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Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

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Hey guys! I've been a lacto-ovo veg for over a year and I think I am ready to make the jump and remove dairy from my diet. My only fear is I DO NOT want to become a "soyatarian" and rely on soy all the time. It seems like all the vegan sites I visit push soy yogurt, soy cheese, soy this that and whatever. Its not that I mind soy products, I just believe that too much of anything is a bad thing. So far I've heard of almond milk and rice milk as dairy substitutes and plan on trying them out. Any other recommendations for a beginner?


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    Posted by Tatiana at 03/01/08 23:08:46

    If you're looking for more replacements that would be like soy products, I love whole grain and vegetable burger patties. Most of the brands that make veggie burgers make a grain/veggie one. I also love field roast, which is based on gluten as the "meat" instead of soy. Now of course if you are gluten sensitive or allergic this isn't a good option (like my mom who cannot eat gluten) but otherwise I really like it as a veggie meat sub. Another thing I love that is easy are portobello burgers. You just marinate a large portobello mushroom cap (I like garlic and vineagrette) then cook it like a burger on the grill or in the kitchen. Super simple and has awesome texture. For lacto/ovo stuff (as I'm sure you're so used to the "meat" replacer stuff already) you can try egg replacer in a recipe that would call for eggs (like cakes, breads, etc). Not sure if you're giving eggs as well since you didn't say so, but here's the info if you are cuz that would be sweet! You can also use some fats and tofu sometimes in place of eggs/dairy in a recipe. For vegan milk that isn't soy, there is also hazelnut milk and hemp milk to give a couple more options. Rice milk is my favorite if store bought but I love fresh almond milk if I can get it (I personally don't like the store stuff but a lot of people do). I have also seen rice based cheeses as an option to soy cheese. I hope that gives you a few options so that you don't have to use all soy all the time.

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    Posted by gaia at 03/02/08 23:26:47

    hey thanks for the suggestions! (now all I've gotta do is convince my boyfriend (a semi-veg) that I won't die of calcium deficiency...sigh*)

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    Posted by Tatiana at 03/03/08 13:39:37

    You should be fine as long as you are getting a good variety of calcium sources. Some good sources are dark green vegetables (ex: broccoli, kale), almonds, or calcium fortified nondairy milks or orange juice. Many tofus are also made with calcium. You can also try a vegan calcium supplement.

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    Posted by kindlizard at 03/04/08 00:00:29

    When intaking your calcium, take it with Vit C. So when you eat Kale, drink OJ, it helps assimilate it.

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    Posted by Tatiana at 03/04/08 13:29:09

    kindlizard - great point, just a correction: vitamin c helps absorption of iron, so taking OJ with your kale will help you absorb more of the iron. Calcium absorption is improved with adequate vitamin D intake and if you take a calcium carbonate type supplement it is best absorbed on an empty stomach (calcium citrate is absorbed fine with either empty of full stomach and obviously if it is calcium from food don't worry about it).

    Very good point, though. Foods are very dynamic and interact with one another in our bodies. :)

    kindlizard - Do you take any calcium supplements or just from food? Just wondering if you take supplements if there is a certain type you prefer.

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