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Can you please recommend me a 'route' for going vegan?
27

RubyRedRoses · 18/02/2022 15:01

I can't do it overnight. I've tried and felt like absolute shit.

My main concerns are the planet and animal welfare. A friend said that going omni -> veggie -> vegan probably isn't the best, as dairy is worse than chicken for example (for the planet and possibly for animal welfare).

Or should I do certain days plant based every week and omni the rest?

If you gradually moved to vegan, how did you do it please?

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ACNHlife · 18/02/2022 15:04

How did you feel like absolute shit? I'm not sure what you were cutting out or changing to make that happen.

What's your diet like now?

Perhaps look at one 'thing' you can swap/remove at a time. So swap milk, then cheese and other dairy, then cut out red meat, then white meat and then fish.

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zurala · 18/02/2022 15:08

I cut out dairy first as dairy is actually addictive. After three months I then cut meat out. I find that effective and have never looked back and have been fully vegan five years now.

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RubyRedRoses · 18/02/2022 15:16

How did you feel like absolute shit? I'm not sure what you were cutting out or changing to make that happen.

I felt absolutely exhausted during veganuary one year. I was eating enough I think, but clearly something wasn't right. It's actually quite a common problem, based on people I know irl, but maybe one you haven't experienced.

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RubyRedRoses · 18/02/2022 15:17

@zurala

I cut out dairy first as dairy is actually addictive. After three months I then cut meat out. I find that effective and have never looked back and have been fully vegan five years now.

Thank you; that's really helpful.

I do think that dairy is the trickiest bit, especially if you go the veggie then vegan route.
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Pyri · 18/02/2022 15:19

We aren’t vegan but eat a lot of vegan food.

for me, I did it in days of the week. Gradual meal planning with vegan or veggie dishes, adding in another meal a week until we have been largely plant based.

I couldn’t go all the way, so I plan my week out ahead. If I know I’ll be out for dinner, I’ll usually use that as my “meaty” meal, so the early part of the week will be vegan dinners.

It hugely helps me thinking of it meal to meal rather than a lifestyle choice.

You could also try things like Hello Fresh for recipe ideas.

(Note; I would never describe myself as vegan)

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GrowBabyGrow · 18/02/2022 15:24

I started out going dairy free because I realised I was lactose intolerant, then veggie and then cut out eggs.

I think increasing the number of days you eat plant based is a good start - every plant based meal makes a difference! I'd also recommend getting a good vegan cookbook that contains recipes of the things you like to eat as a non-vegan and start from there. You could see how you go on that, and then maybe go egg free, then dairy free then meat free? Eggs are pretty easy to cut out unless you do a ton of baking in which case I'd go dairy free first.

If you were exhausted during veganuary it is likely that you weren't eating enough iron-rich foods. The most important thing when you do switch is to make sure that you add in a vegan supplement while you are working out how to get all your nutrients. It's recommended that vegans take a B12 supplement and I also take a Vit D one too. I went plant based about 4/5 years ago now (was veggie before that) and I haven't been anaemic the whole time. In fact the only times I have been anaemic were back when I ate meat!

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elp30 · 18/02/2022 15:55

My daughter is and this is what helped her transition.

There are 21 meals within seven days.
7 x breakfasts
7 x lunches
7 x dinners

She wrote a list of meals that she likes that are omni (meat protein), vegetarian and vegan.
In a day, she would choose one meat meal, one vegetarian and one vegan.

For example:
Breakfast: (vegan) oatmeal with almond milk, dried cranberries, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, shredded apples and walnuts

Lunch: (vegetarian) falafels on pita bread with garlic sauce, onions, spinach, tomatoes, olives, cucumbers and feta cheese

Dinner: (meat/omni): sausage and potato hash with roasted onions, peppers, shredded Brussels sprouts/broccoli and a chimichurri sauce (made of parsley)

The next week, she would eliminate one meat meal a week and make it vegetarian until she eliminated the meat meal or seven weeks

After she stopped eating meat completely, she started changing her vegetarian meals and making those vegan by substituting cheese for vegan cheese, tofu for scrambled eggs or flax eggs for egg substitutions in baking, etc... That didn't take long to do.

All in all, she took around nine weeks to completely change to vegan meals. During that time, she learned more about adapting meals or learning new dishes from various cultures, read up on nutrition and animal welfare.

I always applaud those that can change overnight because it's one heck of an undertaking. It's hard to go against the grain. This may be a bit slower but it worked for her and for the past five years she hasn't looked back. She's inspired me, as I made sure she made the changes correctly as she was 16 then. I'm starting on the 21 meals plan this week.

Anyways, good luck, OP.

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RatherBeRiding · 18/02/2022 16:00

I didn't set out intending to go vegan (now a full 3 years in and loving it) but I gradually became vegetarian, starting with cutting out red meat, then gradually all meat. Once I was pretty much veggie I switched to vegan overnight, just out of curiosity and never went back!

I have found the switch to non-dairy the hardest, as I used to love my dairy! But I have found (after a lot of trial and error) very good non-dairy that I actually now prefer. The one thing that is difficult to reproduce is cheese, but the non-dairy cheese substitutes are improving all the time so I am not missing it.

There are a lot of "accidentally vegan" products out there - I follow an Insta account called Accidentally Vegan, which is really useful. And now that you can very easily find non-dairy chocolate in all the major supermarkets - I'm sorted!

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RubyRedRoses · 18/02/2022 16:02

This is all really helpful; thank you.

I think I'm going to tackle dairy first. I've found that the hardest thing to give up in the past, especially cheese!

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Iwanttenofthose · 18/02/2022 16:03

I've cut things out by animal rather than by product type and that really helps me to visualise what I'm doing and why. So I cut out pig, goat and sheep products first because they were the easiest way to get started as I didn't eat them much anyway. Then cows which had a massive positive impact on my health because that encompassed dairy and most of my red meat intake. Then chickens (meat and eggs) then fish.

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Iwanttenofthose · 18/02/2022 16:04

That's meant to say gradually. So I did those things one at a time, not all at once.

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RatherBeRiding · 18/02/2022 16:04

I also eat a lot of pulses and take a daily Vit B complex tablet. It's important to keep an eye on where you are getting your iron and protein - nuts and wholegrains and the like.

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StillNoFuckingEyeDeer · 18/02/2022 16:06

Don't forget your omega 3 too.

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Awumminnscotland · 18/02/2022 16:14

Like a previous poster we eat a lot of vegan meals but are not even veggie. We do it for health and cost. A book that really helped our menu choices and increasing our uses of veg and pulses is The Happy Pear. It explains all the foods you can use and how to best cook them and breaks the recipes up so you can start to understand what works and why.
I bought it for my husband for Xmas to increase his cooking repertoire but we’ve both found it really easy to follow and now tend to have meat at the weekend but the vegan meals tend to be quicker and v versatile meaning we’ve stopped prioritising meat in our brains. We do also eat fish during the week to alternate.
Like most cooking it helps to increase your store cupboard stock.

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RubyRedRoses · 18/02/2022 16:29

I have seen The Happy Pear on Instagram and like it. Will check out the book.

Thanks @StillNoFuckingEyeDeer. I take supplements already (non vegan), so when they run out I will switch to the vegan variety.

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Midlander88 · 18/02/2022 17:10

Just start with like for like substitutes for your existing diet, then we kirk towards making it healthier. That'd be easiest.

Eg. If you eat frozen pizza and Greek salad everyday. Just buy vegan chicago town and vegan feta. Most supermarkets have own brand subs for everything now, so you're not stuck to having to spend £5 on vegan ben and jerrys, etc

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RubyRedRoses · 18/02/2022 17:20

Yes, true; most things can be swapped out really.

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ExactlyThat · 18/02/2022 17:26

I went dairy free for about 2 months, then cut out meat, then fish, then eggs.

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Pyri · 18/02/2022 19:31

@RubyRedRoses

This is all really helpful; thank you.

I think I'm going to tackle dairy first. I've found that the hardest thing to give up in the past, especially cheese!

If I were you then, I’d switch out dairy LAST. If you’re doing the hardest thing first then you’re much more likely to see it as a big slog and not make the change long term

I’d do all the easier stuff you don’t eat so much (ie fish was really easy to give up as I barely eat it) then leave the harder stuff for later
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coronabeer · 18/02/2022 19:33

Not sure if you've heard of the 22-day challenge? Theory being that it takes 3 weeks to embed a new habit, so if you try being vegan for 22 days, it should stick. Anyway, there's a website about it and if you sign up for the challenge (free), then there is lots of support available online with advice and suggestions.

challenge22.com/

Is there anything in particular you're concerned about? What are the things you think you'll find hardest to go without in the future?

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pompomseverywhere · 18/02/2022 19:34

Do you like cooking? Get some Bosh books and Anna Jones ones for inspiration.

Can you buddy up with someone for support if you know any other vegans.

Don't beat yourself up either. Baby steps to your goal.

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gingerbreadtea · 18/02/2022 19:42

Cheese is hard. Very hard. It's the only thing that I haven't found a replacement for that's just as nice to be honest.
My recommendation would be to make it fun and a treat. Whilst they are not all super healthy - we make a point of trying everything we can product wise so it feels like a treat to find a new thing. Then the ones we love, we get again.
This is a different thing from the energy query (I take a lot of supplements which again I know is not ideal), but it does mean I never actually MISS meat or dairy

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gingerbreadtea · 18/02/2022 19:43

I found it too much to just switch 100% - but taking the approach of finding and replacing things - I've managed to go vegan in probably 3 months

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gingerbreadtea · 18/02/2022 19:43

Well - plant based. Before I upset anyone

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