Vegan newbie

Parinaz Mahmoudi

Mar 17, 2018
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  1. Vegan newbie
Hello! I am currently a pescatarian trying to transition to veganism. Would love all of your advice on how to make this transition as easy as possible, I know this is a common misconception about being vegan but I'm concerned I'm not going to get enough protein in my diet.

Looking forward to your responses!

Hello Parinaz, and welcome to the forum.

You are correct about the protein misconception. It's probably the single most misconceived notion of veganism. Plants have the protein, and in adequate amounts. Protein deficiencies are pretty much unheard of, unless you are not eating enough calories.

I've read that we need about 10-12% of our daily calories in protein, but I've also read that we can get by on as little as 9-10%. What I'm getting at here is even a potato, which is mostly carbs, has around 8-9% protein. So even the lowest veggies, like potatoes and rice, for example, have close to what we require. Now add some beans and broccoli and we're more than good to go.

As far as advice goes, we're all a bit different that way. My advice would be to just do it! It's all or nothing for me. Just clear your fridge, freezer, and cupboards out of all non-vegan products, and move forward. Having said that, I would highly recommend researching what you plan to eat. One of the easiest ways to fail off the bat is not having anything to eat. You will need some new ideas, and ways to make this exciting enough that you don't want to look back.

By the way, I was also mostly pescatarian when I went vegan. I am from a place where eating seafood is a way of life, which includes fishing them too. It's in my blood, my dad would say. My dad was a fish fanatic, and so was I until going vegan. I selfishly made the transition to vegan, originally, for health reasons, but now I am all in, ethically and environmentally as well. Truth be told, the documentary "Forks Over Knives" is what changed my mind. I thought I was eating a healthy diet until I watched that. I watched several other documentaries after that, and there was no looking back for me.

I would recommend watching "Forks Over Knives", if you haven't. I would also recommend "What The Health", "Cowspiracy" and even "Earthlings". Earthlings is a very real look into the meat industry. It's disturbing to watch, but everyone should know the truth, in my humble opinion. It brought tears to my eyes, and reinforced what I already knew in a very powerful way.

I also highly recommend YouTube as a very valuable resource. It's great for information, and for awesome recipes. Forks Over Knives has a really good YT channel for recipes.

Lastly, I believe you will feel better for making the change. However, there are fat and unhealthy vegans too. Beware of the pleasure traps, and eat to live, rather than live to eat. I think if you do it right, you will never regret it. Best of luck with your transition.

Thanks so much, I just noticed you were from BC!!! I live in New York now but I was born and raised on the North Shore, so I definitely understand what you mean when you say eating seafood is a way of life...that being said I am transitioning for ethical and environmental reasons so I will definitely be checking out the documentaries you suggested to learn more about veganism and its benefits. Thanks again!
Hello! I am currently a pescatarian trying to transition to veganism. Would love all of your advice on how to make this transition as easy as possible, I know this is a common misconception about being vegan but I'm concerned I'm not going to get enough protein in my diet.

Looking forward to your responses!

Don't worry about protein so much. Eat plenty of beans and peas and you'll be fine. You can also get protein from seeds and plenty of other sources.

Look at it this giving up fish, you'll be losing a ton of toxins that are probably doing far more harm than the protein in the fish is doing good. I know, I know, everybody thinks wild-caught and sustainable makes the fish of the sea and even freshwater fish good for you. While they may be labeled as safe, most, if not all fish and seafood are riddled with toxins and chemicals.
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Bioaccumulation is a real thing it's an actual scientific term you can research, not something a bunch of new age-y vegans made up one day: bioaccumulation means that all toxins in the environment are in highest concentration the further up the food chain you eat. For example. eating a carnivorous mammal is the most absolutely toxic thing you can do, but even eating a herbivore is absorbing a higher concentration of toxins that were absorbed from the plants they ate.

If you studied the environment, you'd be rightly terrified to eat anything that comes out of the ocean. The oceans are highly polluted, filled with oil, chemical runoff, are the site of hundreds of 20th century nuclear tests, in the Pacific are literally filled with nuclear contamination from Japan, as well as taking oceanic acidification into consideration.

Furthermore, the more fish you take from the sea, the less fish there are to feed other animals in your local ecosystem. Fish farming encourages inbreeding, disease, and a whole host of other problems usually associated with factory farming (antibiotics, et al).

Protein: nuts, seeds, nut/seed butters, tofu, seitan, tempeh, whole grains, spinach, beans, peas, quinoa, Ezekiel Bread (it's a complete protein because it's made with grains and lentils)...especially if you eat whole grains and eat a broad variety of foods it's difficult to NOT get enough protein.

The American demand for protein is completely psychotic anyway and is not remotely based in science. The recommendation to get 100 g of protein per day is DOUBLE what you actually need, even as an active person.
Hi Parinaz

I became pescatarian for health reasons, from there I started to research the food industry and was horrified by it all and equally disappointed in myself for not researching sooner.
I have been vegan for 8 months and can honestly say I have never looked back.
As others have advised plan your meals to begin with to help you manage your food choices.
I take a daily B12 supplement and eat a variety of nuts, seeds and beans.
I would suggest you try to keep processed foods at a minimum, for obviously health reasons with the added bonus that you can experiment with different food combinations.
Good luck :)