Author Topic: Go Whole Food Plant-Based (WFPD) Diet in 2018  (Read 21009 times)

Malaysia41

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Go Whole Food Plant-Based (WFPD) Diet in 2018
« on: December 31, 2017, 12:34:17 AM »
A vegan diet can be way cheaper than the Std Western Diet (SWD).  But that's not all. A vegan diet is up to 3x more sustainable for CO2, and up to 10x more sustainable from a land use perspective.

Who wants to join me?  Who wants to pledge to eat a plant based diet (e.g. no animal products) in January 2018?

You can sign up here: www.veganuary.com

In addition to saving money vs the SWD, there are many reasons to try going plant-based:   Health  . . .  Environment  . . .  Ethics  . . .  Comedy .

Here's an article I wrote to my extended FB and LinkedIn networks:

WHOíS DOWN TO SIGN UP FOR VEGANUARY 2018?

I've gotten one person to sign up with this article - and it shocked me who it was... MY SISTER!  Dude - if my sister can commit to this, anyone can.

edit: removed 'January' from the title - let's make this thread about going plant-based / vegan for all of 2018
« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 11:58:18 PM by Malaysia41 »

SlowlyButSurely

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2018, 09:04:57 AM »
Late to the party, but I'm in! I've been a vegetarian for a long time, and while the ethical and environmental aspects of veganism appeal to me, I'm not ready to go all in. But a month seems do-able.

I've actually gone vegan and given up anything with added sugars for January. The combination is challenging, but the goal is to disrupt my eating habits, forcing me to examine what I eat, when and why. Among other thing, I've realized I'd been snacking on cheese almost every day. Also, sugar is in everything, including many fake meat products (but not Tofurky!).

Have you found any good vegan recipes so far? This is one I tried and really liked, even though I don't have a grill and had to cook them in my toaster oven:

https://kalynskitchen.com/spicy-grilled-eggplant-recipe-with-red/

Malaysia41

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2018, 11:24:07 AM »
Late to the party, but I'm in! I've been a vegetarian for a long time, and while the ethical and environmental aspects of veganism appeal to me, I'm not ready to go all in. But a month seems do-able.

I've actually gone vegan and given up anything with added sugars for January. The combination is challenging, but the goal is to disrupt my eating habits, forcing me to examine what I eat, when and why. Among other thing, I've realized I'd been snacking on cheese almost every day. Also, sugar is in everything, including many fake meat products (but not Tofurky!).

Have you found any good vegan recipes so far? This is one I tried and really liked, even though I don't have a grill and had to cook them in my toaster oven:

https://kalynskitchen.com/spicy-grilled-eggplant-recipe-with-red/

Yeah SlowlyButSurely!

You're pretty much doing 'whole food plant based' (WFPB) diet, which, IMO is way better than just vegan. It's how my family eats 99% of the time. (The other 1% - mega sugar/oil based vegan cakes on a birthday or special occasion for example).

RECIPES: these are my two go-to sites:

https://minimalistbaker.com/

http://ohsheglows.com/

For WFPB in general such as shopping tips:

https://www.reddit.com/r/PlantBasedDiet/

Dr. Greger's NutritionFacts.org. Here you can watch short, well researched videos that give advice on everything from fiber to how/why anti-oxidants.  On fiber: rule of thumb for bread or whole-grain pasta:  Strive for fiber content >= 20% of the total carbohydrate content, or (e.g. 1:5 ratio). A whole grain pasta with 20g total carbs  should ideally come with at least 4g fiber. (and no added sugar obviously). 

Check in when you can, will you?  I'd love to know what recipes you tried and how you liked them.

Tonight I made mesir wot.  Last night, black bean soup. Tomorrow - prolly split pea soup.  It's all healthy, full of nutrition, and totally cheap.  The slow cooker is in regular rotation.

Good luck and thanks for giving it a go.  I started going vegan for health, then as I learned more, I doubled down for the environment. Then I learned more, and became committed.  Why?  Yes - the ethics.  When I learned about the uh, well, to be honest - the rape and infanticide of the dairy industry (here's a snarky but brief overview), not to mention all the stuff detailed in Earthlings, I still held on to the idea that these conditions were the exception and not the rule.

Then I researched further and discovered that this is standard industry practice. In the US at least, upwards of 90% of meat sold (depending on the meat) is from this type of brutal, industrial factory farming. When I realized that, even if I could imagine some sort of happy farm operation, the meat & dairy at grocery stores comes from industrial factory farms - no matter the pretty language like 'cage free' or 'organic', I couldn't pretend any longer.  And the abuse in these places isn't just from a few jerk-bob workers. When you watch the inside footage at these places - look at the machinery.  The maceration machines, the gestation chambers.  Fucking horrid. 

Anyhoo - good luck!
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 12:50:43 PM by Malaysia41 »

Serendip

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2018, 11:27:25 AM »


Have you found any good vegan recipes so far? This is one I tried and really liked, even though I don't have a grill and had to cook them in my toaster oven:

https://kalynskitchen.com/spicy-grilled-eggplant-recipe-with-red/

My favorite website go-to is https://www.veganricha.com --lots of tasty meals, she uses a lot of spices and can transform dishes with them.

I can't commit to the challenge since my SO is our part-time cook and he would not be on board. We have significantly reduced animal product consumption in the last year for all the reasons (health, ethics, environment), so I am trying not to push him too far, too quickly.

Lately I've been making oat milk with vanilla (easy, economical & tasty) and that has easily replaced buying milk products.
I soak beans overnight (every 2-3 days) and cook them in the mornings, then can make soups, curries, chili's, etc.

Much of the difficulty for me was getting the initial rhythm of things, now it seems like a no-brainer.
We are probably eating vegan 85% of the time.
Good luck with the month!

Malaysia41

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2018, 12:58:17 PM »
My favorite website go-to is https://www.veganricha.com --lots of tasty meals, she uses a lot of spices and can transform dishes with them.


Thanks for the recommendation. The first recipe on there is calling to me. I think we'll have the PEANUT BUTTER CAULIFLOWER BOWL WITH ROASTED CARROTS tomorrow. pea soup can wait.

Quote
We have significantly reduced animal product consumption in the last year for all the reasons (health, ethics, environment)

That's fantastic. If everyone went mostly plant based with meat or animal products just 1x or 2x a week, that'd create a lot of positive change for chronic illness, the environment, and of course for the animals.


Quote
Lately I've been making oat milk with vanilla (easy, economical & tasty) and that has easily replaced buying milk products.

Do you have a favorite oat milk recipe?  I've never made oat milk. Please advise.

Quote
Much of the difficulty for me was getting the initial rhythm of things, now it seems like a no-brainer.
We are probably eating vegan 85% of the time.
Good luck with the month!

It's kind of like dialing in the monthly spending - adjust habits, develop systematic processes and bammo - you're most of the way there.


« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 01:01:17 PM by Malaysia41 »

Nederstash

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 01:07:38 PM »
I went vegan per January 1st - with some ups and downs, but 85% successful. That's a good score and I'm not going to beat myself up for not getting a full 100%.

I adore www.pickuplimes.com she has the best tasting and easiest recipes. Her youtube channel is also very good! Big shout out to Pick Up Limes!

Bee21

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 01:46:19 PM »
Well,  going vegetarian/vegan is my february challenge, so I will be lurking here until I am ready.

meadow lark

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 07:30:08 PM »
I'm going to be here cheering everyone on!  I went vegan 2 yrs ago, and at this point strive for a WFPB diet.
I have some recommendations, based on my experience.
Vegans get much more nutrition than most people, however there are a few common vegan efficiencies. B-12.  Omega 3's.  And IMO low protein.  (This one is controversial). I take a B-12 vitamin, I eat 1Tbsp ground flax most days, and often walnuts and chia for the Omega 3.  I also take a vegan (algae based) Omega 3 supplement.  And I try to eat a lot of beans or tofu.  At every meal.  If you are hungry, eat more. The volume can be quite large and there is no reason to be hungry.   You will probably be eating less fat, so treat yourself to avocados and seeds and nuts.

You have to plan more, but you get used to it.  When I travel, when other people are getting McDonalds I am looking for the Walmart, to buy hummus, veggies, and grapes.  Also - when desperate, a can of chick peas with salad dressing is good. 

If you make a salad, make it huge.  Add a can of beans, frozen peas, frozen corn, walnuts, etc, etc.  make it gorgeous.

I enjoy bean pasta.  I just bought some penne made with only red lentil flour.  And rotini made with black bean flour.  (Haven't tried it yet).

Hirondelle

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 04:14:07 AM »
Joining in. So far I'm a mostly plant based omnivore but would like to challenge myself by going vegetarian for a full month. This will be close to vegan for me, as the only animal based products I otherwise consume will be eggs and honey (and occasionally some butter in a cookie I guess).

My ultimate goal would be to go WFPB vegan at home, but to be flexible when surrounded by others. That's gonna take a lot more time though. At least every time I don't consume animals I'm reducing my impact on the environment and animal wealth already :)

Will have a look at the recipes and am excited to try some of them!

Malaysia41

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2018, 05:12:49 AM »
I went vegan per January 1st - with some ups and downs, but 85% successful. That's a good score and I'm not going to beat myself up for not getting a full 100%.

I adore www.pickuplimes.com she has the best tasting and easiest recipes. Her youtube channel is also very good! Big shout out to Pick Up Limes!

I'm checking out pickuplimes now. Thanks for the recommendation.

Nederstash, what are some of your reasons for moving toward a vegan diet?

Malaysia41

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2018, 05:23:02 AM »
Well,  going vegetarian/vegan is my february challenge, so I will be lurking here until I am ready.

Yeah Bee21! 

Quote from: Hirondelle
Joining in. So far I'm a mostly plant based omnivore but would like to challenge myself by going vegetarian for a full month. This will be close to vegan for me, as the only animal based products I otherwise consume will be eggs and honey (and occasionally some butter in a cookie I guess).

My ultimate goal would be to go WFPB vegan at home, but to be flexible when surrounded by others. That's gonna take a lot more time though. At least every time I don't consume animals I'm reducing my impact on the environment and animal wealth already :)

Will have a look at the recipes and am excited to try some of them!

Cool.  I'm loving seeing so many people pop in here setting a goal to move toward eating more plants and fewer animal products!

So, Bee21 and Hirondelle, Would you mind sharing: what are some of your reasons for moving toward a vegan diet?


Malaysia41

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2018, 05:29:49 AM »
I'm going to be here cheering everyone on!  I went vegan 2 yrs ago, and at this point strive for a WFPB diet.
I have some recommendations, based on my experience.
Vegans get much more nutrition than most people, however there are a few common vegan efficiencies. B-12.  Omega 3's.  And IMO low protein.  (This one is controversial). I take a B-12 vitamin, I eat 1Tbsp ground flax most days, and often walnuts and chia for the Omega 3.  I also take a vegan (algae based) Omega 3 supplement. And I try to eat a lot of beans or tofu.  At every meal.  If you are hungry, eat more. The volume can be quite large and there is no reason to be hungry.   You will probably be eating less fat, so treat yourself to avocados and seeds and nuts. 

You have to plan more, but you get used to it.  When I travel, when other people are getting McDonalds I am looking for the Walmart, to buy hummus, veggies, and grapes.  Also - when desperate, a can of chick peas with salad dressing is good. 

If you make a salad, make it huge.  Add a can of beans, frozen peas, frozen corn, walnuts, etc, etc.  make it gorgeous.

I enjoy bean pasta.  I just bought some penne made with only red lentil flour.  And rotini made with black bean flour.  (Haven't tried it yet).

Yes, yes and yes.  In line with all of Meadow Lark's advice, you can pick up further nuggets of wisdom at nutritionfacts.org. 

A couple of apps to consider:

cronometer (track everything and rapidly learn all about the micronutrients contained in the broad range of veggies, beans and grains by putting them in here). This takes more data entry but IMO it's totally worth it, even if for just one month.

daily dozen (this is a check list for 12 things you should make sure to eat every day. It's handy).
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 06:09:15 AM by Malaysia41 »

Hirondelle

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2018, 05:58:37 AM »
So, Bee21 and Hirondelle, Would you mind sharing: what are some of your reasons for moving toward a vegan diet?

Mostly environmental and animal welfare. I think we do use a massive amount of animals (just look up the stats of how many animals we keep for food vs how many animals are out there in the wild - numbers are quite shocking!) that we do not need and on top of that they're treated badly. Also ofcourse lots of trees/forests are cut to become soy plantations which then becomes pig food. Then there's us emptying the oceans - but as I really really really love fish that's a tough one for me.

Regarding health; I do think there's a lot of benefits from eating mostly plant based but due to deficiencies vegans can/do get I don't mind eating some animal based foods for the necessary B12, omega fats and easier proteins.

I don't know all the exact numbers and stats, but I do think the world will definitely be a better place if people would reduce their meat and dairy consumption.

I am far from a saint (lots of flying, working with experimental animals) so I also try to compensate some of my 'bad habits' by adopting more good habits.

Malaysia41

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2018, 06:30:55 AM »
Mostly environmental and animal welfare. I think we do use a massive amount of animals (just look up the stats of how many animals we keep for food vs how many animals are out there in the wild - numbers are quite shocking!) that we do not need and on top of that they're treated badly. Also ofcourse lots of trees/forests are cut to become soy plantations which then becomes pig food. Then there's us emptying the oceans - but as I really really really love fish that's a tough one for me.

The numbers are shocking indeed. ...

« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 06:37:16 AM by Malaysia41 »

meadow lark

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2018, 11:09:29 AM »
Wow.  I have never seen that statistic.
My opinion on veganism - if done with care, it is one of multiple healthy ways to eat.  It is ethically a good thing, but I can say it is better than some other diets without saying I am better.  I could easily list 10 other things I do worse than others.  (I travel a lot, I don't donate very much, etc, etc.)

Do other people do batch cooking?
I eat oatmeal every day so I tend to make around 5 servings at a time in my Instant Pot.  Sometimes I add a can of pumpkin.  After it is cooked I add a Tbsp flax and a Tbsp chia seeds for each serving.  And a 1/2 c mashed white beans for the protein.  (If you want to do this start with 2 Tbsp and work up, so it doesn't bug you.). And cinnamon, etc.  the day I eat it I add 1/2 tsp amla and a 10 oz bag of frozen berries.

Today I made lentils for the week.  Soups taste better if you sautť your onions and garlic first in oil.  Also your spices.  I stopped using oil, so I do it a super easy way - I start by throwing a quartered onion, garlic cloves into my blender with some homemade veggie stock.  When it is purťed add a bunch of celery and carrots, and anything else you are too lazy to chop.  Put in Instant Pot (or regular pot) add a can of tomatoes or tomato sauce.  Add 1 lb lentils.  I soaked then sprouted them for a few hours but that's not actually necessary with lentils.  I cooked in the Instant Pot (set to 12 minutes). Then added 2 baked sweet potatoes, semi mashed, and 2 baked white potatoes, cubed.  (Cleaned out my fridge.). Added 1 Tbsp miso (my salt substitute, that is actually high in sodium but is not supposed to raise BP), liquid smoke, a bit of apple cider vinegar (lime juice would be even tastier) cumin and a Mrs Dash equivalent.  Was very tasty.

I also currently am roasting a cauliflower broken into florets with paprika, cumin, and a teeny tiny bit of low salt soy sauce.

What are you eating?

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2018, 11:44:43 AM »
Have been vegan for 2+ years now.  Mostly PTF and to offer support, encouragement, and any resources for recipes if people need ideas.

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2018, 11:53:09 AM »
http://www.isachandra.com/recipes/

Isa is one of our favorite vegan chefs - her website is above and she has published 10 cookbooks (some of those recipes are in the link above).

Serendip

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2018, 12:10:51 PM »


Do other people do batch cooking?

What are you eating?

Your lentil soup sounds fantastic meadowlark!
I make a coconut curried one-- I will write the recipe out for you guys later.

I don't batch cook breakfast since I always work afternoons so I have time to make my meals..
often it's overnight oats, or some mix of berries with loads of additions such as chia, amla, cinnamon, lavender, cut up fruit, flax, etc.

I do however make batches of veggie chili's, or soups, sometimes falafels or roasted veg for the week. It's so helpful to have pre-prepped stuff in the fridge so I try to do this at least once a week.

Just about to make a big batch of homemade hummus.

And Malaysia41 --you asked about oat milk
I combine 4 cups water with 1 cup of oats in the blender. Sometimes some vanilla extract. Blend and strain through a nut milk bag. Super, super easy and mroe economical than making nut milks all the time.

 I also love Dr.Gregor & nutrition facts. His book "How Not To Die" was pretty influencial for me.

Serendip

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2018, 12:11:36 PM »
http://www.isachandra.com/recipes/

Isa is one of our favorite vegan chefs - her website is above and she has published 10 cookbooks (some of those recipes are in the link above).

thanks for the link, haven't seen her stuff before!

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2018, 12:20:34 PM »
I wish I would have seen this sooner to be able to possibly fully commit to it. I won't commit to a full vegan diet for January, but I will commit to eating way less meat. In fact we were already working towards that goal for health and ethical reasons. I bought DW a book for Christmas about a plant based diet. We had bean tostadas for dinner last night with some spanish rice. Looking to add more vegan days to the menu as the year progresses.

DarkandStormy

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2018, 12:42:50 PM »
https://health.usnews.com/best-diet/best-diets-overall

Don't know if anyone saw last week, but U.S. News & World Report came out with their rankings of some 38 diets for 2018.  They had a panel of nutritionists and doctors rank all of the diets in different categories.

As some of you might know, doctors get very little dietary training in med school in the U.S.  It's simply not a core tenant of medical school here despite how incredibly important it is for one's health.  It's quite tragic, imo, to leave out such an important part of our health.

Overall, you'll see pretty good marks on the plant-based diets - I would recommend Engine #2 Diet over straight vegan.  That is what we try to follow (WFPB, which has been mentioned here).  The big holdup is how easy it is to follow, which is kind of BS.  That speaks more to our society relying on meat and dairy.

I think there may be cross over user interested in the keto diet thread - the keto diet ranked last or almost last in every category except for short-term weight loss.

I love learning new information via documentaries, usually on Netflix.  I will say that "What The Health" came off more as a "Michael Moore" style film and has some info presented that isn't necessarily 100% true.  Some better ones are Cowspiracy (environmental impact), Forks Over Knives (health), Vegucated (transition from vegetarian to vegan - this is the documentary that convinced my SO to go from vegetarian to vegan about 4 years ago), Earthlings (animal abuse - I haven't been able to watch as I've heard it's horrifying), and Plant Pure Nation (part community activism, part health, and part governmental conflicts).  I'm sure there are others but those are the ones I know off the top of my head if you're looking for some info, help, inspiration, etc.

Good luck to all my new vegan buddies out there!  I may have posted this once here before on this forum (maybe not) but I went vegan on 1/1/16 and haven't looked back.  The above documentaries changed my life and I decided vegan (then ultimately WFPB) was the way for me.  I lost nearly 20 pounds (I wasn't overweight but the weight just...disappeared) and 2+ inches off my waist.  My skin cleared up.  My stamina increased.  Every aspect just felt better and it wasn't like I was super unhealthy before.  I was also one of those "animal lovers" who didn't really think about all of the animal cruelty that went into my diet.

So if anyone needs encouragement, ideas, tips/tricks, recipes, or resources let me know!

WonderfulLife43

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2018, 01:29:13 PM »
PTF.  And, looking to move closer to WFPB this year, by reducing meat and dairy.  Why?  Health is the #1 reason - shooting for ideal Blood Pressure,  and a long healthy life  :-)
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 01:34:20 PM by WonderfulLife43 »

meadow lark

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2018, 05:43:27 PM »
I think it is fabulous to try to eat a few less meals with meat.  Don't let perfect be the enemy of good, and all that. 

Do people want to do a 'what I ate today' post to help others get ideas?  I enjoy this topic (I am sure that is obvious!)


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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2018, 08:05:07 PM »
I'm in. I started a WFPB diet  (mostly) mid-last year. I had good weeks & bad weeks with sticking with it, but it went completely out the window during my 6-week vacation (Europe.. food.. drink... 10+kgs...).

But I'm back & recomitting!

I use the Daily Dozen app, which I love to use. It really makes me think about how to incorporate different food groups into my diet, and makes me reconsider food choices when I'm running out of calories for the day. For example, if I'm low on greens,  I make sure they're part of dinner rather than something else.

meadow lark

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2018, 08:11:38 PM »
I'm n the Dr Greger Facebook group.  There is a lot of OCD craziness, but also some good info.  Like today I made popcorn with balsamic vinegar (and nutritional yeast) after reading it on that group.  It was tasty, and I didn't feel the need for salt.

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2018, 09:08:13 PM »
https://health.usnews.com/best-diet/best-diets-overall


So if anyone needs encouragement, ideas, tips/tricks, recipes, or resources let me know!

Thanks for sharing your story! Those docs have been inspirational to me as well.

As for what I have eaten today

Morning : turmeric milk
               overnight oats with oatmilk, flax, lavender, amla, chia, blueberries & orange
Lunch :    salad with roasted squash, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds
Dinner:    we are about to eat tomato, kale & chickpea stew  :)

Malaysia41

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2018, 02:11:44 AM »
Yesterday, for dinner, we made the https://www.veganricha.com/2018/01/peanut-butter-cauliflower-bowl-with-roasted-carrots.html

I think the peanut sauce needs 1/3 less flour, and 2x more water. Other than that, the flavor balance was delicious.

+1 to Meadow Lark's "don't let perfect be the enemy of good."

May I share personal story about this?  (WARNING- skip if you don't want to read about the systematic cruelty inherent in our animal ag food supply)

In the journey to where I am now, I've traipsed/trudged through the 3 chair-legs of veganism - health, environment and ethics. For my whole life I've felt a slight discord between not wanting to eat animals, and yet eating them. I've always thought drinking cows milk was weird. Even so, I poured 2% on my cereal.  In retrospect, I used the three Ns (coined by Melanie Joy) to support my cognitive dissonance: "natural, normal, necessary."

We came to WFPB/veganism first through health, then the environment, and lastly, the ethics.  Through it all, I questioned the normalcy of eating animals. I recognized that an appeal to nature is a logical fallacy (e.g. rape is natural, does that make it right?).  I came to learn that nutritionally, animal products are not at all necessary.

As I researched more and more, I retained a notion that 'ethics' were the least of my reasons for being vegan. Perhaps it was because they set in last? Or, perhaps, it was because ethics seem to be the least socially acceptable reasons of the three. You start talking ethics, and carnists, with bellies full of bacon or butter or beef, feel personally attacked.  But talk about health or the environment, and most are a little more willing to hear you out.

Even after watching Earthlings, Dairy is Scary (Erin Janus), Lucent, Land of Hope and Glory, Gary Yourofsky, Earthling Ed, James Aspey, etc.   Even after all discomforting, heart-breaking revelations uncovered in my journey, I still clung to the idea that I was vegan first for health and environment.

It was when we ate at an Indian restaurant with friends that I realized how wrong I was.  I'd made it clear (nicely) to the waiter that we wanted no dairy in our food. He signaled that he understood, guiding us toward some dishes and away from others. We ate merrily, avoiding the one dairy dish on the table that our vegetarian (not vegan) friends had ordered. I loved the benghan bartha (sp?) so ordered another dish of it for take away, reminding the waiter that we wanted no dairy. 

At home, I opened our benghan bharta and found it was clearer, more red, than what we'd eaten in the restaurant. It didn't have milk/cream/yogurt in it. The dish at the restaurant had dairy. And we'd eaten it.

What happened next was a surprise to me. I was beyond angry. I was livid. I stewed in it, silently.  For hours!  I couldn't get over it.  I even cried a little. I knew better than to rage-text about it to my friends, or worse, call the restaurant. So I just sat and thought about how I never want to be a part of the brutal dairy industry, and felt the anger of being suckered back into it.  It's not normal.  It's unnecessary.  And I don't want to support rape, infanticide, nor 1-2 day old calves being stripped from their mothers only to never see them again. ~95% of dairy calves are taken from their mothers within two days (~63% within 24 hrs).  In the words of Erin Janus, this happens because, referring to the milk, "That shit's ours."

After eating at that Indian restaurant, I was a part of this brutality again, and I was fucking beside myself.  I was devastated. I went to bed angry, and woke up, well, still angry, but it was a little softer at that point.

The thing that got me back to being okay was exactly the phrase that Meadow Lark wrote: "Don't let perfect be the enemy of good."   

We live in a society where consuming dairy is not only normalized, but our government encourages consuming three servings a day. Dairy is an industry built on brutal enslavement.  Even if we can imagine some sort of humane treatment of animals on small-scale farms somewhere in the world, the reality is that the $4 gallon of milk at Whole Foods Market is from a factory farm where the cows live for 4-5 years, fully enslaved, losing their precious babies after every forced, anal-fisted pregnancy.  Then, as thanks for all their suffering, they're sent to slaughter in their young adolescence.

This new reality of mine is full of challenges. But the phrase 'don't let perfect be the enemy of good' is handy to remember. That and 'be the change you wish to see.' 

I hope that wasn't TMI.  If anyone wants sources for any of the statements I made, I'll be happy to provide them.

Time to make split-pea soup now.

DarkandStormy

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2018, 07:44:38 AM »
For those struggling with options eating out, download the Happy Cow app!  They also have a website you can peruse.  But it's a large (worldwide? maybe?) database of vegan, vegeterian, veg-friendly restaurants.  So if you're unsure of what's in your area, you could take a look there and see what others have reported.

SachaFiscal

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2018, 10:38:46 AM »
I've pretty much been vegan so far in January (except one time at a friends place for lunch I had some cheese).  So I think I can join in.  I was going to make a cheesy lasagna this weekend for a dinner party but I'll make a vegan lasagna instead!  Anyone have a recipe for a good vegan lasagna they have tried and like? Looking for something easy to put together.

Serendip

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2018, 10:43:25 AM »
I've pretty much been vegan so far in January (except one time at a friends place for lunch I had some cheese).  So I think I can join in.  I was going to make a cheesy lasagna this weekend for a dinner party but I'll make a vegan lasagna instead!  Anyone have a recipe for a good vegan lasagna they have tried and like? Looking for something easy to put together.

Haven't tried these yet but here are a few options (I have mentioned the website before but keep plugging it ONLY b/c it's my go-to) ha
https://www.veganricha.com/?s=lasagna

Hirondelle

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #30 on: January 12, 2018, 12:04:23 PM »
Soy yoghurt was on sale, so instead of normal yoghurt I got the soy version. Another dairy product avoided for this week :)

clarkai

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2018, 12:41:39 PM »
I've been eating vegan for five years now, so if anyone wants help, feel free to message me!

Breakfast today was homemade granola with flax milk. Lunch is a super hearty potato soup with added red lentils. They disintegrate, so they just end up thickening the soup.

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2018, 04:31:35 PM »
Red lentil potato soup sounds delicious. 
I made pasta (made from red lentil flour) for lunch today.  I wish there was a cheap ready made pasta sauce that fit the whole 'no salt, no sugar, no oil' thing.  I did my usual go to for lazy pasta sauce - threw an onion, 3 cl garlic, and a can of no salt tomato sauce in the blender, then cooked it down for about 30 min.  Added fresh basil, oregano, marjoram.  Then plated with chopped walnuts (has a meaty texture), tiny bit of miso for salt, and nutritional yeast.
I might consider canning ready to eat pasta sauce.  Or maybe find a recipe that doesn't cook it so long.

SachaFiscal

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2018, 08:10:41 AM »
I made this jalapeŮo ďcreamĒ enchilada casserole that was delicious! I think Iíll put it in the regular rotation.

https://www.thissavoryvegan.com/vegan-enchilada-casserole-jalapeno-cream-sauce/

I used red enchilada sauce instead of green and topped it with some roasted salsa.

Nola584

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #34 on: January 13, 2018, 12:08:35 PM »
Iíve been vegan for a little over two years now, but Iíll join in for this month from the perspective of working to be a bit more diligent in ensuring Iím not eating animal products. And refraining from eating the occasional office cookie I KNOW is not vegan. :)

Prior to going vegan, I was vegetarian for >15 years. For me, the motivating factor to make the switch was the ethics of animal treatment, even ďjustĒ for eggs and dairy- previously Iíd been willfully ignorant of this. I watched many of the same documentaries already mentioned in this thread.

It wasnít a huge change to my diet, but I did realize I actually used cheese and dairy WAY more than I would have estimated. And Iíve noticed my tastes have adapted a lot over the last two years- now if I eat something containing butter or dairy, it honestly doesnít even taste very good, moral objections aside. Itís definitely a personal journey for everyone individually, and Iím encouraged to see so many in this thread taking steps toward consuming less animal products!

I still donít particularly like identifying as a vegan in public because of the strong reactions even mentioning the word seems to provoke in people. Iím definitely not one to lecture or even share my choice or reasoning unless asked, but Iíve found that doesnít stop others from trying to lecture ME about my choices. Have others ran into this challenge? How do you handle it?

A few of my favorite recipe resources that I havenít seen mentioned yet:
  • Thug Kitchen books (all 3) and blog
  • Americaís Test Kitchen Vegan for Everybody book (love this one- might be my top rec for newer vegans now)
  • Purple Carrot recipes (vegan boxed meal delivery service that is as overpriced as other similar services, but they also post their recipes online for free. Just Google to find the right page. Even the recipes that sounded kind of strange to me have been so delicious!)

And donít forget- if you are going full vegan (great!) pick up a bottle of B12 supplements. This is the one thing  you really canít go without or get sufficient quantities of from a plant only diet.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 12:13:48 PM by Nola584 »

mjb

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #35 on: January 13, 2018, 01:39:34 PM »
Joining in!

I've been mostly WFPB for years, but am recommitting after a couple of years in the wilderness.

Even my Texan-as-hell, meat-loving partner decided (on her own, with no pestering from me, I swear) to go vegetarian, which is something I never thought would happen. She watched What The Health? with me and is obsessed with maxing out the Daily Dozen app checklist. We have a copy of How Not To Die on the coffee table as well for reference.

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2018, 02:52:36 PM »
Oh wow, I came here to lurk some threads and saw this and registered. It's exciting to see that people are interested in switching to a vegan diet and there's a lot of positivity in this thread.  I have been eating vegan/plant-based since August 2017 (my partner, too!) and have been enjoying it.  Before that, I ate animal products still but was slowly starting to feel less and less interested it (in wanting to eat healthier).  When I learned more about the environmental impact, I thought, "Okay, I'm done. I don't need this."  It was been really easy, personally, and I couldn't imagine going back. It helps that I really enjoy cooking and find that to be a creative process.

I still donít particularly like identifying as a vegan in public because of the strong reactions even mentioning the word seems to provoke in people. Iím definitely not one to lecture or even share my choice or reasoning unless asked, but Iíve found that doesnít stop others from trying to lecture ME about my choices. Have others ran into this challenge? How do you handle it?

I agree! When I "went vegan" I didn't tell anyone. I didn't even think of myself as "going vegan," I just didn't desire to eat meat anymore (and never was a fan of dairy products, so that was easy). People started to catch on based on observation, and honestly, sometimes it's just easier to say "vegan" instead of saying, "I don't want/like to eat meat. Or dairy. Or just... that," since I'm a very picky eater in general.  At work functions it's hard, like catered dinners where you have to request a specifically vegan option because there isn't one by default.  However, annoyingly enough, I do notice that even if people hear "vegan" they ask questions anyway, like, "So no meat? No cheese? Nothing fun?" So it really doesn't matter what I say.  People will just observe and make comments. I have had lots of comments on my work lunches, for instances, even when not vegan (generally to be complimentary).

While the reactions can be annoying and I'm definitely not the type to want to waste my time answering these questions, lecturing, or persuading, I try to be patient and think about it this way:  Even if I didn't want this, I somehow became "that office vegan," perhaps the only vegan person in their lives that people know personally. Whether or not they're standoffish or legitimately curious, how I act will affect the way others view veganism as a whole, whether or not I mean to act a certain way or not.  It's all about perception. It's easy for people for filter and stereotype; conduct yourself like you're facilitating a positive perspective in their eyes.

My advice? Be positive, patient, no matter what.  In a way, by being vegan, you're different by the perspective of others, and if they're curious, they have a lot to learn and you unwittingly take on the role of an educator.  It's kind of... a responsibility of sorts.  Should you care what people think about veganism? Sure. If more people were patient as this type of thing becomes more popular, less and less people would feel as awkward as we currently do.  Is it fair that people always have to pick out what's different about others all the time? No, but again, hopefully, the more they learn about it, the more this type of behavior will become mitigated.  Some people are downright rude about it, but in that case, they are projecting - don't let them monopolize your time. You don't have to listen to it. Walk away.

(Edited for typos.)
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 08:59:13 PM by imadandylion »

Malaysia41

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2018, 08:14:07 PM »
Thanks for all of your stories! I love learning what brought people to plant based vegan diet,  hearing how social circles reacted, and what insights and tips people have developed for responding. Itís weird we need strategies for talking to people about something as simple as eating without demanding victims ( the Ďvictims here include animals and ourselves).

These stories often illuminate the many ways our system reinforces the status quo. As imadandylion noted, whether you want to or not, you represent a movement... just by choosing to eat plants ! Itís weird isnít it? But it goes to show how pervasive the carnism ideology is. And so we find ourselves fielding what seem like goofy questions. Personally, I strive to retain unlimited positive regard for whoever Iím talking with. I try to stick to my story and my discoveries and revelations. That way the carnist feels less attacked. Iím not coming at a person when I stick to Ďmy side of the streetí.

Iíve used the term carnism to describe the pervasive ideology of consuming animal products. Iíve used the word carnist to label people who follow this ideology. Iíd like to know - What do you think of each of those terms?


Hirondelle

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #38 on: January 14, 2018, 03:10:38 AM »
However, annoyingly enough, I do notice that even if people hear "vegan" they ask questions anyway, like, "So no meat? No cheese? Nothing fun?" So it really doesn't matter what I say.  People will just observe and make comments.


This is so ridiculous. Why would eating meat and cheese be more fun? It's similar to people judging others for not drinking alcohol but to me even worse as with alcohol I can get the fun part but for meat and cheese? How am I less fun if I eat sth else than you. I've never heard anyone blaming anyone for not eating tomatoes, or carrots, or celery. It's really fascinating how not eating meat (and dairly) leads to such strong judgements.

When I talked to a friend last week about eating more plant based he was like 'Oh please don't turn vegan, then I have to break our friendship' and I was like WTF why? His reasoning: 'Then how can I take you to my favorite steakhouse?'. Darling, I don't even like steaks... even as I kid steak was like my least favorite meat. I know he's joking, but come on, why so extreme?

Malaysia41

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #39 on: January 14, 2018, 04:59:02 AM »
I've been eating vegan for five years now, so if anyone wants help, feel free to message me!

Breakfast today was homemade granola with flax milk. Lunch is a super hearty potato soup with added red lentils. They disintegrate, so they just end up thickening the soup.

clarkai - what keeps you committed to eating vegan after so many years?  (if you don't mind me asking).

Serendip

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #40 on: January 14, 2018, 09:42:34 AM »
My advice? Be positive, patient, no matter what.  In a way, by being vegan, you're different by the perspective of others, and if they're curious, they have a lot to learn and you unwittingly take on the role of an educator.  It's kind of... a responsibility of sorts.  Should you care what people think about veganism? Sure. If more people were patient as this type of thing becomes more popular, less and less people would feel as awkward as we currently do.  Is it fair that people always have to pick out what's different about others all the time? No, but again, hopefully, the more they learn about it, the more this type of behavior will become mitigated.  Some people are downright rude about it, but in that case, they are projecting - don't let them monopolize your time. You don't have to listen to it. Walk away.


ahh...I really like this paragraph!
 "Be Positive, patient, no matter what" is a brilliant motto

We invited some foodie friends over for dinner last night and I mentioned to them beforehand that our main dish would be veggie (I guessed her boyfriend might not be on board with that, but he was). It led us to a really interesting discussion over our appetizers and we all agreed that reducing animal products is the way of the future. These friends were ones I did not expect to have this discussion with...

Has anyone seen the movie Okja?
It is quite moving and my friend, who wasn't stirred by the documentaries we've all stated before, said that seeing that film woke her.
Something different will capture each individual.

clarkai

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #41 on: January 14, 2018, 10:23:32 AM »
I've been eating vegan for five years now, so if anyone wants help, feel free to message me!

Breakfast today was homemade granola with flax milk. Lunch is a super hearty potato soup with added red lentils. They disintegrate, so they just end up thickening the soup.

clarkai - what keeps you committed to eating vegan after so many years?  (if you don't mind me asking).

A lot of reasons, actually. Some of them are really simple and reasonable, and some of them probably verge on paranoia.

1. One of the first things I realized when I started my own month-long challenge 5 years ago is that clean up in the kitchen is way, way, way easier. I don't have to worry about raw meat or meat juices contaminating surfaces or ready to eat foods. There is no gristle or fat to clean off of my cutting boards. Baked on vegan food is way easier to clean off than baked on omnivore food.

2. My acne (I was almost 25 at the time) got much better. My asthma reduced in severity dramatically.

3. Once I got away from eating animals long enough, I realized that I'd never actually been able to kill anything, aside from mercy killings, and I grew up on a farm. Gutting and butchering I've done plenty of (easily thousands, because I worked on a chicken farm at one point), but the number of animals I've personally killed I can count on one hand. When I'd been at that moment of killing things before, my own moral compass was not comfortable with the trade off of ending a creature's life for what amounts to a different flavor profile.

4. After I did a pile of research, I learned that animals are not actually a necessary part of the human diet. Growing up, I thought they were, and that you had to eat animals to be healthy.

5. By not eating beef, I avoid the specter of variant CJD/BSE/Mad Cow disease. (This is one that verges on paranoid)

6. Getting my amino acids from legumes is way cheaper than getting them from animal products.

7. I don't have to support confined animal feeding operations.

8. I'm not contributing to fisheries collapse, or the slavery involved in shrimp farming. (And I actively work to avoid similar ethical issues with bananas, tomatoes, chocolate, etc)

9. Soy bean and corn production is one of the leading causes of dead zones and Rainforest deforestation. A great majority of these crops go to feed cows, pigs, chickens, etc, instead of people. By not eating animals, I'm reducing the demand for soy beans and corn.

10. By eating lower on the food chain, I'm not exposing myself to as many bioaccumulating toxins as people who eat tuna, salmon, etc.

11. I've never been about to find a single scientific study recommending that humans eat less legumes, nuts, vegetables, or fruits. It just so happens that this is what my diet is based on. On the other hand, there is lots of debate about meat, dairy, and eggs, and whether they are ok, or actively bad for you.

12. By eating plants and fungi, I'm eating at a lower trophic level, which means that my diet is way more efficient and uses up way less land and other resources than it would if I were eating animals.

13. Every food scrap from my kitchen can be composted.

14. My food is automatically halal and kosher. 

15. My diet has diversified so much- I eat so many more species than I used to.

16. The smell of omnivore leftovers than have gone bad is way worse than vegan leftovers that have gone bad.

17. I'm able to be a really healthy and active person while being vegan, and that's what eating is about for me. (Well, that, and how tasty everything is)

18. I actually stopped eating chicken and eggs long before I went vegan because for a while I worked on a non-cafo chicken farm, that was organic, run by a local family, and supposedly pasture raised their chickens (that is to say, they weren't pasture raised by my standards, but they were by the farmers, regulators, and so forth). Having grown up on a small farm, where we only grew for ourselves, I couldn't stomach the difference in how the chickens were raised on one of the best farms in the area, and how we'd done it when I was a kid. The lack of care for them as living creatures was clear. Broken bones left to "heal" on their own, fatty tumors in the meat, deep tissue necrosis, and what the butcher called acidosis where all common occurrences, and we just cut out the obviously affected bits and sold the rest of the chicken- for over $6/lb. These guys weren't really chickens any more- just fat blobs that only moved when they had to, laying in their own filth, and started dying of heart attacks around 8 weeks of age. That's just the meat birds, we also raised laying hens, which had their own problems.

MasterStache

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #42 on: January 14, 2018, 10:29:41 AM »
Hope everyone is still going strong this month. Not a vegan myself but we did try the no meat thing for a bit. It wasn't for me unfortunately. Lost too much weight and felt weak and lethargic. But we do still actively try to reduce our meat consumption.

I wanted to share by far, our favorite vegan recipe. It's a 10-spice vegetable soup from "Oh She Glows." It's loaded with veggies and has a little spicy kick to it. It's absolutely wonderful and everyone we have shared the soup with has asked for the recipe. It makes a ton of leftovers as well.

Here ya go:
http://ohsheglows.com/2014/10/02/10-spice-vegetable-soup-freezer-friendly-vegan-gluten-free/

Bendigirl

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #43 on: January 14, 2018, 12:20:15 PM »
My son is vegan, but I am not....although I try to cut meat consumption and buy from local butcher who ethically sources meat.
If you have a sweet tooth, I recommend this very healthy brownie recipe from detoxinista
https://detoxinista.com/date-sweetened-flourless-brownie-recipe/
I am gluten free, so it has no wheat and is sweetened with dates and is vegan...
She has lots of great vegan recipes on her site

Nola584

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2018, 03:33:03 PM »
While the reactions can be annoying and I'm definitely not the type to want to waste my time answering these questions, lecturing, or persuading, I try to be patient and think about it this way:  Even if I didn't want this, I somehow became "that office vegan," perhaps the only vegan person in their lives that people know personally. Whether or not they're standoffish or legitimately curious, how I act will affect the way others view veganism as a whole, whether or not I mean to act a certain way or not.  It's all about perception. It's easy for people for filter and stereotype; conduct yourself like you're facilitating a positive perspective in their eyes.

This part really resonated with me- Iíve often used this line of thought when living abroad or traveling, but for some reason never thought to apply it to veganism!

Loved hearing everyoneís thoughts- thanks for the feedback everyone. I need to focus on being patient and kind instead of getting annoyed when others try to tell me how I should eat.

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #45 on: January 14, 2018, 08:00:06 PM »
Following. Been a (99%) vegan for roughly 5 years now. I was very strict WFPB / Forks Over Knives when I started out and have been a bit lazier the past few years. So my challenge isn't staying vegan so much as it is staying away from convenience foods (especially as the vegan options have exploded the last few years - but it makes me want to try them all!). My diet is still mostly whole foods, and I've been eating out a lot less lately so that helps!

And yeah I will admit to sometimes eating the occasional office cookie or donut when I'm feeling weak. (damn my coworkers) Definitely not perfect! Meat/cheese doesn't really tempt me though.

Good luck with the challenge everyone!

DarkandStormy

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #46 on: January 16, 2018, 07:03:49 AM »
local butcher who ethically sources meat.

What does this mean?

SachaFiscal

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #47 on: January 16, 2018, 07:26:50 AM »
I blew it this past weekend. Had friends visiting and ate some eggs and dairy. Going back to vegan today and donít have any plans with friends for the rest of the month so I should be able to be vegan til Feb. Actually I have a stretch goal to be vegan through July 4 but weíll see how that goes.

Malaysia41

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #48 on: January 16, 2018, 07:47:58 AM »
local butcher who ethically sources meat.

What does this mean?

I was wondering the same thing.

Malaysia41

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Re: Go Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet in January 2018
« Reply #49 on: January 16, 2018, 04:07:08 PM »
I blew it this past weekend. Had friends visiting and ate some eggs and dairy. Going back to vegan today and donít have any plans with friends for the rest of the month so I should be able to be vegan til Feb. Actually I have a stretch goal to be vegan through July 4 but weíll see how that goes.

Hey, it happens.

Funny how easy it is to eat vegan in your own home, but out in the world it can be tough to find options.