I don't like lentils! An introduction...

fuzzy logic

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Hi people,

I thought I would post an introduction. I hope it's in the right place. So, I made the decision to switch to vegan food yesterday after thinking about it for some time. I look at my dog and all her little likes and dislikes, and I can't imagine what it would be like to put an animal in a factory farm and how they cope mentally (and physically). I thought about going vegetarian but I came back to the same problem of not liking the idea of factory farms. I am beyond a beginner when it comes to working out what is vegan and what is not. So far I read look out for gelatin. What else do I look out for? I know the obvious animal products like milk, eggs.

I am a bit nervous about what I am going to eat because I don't like beans or lentils...not without it being disguised as another food anyway. I do eat those vege patties, tofu, nuts & seeds, salad, potato, etc. I was excited tonight to try a beef alternative patty from Beyond Meat...it was really good, satisfying. Expensive, but I think worth it if I am not eating actual meat. I also found vegan alternatives for yoghurt (although that was so so), cheese (smelt funny, but not bad) and obviously milk (I discovered I like Almond milk at a friend's house). Any suggestions on what to try next? What meat alternatives do you use?

I feel a touch overwhelmed with having to switch my diet up what feels like suddenly but I have been thinking about this for a while. Any advice for a total beginner?

I was glad to find a forum where I could read about veganism, so thanks for having me.
 

Emma JC

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welcome to the forum and all the best with your new lifestyle

as I have posted many times before....

Supermarkets are mostly vegan by default:

  • all produce aisles - fresh fruits and vegetables and herbs
  • frozen aisles - frozen fruits, vegetables, vegan alternative meats
  • bean aisles - canned beans, dried beans, breakfast beans, lentils
  • canned fruits and vegetables
  • pasta aisle - most pastas and sauces, noodles, rice
  • condiments aisle - vinegars, olives, pickles, ketchup, soy sauce, hot sauces, mustard, tahini
  • snack and bulk aisle - nuts, dried fruits, nutritional yeast, various grains, some potato chips
  • cereal aisle - oatmeal, Spoon Size Shredded Wheat, Shredded Wheat etc
  • beverage aisle - sparkling water, herbal teas, coffee
  • bakery aisle - sprouted breads, pitas, tortillas
  • dairy aisle - tofu, plant-based milks/yogurts/cheezes
I hope this helps a bit.

Emma JC
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Lou

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Hi people,

I thought I would post an introduction. I hope it's in the right place.

Well we do have an "introductions area" but because of your concerns and question I think this IS the right place. Welcome aboard!
So, I made the decision to switch to vegan food yesterday after thinking about it for some time.

Congrats.
I am beyond a beginner when it comes to working out what is vegan and what is not. So far I read look out for gelatin. What else do I look out for?

There are many many things to look out for. Since you "know the obvious animal products like milk, eggs", the rest and can be considered just details. There is a saying, the devil is in the details, but I've come to believe that it a good rule for bridges and battlegrounds, its not as good a rule for living. There is another aphorism I like better: Don't let perfection be the enemy of good. Some guy once said, "If you never miss a plane, you are spending too much time at the airport."

My advice is for not to worry about all the details. Just do the best that you can. Keep coming here and reading up on veganism. You will figure it out slowly which is just fine.
I am a bit nervous about what I am going to eat because I don't like beans or lentils...not without it being disguised as another food anyway.
I hear that about beans a lot. I have a lot of doubt when someone says it. There are over 10,000 types of legumes that are grown and eaten around the world. I bet you can find about 20 of them at your local grocery store.
Also there about 100 bean recipes right here on the vegan forum.
It might be challenging but I think you should put some effort into finding beans and recipes you do like. I think its important. Legumes are a really good vegan source of nutrients, and sort of hard to replace.
However there are some fast and easy solutions that you can use till you find some beans and recipes you like. And one of them you have already figured out. Beyond meat's main ingredient is pea protein. Peas are a type of legumes. Just like beans and lentils.
Another solution is finding some recipes that disguise healthy plant based foods. One source of inspiration is Jessica Seinfeld. She has a new book out and she has been making the morning show rounds. Her books might even be in your local library. Her first one, Deceptively Delicious, was written for moms whose kids are fussy eaters, but no reason it won't won't work for you. Her new one, Vegan At Times, might also be worth taking a look at.


I do eat those vege patties, tofu, nuts & seeds, salad, potato, etc. I was excited tonight to try a beef alternative patty from Beyond Meat...it was really good, satisfying. Expensive, but I think worth it if I am not eating actual meat. I also found vegan alternatives for yoghurt (although that was so so), cheese (smelt funny, but not bad) and obviously milk (I discovered I like Almond milk at a friend's house). Any suggestions on what to try next? What meat alternatives do you use?

The issue with almost all the vegan foods that you find Pre-made in the supermarket is that they are usually highly processed, which can translate to high in fat and salt. Plus as you already mentioned, expensive. I no longer consider yoghurt to be important. but if you do, maybe consider making it yourself. Vegan cheeses are not very healthy either. they are mostly made up of oil. But making your own might be too much for. I've found store bought ones that I like and stick to those.
I am a big consumer of soy milk. its more nutritious and more economically friendly than almond. About the only meat I get is the sausages. I like the Field Roast brand. Not sure if you can get them in Australia.
I also consume a lot of tofu. Mostly in stir fry.
I feel a touch overwhelmed with having to switch my diet up what feels like suddenly but I have been thinking about this for a while. Any advice for a total beginner?

Like I said earlier, don't worry about the details. For now.
I was glad to find a forum where I could read about veganism, so thanks for having me.
Glad you are here.
 
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fuzzy logic

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Thanks Lou for your awesome post and for the welcome. Yes, a lot of things you said stuck out to me...I do have to go for progress not perfection. I will look out for the fat content on the processed vegan foods, as I do need to watch my weight. Ok, I will take more of a look at the bean situation...I had no idea that there were that many. And I will look out for the Field Roast brand. I haven't seen them yet but things do slowly filter down to Australia. I haven't tried Soy milk yet but I will give it a go. I think most coffee places have Soy as opposed to Almond so I am sure it won't take me long to find out. I looked up vegan cafes in the area and there is a vegetarian one that also serves vegan food in the same suburb and a straight vegan cafe one suburb over so that is great. Thanks again for your post.
 
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👋 fuzzy and welcome ,
I noticed you liked the beyond meat burger maybe you could check out the ingredients and replicate it and make your own burgers
 
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fuzzy logic

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Thanks Blues :) Interestingly, I first heard of Beyond Meat on a Mark Rober video (the one where he feeds Bill Gates meat substitute burgers) and he goes to the factory and they do actually show the ingredients of what goes into one, so you never know...I might be able to make one.
 
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fuzzy logic

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So, I reached out to one of my sister's thinking that given her own history of vegetarianism she maybe supportive, even helpful. I made a mistake. I haven't seen her eat much lately as she lives in a different city. So I didn't know that she was back eating meat, fish, etc. My question about what she eats alternative to meat was poorly received. I then explained that I was trying to switch to vegan. That went down like a house on fire. The reasons are a bit complicated. Though we have never discussed her eating disorder, I think with the benefit of hindsight she used vegetarianism to get away with eating very little. She has always been thin, but at points anorexic. I on the other hand, am currently obese. She railed on me because I have previously starved my way down to an anorexic weight from this type of obesity. She seems concerned I will try to do that again. She says instead of going vegan I should try 'eating more veggies', lol (instead of giving up meat)... which is completely ignoring why I want to go vegan in the first place i.e. animal cruelty. At the height of my own anorexia, it's true that I ate 150gm of green beans a day but I NEVER, not once did I claim to be trying veganism or vegetarianism. I don't want to go back there, I wasn't able to function physically or mentally...but by the same token I don't want to stay obese, it affects my physical functioning. I have bought a wide range of vegan food and at the moment I am trying just to get use to not eating animal products...let alone anything else. I am seeing a dietitian but admittedly I will have to go back because my meal plan was two Optifast shakes, a meal, a yoghurt and a piece of fruit. That will need to be adjusted now that I am eating vegan. To what I don't exactly know. But what I do know is I have my own ethical reasons for wanting to go vegan. I didn't throw this in her face, I barely raised it out of fear I would cause further offence. I hope I can smooth it over with her.

Thanks for letting me vent a little, what I had hoped to be a positive interaction with my sister went horribly awry somehow.
 
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Emma JC

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thank you for sharing your story - as weight is a concern for you I would suggest, in concert with your dietician, that you don't fall for the "low carb" hype and instead becareful of added oils and fats.... you can eat lots of potatoes, sweet potatoes, vegetables, fruits, etc and eat less calories than if you put some olive oil on your lettuce.... that way you can get in your calories along with a lot of fibre and adding some chick peas and tofu etc will add to the protein you get from the veggies - being a starchivore is very satisfying for us, we love the food and have been able to keep the weight off despite doing almost no exercising (not recommended) - in my case "couch potato" is apt as I do all my work on the couch and also eat and watch TV there and eat lots of potatoes LOL

if you are concerned about your intake you can check out Cronometer, it is free, and I don't suggest doing it every day, it might be good to do for a week just so that you can help to adjust your thinking... eat the olive not the olive oil, eat the coconut not the coconut oil and so on

wishing all the best
Emma JC
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satiety_oil_chicken_vegetables.jpg
 

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Hi. thanks for the more info.
Just as a point of info, and maybe something to know that might help you out with your sister is that physicians have documented that anorexics (mostly teenage girls) have used veganism as a disguise for anorexia. (Oh, I can't eat that. I'm vegan). If your sister knows that it may help you understand where she is coming from.

Also a vegan diet might not be the best choice for a recovering anorexic. Just too many foods to avoid. But if you are obese that may not something you really have to worry about - at least not right now.

Since I brought up Avoidance, a better way to keep to a vegan diet is not by avoiding non vegan food but eating all the vegan food you need to thrive.

I thought either I or @Emma JC brought up Dr. Fuhrman or Dr. Gregar. but skimming all the above I guess we didn't. (must have been in another thread). So I will correct that oversight now. Oh, btw I'm a Fuhrman/Gregar guy. Emma is a Barnard/ Campbell girl. Anyway, when I follow Dr. Gregar's recommendations of what to eat I struggle with actually eating everything on his list. And it isn't even that many calories. As you can see from the illustration above - its just very filling.

I'm going to repeat and emphasize what Emma said about carbs. Carbs Are Good. A vegan diet Should be a High Carb diet. Just avoid the processed carbs like refined flour and sugar.

If you want or need a structured vegan meal plan for losing weight Dr. Fuhrman has one in his book Eat to Live. and if you want some good guidelines check out Dr. Gregar's How Not to Die. oh there is also the book How Not to Diet.

Have you brought up veganism with your dietician? You should. I was reluctant to bring up that I was a vegan when I first met my RD. But my sister was there and she brought it up and I was pleasantly surprised that my dietician was enthusiastic. Although with a history of anorexia - don't be surprised if she is cautious, too.

I am also a big fan of CronOmeter. However I've been told by recovering anorexics that they find it triggering. So maybe keep that in mind. But I think its a great tool. especially used with a Dietician. Cronometer starts you off with generic "default" goals. I was very hesitant about messing with them. but with the Dieticians directions I reset all my goals. I don't use it all the time anymore but I used to and I found it the best thing for monitoring my intake of food.
 
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fuzzy logic

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Thanks Emma and Lou :)

I will bring up the veganism with my dietitian, I am sure she will be helpful...she's great like that. My previous diet was mainly Optifast shakes and a meal. So, I will probably have to work a bit harder on a vegan plan to get all the nutrition in because before the Optifast shakes did most of the work.

Cool, I just looked up the Cronometer site you guys were talking about. It looks good, I will create an account and try it out.

Thanks Lou for the book recommendations.
 

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fuzzy logic

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Thanks, I have stopped drinking the Optifast but it is great to know there are alternatives. I will look them up. Thank you.
 
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Welcome, fuzzy logic!

First: I'm glad you're making sure to care for yourself, as well as the animals you won't be eating anymore.

If you don't like legumes, there's a way to get around that. What legumes have you tried? I've eaten quite a variety of them, and some do taste better to me than others. I'll eat lentils, mostly because they're easy and fast to cook, but... not my favorite.
 
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Hey Tom, thanks for the welcome ,:)

I'm not 100% clear on what is in the legume family, I eat green beans but I don't, for example, like kidney beans. To be fair, I probably haven't tried enough of them to know what I like. I googled legume and there is a lot of bean species I don't know about.
 
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Hey Tom, thanks for the welcome ,:)

I'm not 100% clear on what is in the legume family, I eat green beans but I don't, for example, like kidney beans. To be fair, I probably haven't tried enough of them to know what I like. I googled legume and there is a lot of bean species I don't know about.
Peanuts, peas, lentils, chickpeas, lima beans, are all legumes. I think of legumes as how they can split in two, and the sprout comes from between
Anyway, it's not important, as they are quite interchangeable with beans.

I highly recommend reading all the above--Dr Greger, How Not to Die, as well as HNTDiet. Furman, Eat to Live, Colin Campbell particularly the book Whole, lots by Dr Neal Barnard

Much can be found on NutritionFacts.org | The Latest in Nutrition Related Research
 

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Hi Fuzzy Logic

When I became vegan, I went from eating mostly processed foods (vegan dogs, grocery store hummus, etc.), to mostly soy stuff (tofu, soymilk and stuff), and now my emphasis is on cooked-from-dry organic legumes. If you have never cooked beans from dry, the taste is so much better than anything else! You just have to make sure to soak and high-heat properly, so if you have some time to devote to cooking, I think it is worth a try.

Most legumes excluding lentils should be soaked overnight or for 8-12 hours, rinsed vigourously, and then cooked on high heat for the first 10 minutes, before anything else including salt or oil is added.
 
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A couple of more thoughts.

Sylva gave you quite the Reading List. All those books, and a few more, you should read.......eventually.
But you don't need to read all of them right now or even this year.

I had set a goal to read one vegan diet book a year. Pick a rate that you can live with. One thing is that for the most part they tend to say almost the same thing.The differences are there but small. By spreading them out, the similarities probably won't be such a big deal. they will be more like a refresher course. Also each author has a different emphasis, so you will find something new in each book, too.

Some of the authors have also created companion books. Forks over Knives has at least 5 books in their family.
Gregar has at least 4. Furhman has maybe a dozen. Barnard has at least 10, too. Some of these authors also have a strong online presence. Gregar has dozens of videos on line. So does Barnard.