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Old Dec 18, 2012, 09:20 AM   #1
FlatlinerG
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MacRumors Vegans?

So the other day while cooking up a nice strip loin steak, medium rare of course, I turned to the gf and pitched the idea of going vegan for a month. I'm a generally healthy person, aside from a thyroid issue, and have been eating meat my whole life. She is not quite as healthy, she can't eat red meat, fatty pork, fish or seafood anyway.

I think this endeavour will only help balance our diet and broaden the range of foods that we eat. I'm a hunter and have no out of the ordinary issues with food production, so it isn't at all about that. Mostly in the health benefits and a better change in diet.

All of that being said, are any MacRumarians vegans? And if so, any recommendations or recipe ideas?
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 09:22 AM   #2
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Vegans search function activated:
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 09:35 AM   #3
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Start new thread asking a few basic questions vs. reviving a thread that hasn't had a response in 2 years.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 03:41 PM   #4
Tomorrow
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I never did the vegan thing, but I did try life as a vegetarian for a month. I had some serious issues with it.

1. I had no real motivation for doing it, so it was hard to make myself continue. I had no health issues, no moral qualms about eating animals, etc. My only reason for trying it was to see if I could last a month (I did).

2. I have an eating disorder, and omitting meat from my diet altogether left me feeling unfulfilled (in a "happy" sense), even though I didn't feel hungry - so I overate even more than I normally do.

3. Almost every single meal was eggs, nachos, baked potatoes, or some kind of pasta. It got old in a big hurry.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 03:58 PM   #5
olup
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I tried to be vegan for a month about a decade ago, I have been vegetarian for about the same amount of time.

It is really hard to find a decent substitiute for cheese that actually tastes good.
That's why I went back to being vegetarian.

You can get soy meat, those are small dried soy balls, at any thai supermarket for 3-4 bucks. You boil those in hot water for a bit and then spice them to your liking. Tofu is good too, but you need to spice that as well, in fact you need to spice everything that is made from soy beans or wheat gluten, unless you buy prepacked stuff.
There is also some stuff called tempeh, which is fermented soybeans, I didn't like that.
I found that seitan is really easy and fun to make on your own, although it is really messy. But the results are phantastic and you can make anything that resembles meat from seitan, for instance schnitzel, goulash, steak. All you need to do is once you got the gluten is to spice it accordingly.

Here's the recipe for seitan: http://vegetarian.about.com/od/cooki...owToSeitan.htm

I remember I made vegan cookies once, instead of eggs you take a banana and blend it. Half a banana = 2 eggs.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 04:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomorrow View Post
I never did the vegan thing, but I did try life as a vegetarian for a month. I had some serious issues with it.

1. I had no real motivation for doing it, so it was hard to make myself continue. I had no health issues, no moral qualms about eating animals, etc. My only reason for trying it was to see if I could last a month (I did).

2. I have an eating disorder, and omitting meat from my diet altogether left me feeling unfulfilled (in a "happy" sense), even though I didn't feel hungry - so I overate even more than I normally do.

3. Almost every single meal was eggs, nachos, baked potatoes, or some kind of pasta. It got old in a big hurry.

Good to know, I'm sitting in pretty much the same boat. No real issues with meat other than something to try for the heck of it. It sounds like having a good list of varying recipes is a good idea then. I'll start looking and planning meals.


Quote:
Originally Posted by olup View Post
I tried to be vegan for a month about a decade ago, I have been vegetarian for about the same amount of time.

It is really hard to find a decent substitiute for cheese that actually tastes good.
That's why I went back to being vegetarian.

You can get soy meat, those are small dried soy balls, at any thai supermarket for 3-4 bucks. You boil those in hot water for a bit and then spice them to your liking. Tofu is good too, but you need to spice that as well, in fact you need to spice everything that is made from soy beans or wheat gluten, unless you buy prepacked stuff.
There is also some stuff called tempeh, which is fermented soybeans, I didn't like that.
I found that seitan is really easy and fun to make on your own, although it is really messy. But the results are phantastic and you can make anything that resembles meat from seitan, for instance schnitzel, goulash, steak. All you need to do is once you got the gluten is to spice it accordingly.

Here's the recipe for seitan: http://vegetarian.about.com/od/cooki...owToSeitan.htm

I remember I made vegan cookies once, instead of eggs you take a banana and blend it. Half a banana = 2 eggs.
I've had tofu quite a bit before, my best friend used to be vegetarian years ago and almost any meal I ate at his place was vegetarian. Cheese, I admit, will be the biggest issue for us. We are wine loves and cheese/meat tends to follow or go with most bottles that we drink.


What I can foresee out of this experiment, is that we will continue eating cheese after 30 days, but sticking to good cheeses like we currently eat and avoid eating any processed junk. Secondly, I'll probably return to meat but stop eating any bulk sort of meat like chicken breasts, pork chops, etc, and keep eating nice salamis and other specialty meats (can't stay away from moose meat).

And for whatever reason, I am oddly excited to try almond milk...
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 04:57 PM   #7
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I'm not vegan but I know plenty who are, and lived with a vegan girlfriend for a couple of years. The biggest mistakes I see with veganism (at least in the USA, where my experiences are based) is the massively overproccessed "meat substitute" stuff marketed towards vegans, and poor nutritional education. Whole foods (as in non processed, not the supermarket chain) and correct protein intake are your keys to veganism. A couple of years ago I picked up a book on raw foods and found it to be pretty informative with regards to making better dietary choices. I do not eat a raw diet but the book definitely gave me some insight on more responsible eating habits in general. Its a good idea to read books like this from an intellectual rather than emotional standpoint. Food is so basic that it can be an emotional topic with strong reactions from many perspectives.

Depending on where you live you may consider looking into community supported agriculture programs (CSA) in your area. The concept is that you pay a certain amount to a farm, they use your money to cover costs and you receive a portion of the harvest, usually on a weekly basis. The advantages are that you support local farmers (a key to thriving local economy) and you get fresh, high quality, high variety seasonal food for less than you'd pay at the supermarket. High variety is such an advantage, as you'll get food that you might otherwise overlook in the supermarket, which lets you learn and experience things you might not have otherwise. Seasonal food additionally so, as it gives you a more complete connection to a natural system that we've evolved to be in sync with over the thousands and millions of years which we have only recently begun to eschew.

Good fortune to you on your quest. I'd be interested in hearing how it goes.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 12:30 AM   #8
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As another viewpoint on here, you may want to read/search some of the articles on websites like Marksdailyapple.com. I was a vegan for about 3 years when I was younger. I have never been healthier than I am now basing my diet around meat and vegetables.

Veganism can have negative consequences for some people, and in my opinion after reading a lot of literature, a large number of people have issues they either choose to ignore or don't notice because they buy into the idea that Veganism is the healthiest way to go.

For me, the best thing I've done for my health was eliminate ALL grains and strictly limit sugar intake.

I'm not trying to direct you away from trying it for a month, I'm suggesting you study both sides of the argument. Sometimes, people who go from eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) to a vegan diet feel it is the magic cure because of how much better they feel. I believe this is simply from removing the processed foods. Based on my research and experience, I think they would feel even better if they didn't cut out the meat as well, just got rid of all the processed, sugary crap.

Good luck however you choose to experiment though.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 09:23 AM   #9
SumoHamster
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I have had a vegan diet for just over 5 months now. I was always interested in the idea of being a vegetarian and a good friend of mine is a vegan and swears by it, so I decided to give it a shot. It wasn't too hard, though I do miss seafood and Thanksgiving was almost painful.

Anyway, keep in mind that if you eat vegan for a month, you won't get any B12 in you without a supplement. You could try starting with stir fry's including lots of veggies and tofu. Make sure the tofu is drained and preferably marinated prior to cooking it, and you'd probably want to use the extra firm variety.

If you love spaghetti, I've found that getting the soft variety of tofu and cooking it with some garlic and onion then adding it to regular spaghetti sauce works out pretty well!
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 09:37 AM   #10
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I tried specifically because I hate the way livestock animals are treated. I wasn't able to keep it up. I did some planning last time I tried. If I did it again, I'd probably plan it way more in terms of getting certain nutrients, protein items, and I'd search out as many recipes as possible. It's a pretty drastic change.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 10:36 AM   #11
FlatlinerG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by althaur View Post
As another viewpoint on here, you may want to read/search some of the articles on websites like Marksdailyapple.com. I was a vegan for about 3 years when I was younger. I have never been healthier than I am now basing my diet around meat and vegetables.

Veganism can have negative consequences for some people, and in my opinion after reading a lot of literature, a large number of people have issues they either choose to ignore or don't notice because they buy into the idea that Veganism is the healthiest way to go.

For me, the best thing I've done for my health was eliminate ALL grains and strictly limit sugar intake.

I'm not trying to direct you away from trying it for a month, I'm suggesting you study both sides of the argument. Sometimes, people who go from eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) to a vegan diet feel it is the magic cure because of how much better they feel. I believe this is simply from removing the processed foods. Based on my research and experience, I think they would feel even better if they didn't cut out the meat as well, just got rid of all the processed, sugary crap.

Good luck however you choose to experiment though.

This is more or less my approach. I think that a month of no animal products, can help reduce my meat/dairy intake and increase the variety of fruit and veggies that I eat. I don't see myself remaining vegan after the month, but by eating the normal north american diet, I'm noticing that there are so many other meals/foods that I don't eat because I'm too busy cooking ribs/steak/bacon and eggs/etc.


I've found some mouthwatering recipes too that I'm really excited to try. I've had tofu many times before (vegetarian friends) and it's only bad if you cook it like it's going to give things flavour.
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