I'm trying to become a vegan and could really use some advice.

Discussion in 'Vegetarian' started by feministhippy, May 22, 2004.

  1. feministhippy

    feministhippy Member

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    I've been a vegetarian for about 4 years. I didn't become a vegan because I thought it would be asking a lot of my parents, who are already generous enough to spend extra money to buy me vegetarian food (the rest of my family eats meat), to also buy me non-dairy food as well.

    I'm turning 18 this October, and two of my friends and I are talking about renting a trailer and living together for a couple of years. We're all buying and making our own food. Which means that I only have to buy for myself. Which will make it a lot easier for me to become a vegan.

    So my question for all the vegans here is: What companies make good, cheap vegan food?

    And any advice on actually going about becoming a vegan would be great, too. :)

    Thank you.
  2. BohemianSuperhero

    BohemianSuperhero Member

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    Hmmm... I've been vegan for about four years, and the only thing I can tell you is just to try stuff. Certain brands and types of vegan milk are great, others are absolutely disgusting (Personally, I'd try Silk or any of the other refrigerated soymilks first. Almond milk is better than rice milk, but neither are very good, IMO) They sell a really good vegan butter in most supermarkets, called Earth Balance or something like that, and a good deal of Wal Mart brand cookies are actually vegan. Vegetarian foods vary greatly by company, so I'd try at least two or three different types before giving up.
    In general, I would just say to try to keep as close as possible to what you normally eat at the beginning, so you don't get discouraged. Almost everything you can think of can be made vegan. Wandering around your local health food store can be great for ideas. Personally, I live on veggie burgers, stir fry, pasta, rice, and tofutti ice cream :), and the only time being vegan is ever really a problem is when I'm eating out or at a friend's house, and almost every restaurant and a lot of fast food places have a meal that can be made vegan by removing/substituting items.
    Good luck!
  3. mrsshf

    mrsshf Member

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    PETA has a list of "accidentally" Vegan foods at http://www.peta.org/accidentallyVegan/As far as good, cheap Vegan food is concerned, the best (and healthiest) way to get that is to cook it yourself. There are a lot of awesome Vegan recipes out there, and most of them are surprisingly easy. In my home, it's just the hubby and I, so I saved and invested in a Food Saver, which allows me to make large family size recipes and then just freeze the leftovers for later. That way, when I'm working (and I work 12 hour shifts at night), I have food to take to work for lunch and I don't have to worry about cooking every day of the week. Plus, I've discovered that most pre-prepared Vegan meals are very expensive for what you get. There really is no such thing as "cheap" pre-prepared Vegan food.

    In general, in my opinion, when you do decide to make the switch, go off the dairy cold turkey. I agree with Dr. Barnard when he talks about the addictive properties of dairy products. I completely quit eating cheese and ice cream and didn't immediately switch to any analogs, with the exception of soy milk. After a couple or three months, when you eat Vegan ice Cream or Vegan cheese, it will seem like the "real" thing because your won't have any real taste memory of what cheese or ice cream tasted like. If you immediately switch to the analog, the analog will taste a little "off." Other than Follow Your Heart, most of the Vegan cheeses kind of suck anyway; a nice avocado is much better.

    You're probably already fairly used to reading labels as a vegetarian, but you're going to have to get REAL used to reading labels as a Vegan. I've been burned more than once by not reading the label and assuming that a product was Vegan because another product in the same family is Vegan (example: Arrowhead Mills Kamut pancake and waffle mix is Vegan, but the Multi-grain contains powdered buttermilk).

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