daily Dozen as a check list on my frig but I have given up on it. I just can't eat that much food in one day. And it is too structured and regimented.
 

Lou

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Reaction score
9,551
Age
66
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
But speaking of the DD, that might be good advice for the poster.

@gjclayton, Dr Grager has this list called the Daily Dozen, There is an app for it or you can post it on the frig and check it off the old fashioned way. I laminated mine and use a dry erase pen. But like I told @silva , I don't use mine anymore. It is a lot of food but maybe not as much at first glance - serving sizes are small.



 

silva

Forum Legend
Supporter
Joined
Jun 3, 2012
Reaction score
11,899
Location
USA
But speaking of the DD, that might be good advice for the poster.

@gjclayton, Dr Grager has this list called the Daily Dozen, There is an app for it or you can post it on the frig and check it off the old fashioned way. I laminated mine and use a dry erase pen. But like I told @silva , I don't use mine anymore. It is a lot of food but maybe not as much at first glance - serving sizes are small.



The daily dozen amounts to only 1200 to 1400 calories as written, and meant for more food to be added. It takes adjustment as it's nutrient dense and high fiber.
People who have health issues this way of eating resolves have done very well following it, I've known a couple people whose lives have been saved from this diet.
It really is eating to live
 
  • Like
Reactions: Emma JC and Lou

Lionnose

Newcomer
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
Reaction score
3
Age
36
Location
UK
Lifestyle
  1. Flexitarian
As previous posters have suggested I recommend thinking about what you enjoyed before. Here is a list of some of my favourite meals

tacos (with almond flour tortillas)
Nachos (sweet potato, black bean and corn, nacho cheese homemade, salsa, guacamole, wholewheat seeded crackers)
Almost any vegan richa curry - we like to have two or three different ones with a saag aloo and some rice (I usually make an Indian spiced rice)
Cottage pie (vegan)
Minimalist baker breakfast burritos without the wrap, we put it in a bowl with lots of dips, cashew cream, salsa, avocado
Vegan homemade Mac & cheese with lentil pasta
I also use the sauce from above to have on cauliflower and have it with nut roast and roasted potatoes
Mushroom gravy on oat and almond flour biscuits (scones)

hope some of those helped.

I try to limit oil but can’t cut it out completely as I think it improves the flavour of a lot of dishes. I use a spray oil and try to use as few sprays as possible