On the outside... Cautiously looking in


Oct 13, 2019
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Orlando, FL
  1. Omnivore
Just watched The Game Changers last night. Really opened my eyes. But I'm cautious. Why?

I'm turning 50 this month. And although I feel young at heart, my body feels anything but. I know it's from my daily routine. Before I go to work, I eat fast food. Same thing everyday. After work, a TV dinner. I work a lot of hours on 2nd shift, so I really don't have the time to cook. Nevermind that I live humbly in a space that has no kitchen. I do have a large fridgerator, microwave, a wok, and a kitchen sink. And that still may keep me from transitioning to a plant based lifestyle.

I tried researching things like 'plant based meals without cooking'. But they still show links that involve cooking.

So is it possible to transition to a plant based lifestyle, if I'm not able to cook? And eating out, forgetaboutit. Vegan Cafes/restaurants are expensive here in Orlando.

Thanks for any input and help.
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Hello and Welcome!

I am 54 and have been a whole food vegan for 2 years (since August 11). Before that I was pescatarian since I was 25. I grew up eating tons of meat and dairy and one day I just quit the meat (except for fish) "cold turkey" and haven't touched it since. Also - I pretty much hate cooking, too (primarily b/c I detest the cleanup process), so I try to keep things as simple as possible.

I, too, have a job and little time in the morning, and I literally survive on fruit and nuts all day (a couple of bananas, almonds, dates, walnuts, apples, etc). There is a place near me that makes really huge lentil bowls made of greens, rice or quinoa, tomatoes, carrots, garbanzo beans, cucumbers, onions, sprouts, and a really great sauce.. It's so huge that I'll eat half of it for dinner and bring the leftover to eat for lunch at work the next day.

If you're super hungry in the morning, I would highly recommend getting a Ninja (this is the one I just got a couple months ago and I'm loving it) and making yourself a smoothie in the morning to fill you up. If you're near a costco, they have a frozen pre-measured fruit and green smoothie blend - a half package of that plus a fresh banana and make some protein powder (this is the kind I get: https://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Gras...tein+superfood+original&qid=1570993755&sr=8-4 ) and some almond milk (or other plant-based milk) and you're good to go. The Ninja has an automatic button that does the whole thing for you and it only takes a minute or so. Pop the lid on and you can run out the door. ...I also keep a loaf of whole grain sprouted bread in the freezer and a jar of tahini (you could get almond butter or another nut butter - just avoid anything with a lot of added sugar and other junk) at work sometimes for when I'm particularly hungry.

I save my hot meals for dinner - mostly just to keep things simple and because I really don't need that much food during the day.

Another tool I have is a 3-quart Instant Pot (it's mostly just me, and my son every other week), and I have a small kitchen so the smaller size is perfect. I use it to cook potatoes, rice, and quinoa, and occasionally a big batch of broccoli.

To further keep things simple, I just take a hot potato and toss it in a bowl over some greens, add some avocado, salsa, whatever veggies I have, some garbanzo beans chopped onions and some dressing and seasoning and I'm good. Not much cooking involved with that.

All of these comments are basically a re-type of a comment I just made in another thread about minimalistic eating. In short - it's completely doable as a vegan - probably even easier.

Have you heard of the Daily Dozen app? It's a simple app that helps to remind you to get the most nutritionally dense foods into your diet every day.

Fast food is a habit or addiction like anything else, but you can quit that habit by replacing it with new, healthier habits.

Good luck and welcome to the forum!! It's never too late to make a change that's better for your health, as well as for the planet and the animals 💚
Sorry. I didn't see this to respond till this morning.

Are you still out there?
Have you considered an electric stove top that plugs into a wall outlet? You can get little 1-burners, but a 2-burner would open up more options (boil pasta on one, cook veggies on the other). Some people really love Instant Pots or similar cookers so you could use that for lots of stuff like soups, chili etc. I'm not sure I'd want a big pot of soup on one of those little plug in burners so that may be safer too.

You don't have to go 100% plant based right away...or ever. Since you have some challenges to work around it's fine to take your time and transition slowly, figure out one issue at a time instead of trying to be perfect at the flip of a switch. Maybe eliminate eggs, or cheese, or red meat first then slowly cut out more. Or start with 100% plant based breakfasts, then lunches etc.
Sax is absolutely right about getting an electric one or two-burner. You said you had a wok. Is it an electric wok? or do you already have a burner?

Tofu Robot's suggestion of a little blender is also a great idea. I have an inexpensive Magic Bullet. There are lots of brands and many of them are under $30. although if you have the counter space at least consider getting a regular size blender. You don't have to get a fancy one. But whatever you get you might want to get one that doubles as a food processor. But a food processor is a bit of a luxury. There is always chopping by hand.

Her suggestion for an InstantPot is also a great idea. But even before an InstantPot, you might want to get a toaster oven.

Toaster ovens and blenders are readily available at your local Good Will or Salvation Army. I got mine at garage sales that I happened to pass by.

I'm a bit of a kitchen gadget geek but I have a very small kitchen The only reason I got the IP was that I could get rid of my rice cooker and my slow cooker.

A toaster oven will help with any number of meals. Right now I'm eating a Trader Joes Force Primeval Bar. It's like a little loaf of bread and chock full of apples and walnuts. Safeway has something similar made fresh daily that is sold next to the bagels. These things are great cause they can be kept in the freezer and toasted up while getting dressed and eaten on the way to work. A bagel sandwich is also a good choice for breakfast. I spread mine with hummus and add sliced tomato, cucumber slices, and lettuce. Not recommended to eat while driving but still quick and easy.

My alternate breakfast is a smoothie. If you have a big blender you can make up a few days' worth and store them in tumblers in the frig or freezer. I don't have a big blender any more (no spare counter space). but I just learned a trick that works almost as well. you can prepare all the fixings for a single serving in a zip lock bag. then you can do all the preparations for the week at once and just freeze the bag. You can even be a good citizen and reuse the bags. Banana, PB, and ground flaxseed has to be the healthiest and easiest one. Just add soy milk when you put it in the blender. But there are dozens of good ideas for Breakfast Smoothies.

OK. i gotta run but when I come back I'll add some lunch and dinner ideas.
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You can save a lot of money by packing lunches. And vegan lunches don't have to cost any more than non-vegan lunches. And so much healthier! The cold cuts that you buy to make sandwiches are terrible. So is the sliced cheese.

My number one packable lunch is PB&J.
I just wrote a lot about that and so did some other people in this thread.

there are a lot of vegans who have websites and youtube videos on this subject as well. You can google it.

I never liked taking salads to work but now looking back I don't know why. Those would have bee a good idea. Instead, I used to bring veggie wraps. Again you can find dozens of ideas for those on the Internets.

Maybe the best thing I ever did for packable lunches was finding a Widemouth Stanley double-walled thermos at a garage sale. Then almost any leftovers from last night dinners went in that.
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