Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 58 total)
  • Becoming Vegan!? Who's done it?
  • Premier Icon timc
    Free Member

    Any vegans out there? Anyone gone through the process of becoming vegan?

    Hoping to hear people’s experiences & possibly advice as it appears a massive shift from so called normal!…

    Don’t wish to discuss the reasons for being vegan & don’t want any silly opinions, just genuine people’s experiences if possible please!! 8)

    Premier Icon timc
    Free Member

    Let’s hope so…

    Premier Icon AdamW
    Free Member

    I considered it absolutely ages ago when I was a very strict veggie but since I can’t eat nuts it wasn’t a goer.

    I reckon it depends on how organised you are. I have friends who are vegan and I think they need to put a smidgin bit more meal planning in place. Another friend is thinking of it but since he can’t organise a drinking festival in a large building full of imbibing fluids he’s onto a losing game. I guess once you get the hang of it you’ll be ok. Make sure you get a source of vitamin B12. You don’t need that much but it is normally in meat and dairy.

    Apart from that, if it floats your boat, go for it!

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Free Member

    My daughter went veggie and then vegan. She found vegan difficult, food dull and almost impossible to eat out which is very dull socially. So she’s back to Veggie and has been for 5 years. I eat veggie about 60-70% of the time, its pretty easy to manage that. Vegan imo is a pita to follow

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Full Member

    I’m sure it’s getting easier all the time, but being vegan is almost a full-time job.

    I’ve been veggie approaching 28 years now. I went vegan about ten years ago, and mostly found it ok but hard work constantly thinking about everything that goes into everything. If you want to be a ‘good’ vegan then much of your time becomes about education and research as the degree to which animals are used in pretty much everything is mind boggling.

    I went on a trip to Europe and that’s kind of what made me stop. Trying to find something to eat in your average European country with a less than basic grasp of the language was leading me to mostly just not be able to eat.

    I think the levels of predictable twuntery you encounter and have to wade through with a yawning regulatory increases also, as demonstrated on your first reply op (unless it’s now been deleted)

    I think now is a good time to try it if you want to. It’s never been so easy, never been more information out there and so many like-minded people. Have a go.

    Premier Icon mrsfry
    Free Member

    If you have imagination and know how to cook, then you’ll be fine.
    Beware of all the extra carbs in foods with soya (and extra salt).
    Don’t like cheese or milk so it was pretty easy skipping the meat. The hard part was the cakes. Only started a few weeks ago.

    Premier Icon mudmonster
    Free Member

    Was vegan for a couple of years a long time ago. People said I was too thin, I didn’t look after myself much and drank a lot. Never got back into drinking cows milk though.I know quite a few vegans who are totally healthy and say they feel great. Think you just have to take the time to eat a good varied diet.

    Premier Icon RoterStern
    Free Member

    OP are you vegetarian now or do you want to go straight from a meat eating diet to vegan? If so perhaps try a vegetarian diet first and then move to becoming vegan later. I’ve been a vegetarian for over 25 years and have thought about becoming vegan but you really have to know what you are doing regarding nutrition. I can remember going shopping with a girl from my course at uni and she had to look at the ingredients on every single thing she bought and even knew exactly which E numbers contained animal products.

    Premier Icon northernmatt
    Full Member

    Mrs Matt started about 2 months before Christmas which threw all my carefully laid Christmas Dinner plans into a cocked hat. I ribbed her mercilessly to begin with, the usual “not eating anything with a shadow” sort of stuff, then just let her get on with it.

    As a result of her being Vegan we as a family have started eating less meat as it’s a lot easier to cook one meal for everyone than cook two different meals. Occasionally though I’ll make something incredibly non-vegan and let her fend for herself. It’s her choice not mine.

    Some of the food she makes is very nice, some of it is an abomination. I think it’s a case of getting used to cooking with a limited set of ingredients and once you’re used to that you’re away.

    Premier Icon gallowayboy
    Full Member

    Strict-ish veggie here (for over 25 years) and considered vegan a couple of times. Easy enough at home once you’ve researched your products, and easier to find treats nowadays than it was (Used to be Ruffle Bars as far as chocolate products was concerned). Depending on where you live, there may be loads of cafes that do vegan cakes etc, but eating out would put me off. Its bad enough being veggie and and facing one unchanging item on the menu nowadays it’s usually some badly made risotto. You can forget pub food if your vegan.

    If you can put up with that, having to research which ale and wine you can drink, and having to justify yourselves to the braying carnivores who appear to see dietary choice as a threat – then go for it.

    Or be flexible – vegan at home but prepared to give a little when you feel the need – you don’t have to be absolute to feel you’re doing something you believe in.

    Premier Icon poah
    Free Member

    remember to take suppliments for the nutrients that you’ll not get through meat.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Full Member

    Isn’t Veggan the latest thing?

    I won’t mention bacon as they don’t like it.

    Premier Icon Spin
    Free Member

    don’t want any silly opinions

    Good luck with that. Plenty of **** on here happy to rubbish others lifestyle choices.

    Premier Icon bikebouy
    Free Member

    jambalaya – Member – Hope you don’t mind Sir but I’ve nicked your comment and modified it for me &MrsB
    My Mrs was veggie when I first met her, then went vegan 3 years into our relationship . She found vegan difficult, food dull and almost impossible to eat out which is very dull socially. She then tried a regime of Raw food only which lasted just over another year, So she’s been back to Veggie for the last 15. I eat veggie about 70-80% of the time, its pretty easy to manage that. Vegan & Raw Food only imo is a pita to follow, even upto about 5 years ago it was a pita to eat out socially if you went somewhere unknown, now it’s all changed to include about a 60/40 ratio of meat options/veggie options

    FIFM, thanks Jamb..

    Premier Icon alansd1980
    Full Member

    Watching this thread with interest as I am trying to improve my diet and slowly move towards less/no meat. I don’t really drink milk and have no cheese but butter and chocolate constitute large parts of my diet so that will be difficult.

    My biggest problem is finding alternatives. Growing up on the west coast of Scotland my diet was meat and potatoes so it’s going to be a huge change.

    Premier Icon yunki
    Free Member

    I am not a vegan, but my stepfather has been a strict vegan for over 40 years..
    He’s always relied heavily on ‘vegan products’..
    He’s prone to being overweight and suffers from gout..

    I personally don’t enjoy ‘products’, they are incredibly bland, the textures are often unpleasant, and I’m dubious about the health benefits but we eat vegan in my house 3 or 4 times per week.. My bowel is knackered so I have to avoid meat, dairy and wheat..
    We use a lot of seeds and pulses, coconut milk and quinoa as I’m not good with nuts..
    I have never found the food to be dull, quite the opposite in fact..
    We don’t see it as vital to eat protein every day, I have large portions of fresh fish 3 or four times per week though..

    I really don’t think you have to sweat about it too much to be honest, if you’re into food, into cooking and enjoy exploring different types of food and diverse cuisines you should find it enlightening..
    Never underestimate the power of a really well thought out heap of salad either 🙂

    Premier Icon Malvern Rider
    Free Member

    Being married to one has made me 90% vegan, I don’t find that a hardship and find I eat a wider range of foodstuffs because of it. We do eat local free free-range eggs (chickens running around the garden type free-range) so not strictly vegan either.

    +1 on problems socialising around food activities. Being vegan you may as well be Martian. We are lucky in having some relaxed friends who are either veggies themselves or adaptable omnivores who like cooking.

    Number 1 rule is home cooking. Forget everything else and learn this.

    Get used to smart comments from those meat-eaters who are permanently offended by your choice and will pre-empt what they see as ‘self-righteous, precious behaviour’ (not eating meat). Just smile sweetly and repeat ‘bacon is great’ a few times to calm them down should they start in with all the questions/demands for justification.

    Savoury yeast flakes with Vit B12 are your friend.

    Marmite is a good addition to stocks and flavouring. Watch the salt.

    Current favourites

    Dragon pie
    Banana, tea and chickpea curry ( via a girl called jack)
    Biryani rice, I add baked courgettes and mushrooms on the side
    My new improved vegan chilli with tortilla chips, salad and baked spuds

    Here’s one I made last night:

    Boil half a cup of pearl barley in a pan until soft, rinse and set aside.

    In a large pan sauteé one large chopped onion in oil until soft and golden
    In pestle and mortar crush cumin seeds enough for a level dessert spoon
    Stir the cumin powder into onions and sautee for a few seconds. Turn off heat.

    Add 5 large cloves of chopped or crushed garlic
    Add two large chopped fresh tomatoes
    1teaspoon of marmite
    1 teaspoon of mustard
    1 or 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
    1 heaped tblsp of tomato puree
    One tin chopped toms
    3 chopped mushrooms
    1 diced bell pepper
    Black pepper to taste (I crush my own and add about 3/4 tsp)
    Squirt of brown sauce
    Teaspoon of syrup (I use maple)
    Level tsp of good smoked paprika (I use Avion)
    Chilll flakes or cayenne pepper to taste. Start with a teaspoon, add more if required.
    1/4 pint veg stock

    Simmer for about 30 mins, storring occasionally.
    Add pearl barley (or soya mince, or half and half, as you wish)
    Add a tin of red kidney beans
    Simmer for further 10 mins.

    Add a tblspn of savoury yeast flakes with B12 and stir in.

    Let sit for 5 min then serve with sald, rice, or baked spuds, or salad and tortilla chip etc.

    Missing sour cream? Out of luck there but guacamole is our friend.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Full Member

    We do eat local free free-range eggs (chickens running around the garden type free-range) so not strictly vegan either.

    That’s this Veggan thing I was on about.

    Premier Icon Malvern Rider
    Free Member

    That’s this Veggan thing I was on about.

    I prefer ‘not strictly vegan’ – think ‘not strictly come dancing’ only with worse judges 😉

    Premier Icon Drac
    Full Member

    I’d rather not.

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Full Member

    We are not vegan but we eat a lot of vegetarian meals and often these qualify as vegan too. If you look at a lot of different cuisines from around the world – it’s not too hard to be varied IMHO. We also don’t eat a lot of processed products – so that probably would help. Where I would find it hard is eating out, treats and things like cappuccino.

    Premier Icon Malvern Rider
    Free Member

    All our kitchen cupboards are crammed with re-used sealed plastic containers (ie supermarket chilled soup containers, ready-meals/takeaway containers etc) to now store a multitude of grains, dried foods, mixed nuts, etc. if you spend time building up a good ingredient and herb/spice store it makes it so much easier to cook without always having to nip out for ingredients. More economical too.

    Nutritional yeast flakes, powdered stock etc can be bought cheaper in larger quantities online. It’s also worth supporting your local health/natural food shop where you can pick up loads of ideas along with ingredients. If they have a cafe even better, sample the menu and be inspired.

    Re advice it is really difficult at first and the cooking/planning load (even for me who likes cooking) seemed daunting but you soon learn lots of shortcuts and forward-planning becomes second nature. I really enjoy the challenge of making recipes from whatever veg/fruit etc is available at discount prices.

    Premier Icon northernmatt
    Full Member

    Ta for the recipe ideas MR, I have passed them on to the powers that be.

    Premier Icon MrSmith
    Free Member

    I have no interest in going vegan or commenting on those who do but interested in the cost which nobody seems to mention. Is it more expensive to go vegan? I know protein (meat fish) is expensive but if you walk into a health food shop then everything is expensive! And I would imagine processed vegan foods are probably not cheap?

    Premier Icon CaptainFlashheart
    Free Member

    Worth noting that your beer choices will be reduced. There are some excellent vegan beers out there, but just a little harder to find.

    Premier Icon xherbivorex
    Free Member

    I have no interest in going vegan or commenting on those who do but interested in the cost which nobody seems to mention. Is it more expensive to go vegan? I know protein (meat fish) is expensive but if you walk into a health food shop then everything is expensive! And I would imagine processed vegan foods are probably not cheap?

    if you’re going to rely on processed vegan stuff from health food stores, then yes it will end up being more expensive than the average omnivorous diet. but fresh fruit and veg, herbs and spices, tinned tomatoes etc etc all cost the same whatever your dietary preference, and dried pulses and beans in bulk aren’t expensive at all.

    Premier Icon Malvern Rider
    Free Member

    The only thing we regularly buy from health food shops are vegan garlic mayo, Worcester sauce, tamari etc and the more exotic dried beans or herbs that are harder to find elsewhere.

    as xherbivorex says – cooking your own food is cheaper. Ready-prepared veganism would be horribly expensive in our culture, unlike (say), a market in India.

    Quick burger recipe:

    Take one sachet of Granose burger mix (most supermarkets) and empty into a bowl
    Add a couple of teaspoons of horseradish
    Teaspoon of syrup (I use maple or golden whatever available)
    A little mustard
    Black pepper
    Handful of cooked pear barley
    Pinch or two smoked paprika

    Trick is now to use a fork and add a little water, slowly in increments, mixing and mashing until sticky but firm.

    Divide into two balls, gently flatten out with heel of palm on chopping surface or plate. Keep patting/compressing edges with spatula as rotating and flattening.

    Fry gently in oil for a few minutes until golden brown each side Bang on a bun with salad, dill pickles, chosen relish etc.

    Premier Icon Marko
    Full Member

    Move to Israel?

    5% of the population?


    Premier Icon huckleberryfatt
    Free Member

    I love food–growing it, shopping for it, preparing it and eating it–so being vegan is really easy for me. I solve the ‘eating out’ problem mainly by having people over to mine and I cook for them. There’s loads of recipes on the internet–there’s absolutely no need to settle for dull food. I batch-cook soups, chilli, stews, sauces etc and freeze them for when I need a quick meal. An easy cake recipe is a must–this is one of my favourites

    Premier Icon northernmatt
    Full Member

    @Malvern Rider – try Hendersons Relish instead of vegan specific worcester sauce. Much cheaper and just as good, if you can find it that is. You can buy it mail order.

    Premier Icon Malvern Rider
    Free Member

    Thnks Matt will seek it out. Am a fan of sauce.

    Possibly OT – Anyone else tried ‘OK’ brand brown sauce? Used to turn up in local stores once in awhile. Was V good iirc.

    Premier Icon benji
    Free Member

    Thought about it whilst eating bacon and eggs but decided not for me.

    Only posted as you didn’t want to hear anything silly, got to keep the normal balance.

    Premier Icon seanthesheap
    Free Member

    I have been making some of the recipes from this site…
    This Rawsome Vegan Life
    I’m not cutting out meat and dairy, just cutting down on meat and dairy, so a few recipe options help with that.
    Everything i have made from this site has tasted nice so far.

    Premier Icon poly
    Free Member

    Tim, I know you don’t want a debate about the reasons why, but I think that makes a big difference to how easy such a change is. If you feel strongly enough about it AND those around you share that understanding, or aren’t continually challenging it you’ll find it much easier. I think it also depends how strict you want to be – and if you want to be really strict expect to ask a lot of questions to make sure… I witnessed a discussion last week about whether butter was vegan or not…

    A friend gradually weaned himself off stuff, he’s not quite vegan (or even veggan) and doesn’t plan to go all the way because his views are closely linked to sustainability etc and so he’d rather eat a local animal derived product than one shipped round the world and totally vegan…

    Premier Icon mogrim
    Free Member

    Banana, tea and chickpea curry ( via a girl called jack)

    I’ve made that one, quite nice! Incidentally, Jack’s been vegan since New Year’s Day, and has been posting vegan recipes all month on her blog:

    Premier Icon scunny
    Free Member

    I’m vegan, made the switch 7 months ago. I was vegetarian for a year about 5 years ago but fell off the wagon when I was pissed and never went back. It was a bit of a learning curve but I’m comfortable with it now. The only thing I still struggle with is eating out, I’ve found that eating at home before hand and just getting a few sides (chips, olives, bread etc) whilst out enables me to still be sociable whilst not accidentally eat animal products.

    You’ll hear a lot of “but what about your protein?”, I still manage to get about 100g per day with beans/lentils/legumes. There’s loads of stuff on the internet so with a bit of research you’all get the hang of it.

    It was only 7 months ago that I was eating meat so I’ve got no right to be preachy to be anyone. But I’ve often caught some flack off friends because of the switch, I’ll usually just ask that they watch Cowspiracy/Earthlings and Forks Over Knives not to try and change there’s eating habits but just to understand why I changed mine.

    My nephew watched the above documentaries and switched to veganism straight away, I don’t expect him to keep it up forever but it’s impressive to see a young ‘trendy’ popular 18 year old making a decision like that and sticking to it. One of my oldest friends and his partner switched to vegetarianism shortly after I did, sometimes you just have to see someone making the choice to not eat meat to realise that it’s an option.

    Premier Icon dazh
    Full Member

    I did it 22 years ago. Went straight to vegan instead of a veggie interlude. In some respects I think that makes it easier as you can avoid the cheese temptation. I’m somewhat ‘flexible’ with it now. Still mainly ‘vegan’ (obviously you can’t be a part time vegan, but hopefully people know what I mean) but willing to bend the rules when convenience demands. It’s easy if you know and hang around others who are vegan, much more difficult if not. At some point you’ll get sick of being the awkward one when it comes to eating out, dinner parties, works dos etc.

    Don’t wish to discuss the reasons for being vegan & don’t want any silly opinions, just genuine people’s experiences if possible please!!

    Fat chance. I give it til page 3 before we’ve descended into ‘mmmmm, bacon!’ territory.

    Premier Icon bob_summers
    Full Member

    All my adult life so can’t really remember the “switch” other than learning to cook! Don’t even think about it these days, and my 2 yo is vegan (we live in Pais Vasco so not the most enlightened of places foodwise).

    But a couple of tips, if you are the social media type then subscribe to as much as you can for cooking ideas. And if you travel, Happy Cow app/site will help you find places to eat or buy food.

    At some point you’ll get sick of beyond the awkward one when it comes to eating out, dinner parties, works dos etc

    On the contrary people are by and large very helpful IME. I’d say they’re being the awkward ones if deliberately not being accommodating.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    malvern I’ve stolen your chilli recipe, thanks 😆

    quite keen on the banana curry idea, [toddles off to look it up]

    Premier Icon littlegirlbunny
    Free Member

    Yes I’ve done it. 21 years ago next month.

    It was much harder on a practical basis back then, but it was still an easy thing to do as I knew it was the right decision for me. As I was only 16, just about to turn 17, I had no respect from anyone, got constant grief and negativity from people and was told I would die if I didn’t eat cheese by my mother. There was no internet and I didn’t meet another vegan for 2 years.

    Now it’s dead easy, in the last three years particularly, I have found 90% of cafes and coffee shops have soy milk for tea. The major supermarkets sell a massive range of dairy alternatives as well as the basics in ready to use format Microwavable lentils, tinned pulses (no more soaking for 10 hours!, vacuum packed tofu. Some major chains have good vegan options, look at Toby Carvery (yes really!) and others have good vegan options. Most local places will cater, and if you are a regular, will cater well. Where are you based? We have some fabulous eating out places in Malvern and Worcester.

    Pret, Starbucks, M and S and Waitrose food halls are all useful when I am on the road and working in town centres.

    I also am a big fan of fake meats etc and the textured and quality has improved so much – I know not everyone is, but who cares? Each to their own and I am happy to eat processed food because it’s tasty and I like it. The best vegan meat alternatives are found in the freezer at Wing Yip – I kid you not. Even my Omni boyfriend thinks the fake fish stuff is fabulous. Frys nuggets etc are now available in Morrisons and they are up there with some of the best fun foods. Waitrose and Asda stock vegan Quorn. Sainsbury stock the new Linda Mc Burgers.

    I’d also say it doesn’t have to be ‘all or nothing’ find what works for you, if it takes a while to make the change, then so be it. If you slip up and have the odd non vegan thing, don’t beat yourself up – it’s better to cut down than to give up trying completely. It’s better to eat two dairy free meals a week than none. It’s better to be compassionate when you remember, than not bothering at all. It’s not about whether it’s ‘worth it’ its about doing what is right ‘for you’. You can only control your own actions. It is often said, the hardest thing about being vegan is dealing with the hassle and prejudice you get from other people, but I think even that is changing as it becomes mainstream. I don’t tend to tell people I am vegan unless they ask, or I need to for practical reasons. However, many people now are interested, know another vegan or are considering cutting down on dairy/meat themselves.

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