Really need support right now...

Juliex10

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Hi
This is my first post. And in fact the first time I've asked anyone's advice since the start of my transition 1st week in to Jan'16. The day I decided I'd seen enough, and could not contribute any longer to support farming practices, I felt scared.. that I wouldn't eat a balanced diet, my family/friends wouldn't support me, etc. After the first couple of weeks things settled and I felt liberated, proud, happy... Now my family has had enough of my cooking (we agreed 2 vegan nights per week) and they look at their plate like someone has just spat on it..I'm tired of menus in restaurants/cafes.. tired of people looking at me like I'm weird, I've run out of ideas for cooking, I'm going to turn in to a chick pea any minute, Im hungry, and I really really want to cry. Cry for myself, cry for the animals, cry for the whole situation. It's too much, too overwhelming.. but I'd rather starve than eat anything that didn't grow from the ground ever again. I just really hope I'm not on my own, that someone else has been through the same.. This has all hit me like a brick. Thank, in advance.
 
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winter.frost

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Hi Juliex10,

I'm sorry to hear you've had a tough time. Sounds like you need some vegan :sun::heart::sun:
Who do you have to cook for at home? Children? Spouse? If you let me know a little more I can perhaps recommend some really good recipes. :) There are some really good RSS feeds you can subscribe to which will send you recipe ideas without you needing to look them up. You might also find this thread interesting.

As for eating out, many places offer vegan options despite these not being on the menu. For instance so long as a pizzeria doesn't use dairy in the dough you can order a marinara (cheese-less pizza). If you eat Indian just ask whether they cook their vegetable dishes in vegetable oil instead of ghee (many do anyway) and there will probably be some options that don't use paneer or cream - even if these are side dishes you can ask for a main-sized portion. You can get vegetable sushi, just check they don't paint the nori sheets with mayonnaise (most don't). There are plenty of other Asian tofu dishes so long as you make sure the noodles aren't made with egg but rice. You can get veggie Mexican food if you skip the cheese and sour cream. Or, if you're just at a pub, chances are they can make you something simple like a vegan jacket potato. Don't be afraid to ask. Most restaurants would rather have your custom than not - just practise 'Hi, can you make me something vegan please?' Remember, you're the one with money in the pocket.

Or you can use a site like www.happycow.net which will list vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants close to you.
You say you're hungry. Make sure you're eating enough. Vegan food is generally less calorie-dense so it means we need to eat more of it. :)

If you do have a little cry, I hope it will help you to clear some of that anxiety and leave you feeling lighter. For someone who seems to have transitioned quite quickly, it will not only seem like a huge change but your body will still be in the stages of finding a new equilibrium and part of that could even be hormonal. It took me approx. 4 months into the vegan diet before the awful 'detox' stage was over - and I only had to cut out dairy (I was a lacto vegetarian)!

You probably do need to allow your family time to adjust. Maybe they didn't expect it. Maybe they thought it would be a fad that would pass. Maybe they don't understand, maybe they feel judged. You might want to just cry and say 'but it's for the animals!' And, yes, that might make you look mad to them but you have to remind yourself that probably, most likely, at some point in your omnivorous life if you'd seen a vegan crying you'd have thought they were pretty odd too. It's just a different stage of consciousness. We're all on a journey.

You're absolutely not the only one. Plenty of us here have been through similar. Hang in there. :)
 
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Juliex10

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  1. Vegan newbie
Hi Juliex10,

I'm sorry to hear you've had a tough time. Sounds like you need some vegan :sun::heart::sun:
Who do you have to cook for at home? Children? Spouse? If you let me know a little more I can perhaps recommend some really good recipes. :) There are some really good RSS feeds you can subscribe to which will send you recipe ideas without you needing to look them up. You might also find this thread interesting.

As for eating out, many places offer vegan options despite these not being on the menu. For instance so long as a pizzeria doesn't use dairy in the dough you can order a marinara (cheese-less pizza). If you eat Indian just ask whether they cook their vegetable dishes in vegetable oil instead of ghee (many do anyway) and there will probably be some options that don't use paneer or cream - even if these are side dishes you can ask for a main-sized portion. You can get vegetable sushi, just check they don't paint the nori sheets with mayonnaise (most don't). There are plenty of other Asian tofu dishes so long as you make sure the noodles aren't made with egg but rice. You can get veggie Mexican food if you skip the cheese and sour cream. Or, if you're just at a pub, chances are they can make you something simple like a vegan jacket potato. Don't be afraid to ask. Most restaurants would rather have your custom than not - just practise 'Hi, can you make me something vegan please?' Remember, you're the one with money in the pocket.

Or you can use a site like www.happycow.net which will list vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants close to you.
You say you're hungry. Make sure you're eating enough. Vegan food is generally less calorie-dense so it means we need to eat more of it. :)

If you do have a little cry, I hope it will help you to clear some of that anxiety and leave you feeling lighter. For someone who seems to have transitioned quite quickly, it will not only seem like a huge change but your body will still be in the stages of finding a new equilibrium and part of that could even be hormonal. It took me approx. 4 months into the vegan diet before the awful 'detox' stage was over - and I only had to cut out dairy (I was a lacto vegetarian)!

You probably do need to allow your family time to adjust. Maybe they didn't expect it. Maybe they thought it would be a fad that would pass. Maybe they don't understand, maybe they feel judged. You might want to just cry and say 'but it's for the animals!' And, yes, that might make you look mad to them but you have to remind yourself that probably, most likely, at some point in your omnivorous life if you'd seen a vegan crying you'd have thought they were pretty odd too. It's just a different stage of consciousness. We're all on a journey.

You're absolutely not the only one. Plenty of us here have been through similar. Hang in there. :)

Hi there Winter.frost
Firstly please accept my sincere apologies for the swear word.
Thank you for the links I shall check them out.
I cook each day for my husband, 2 sons aged 19 and 22 and 9 year old gluten/dairy/soya free daughter. My daughter is very accepting of my lifestyle, she is offered an omni and vegan variation of dinner each night and flits between the two. The easiest dishes for me to prepare two of are chilli, bolognaise, curry, risotto etc basically things I can put beans, chickpeas or lentils into.
The 3 men don't really want to listen to my reasons for choosing vegan food without making me feel I'm wrong or being difficult. Having said that I occasionally get away with hubby finishing a vegan meal but would never say he enjoyed it! The 2 boys will sort their own meals on vegan night.
As for eating out I am also gluten/soya free which makes it more difficult. Jacket spuds, houmous and curry have kept me going. I've tried eating the occasional bit of wheat like wraps, pitta etc but it didn't work out. The same with tofu.
Anyway I'm having a better day today, thank you for replying so quickly, it certainly helped :)
 
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winter.frost

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OK, quick and convenient main course recipes:
BBC Food - gluten free
BBC Good Food - gluten free
Vegan Recipe Club
Vegetarian Society - gluten free

For your boys, you could check out http://vegancarnivore.com/recipes/
and Vegan Cooking for Carnivores by Roberto Martin.

Honestly, I would suggest you don't try talking to your boys about veganism. I don't think it will help what might already be a strange atmosphere. But you can let them know the lay of the land - they don't need to be vegan, but they need to do their bit for the planet. You can put on your best mother's voice and say 'so at least twice a week you're going to suck it up and eat plants!' ;)
 

fzjohnson

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Hi,
Don't stress ... the entire forum is here for you. :)

A quick recipe to lift your blues ... if you have peanut butter, oregano, tinned tomatoes (or fresh) and onions in your house then you've got the makings of a brand new dish.

Easy method - brown 2 chopped onions in oil with 1-2 Tbsp of peanut butter until the peanut butter starts to caramelise. Then add the tinned tomatoes (about 1.5-2 cups) and 1 tsp of oregano. Done. You might need some water to smooth out the sauce. Easy!

This is the base to which you can add any vegetable or vegan quorn pieces or tofu or whatever takes your fancy. I find this dish needs 1/2 tsp of salt and 1 tsp sweetener, but maybe that's just me. I've given up added sugar for Lent so when Easter arrives I bet I find that wayyyy too sweet. I have to wait until then before I cook it. Veg that go well with this sauce include capsicum, carrots, zucchini, sweet potato ... anything really. I think I've even used aubergine. Mushrooms get overwhelmed by the flavour so I tend to save them for more subtle dishes. This goes nicely with white rice. I like to add heat with chillies as well.

If you could re-do your time with becoming vegan in your family, how would you change it? (Rhetorical question) Perhaps just sneaking in vegan treats without saying anything would relieve some tension? Perhaps some of your frustration is that they are focussing on the food, whereas you're focussing on the issues (animal/planet etc.)? If they saw some familiar items were vegan all along, it might make them more ameniable. I'm often surprised by what is actually vegan out there ... who knew jammy dodgers were vegan?!? I didn't, until this recent uproar about them changing the recipe. And to think I'd been avoiding them. Sheesh. (Now you know why Lent is good for me) :)

Stick with it ... the best way to learn something as intimate as dietary intake is gently and gradually, I think. And to a lot of people what they eat is "intimate" and "theirs" and "confronting" if asked to change - no matter how gently or reasonably. That's okay ... everyone has their priorities, as well as their own learning curve. I used to get despondent about restaurants but now I just shrug. Food is important, but if I don't eat for a while it won't kill me. There's always a cup of coffee to have instead while still being social. I eat out to be with people more than anything.

All the best. I hope this helps. I'm a little over chickpeas myself, quite frankly. ;-)
 
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winter.frost

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I am having something of a peanut butter obsession at the minute, having not had any for months. Yummy yummy!

fzjohnson has reminded me of various vegan sweet box schemes. Exactly like veg box schemes, or monthly hampers, only this way you get to explore the amazing vegan treats on the market. Maybe this might incentivise your family?
http://vegantown.co.uk/treatbox
https://vegantuckbox.co.uk/
 

Kazie

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Honestly, don't try to talk about veganism to your two older boys. They won't listen, because often at that age, people are desperate to fit it and don't want to listen to anything that would contradict their lifestyle. (I know it, I was there a few years ago.)

Maybe you could try to raise the issue with your husband and explain him calmly the situation and that you would need support, even though he is not adhering to the idea of veganism. But stick with it in any case, you certainly made a good decision to become vegan and it would be a shame to drop it just because your family has decided to contest your decision.

Edit: Reading Eat Like You Care: An Examination of the Morality of Eating Animals by Gary Francione and Anna Charlton also might help you to start talking in a constructive way with your family and the people around you.
 
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