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Hii, I'm Katelyn. I'm currently not a vegetarian or vegan but I would like to be! I want to be healthier and feel better. But I'm curious about how to have a healthy, balanced vegan diet. I know that vegetables and fruits can offer calcium and proteins that your body needs but how do you eat correctly so that you get all the nutrients, vitamins, and proteins you need on a daily basis. Recipes, advice on converting, and any sort of discussion on the topic is welcome! Help me!

Responses (5)

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    Posted by aCountryVegan at 02/22/13 21:02:17

    Welcome to a healthier you!
    It is actually easier than you would think to go vegan. I went vegan 14 months ago and have never looked back. 100 pounds lost and no more medications, use to be on BP & high cholesterol meds, after taking the advice of my daughter to finally switch. I live in the country and find it much easier to just cook for myself about 95% of all my meals. There is lots of vegan recipes on YouTube and all over the Internet. Check out the Vegan Zombie on YouTube for some great recipes. Also the blog of the Blissful Chef has some good recipes and information on the vegan lifestyle. The Sweetest Vegan on YouTube works at veganizing everyday comfort food. These are just 3 of the many people that offer great recipes and advice on living vegan out there.

    I personally recommend investing in a really good blender like the Vita-mix for making everything from green smoothies, soups, sauces, sorbets, and many other things that can all be totally vegan. I personally drink Karen Snyder's Glowing Green Smoothie every morning. Just google it and it will pop right up. As I tell people this smoothie has more fruits and veggies in it than some people eat in a week. Great way to start the day. Another great way to start is with the 21 Day Vegan Kickstart. It's a totally free program that offers menus for 21 days to get people started.

    Don't be afraid to try new things and after about 3 weeks your taste buds will realign with your new lifestyle and foods you never thought you would like taste wonderful. It sometimes takes a while to get past some of stigmas of using soy or almond milk, tofu and seitan, but once you do you won't understand why you every hesitated cooking with these things.

    It's a big step and I applaud you wanting to try. I started for my health and have since realized their are many more reasons for being a vegan that I now embrace. Good luck to you!

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    Posted by DougMcCallum at 02/22/13 21:47:01

    Katelyn, aCountryVegan gives some good advice. I would alo suggest checking out some vegan cookbooks from the library (see the book section of this site for some titles).

    When we went vegan, we decided to do "real" food and not try to do substitutes for meat but then we both like whole grains, beans and fruits and vegetables of all types. it isn't hard to get enough of what you need except sometimes the B vitamins. You don't need as much protein as is commonly believed and it isn't hard to get what you need with common foods. Once you start exploring, you'll find plenty of interesting and tasty foods.

    Enjoy and I hope it goes easily for you.

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    Posted by Sua Ren Yong at 02/23/13 02:37:55

    To get enough protein,learn about legumes which are included with peas,nuts,soy etc.Try tofu every day since it is rich in protein and it is best substitute for fish,chicken,beef etc.To get enough calcium,read this:www.care2.com/greenliving/25-vegan-sources-for-calcium.html
    Besides,expose to sun in the morning for 15-20 minutes to get Vitamin D and don't bath with soap for 48 hours except your armpit and groin area.
    Buy algae oil supplement that enhanced with epa to get enough omega 3.
    Buy vitamin b12 supplement which has methylcobalamin in it.(Only need to eat one tablet within four days a week )

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    Posted by CalvinLeman at 02/23/13 10:36:03

    How I became Vegan treegrower.org/Health/Health%201.html

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    Posted by StephenS at 07/16/13 13:36:51

    Hate to tell yah Katelyn - but there is no simple easy magic bullet answer to your question. On that note - I will say that eating a truly healthy Vegan diet is no different than eating a truly healthy diet of any type. You need to do your research. The fact is - most westerners with an omni diet are not really eating healthily anyways.
    The keys - in my view - are to try and stay more with fresh and whole foods type ingredients, as opposed to processed and snack type foods. Sure their are some few specialty concerns which veg/ans tend to get labeled with - mainly Calcium and Protein, also Omegas - but in actuality - these are not hard to get if you are eating a balanced and diverse diet.
    But - you need to do some research, and try to keep foods as fresh and local, organic and natural as possible. If you can - grow some of your own. You can at least make your own sprouts, and it's easy to grow some greens or herbs in even a small window box. A great book I would recommend is - 'Healing With Whole Foods'. This will at least give you a reference point for vitamin and nutrient contents of all the major and many minor foods.
    Lastly - just to help with a little basic knowledge I've gleaned over the years. The 5 best friends of a healthy easy Veg/an diet;
    1) Beans and Rice - (red, black, soy, lentil, garbanzo, cannellini, cranberry,and so many more)
    2) Flax Seed Oil (great Omegas source)
    3) Nutritional Yeast (great Vitamin B source)
    4) Sprouts (Make em fresh yourself)
    5) Avocados (yummy Fat and Vitamins)

    Good Luck on your path ;)

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