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Community: Forum: Vegetarian Discussion

Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

Hello happy cow I just started a vegan diet, 3 days in, and just wanted to interact with others for advice. I'm currently overweight and am doing this to lose that weight, but have read Skinny Bastard, Forks over Knives and the China Study, so am aware of the other health benefits beyond losing weight. I also realize there is more to veganism than diet, but this is where I feel it's best for me to learn and benefit from this lifestyle.

I'm really trying to focus on eating whole grain pasta/brown rice, wheat bread, fruits and veggies. Right now I am pretty motivated, but know I will crave meat during these first couple of weeks. Any tips on meat substitutes? If anyone has advice for a true beginner, it would be much appreciated.

Responses (10)

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    Posted by happycowgirl at 01/09/13 19:09:50

    Hi Arnold~

    It sounds like you're really well prepared. I'm so impressed that you've read Skinny Bastard, The China Study and seen Forks Over Knives.

    Yeah, meat is addicting for a lot of people. If you give it up cold turkey, you'll find that it takes the body 2-3 weeks to "clear itself" so to speak and then you won't crave it any more. It's a weird physical thing that happens. It's like your body and taste buds re-set themselves. Stick to it for 3 weeks and you'll see what I mean.

    As for tips on meat substitutes, my personal favorite is called "Gimme Lean" sausage by LightLife. It comes in a white tube. Fry up it up in a little olive oil. It's to die for. Here's what t looks like: http://www.lightlife.com/Vegan-Food-Vegetarian-Diet/Grounds

    A lot of people love the products by Field Roast. http://www.fieldroast.com/products/

    The chik patties by MorningStar farms (green boxes in the frozen section) are very popular and a good transition food b/c you really can't tell the difference from actual chicken. Boca products (red boxes in the frozen section) are also popular. Anything by Amy's is good.

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    Posted by Longdrive at 01/12/13 10:41:49

    Arnold, I'm HappyCowGirl's twin sister so can I chip in too? No? Too bad. I am gravely concerned when anyone becomes a vegan in order to lose weight. Such suggest a pre-conception that somehow vegans don't get enough calories by not eating a 'proper diet.' One can potentially lose weight by any sensible dietry discipline, irregardless of animal / bird / fish content. I know some very fat vegans! The crude dietry bottom line to addressing weight loss is one of lowering calorie intake. If one can achieve that with a yummy diet then great. If you enjoy your new diet then well done you and I wish you every success.

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    Posted by ArnoldLayne at 01/13/13 04:29:34

    Longdrive, thanks for the feed back. I've researched this topic for a while and see your concern. When doing this research I learned a lot of vegans do not buy any product that comes from an animal. Some are also very engaged in activism, it truly is a lifestyle and I respect that. To each his/her own, thats just not me right now. I did not communicate well in he original post and it came across that I'm only doing this to lose weight. My focus is on completely changing my dietary habits due to health concerns, weight loss will be a positive side effect if I eat correctly and exercise. There are genetic health issues in my family and after reading the China Study I feel a vegan diet can counteract those and be a huge preventative care measure as well. I see my parents taking various medications daily and I dont want that to be me. I'm trying to focus my diet around legumes, brown rice, whole wheat pasta and grains, vegetables and fruit mixed in with an hour of cardio on the treadmill at least 5 times a week. There is plenty of vegan compatible junk food which kind of surprised me. Any tips or advice is much appreciated, thanks.

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    Posted by Longdrive at 01/13/13 08:05:23

    Arnold, All the thought and reserearch which you have undertaken is seriously impressive. Equally impressive is that you are capable of 1 hour sessions on the treadmill! After 15 mins. on the exercise bike my head is exploding with boredom. My cardio bicycle exercise by itself only burns 125 kilo k. at the rate I peddle. But, as you correctly say, exercise has a lot wider benefits than simply burning off fat. I completely agree with you that diet and exercise plays an enormous part in health care but there are other vital issues too. We are after all basically large spaces between atoms, and how our electrical charges between those atoms are firing is extremely important. (Scientists please excuse my layman's language!) If anyone ever opens up a thread on that I'll be pleased to input my thoughts on cancer inducing electrics / electronics which most of us over-expose ourselves to. I suspect that sis. (the food expert) may wish to add further comments more on all fours with what you request. I don't go where I don't know.

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    Posted by AdamYax at 01/19/13 13:25:03

    I still get a meat craving from time to time. What helps me to stay focused is remembering the bad side effects meat has on a person's body, and the fact that you are killing an innocent animal. You are doing a great thing by joining the vegan community. Keep it up!

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    Posted by Longdrive at 01/20/13 03:03:55

    Adam raises an interesting point - craving. Such is very real, but actually it is not the body crying out for something but the mind. Even with nicotine addiction the body can be cleared of the need for it within 48 hours of stopping smoking, particularly if orange juice is used. Which is why some vegan manufacturers create vegan dishes which resemble meat - it placates the mind. But after a while one generally becomes offended by vegan dishes presented that way. Craving is normal for a while - we often crave a bad mate long after we have thrown their dirty washing out of the bedroom window after them. But we know we did right.

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    Posted by happycowgirl at 01/20/13 09:59:44

    You mention orange juice is helpful when quitting nicotine. Can u tell me more about this? My husband is trying to quit (ironically he's addicted to Nicorette gum). Why orange juice and how much do u drink, how long, etc? Any help is much appreciated.

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    Posted by Longdrive at 01/20/13 12:47:34

    HappyCowGirl, There are principally two broad ways to rid oneself of nicotine addiction. Most addicts (sorry to use the word, but it fits) choose to gradually wean themselves off it and there are several routes including a couple of popular types of tablets recommended by doctors. I am reluctant to mention medicine names, particularly as I do not recommend such. The other way is to instantly quit. For a couple of years I worked as a clinical hypnotherapist and nicotine addition is what I specialised in. Hypnosis is a great tool to assist instant quitters and I used to supplement this with a few other things to increase an already high success rate. (I determined success by an addict being a non-smoker six months after treatment). First, before I had an intensive session with a patient, we agreed a quit date (the house / work place has to be free of all smoking paraphanalia on that day) and post treatment support. Post treatment support principally comprised two things: The taking of orange juice which you mention. This assists in clearing out the system of nicotine very quickly. Ideally drink four pints or more within forty eight hours of quitting. (Not all at once!) Forty eight hours after quitting there with be no physiological cravings. There may however be mental cravings particularly during times of stress or boredom. Which brings me onto the second prop. When a smoker lights a cigarette they go through a routine which includes a number of stages. For example - take box out of pocket, open box, remove cigarette, put cigarette in mouth, take out lighter etc. The number of steps involved needs to be exactly counted. Then, as and when needed, replace the smoking ritual with a ritual having at least as many steps. If one say uses sugar free gum then if necessary one can fold the gum paper as many times as necessary in order to bulk up the number of steps. It is a very strong comforter. Returning to orange juice. Such is counter-productive if nicotene is still being injested in any form. Smoking addiction can return as clinical hypnosis never removes a patient's freedom of choice. It will however make a determined patient at least ten times stronger. Good luck! ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR ANYONE SERIOUSLY INTERESTED:My view was that hypnosis for addicts required a very intensive one hit therapy therapy session. Several sessions was pointless, and a regular one hour (50 mins) session was not as effective. My 3-4 hour session (a patient was not under hypnosis all that time) would begin with an assessment of what brought on the addiction, followed by the patient examining large posters of diseased lungs, children weeping at their parent's graveside etc. If I could increase an addict's despair immediately before undergoing treatment all the better. Unfortunately most addicts do not want to quit. What they say, and what they do are often very different. Many patients will stop to buy 'a last pack of ciggies' on the way to the session; take a few puffs; decide that they like it too much; and turn the car round. I had patients who were cancer amputees, who had had heart attacks, and who offered me ten times my fee if I could cure them. Most failed to arrive for their scheduled appointments. Hence therapists in the main dislike treating addicts.

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    Posted by Longdrive at 01/20/13 23:20:34

    RIDER: The above advice only relates to nicotine addiction. For any reader who is addicted to heavier drugs eg. heroin then instant quitting can be extremely dangerous and should not be attempted. In all cases of addiction seek medical advice before attempting any self-help treatment.

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    Posted by kenneth03 at 02/15/13 03:12:28

    That is part of your diet and it is a very normal thing.Well just ease that one and if you do it it has a good return on you.

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