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Vegan-Vegan friendly MNetters- the new thread-sign in here!

(744 Posts)
anyabanya Tue 15-Jun-10 10:02:06

Hi Vegan and vegan-friendly MNetters!

Just wanted to know if anyone was out there and wanted to form a support thread- to talk about food/ veganism, 'stuff' in general.

I am late 30s, have been an on and off vegan for about 6 years, and after a hiatus of about 9 months or so am back 'on'. I adore cooking with a passion, and love reading food blogs and vegan food blogs.

I would very much like to exchange thoughts/tips/frustrations with anyone else out there!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 15-Jun-10 10:07:22

I was vegan until I got pregnant - am now just plain old veggie (and eating fish blush ). Would love to go back to being vegan - I never ate so well, or felt so good - unfortunately just not practical at the the moment. Am also not convinced of the wisdom of making DD vegan so will be a while until I can go back to it

anyabanya Tue 15-Jun-10 10:17:33

Yes, I was vegan until pg too..... I had plans for a vegan pregnancy, but craved cheese and ham so dreadfully badly that i just ended up eating it.... going back now. (I am 37 weeks).

I have no objections to vegan-friendly - vegan curious joining in! (That describes me, really!).

I love(d) being vegan. I also never ate so well, and we had a brilliant Ethiopian restaurant near where we used to live that had just glorious food.

fascicle Tue 15-Jun-10 11:24:36

I have been vegan for over 20 years. My partner and children are vegan too.

racingheart Tue 15-Jun-10 11:26:24

I have a vegan friend who I'd love to invite to dinner but am not sure what to cook that isn't too lentil hotchpotchy. She's Indian and a brilliant cook so not sure I'm confident enough to make a curry. She loves baked things but I've baked for her in the past then realised there were eggs or milk in the recipe so she probably didn't even eat them. Duh. Any suggestions?

anyabanya Tue 15-Jun-10 12:01:50

You could cook her an Italian feast?

spiral pasta with cherry tomatoes, garlic and walnut halves

spagetti with garlic, olive oil and chilli flakes (a favourite of mine)

home made polenta with spicy tomato sauce

peppers stuffed with rice and vegetables

mushroom risotto made with vegetable stock and white wine

Or quite alot of Thai and Chinese dishes can be easily veganised if you do not use the fish sauces

Or Mexican? Vegetable fajitas?

anyabanya Tue 15-Jun-10 12:02:29

Forgot to add- she would probably be delighted with anything you made, as so many people just dismiss it as 'too hard'.

AbFabT Tue 15-Jun-10 14:14:12

I'm vegan, 36, been vegan for over ten years, DH is vegan too, we met on a vegan mountain-biking weekend. We are expecting our first baby in October (I am 24+1) and I haven't been tempted to fall off the vegan wagon. The thought of flesh or animal products utterly repulses me, will never go back. Am also convinced about the health aspects - have never felt better, and I've done a lot of research to support this. We'll be raising this child, and any others we would be blessed enough to have, vegan.

I've got a little website I've been putting together, mainly for ourselves, our families/friends and our own reference, but it might be useful for others too!
www.veganparent.com (it's currently being moved from fullofbeans.no-ip.org/drupal-6.15/ so if the former link isn't working, it can still be accessed on the latter.)

Lovely to meet you all, and thanks for starting a thread!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 15-Jun-10 16:43:17

That.s a great site abfab. I'd really like to go back to being vegan, but I'm really worried about not feeding DD properly when she weans. When I was vegan (for all of a few months) I took multivitamins just in case, and also figure that as an adult I have more leeway about not feeding myself properly.

AbFabT Tue 15-Jun-10 17:18:06

Thanks, ItsAllGoingToBeFine. It's still a work in progress, and I have got some great ideas for weaning meals to add. In the meantime, are you aware of this book: HERE - it just says 'organic' in the title which is stupidly misleading as it's actually ALL vegan. I do believe we can get all of our nutrients from plant-based sources (see my section on nutrients), so as long as your LO is getting a good variety, they should thrive.

I didn't take a multivitamin or supplement during my first ten years of being vegan - I only started taking the pre-natal folic acid multivitamin one a few months before we were TTC, and I've always had perfect health, not had a cold/sniffle/sore throat in all my time vegan, and my well-woman check-ups were always good. (Obviously, my one-woman sample/anecdotal evidence is not the be-all and end-all, but I'd read and read and read, and remain truly convinced it's the healthiest diet (done properly).

Imo, all meat/dairy is is second-hand nutrients plus bad fats/gristle/sinew - the animals have taken what they need first, and you are just eating a sub-standard version of what they have eaten. Better to get the nutrients directly from the plant-based sources ourselves, I think!

I've got a few friends with vegan children, and they are all thriving. I also know two adults who were raised vegan from birth, and they are glowing examples of good health.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 15-Jun-10 17:57:56

Thanks for the book suggestion - I have added it to my list (DD is only 7 weeks at the mo).

What do you do about your kids when they are eating outside the home e.g. birthday parties, nursery etc?

How do you feel about imposing your views on your child? My current view is that when DD gets to an age to make her own decisions then if she wants a Macdonalds with her mates that is fine.

anyabanya Tue 15-Jun-10 18:14:46

Great website AbFab. Love the idea of lots of recipes contained within. Sometimes I lose inspiration and resort to good old butter bean burgers.

I am 'looking forward' (sarcasm alert) to getting it in the neck from people when I am breastfeeding (if I can bf I mean). I tend not to talk at all about veganism with other people, and alot of our friends would not ever have even known. But my mother has already started with the pressure, and I told her that if she was prepared to comment then she had better be prepared to do her research and then get back to me to discuss it, but so far she has not.

AbFabT Tue 15-Jun-10 18:42:51

IAGTBF, no worries! I've already ordered (and received!) the book, and I haven't even given birth yet!

As such, can't really answer your questions yet about what we do re parties, though my thoughts are that we will advise all party hosts of our children's dietary requirements, and provide food ourselves as necessary.
I don't suppose any of you are local to me (SW London!) - we could have vegan parties for our children together so they don't feel so unusual.
There is also vegan summer camp which sounds like a nice idea (www.vegancamp.co.uk/) - haven't been yet, but saving it as an idea for future reference.
We also have quite a few vegan friends already, one of whom is nearby and just had their second baby, so I am hoping our children will not feel like the odd ones out very much (not that there is anything wrong with being different!).

We aren't planning on sending our children to nursery, so not concerned about that. I guess you send them with a packed lunch?

Re imposition of views. Well, I see our views (and impositions thereof) as no different to omnivores imposing their views/diets on to their children. We will raise our children to understand health and nutrition, and to understand animal welfare/cruelty and where meat/dairy comes from. When they are old enough to choose for themselves, then so be it. But we will have no meat or dairy in the house - "whilst under our roof", as my mother applied rules to us, so be it for our children! To me, it's no different to telling our children they can't smoke cigarettes in our home - but if they choose to do so when out, there's not a great deal we can do about it.

We intend to lead by example rather than make a real issue of things. And to be quite involved with vegan groups so our children feel they aren't the only ones in the world living like this.

anya, thanks re kind website comments! I am constantly adding new recipes, so do keep checking back! And please feel free to send me any recipes too!

Why would you get it in the neck for breastfeeding? As long as you are eating well, your baby will be too. Luckily, both my mother and MIL are fully supportive of our lifestyles (my mum was even vegan when I lived at home with her for a while when my brothers moved out, though since I've left, she eats mainstream - but she isn't opposed to veganism - she knows I've done my research and I am an educated, careful person, who would never jeopardise my child's health). Send your mum to my website, or copy and paste any relevant info re the nutrition you are getting, and the negative aspects of meat/dairy-eating.

Afaiaa, there isn't a vegan formula here in the UK, so I am hoping I can BF. Am very determined on that point. Hey, are you aware of these: Silveretter Nipple Shields - if you get cracked nipples, all the cream I've seen to combat cracked or sore nipples contains sheep grease (aka lanolin - therefore not vegan), so these silver nipple things are great for us as they do the job (and are a one-off payment, as opposed to having to replenish stocks of Lansinoh). I've already got mine.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 15-Jun-10 19:02:09

re breastfeeding - everyone at work used to mock me saying how on earth could a vegan baby breastfeed grin

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 15-Jun-10 19:06:58

Sorry- you've suddenly got me all enthused about veganism again, hence all the posts.

A couple of questions: am totally skint, isn't veganism more expensive than cheap supermarket food?

Where do you get your more esoteric vegan ingredients e.g. nutritional yeast?

AbFabT Tue 15-Jun-10 19:41:28

I had one friend ask tongue-in-cheek 'Do vegans breastfeed?' - but no one ever seriously! Or maybe I just don't take them seriously!

It's cool! The more vegans, the better!

We don't find veganism more expensive, no. It's inexpensive - UNLESS you buy all those special chocolate/marshmallow/etc stuff. (Which we do occasionally indulge in! ) I make a lot of stuff myself though - if we fancy cake, I make it. (I made our wedding cake too!) This works out very economically. We do occasionally buy the mock-meat stuff, but I think they equate to an average meat purchase (it's been so long, tbf, I am not up-to-date on meat prices). But in general, I would say our food bill is relatively low. How much is milk these days? I have no clue, maybe soya milk is slightly pricier. Though to us, what price health! We'd sacrifice in other areas if need be.
Eating out, usually we eat at veg*n restaurants, but if we aren't, then usually the veg*n options are cheaper than the meat dishes. I think I've saved a fortune over the years!

I don't buy nutritional yeast, but I guess most health-food stockists would supply it. Do you have a GNC/Holland and Barrett/Independent Health Food Store near you? Or you can probably buy it online via one of the online vegan stores.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 15-Jun-10 19:54:08

Holland & Barrett don't do it - and they looked at me like I had 2 heads when I asked - its not the same as brewer's yeast is it? Guess I'll have to Google and buy online

AbFabT Tue 15-Jun-10 20:01:26

I've not used it in all my years of being vegan. Might try it!

Cabanon Tue 15-Jun-10 23:04:51

Another vegan signing in. I am the healthiest I have ever been and eat such a variety of foods compared to before I went vegan.
Why shouldn't vegans breastfeed? Cow's milk is for baby cows and human milk is for human babies. Some people are so ignorant.

notanidea Tue 15-Jun-10 23:16:49

I am a vegan and I am signing up too.I hav e had two children and breastfed them both.

racingheart Wed 16-Jun-10 00:04:54

Backtracking a bit to say thank you Anya some great recipes there. I bet she'd love Italian food.

aactionmum Wed 16-Jun-10 00:22:19

I'm vegetarian and can live without diary for ages. I've been a veggie for 5 years. I have an 11 month old baby who is also veggie. I didn't eat or wanted to eat any meat/fish during my pregnancy either. My DH and I have decided to raise our baby as a veggie, but give him meat/fish if he wants to try when he is older - his life, his choices.

Thanks for starting this thread. I'll be around

anyabanya Wed 16-Jun-10 08:32:42

Good morning! I am so excited to see so many vegans and vegan friendlies signing in! I also am really enthused too.

Racing heart, glad you liked my recipes. there are also some great recipes to be found on the web, and alot of regular vegetarian dishes can be tweaked as well. I have found that alot of 'ethnic' dishes are so easily veganised if they are not vegan already as alot of cultures only had meat for special occasions. Also, this sounds a little odd, but I am a big fan of vegan pizza.... loaded with lots and lots of chargrilled vegetables and with a spicy tomato sauce, you really do not need cheese. So you could buy a pizza base and go from there.

Thanks AbFab for the Organic Baby and Toddler book as well, I am also going to check that out.

Re breastfeeding and my mother… well, she views veganism as fringe, loopy and tantamount to child abuse really. Among other things she still holds onto the old 'complete protein' myths that were so popular in the 70s. She used to work in the health field but not as a nutritionist, but she thinks she knows. I find it a little ironic, as she has major food and food-related health issues herself, and I was brought up on processed foods, yet if I scoffed meat pies and chips all day she would not blink, she is somehow unsettled by a diet based around vegetables/fruits/nuts/grains, and conscious eating. I have tried to direct her to various books I have and also the website of the Physicians Committee for responsible Medicine
http://www.pcrm.org/

which has a lot of fantastic research AND recipes/ menu plans for pregnant and lactating women but it is like she sticks her fingers in her ears. [shrug]. Sometimes I think that her own food issues (serious obesity) means that she does not really want to know about alternatives, if you see what I mean? I am not explaining well, but I do try and understand where her extreme hostility comes from.

Okay, this post is getting too long so I will stop for now.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 16-Jun-10 10:05:20

re Recipes I found the Veganomicon (sp?) really good - only issue american so imperial measurements and some ingredients I could never find

fascicle Wed 16-Jun-10 10:07:24

Does anybody else have the Plant Based Nutrition and Health book?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Plant-Based-Nutrition-Health-Stephen/dp/0907337260/ref=sr11?ie=UTF8& s=books&qid=1276675637&sr=8-1

It's very thorough and reviews lots of relevant research relating to the vegan diet. The stuff on calcium and bonehealth is very useful - people often ask how vegans manage without dairy for calcium intake, without having a clue that there is a number of alternative sources and that many other factors affect calcium status (including a negative impact from too much animal protein).

I think it can be hard when you are bringing up a vegan baby and others are paranoid on your behalf. When people realise that you have done your research and your children are growing and developing like any other children, the questioning gets less intense!

With regards to vegan recipes - we have found very few things that can't be adapted to create a vegan version (that doesn't stand out as a vegan version and gets the seal of approval from non vegans!).

racingheart - do you need any pudding ideas for entertaining your vegan friend?

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