Snacks and sobbing

PixieNightmare

New Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2018
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Age
24
Location
Minneapolis
Lifestyle
Vegan Newbie
Hello everyone

I never planned on going vegan. In fact, I think my exact words at one point were "I would rather die". I have never paid any attention to, or tried to monitor the food I eat, at all. I've been a complete omnivore with a diet composed of largely junk food, cheese, and cheap meat for nearly 24 years. I've been gluten-free and vegan for... a week as of tomorrow.

See, I became aware for personal health reasons that I needed to cut gluten and dairy from my diet as a "see if it helps" approach. One of my roommates, who I have a fairly close relationship with, is a vegan who has also been intending to go gluten-free. So we decided to do it together.

I would categorize myself as entirely unprepared. However, I'm stubborn and don't do anything by halves so I'm planning on this being life for the foreseeable future, even if it turns out not to help with my health issue. The other fun part is that my partner is still an omnivore so I occasionally watch them eat meat and cheese while sobbing internally. I'm sure that will pass after, oh, a decade or so. I am pleasantly surprised by the meat alternatives but I've only had one cheese substitute I didn't immediately despise due to the texture. And I do love cheese.

I'm fortunately not having to worry much about main meals, since we're doing all shopping and food prep together. What is killing me is that I'm used to snacking constantly, on everything, all the time. I'm basically always eating something. Obviously the largest barrier with snack foods is gluten so I'm less likely to find reccs for that here, but if anyone has any go-to snacks that are cheap, preferably shelf-stable, and happen to also be gluten free that would be swell. Good cheese substitute suggestions are welcome as well (I've found the ones I've tried to be too grainy? Not sure if that's a common complaint or just my sensory processing issues). Otherwise I'm happy to accept any general advice. Or if you just want to roast me for being reluctant about this, that's fine too.

I want to note that I'm aware it's not necessarily advised to go from a fully omnivorous diet to something like this literally overnight, but that is the reality of the situation.
 

hopeful

Active Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
480
Reaction score
255
Lifestyle
Vegan
Congratulations on going vegan! I do have a couple of "cheese" suggestions: Following You Heart has great Gouda slices, and Field Roast has great Classic Chao slices! Those are the best vegan cheeses I have found. I don't like any others that I have tried. Oh, exception Miokos! Their Vegan Mozz is good!
 

TofuRobot

Active Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2018
Messages
621
Reaction score
559
Location
Southern California, USA
Lifestyle
Vegan
Welcome to the community and congrats on your decision, whatever the reasons are!

I would point you towards Dr. Michael Greger @ NutritionFacts.org and his YT channel, and Dr. Neal Barnard - you can also find lots of videos of him on YT as well. I've binge watched all the vids of theirs I could find when I swtiched last year August from pescatarian for 27 yrs.

Cheese is a common addiction - there is supposition that it's due to the casomorphins - but whatever it is, you're not alone. I don't miss it at all now, but it took a few weeks to get over it. The only vegan cheese that is a staple for me is Kit Hill cream cheese - it's to die for! Miyokos is also good, but Kite Hill is a staple. My son has been eating vegan cheese over the past year (I mostly avoid it b/c it's all oil), and he has given a thumbs down to Daiya after using that for a long time, and now really likes So Delicious Mozzarella & Cheddar, and Follow Your Heart Mozzarella in brick form.

I literally snack all the time. I stopped drinking my calories back in July and I 100% attribute my whole food plant based diet for having lost 10 lbs while basically sitting around. I don't juice or make smoothies - too lazy and I prefer to eat my food rather than blend it up first - just a preference, really. I do drink *a lot* of tea, and water. My most common snacks are frozen fruit (lately chunks of bananas and mangos - I get frozen mango chunks from Costco), nuts, and toasted tortillas with avocados sprinkled with S&P and toasted sesame seeds, or black refried beans with hot sauce. I eat a LOT of avocados and nuts since I don't use oil at home. I only very occasionally eat out and I'm certain I get more than my fair share of oil when I do that. I also get plenty of oil from the So Delicious ice cream I've recently become addicted to. The Cookies and Cream flavor is also gluten free. I'm not gluten free but that is THE best of all their flavors, IMO. Where I live, the only store that carries it is Whole Foods. You might want to look for it, but consider yourself warned - it's is *really* addictive ;) .....To me, "shelf stable" = frozen. As a single parent, my freezer is a literal life-saver.

I also eat A LOT of bananas. Like - it's crazy how many I eat, especially since I rarely, if ever ate bananas before. This morning for breakfast I had 2 slices of Ezekial toast with Kit Hill cream cheese, a large Honeycrisp apple, and a bowl of banana slices with chopped dates & chopped walnuts and almonds. I had the same thing for dessert last night, only the banana chunks were frozen (my favorite way to eat them).

Potatoes are also really good for you. There's a guy who ate nothing but potatoes for an entire year and did a total 180 in terms of his weight and overall health (it was under a doctor's supervision - and I'm not advising it, I only mention it to point out that I think we overcomplicate food and eating - our bodies are amazingly resilient and we have the power to heal with the most simple ingredients available). I have a couple of pre-steamed potatoes (in my Instant Pot) in the freezer ready for whenever.

There are so many options in the area of processed vegan food. I have grown to avoid those for the most part, but occasionally I'll splurge and get the spicy chick'n patties by Qorn and make a sandwich - those are pretty tasty.

As for your transition - coming from where you have been, expect that it's going to take a few weeks for your body to "convert" to a healthier state. You'll probably feel worse before you feel better. It's a detoxing process, so you might have headaches, lethargy, brain fog, etc. The same thing happens to people doing a water-only fast, only at a faster rate. But after you get past that, you're going to feel SO much better, especially if you choose to lean toward more whole foods rather than processed vegan "junk" foods.

As for sobbing while watching people eat meat and cheese, you might not get over that, but you'll be sobbing for different reasons. I sob when I think of how utterly unnecessary it is. Everyone around me is willingly making themselves sicker than they need to be, and all at the expense of trillions of animals around the world that have to die for no reason whatsoever, other than their taste buds - taste that comes from seasonings and spices (aka, plants), cuz I sure don't see anyone sitting around at the table eating raw cows, pigs, or birds. This is where the "vegan depression" comes from. But, that depression is countered with the inner peace you feel knowing you're making more compassionate and healthier decisions for all parties concerned.

Good luck to you! Hope to see you stick around after your "trial period!" :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lou and Emma JC

PixieNightmare

New Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2018
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Age
24
Location
Minneapolis
Lifestyle
Vegan Newbie
Thanks for all the info! I'll be going shopping soon and we'll definitely be checking out all of this :)

Yeah I've definitely eaten a significant amount of potatoes already, ahaha.

As for the transition fatigue and such, I feel I'll likely handle that better than most (long story short, I grew up poor and have also starved for months at a time due to mental health issues), and already experience fatigue due to the condition I'm attempting to hopefully alleviate.

I'm hesitant to keep too much fresh fruit around since it can go bad and often does when I have it, since it's hard to know what I'll be able to handle doing on any given day, but I'll have to see how it goes as I continue.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Emma JC

TofuRobot

Active Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2018
Messages
621
Reaction score
559
Location
Southern California, USA
Lifestyle
Vegan
I'm hesitant to keep too much fresh fruit around since it can go bad and often does when I have it, since it's hard to know what I'll be able to handle doing on any given day, but I'll have to see how it goes as I continue.
I do end up at the market more often, I have to say - for that very reason. Bananas, mangoes, blueberries, cherries are the ones that freeze the best, IMO, and the majority of those I buy at Costco, already frozen. Very little fruit that is fresh goes bad now since I don't buy more than I can eat in 2-3 days or so & I eat a lot more of it than I ever used to, even as a pescatarian. (Even as a pescatarian, I wasn't really eating well. I really don't know why....).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lou and Emma JC

Emma JC

Active Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
740
Reaction score
749
Location
Canada
Lifestyle
Vegan
Frozen grapes!! I just discovered frozen grapes and am so happy as that is fruit item that I stopped buying as we almost never finished them before they went bad. Wash them and let them dry then put them in the freezer either in a large freezer bag, spread out, or on a tray and then put in a bag or container once frozen. Something about the freezing brings out even more flavour and they are amazing as a snack. (I guess that's why Ice Wine is so popular).

Also cereal is a snack that I keep around. Puffed kamut or puffed rice and Shreddies (although I don't believe they are gluten free). I enjoy the kamut when I don't want something sweet and the Shreddies when I do. Pretzels that are oil free are another favourite and, of course, some nuts.

Emma JC
 

Lou

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Messages
1,760
Reaction score
1,521
Age
63
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
Vegan
Frozen grapes!!

Emma JC
Another use for frozen grapes is when you go camping or anything that requires a cooler. A bag (or two) of frozen grapes can be taken instead of ice. Not only will they keep the food and drinks as cold as ice, but they can also be used instead of ice cubes. And when they thaw out they can just be eaten.
 

Forest Nymph

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Messages
1,319
Reaction score
968
Age
36
Location
Northern California
Lifestyle
Vegan
Miyokos Roadhouse vegan cheese spread is EXCELLENT if you heat it up and put it on things. One of my omni friends was like wow it tastes like cheese. Especially the cheddar flavor.

I like Follow Your Heart smoked gouda and Chao original flavor on sandwiches melted.

Heidi Ho Ne Chevre can be eaten cold on crackers if you want some cold unmelted cheese.

May I ask why you're going gluten free? That's unnecessary unless you have Celiacs or Chrons disease. There's zero evidence that it's useful to more than a small percentage of the population.

But some vegan, gluten free snacks are pickles, potato chips, Kind bars, fresh fruit, dried fruit, veggies and hummus, dolmas, corn chips with salsa or guacamole, a whole avocado eaten with a spoon out of the skin, dark chocolate, nuts, seeds, and granola.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TofuRobot and Lou

TofuRobot

Active Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2018
Messages
621
Reaction score
559
Location
Southern California, USA
Lifestyle
Vegan
Frozen grapes!! I just discovered frozen grapes and am so happy
Ok I'm sold on frozen grapes! They are so much better frozen - how did I not know this before?? I picked up some grapes yesterday and froze the few of them (I can eat a lot of grapes, lol) ... They were so good I went back to the store for more. I'm going to freeze them all, LOL
 

Emma JC

Active Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
740
Reaction score
749
Location
Canada
Lifestyle
Vegan
Ok I'm sold on frozen grapes!
I know, right? lol

So another secret in the frozen grape story.... check the area of your grocery store that sells the 'day olds' or 'close to going off' or 'some are off and others are fine' and look for grapes !! I just throw away the yucky ones, rinse and dry the rest and voila... amazing frozen grapes. I love plopping them in my soda water...

Emma JC
 

veganDreama

Active Member
Joined
May 30, 2018
Messages
395
Reaction score
165
Age
48
Location
Birmingham, England
Lifestyle
Vegan
Congratulations on your decision to go vegan. I wish you luck. As others have pointed out it's hard at first but once you get over that it becomes easier. At least it did for me. I gave up fish, dairy and Eggs and that was very hard. vegan cheese has an acquired taste I find but I got to like red cheese an cheese with herbs in it.
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2018
Messages
34
Reaction score
36
Age
32
Location
Southern California
Lifestyle
Vegetarian
The other fun part is that my partner is still an omnivore so I occasionally watch them eat meat and cheese while sobbing internally. I'm sure that will pass after, oh, a decade or so.
I used to feel this way when I first went vegetarian. It gets a lot easier over time... after the first couple of weeks, there was a little bit of "I wish I could eat that" but the internal sobbing had subsided. After about a month, meat no longer registered as food, so it was like watching someone eat a rubber tire when eating alongside a carnivore.

I'm fortunately not having to worry much about main meals, since we're doing all shopping and food prep together. What is killing me is that I'm used to snacking constantly, on everything, all the time. I'm basically always eating something. Obviously the largest barrier with snack foods is gluten so I'm less likely to find reccs for that here, but if anyone has any go-to snacks that are cheap, preferably shelf-stable, and happen to also be gluten free that would be swell. Good cheese substitute suggestions are welcome as well (I've found the ones I've tried to be too grainy? Not sure if that's a common complaint or just my sensory processing issues).
Give almonds a try--they've become my go-to snack food. They're filling, delicious, and shelf-stable. Also not messy (unless you get really salty ones, then you get salty fingers). Nuts make a delicious, easy, no-prep-needed snack. Plus, you'll get some healthy fats and protein in.

As far as cheese goes, have you tried cashew cheese yet? Even before I gave up dairy cheese, I preferred cashew cheese over dairy cheese. It's delicious! The best I've found are the artisan ones made locally (which may or may not be easy to find, depending on where you live), as the mass-produced ones sometimes tend to feel heavily processed. They're a little on the expensive side sometimes, but worth the money IMO. If you're able to, making your own cashew cheese is a fun adventure, and then you're 100% in control of the flavors. I found a great cookbook that's entirely vegan cheeses on Amazon; I haven't tried any of them yet (just got it a couple weeks ago), but the recipes look simple enough and I think they'll come out well. That could be something you and your roommate can do, especially if you're already doing meal prep.
 

HALFFULL

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2018
Messages
8
Reaction score
3
Age
38
Location
Ireland
Lifestyle
Vegan Newbie
If you turn to a 'Vegan' diet for health reasons, you are going on a plant based diet.
Veganism is about animal ethics.
 

Similar threads