Veganism... It's a new thing for me, I'm becoming weak!! Advice/help please!!

Discussion in 'Vegetarian' started by Dragonvine, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. Dragonvine

    Dragonvine I do Glass

    Ok, so after reading a few forums and listening to my vegan brother I decided to 1) Take vegetarianism seriously 2) Consider becoming a vegan.

    Veggieism was easy to do, because I have been considering veggieism for about 6 months, and at my flat I never bought meat, however when I was back at home I'd be happy eating meat because I didn't buy it myself: I wasn't really sure of any of the morals... I'm not really sure why I didn't
    reserach veggie/vegan any sooner... guess this was just my time.

    So anyway, a few days ago I finally read some stuff that turned me, persuaded me, shifted my views, opened my eyes etc to how corrupt the dairy industries are.

    HOWEVER... I love cheese, chocolate, cheesecake... Ice cream... I know you can get alternatives, but they can be expensive... I know some of you think if I were really passionate about being a vegan non of those things would matter: but they are my comfort foods..

    Did any of you vegans out there have trouble giving up the foods you loved?

    The day before I decided I wanted to give up dairy, I bought a load of cheese... The day I wanted to give up dairy, the sight of the cheese made me physically sick... So I had to give it away.

    Yesterday, was a moment of weakness. My meat eating friend and I were deciding where to eat for lunch, we decided on pizza hut: as this was the time where I was missing my cheese.

    I sound really... Weak :p I don't like change... I think that's the main problem here.

    I'm tempted to be a veggie and just not drink milk or eat eggs, instead I'd have cheese and cheesecake: the things that have been through a second process after being milk. Sounds stupid... And it'd make me a hypocrite.

    So I guess I'm asking how hard it was for you guys (vegans) to give up the foods you loved?

    I'm sorry if this post is a little sketchy :S

    Thanks, and if you could please avoid calling me a hypocrite or any other insults.. I'm sensitive :p
  2. HushBull

    HushBull Insuperior

    Not them too!
  3. Dragonvine

    Dragonvine I do Glass

    Hmm? xD
  4. Dragonvine

    Dragonvine I do Glass

    I might do a transition thing... Get back that cheese I bought :) I'll take my time.
  5. Willy_Wonka_27

    Willy_Wonka_27 Surrender to the Flow

    For me it was an easy transition because i was passionate about what i was doing. I decided to make going vegan into a whole lifestyle change.

    I went to the library and I read some good books with reasons why to go vegan, how to go vegan, and also some vegan cookbooks. I picked a day, and I didn't eat any dairy. I took it one day at a time and learned a little as each day passed. I learned about self control, making good choices, and best of all I learned how to cook. After reading about the dairy and egg industry I realized that just being a vegetarian wasn't cruelty free enough for me.

    One of the best products Ive found since Ive been vegan is Nutritional Yeast. Is an inactive yeast with a cheesy flavor. It also supplies vitamin B12 which is important for vegans to get. You can sprinkle it on, or put it in, anything. Its like an all purpose condiment.

    My best advise is do some research, be patient, and try to get excited about it.
  6. Not everyone is designed for every diet. I cannot function correctly with a meat-inclusive diet, or without dairy. My husband will get sick without at least one meat serving a day: no vegetarianism of any kind will work for him. Ideals will only get you so far before biology kicks in.

    If you've just gone straight vegan, you're probably having deficiency cravings. There's a nutrient that your system is lacking, and it knows that these foods are what supplies it, so you WANT to eat those foods. Normally, this is the body's way of maintaining balance health, but here it can be a problem. You say that you're craving all forms of dairy? Take the dairy, while cutting out all other forms of animal protein for a few weeks. While doing this, research alternatives to dairy for nutrients. The nutritional yeast may help, but you can't find it everywhere. B-12 mostly comes from animal protein, if I remember right, and vegans have to be careful about it. The good news is that you don't need very much of it. Most of us eat WAY too much. After you're used to lacto-vegetarianism, try phasing out the dairy. It may work, or you may have to find free-range moo in the area.
  7. Dragonvine

    Dragonvine I do Glass

    Awesome, cheers ^^

    I am having cheese cravings xD And about the B12 thing, I have CFS (Chronic fatigue syndrome) and my doctor said that there is a specialist she knows who injects people with vitamin B12 which helps. So if I'm not getting any at all... hmm xD

    I've cut out milk, well, apart from the odd sprinkle in a tea (Soya in tea is a bit too heavy for me). And I never eat eggs- So I guess I'm nearly there :)

    Holland and Barretts are my new best friend... They stock Cheezlys and Toffuti!! So I'll give those a try. I think its just finding substitutes that'l make it easier :)

    The nutitional yeast, where can I get that from? I guess its not normal baking yeast?

    Hehe, free range moo :)

    Thanks for your help :)

    Can you recommend any books?
  8. If you are going to eat cheese and dairy try to find some local, humanely raised sources. Even if it is just temporary you will be supporting someone who raises animals in a humane manner, which is better than supporting the other guys. Plus dairy from happy, healthy animals is better for you.
  9. homeschoolmama

    homeschoolmama Senior Member

    You could always go slowly, and eliminate foods one at a time. Cheese could be the last that you eliminate - or you could just keep it in your diet & be okay with that too. There ARE "happy cow" dairies out there that don't treat their cows terribly. It takes a bit of hunting, but they're around.

    My decision was more or less "forced" as my body refused to digest more & more types of food so it's a little different. I've been working on finding acceptable substitutes for some of the foods *I* still miss for years now. Perhaps you could try one new recipe per week, trying a new brand or type of food... or recipe? I JUST found a vegan "mozzarella cheese" that makes a decent pizza-topper. For ice cream, I personally recommend anything from Turtle Mountain. I have to fight the entire family when their Chocolate Decadence is in the house! And cheesecake... I'm still tweaking the recipe because I'm finicky with my desserts, but tofu & vegan "cream cheese" actually makes something remarkably similar! There are alternates out there - and if you like to or can learn to bake, they don't HAVE to be terribly expensive. Good luck!
  10. Dragonvine

    Dragonvine I do Glass

    Ohh thanks!! Thats awesome advice :) I'm glad some people also have found it hard! (Well.. not that they found it hard... You know what I mean xD)

    I'm gonna take it slow :) My brother calls me weak for it though! He went cold turkey(!), and doesn't understand my love for cheese and cheesecake :D

    Hehe whenever I say I love my cheese it reminds me of something Ricky Gervais said in an interview: "I only exercise to eat more cheese" ^^

    Thanks guys for your input and advice :) It has made this so much more stress-free!!

  11. salatheel

    salatheel Member

    It has been an easy transition for me. Every morning I start my day with a shake that consists of either calcium fortified soymilk or OJ and a product called Source Of Life. Nature's Plus - Source Of Life Energy Shake, 2.2 lb powder. This shake covers almost 100% of all my daily needs. It is awesome. I have taken it for years.
  12. salatheel

    salatheel Member

    Go to and keep track online of what your eating each day. Fitday is a free website. It can show you not only calories,protein,fat, and carbs but also if your meeting your nutritional requirements.
  13. LilaBlue

    LilaBlue Member

    I'm going on three years as a vegan and I occasionally have a craving for pizza. Theres a restaurant here that makes a delicious cheese-less pizza. Its not the same but it does help with the craving.
    I've heard from many different people and reports that cheese has an addictive ingredient in it thats makes it very hard to resist.

    It took me years to transition to a vegan. One day I was finally ready and I know I will never go back. If I had tried to give up dairy ten years ago I probably would have had trouble sticking with it. If your not ready to do it then don't. There is no reason to kick yourself every time you 'slip' and eat cheese. If you really want to though, it might be easier to give up one thing at a time. That's pretty much what I did.....first milk, then 6 months later butter & eggs.....then cheese....and then ice cream and milk chocolate.

    Milk chocolate was even harder to give up than cheese. I loved See's candy and in fact the last non-vegan thing I ate was some See's candy. :drool5: I do make a very rich and delicious chocolate amaretto pie though that more than makes up for the See's.
  14. Dragonvine

    Dragonvine I do Glass

    Aww wicked ^^ My brother always orders cheese-less pizzas from the takeaways- we kinda have to hammer it into them over the phone, the first time we did it they sent a cheesey one!! Criminal...

    I'm not eating eggs anymore, and I'm not eating butter: I use the Pure sunflower butter stuff, Its really nice. I'm planning to cut down my cheese, maybe only have it when I go out for pizza. I'll stop eating ice cream too pretty soon :) I've tried giving up milk too, but I can't avoid it when I put it in my tea! Soya makes me feel ill... So I'm pretty stuck... What do you put in your tea if your drink it?

    Ohh that pie sounds awesome... I may have to invest in some Toffuti to make some non-cheese-cheesecake :D Nomnomom ^^

    And uber interesting about the addictive ingredient in cheese... Probably explains it!! That'll probably make it easier for me to give up too, knowing that the dairy/cheese people are more corrupt than I originally thought xD

    Awesome, thanks for your help :D
  15. Rabblerouser

    Rabblerouser Member

    I am a lacto vegetarian who occasionally lapses into lacto-ovo vegetarianism. I only eat eggs very seldomly, and then only in baked goods. I have been a vegetarian for nearly 10 years now. I tried being a vegan for what I believe was roughly one year, and ended up deciding that it was too much for me. Since then, I've had the diet described above. I have been trying to decrease my consumption of eggs, as I have a certain aversion to them. I often refrain from eating foods that I know contain eggs, but if I don't know (and if there is no way of finding out) then I sometimes eat them anyway.

    I would definitely say that vegetarianism is by far the most important thing. You have to establish yourself as a vegetarian and make sure that you stick to it for a long period of time. Be careful that you don't go too extreme too quickly and then get burned out on veganism. You can always take a retreat from veganism and just be a lacto vegetarian for a while. Eggs would logically be the first thing you should give up once you are a committed vegetarian, and perhaps this will be easy for you. You don't have to be in any rush to eliminate dairy products from your diet, and I would definitely agree with other posters that it is best to take the process gradually. Make sure that you know how to eat as a vegan and that you are able to practice this diet effectively in your own situation before you go all out.

    Personally, I could never give up dairy products. From a practical standpoint, dairy products make it so much easier to be a vegetarian. For breakfast, I eat muesli with fruit, milk and yoghurt or porridge with milk and honey. My favourite food is Indian food, which prominently features yoghurt and cheese. If you've never had paneer (Indian fresh cheese), then don't become a vegan until after you've tried it! :) Also, when I'm eating at a restaurant with other people, the vegetarian options often contain milk or cheese products, so I would be inconveniencing other people with my diet (and that would give them a negative impression of vegetarianism). Obviously, if you can learn to cook for yourself, that would make veganism much easier; in my case, I have to eat out fairly frequently for reasons of convenience. In any case, I do respect the decision to become vegan, but I definitely advise you to take it slowly. If I hadn't rushed too quickly into becoming a vegan, perhaps I wouldn't have found it such a difficult diet to maintain.
  16. drumminmama

    drumminmama Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    Dragonvine, I drink masala chai and use almond milk which is pretty easy to make at home.
  17. Dragonvine

    Dragonvine I do Glass

    Ohh wicked :D Sounds exotic... Any sites that can tell me how? Or I'll just google it xD

    Dy'think I could put coconut milk instead of cows milk when I make my own curries?
  18. Rabblerouser

    Rabblerouser Member

    Thai curries often use coconut milk. You should try learning how to cook Thai food. It's very good for vegetarians and rarely uses eggs or dairy products. Chinese and other East Asian dishes might suit you well given the historic lack of dairy products in East Asian cooking.
  19. homeschoolmama

    homeschoolmama Senior Member

    Thai curries are BEST with coconut milk :) My tummy, on the other hand, doesn't like it too much... it's rich stuff.

    For almond milk - I make it up when I'm out of soy or ricemilk. (almonds are seasonal here & can be pricey) Take a cup of raw almonds & soak them overnight. Rinse well & drop into the blender with an equal amount of water and blend thoroughly. If you have a super-blender, (vitamix or similar brand) that's it... I've done this with my mom's vitamix & it makes the smoothest, richest milk! With a regular blender though, you'll want to strain out the almond pulp unless you don't mind chewing the last "sip" from every cup of milk. Don't throw it out though, that pulp makes a wonderful topper on banana bread :)
  20. drumminmama

    drumminmama Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    well, coconut has a LOT of saturated fat. When I used dairy, I used skim, so for me the taste and texture would be profoundly different.
    However, some regional Indian cooking uses ground nuts as thickeners, so nut milks would stand in well in those dishes, I'd think.
    I have a buddy who is a chef in Palo Alto and wrote an OK cookbook a couple years ago. he mentioned the difference in soy and rice milks, saying he (an omni) was more likely to use rice because of its " less chalky finish."
    That would be speaking directly to the mouthfeel and taste for people used to cow milks.
    Charlie makes a decent vegan meal, btw. And rather awesome Indian based dishes.

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