i'm going vegan

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  • hi evryone, long time!

    i am converting to a vegan diet in the new year.

    i've been doing a lot of reading but i still have a couple of questions which i need advice on.


    i'm ok with vegan dairy alternatives except for cheese......i have looked at what is available but i would reallyy welcome some opinions on which are good and which are shit, and which are best for cooking sauces etc and for eating raw.


    secondly, i have info on what extras i will need such as chia, linseed, yeast etc, but my question is, how do you all consume these, and how much per day? i mean do you weigh it or just chuck on a spoonfull?


    i have been looking up meal plans etc and essentials to buy and preparing myself but now i really need some personal opinions and preferences from you guys who have tried it all as i don't have money to burn going through all of the many products now readily available.


    i will definitely be popping in here often for help and support.


    thanks in advance,


    Abby xx

  • i'm ok with vegan dairy alternatives except for cheese......i have looked at what is available but i would reallyy welcome some opinions on which are good and which are shit, and which are best for cooking sauces etc and for eating raw.

    My favourite vegan cheese is Sainsbury's own brand - which is the same as the Tesco own brand and manufactured by Bute Island who make a brand called Sheese.


    The best thing to do is to try it and see what you like, as with anything we all have different tastes -- and some of them are totally vile!


    Waitrose do a creamy vegan cheese sauce, but it's quite expensive. I've seen others in health shops too.

    secondly, i have info on what extras i will need such as chia, linseed, yeast etc, but my question is, how do you all consume these, and how much per day? i mean do you weigh it or just chuck on a spoonfull?

    Personally I'm not a recipe kinda guy -- I just throw stuff together and see what happens.


    Nutritional yeast, however, well you just sprinkle that shit on everything :D


    As long as you eat a variety of healthy foods and plenty of greens your body will sort out what you need (except for B12).

  • thanks paul, i;ll definitely try the cheese, i only really use cheese in cooking though.

    with omni foods i am a pretty ok cook and rarely follow recipes but i want to make sure i'm getting the right nutrition so to begin with i'll go by the book until i get into the swing of things.

    i decided to do it when i heard about Veganuary but it's something i have thought about before, now this is the perfect kick up the arse to take it on. i'm looking forward to it.

  • Hey Groove :) Yeah Violife cheese is my favourite too especially melted. As far as seeds and stuff go I have porridge or muesli for breakfast every day and chuck on two or three tbsp of chia, sunflower and pumpkin seed mix along with some fruit and some cashew nuts or walnuts.


    One thing I'd say is don't be fooled into thinking the vegan diet is automatically healthy you can be a really unhealthy vegan, especially with all the choice there is now. I was shocked when I realised how much sugar there was in plant based milks so i always get the sugar free version now. I do have veggie burgers and stuff as a treat but generally try to avoid processed foods if I can, cause they're not much better in my opinion than processed meat.


    People often fail at veganism because they say they had no energy and felt they had to go back to eating meat but it was likely because they just had a really shit diet!

  • I must admit that I have employed Vegans before that have really been the skin of the sausage ( so to speak ) !! I am quite a tough boss but fair,but am not willing to throw away money on getting half a job done. The nature of any jobs that I have employed people for has always been a physical one that needs someone in the peak of physical health. I always respect hard workers who give what is needed.


    But as emmer says,that could well be because their vegan diet has not been well considered or even it could of been nothing to do with their veganism and they may of just been wimps in general !!


    I respect veganism and those who do it for the right reasons ! And also I appreciate those who explain why but do not preach :-)

  • I've not found a cheese substitute that I like, so I don't bother with any. Initially it was cheese that was THE sacrifice in moving from a vegetarian to a vegan diet a few years ago after fifty years of the former. I buy local, organic, fresh and in season fruit and vegetables whenever I can. Having a high boredom threshold (and not much interest in actually cooking) I generally eat a lot of raw salads and steamed vegetable meals with rehydrated pulses, which is just a case of remembering to soak them overnight (in the huge, empty gherkin jar I use specially) and cook them up before I actually need them. I generally prepare two or three days supply at a time and they keep for a few days in the fridge. I throw seeds and nuts in everything. I treat myself to fleur de sel and some tasty pepper for seasoning (not all salts and peppers taste the same) add some olive oil sprinkle on some yeast flakes. Organic, fair trade, non-dairy 85% chocolate is my main treat of choice. I haven't died yet.

  • I've not found a cheese substitute that I like, so I don't bother with any. Initially it was cheese that was THE sacrifice in moving from a vegetarian to a vegan diet a few years ago after fifty years of the former. I buy local, organic, fresh and in season fruit and vegetables whenever I can. Having a high boredom threshold (and not much interest in actually cooking) I generally eat a lot of raw salads and steamed vegetable meals with rehydrated pulses, which is just a case of remembering to soak them overnight (in the huge, empty gherkin jar I use specially) and cook them up before I actually need them. I generally prepare two or three days supply at a time and they keep for a few days in the fridge. I throw seeds and nuts in everything. I treat myself to fleur de sel and some tasty pepper for seasoning (not all salts and peppers taste the same) add some olive oil sprinkle on some yeast flakes. Organic, fair trade, non-dairy 85% chocolate is my main treat of choice. I haven't died yet.

    I'm trying to make the move to a mainly raw food vegan diet like yours, but am finding it tough as I love cooking and big stodgy hot meals!

  • I'm not a fan of Violife -- I'll eat it, but it seems to leave a weird taste in my mouth afterwards.


    I remember, a year after being vegan, I had really really low energy -- and a pain in my legs walking up any stairs. I wasn't taking any supplements then, but my food wasn't that great either.


    Started popping a regular B12 supplement and the problems stopped almost instantly.


    Thing with humans is that some will absorb vitamins better than others -- if one person has spent their entire life without supplementing, it doesn't mean you will get the same results.

  • thank you all.

    paul is it the coconut oil cheese you mean?


    i am going into this with my eyes open determined to make it a healthy vegan diet as that is half the reason i'm doing it in the first place. i'm lucky in that i do like most food types and i do like to cook. i usually have a pot of mixed nuts and seeds and dried fruits on my desk at work anyway so that's not a problem but the chia/linseed/yeast will be new to me so i will have to see how i like it.

    i don't eat a lot of processed foods now so there is no reason why i should suddenly start but i imagine i will use something like quorn to make the stodgy comfort foods i am used to such as pasta bolognese or shepherds pie etc. i love tofu so that's good!

  • We sometimes take a light meal in a local 'rescued food' cafe, and often take the vegan option instead of the processed meat alternative. They always offer a vegan menu.

    We are fortunate in having two or three of these cafes around town. Cheap and cheerful, and always with a pleasant staff, and often an interesting assortment of customers, much like ourselves.....:flowerpower::insane:

  • i don't eat a lot of processed foods now so there is no reason why i should suddenly start but i imagine i will use something like quorn to make the stodgy comfort foods i am used to such as pasta bolognese or shepherds pie etc. i love tofu so that's good!

    Quorn is veggie not vegan unless they've changed the recipe. It's always had egg in it. Make your bolognese or cottage pie with brown lentils instead. If you haven't already got one, invest in a pressure cooker, cook a whole bag of beans and then batch and freeze. Will save you money and time. Faddy additions like chia are totally unnecessary unless you actually want to eat them. Aldi do packs of ground chia, linseeds and a few other things and don't charge health food shop prices. Just throw a spoonful over your cereal if you feel you can't do without them. I'm an old cynic and don't trust anything thats touted as the new, must have superfood though. If you like 'meaty' soups and stews in the winter, tins of braised tofu are really good. It's also surprisingly good in salads and stir fries. Making your own dairy free milk is easy, particularly almond milk which is a whole different ball game to the manufactured stuff. Use the left over pulp to make 'cheese'. IMO there is NO substitute for cheese but you can make some interesting dips and spreads that have a cheesy flavour. If I'm making a cheese sauce I look for a good sauce recipe rather than use vegan cheeses. Cheese is proving really hard for me to give up as I never met a cheese I didn't like and I could live on the stuff. The main thing I;ve found is, organisation is the key to a successful vegan diet. Think ahead. It's so much more difficult to throw together a last minute vegan meal if you're being healthy and cooking everything for yourself. And if all else fails, beans on wholemeal toast is a perfectly balanced protein meal. ;) Have fun experimenting and enjoy your new journey.

  • yes i was aware of the quorn thing.

    it's interesting to hear Maggi say about the chia/flax etc, as all the researching i've done suggests i should be using them.. it is great that i can get lots of this stuff in Lidl which is right near my house too. they also do a few milk alternatives.

    i'm really up for this now and i'm so glad to have you lot to support and advise me through the transition, thank you all x

  • back again.

    with more dumb questions.

    will i get enough B12 from a mulivitamin?


    which seedy stuffs should i buy? ive seen references to flax, hemp, linseed and chia. do i need them all? and how much per day?


    oh dear i;m stressing now!


    [panic]

  • No need to stress. It sounds like you're overthinking everything. I tend to do that a lot of the time as well.


    A multivitamin will tell you on the packet what percentage of your daily requirements you're getting from one tablet. You might be better off just taking a B12 supplement though. If you have a healthy balanced diet you shouldn't need any other supplements and there are some vitamins you can actually take too much of.


    You don't NEED to buy any seedy stuffs unless you like them or need them for a recipe, especially if it's stressing you out. This is what I know about various seeds and how I use them when I have them.


    Chia i know nothing about except it's one of the latest trendy superfoods which means there's a big marketing push on it, which means a lot of people have a lot tied up in promoting it and a lot of shareholders to keep happy. My son had to do a paper on these so called superfoods for his bio-medicine degree and he says the scientific evidence is they're safe to eat and do have nutritional value but there's nothing special about them to make them a must have. I doubt I'll ever buy it unless it's necessary for a recipe.


    Linseed has been around for ever. Literally centuries. It's completely indigestible for some people in its seed form because of it's very hard coating. The seeds are small and can be an irritant to the stomach and the intestines. The ground variety will probably be the best place to start. If you bake bread you could substitute a small amount of flour with ground linseed or linseed oil for olive or sunflower oil. Linseed and flax are the same thing. I don't use it in any form except the boiled oil which isn't suitable for human consumption as it's used to thin oil paints.


    Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are my seeds of choice. I sprinkle about a teaspoon on salads in the summer for some crunch. I often have sunflower seeds because they occur in quite a few vegan recipes. Usually ground up. They also work well in homemade seedy bread with some additional poppy seeds. They're a good snack for anyone who follows the GL diet principles for type2 diabetes as they help keep blood sugars on an even keel.


    Hemp seeds I tried once when someone gave me a handful. I spent about a week trying to get them out of my teeth. Hemp oil is probaby your best bet. It's pricey but really only useful as a salad dressing so a little will go a long way. I don't use this either.


    I would say buy them if you like them or need them for a recipe but don't get stressed. No one food is ever essential.

  • thanks Maggi, that has eased my stressy mind! the nuts/seeds etc are not a problem as for years now i've done my own mix and always have a pot on my desk at work to munch on, i use cashews, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds and pine kernels, i dry fry them and sometimes i'll add pepper and soy sauce. or sometimes i'll break a small amount of dark chocolate into tiny pieces and add that. i think they are a yummy snack!


    thanks for the advice xx

  • Ok last post here, the dinner was nice, a pie which was a vegan take on chicken/mushroom served with veggies and roast potatoes covered in gravy.The most surprising thing was the vegan cream in coffee to finish, just like normal ,amazing what they are turning vegan these days!

  • it's all going rather well!

    i'm right into the nutritional yeast, yummmmy!

    i haven't succumbed to any of the new vegan fast food/junk food options which have sprung up and i'm cooking more than i previously had been. i feel good! and there really isn't anything which has been a struggle so far. i will say thank goodness for Alpro iced coffee though!!

  • thanks Fly, things are pretty good right now, i start a new job on Monday, my kids are doing well, my mum who was quite ill last year is on the mend and me and the fella have sorted ourselves out and got back together.


    back on the vegan thing, i was really surprised at how much negativity is out there from other vegans! my family and close friends are really supportive but i had to leave a couple of FB pages i'd joined because some of the other members were just plain nasty!