New to Vegan

ty brant

May 28, 2016
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Hereford, England
  1. Vegan newbie
Hi all I'm new to this forum and like most new to veganism. I have been a meat eater all my life and for the past 4 years I have turned to about 80% veg/fruit and 20% meat.

I went to see an allergies and nutritionist specialist because my health wasn't the best and I noticed a change in my breathing pattern when ever I ate cheese or drank milk. The lady tested me for numerous allergens and I had a list as long as my arm of food stuffs I was either allergic or intolerant too.

Dairy was a big one no part of milk can I drink whey, casein, lactose or cheese, yogurt, beef, pork, peanuts, wheat, alcohol, ethanol etc etc.

So I have made the conscious decision to become vegan. I know it will be hard as I am literally 2 days in. My mental health has suffered. I have spoken to my partner about how low I've been and she is now helping me through my battle not only with food but my mental and physical health.

So I am simply after some support from fellow vegans just on how to stay on track with little tips to avoid slipping back into bad habits.

I am ready for this journey in my life and I have seen the wonderful benefits of being vegan from curing cancer to feeling energetic in the mornings.

So I look forward to hearing from you all and getting involved within the forum.


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Hello, I am brand new to veganism myself. A couple of weeks in and I haven't slipped yet. What I noticed is important for me, is if you are living with a non-vegan partner or family, make sure you always have vegan snacks in the house so you won't be tempted to snack something non-vegan with them.
I also make sure to always cook a big portion of whatever I'm cooking, so if I'm caught off guard by hunger or my family starts eating their meal I can join them and just heat up what I cooked earlier.
If I'm outside and have to eat I usually choose Subway. Don't be afraid to ask in restaurants whether the meal is vegan. I know vegans can come off as pretentious to other people sometimes, so you can always say you have a dairy and egg allergy (when ordering vegetarian).
And if you find yourself feeling weak, I suggest watching even a short video on the meat industry and the craving will be killed.
Good luck with everything, we both need it.
Hello Ty, and welcome to veganism/the Vegan Forum! :)

Yes I have heard to dairy being linked to asthma before - I'd say you've made a very wise decision. I am also trying to go gluten-free since I have noticed my digestion is so much better without it and I seem to feel even more energised too - the heaviness of bread in the gut seems to make me feel sluggish.

I just want to clarify - are your mental health issues linked to being vegan or were they there before the fact? A vegetarian diet has certainly been linked with better mental health (studies in veganism and mental health have not really been conducted as much yet/with the same scientific rigour but I am sure it would do just as well - if not better?). Yes there are some wonderful benefits to going vegan, but as for feeling energised in the morning I'd also say it's important to get out of bed at the same time every single day - the routine of the same sleep cycle also really helps. Even if you feel tempted to oversleep at the weekend don't; get up at the same time and simply have a nap later in the day. Continental Europeans call it a siesta and they generally seem to be less grumpy than the Brits.

All the best!
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Hi Tyrone,
How is your 3rd day going? I still remember that for me it was Day 6 that made all the difference. I'm still feeling great and aware of not taking for granted how much healthier and happier life is in my shoes versus my cohort or those younger than I. I'll be two years in September. It's here to stay. :)

Something I didn't foresee is my desire to remove unnecessary chemicals from my home. I changed all cleaning products and now make my own laundry liquid and toothpaste and use no hair products apart from a (slightly expensive) beautifully handmade glycerin-free hair soap (Funky Soap, London). I am fortunate to not have any allergies, but I bet this type of change would be a real bonus for those who do. Surprisingly it is easy and doesn't take very long ... certainly less time that a trip to the store. Plus, I never run out!

Dining out with friends who knew me as a meat eater can be a bit trickier. I'm afraid I tend to use avoidance with respect to the food part, not the friends. I suggest coffee instead. It's just easier.

Travel can also be tricky. I get over the obstacle of long haul flights by ordering raw food meals and taking my own rye crackers with peanut spread. No peanuts for you though, eh? Almond butter?

The only other tricks I would suggest are to identify your guilty treats and veganise them. Then ... this is the best bit ... allow yourself as much of the vegan version as you wish. Why not? Just by going vegan you are probably streets ahead of your former health status. And this way you won't feel restricted/restrained. The psychology of eating behaviour is that as soon as we know we can have unlimited amounts we tend to eat less anyway. I have a great (& healthy) recipe for vegan chocolate cake if you need one ... just saying. ;-)

Best wishes for your days 4, 5 & beyond.
Welcome to the club.
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Hey guys,

sorry for the late reply, well it's day 5 of my new journey and yes I'm meat free!!
It hasn't been a struggle at all to be honest the food has been delicious and I haven't had an ounce of craving for the red stuff.

Sunday my gf and I went to Worcester and she ordered a beef burger and I had a falafel burger with no butter. It was very nice and I had a root beer. Then yesterday (30th) I went to Tesco and bought all the ingredients to make my own falafals. We had then tonight with a salad and the gf said "they were better than those in town!" So that was a result, I made a big batch so have some for work. I now have my protein shake which consists of Hemp Milk, Almond Butter (Organic and Sustainable), mixed Organic seeds and dried Goji berries.

I know I won't start seeing results for at least a couple of weeks. I am back in the gym and training 4 - 5 times a week so just trying to stay positive.

I have bought a Vegan cookbook so I will keep you all updated on how I am progressing.

Again thank you for advice and I'll speak soon.


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Little update on how I'm doing...

Well everything is going good only one slip yesterday, we had a delivery at work and the delivery driver passed out werthers originals. I had it in my pocket and when I ate it, I forgot it was made with milk. That was me being forgetful for a moment. But other than that I have been very good. I bought some new burgers from Tesco called "Gosh" they are amazing!! I had them in a free from pitta with salad it tasted great!!

I may have turned a corner my girlfriend had Beef mince for homemade burgers and she asked if I could make them for her. Well as I was mixing the mixture the smell was actually really off putting something I've never experienced before. I could actually feel myself rejecting the stench of the meat. So I am happy my body is now in full vegan mode.

About 3 years ago I was 18 stone biggest I'd ever been. Through the gym and weight training I got down to 14 but have struggled to maintain that. I yo-yo between 14 st and 15st. Well I am 1/2Ib from the 13 stone bracket I've lost nearly 8Ib since ditching the meat and dairy foods. So that's a big plus!! Couldn't of done it without the missus she has been buying me all vegan products so that has really helped.

Anyway I'm rabbiting.

Cheers Ty
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Hi Ty,

So good to see your success in living this lifestyle.

I found the same about the smell of meat after going vegan: it stinks and it is gross.

I lift weights as well (Olympic weightlifting style) and wanted to comment that from the studies I read, the protein intake requirements have been highly exaggerated and high protein intake could actually slow down the weight loss. I used to use BCAA and whey protein before I was vegan and currently I do nothing of the sort and my strength and fitness levels are higher. This was just my experience, your mileage may vary.

Keep the updates coming :)

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I experience the same thing RE: smell of raw meat and fish. It's odd the way this amplifies when you're a vegan, isn't it? I find myself in planes halfway through a long flight desperately wishing no one sitting near me requests the fish option.
Now I just think 'death' when I smell raw meat. Talk about word association.

Today I am helping prepare a BBQ for a work function. Thankfully I have opted for masses of veg to roast, plus pineapple (always a winner). The raw meat prep will be a challenge. Sadly, as it is work, I cannot opt out from the prep bit, although distraction techniques with lots of veg is accepted. ... And when I type 'a lot', I mean it with vegan vengeance ;-)

How great it is that your partner is so supportive! Maybe this will change her diet too? It's certainly a boon for budgeting. Purchasing the items for the work BBQ shocked me ... who knew beef was priced like gold in this country? I don't understand why people bother to pay that much, but then obviously I am out of touch with meat prices.
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Hi Ty,

So good to see your success in living this lifestyle.

I found the same about the smell of meat after going vegan: it stinks and it is gross.

I lift weights as well (Olympic weightlifting style) and wanted to comment that from the studies I read, the protein intake requirements have been highly exaggerated and high protein intake could actually slow down the weight loss. I used to use BCAA and whey protein before I was vegan and currently I do nothing of the sort and my strength and fitness levels are higher. This was just my experience, your mileage may vary.

Keep the updates coming :)


Hey Gab,

yeah I learnt a while back that whey protein is a big con! I read an American article by a guy who was a sports column writer and he was asked to promote a "health" whey protein powder and other products. This writer was invited to their laboratories to see the process and ask a few questions when he asked one of the guys producing the whey what the benefits of whey protein is the lab guy said "it does that do any thing!" The writer found from further research that whey protein cannot be ingested through the intestinal wall. So it just sits in the gut and turns into a thick black sludge hence why the majority of body builders today have thick waist bands.

I have been taking raw hemp protein for about 4 years now and it certainly helps with my recovery after a good session.

I try and stick to the formula 1Ib protein to 1Ib of weight. Not sure that's the best way but it seems to work. I just need to up my cardio as I just love weightlifting so much.
Ty, how about cardio + weightlifting at once like so:

Hi Ty,
Doing what you do is ideal (1gram of protein per 1lb of bodyweight). There are a lot of great vegan protein food sources such as black beans, lentils, split peas, etc. However, even the best natural vegan protein food sources typically have a 1:2 or 1:3 Protein to Carbs ratio. If you are looking for a good tool to assist you in tailoring your lean protein intake with excess carbs, I would recommend Real Pro Life Nutrition's plant protein supplement. Hemp protein is an inferior protein. It gets a lot of hype but it's gram for gram protein percentage in raw form is typically in the 40-50% range. Which means even with a properly balanced and complete amino acid profile, gram for gram it is weak. The reason I suggest RPL is because it's protein concentration is 78% pure final product. It also has a PDCAAS (protein digestibility amino acid score) of 1, which is what whey and egg protein rank. I also like some of the imitation meat products out there. However, you need to be careful and look at the nutrition facts because a lot of them have too much fat in them for how much protein you're getting. Also look at the protein source. I stay away from soy as much as possible. Garden is hit or miss. Beyond Meat is usually pretty good.
Your post makes me very happy! It sounds to me like you've defiantly got the right mindstate my friend! I always say that this vegan lifestyle is A JOURNEY, and it looks like you've taken the words right out of my mouth!

The road not always going to be easy! There will be some times that are difficult, and you may struggle. But STAY COMMITTED. Remember that everything from personal relationships, to jobs, to hobbies can become very difficult and even overwhelming at times. Nothing ever worth doing is going to be a cake walk ( :D ). Its ok. Don't blame veganism and give up. Know that you WILL make a positive difference in you health, and that your mentality will improve as well. You're taking a big step in life thats truly honorable and not only beneficial to yourself but the well being of innocent animals and the planet as well.

so give yourself a pat on the back for making it this far and know that It does get easier as time goes on.

Also do plenty of research on the subject. YouTube is a great and easy resource when first getting started. I recommend you spend some time there not only for education, but motivation as well. Theres also a lot of BS videos on there as well, so try to navigate your way to the real nuggets of gold.

I hope that I could lend you some helpful advise.

Best of luck my friend.