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I miss eating animal products.

Am I the only one?

There are so many dishes and food items that just can't be replicated and I miss eating so many things.

I've been trying to eat a plant based diet for 5 months now. I know I probably wouldn't feel this way if I wasn't the only one trying to eat vegan while my husband and kids reject it outright but I'm really struggling lately to make myself eat.

Sigh.  :(

What have you not been able to replicate/find? What is your reason for eating a plant based diet? Why are you vegan?

Vegan food should be fun and delicious, not a struggle.

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I miss ice cream, caprese salad, enchiladas, a good veggie burger (every where around here puts dairy/eggs into their veggie burgers  >:(), fried eggs, etc.

I know I would be enjoying the vegan diet more if my husband would support me in cooking it but he refuses to eat any of my vegan meals and the kids beg for meat and dairy constantly. It sucks.

I chose to go vegan for health reasons, for humane reasons and for environmental reasons. I feel so strongly about eating this way and live in a part of the country where it's not at all common.

Bleh. The first few weeks were a lot of fun because I was trying new recipes and cooking new foods but I can't do that when I also have to cook a separate meal for the kids and another for the husband.

I'm also stressed lately and start craving those comfort foods, the kind of things that are hard to replicate.

I should also mention that my husband has Celiac so we have to eat gluten free on top of trying to create vegan meals. Trying to make good gluten free vegan meals is extremely challenging.

So he has been cooking his own meals for a few weeks now which is almost worse because my house smells like sausage and eggs all the time.  :-\

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Congratulations on trying a vegan diet. I agree with Allychristine being a vegan or being on a vegan diet shouldn't be a struggle. Don't think of it as your giving up stuff but opening up a whole new world of food. When I became a vegan 1 1/2 years ago I really found out what good food is really about.  Since you have been only vegan for 5 months what do you eat for the day? You might be feeling this way for many reasons but think about the reasons you became a vegan? I was vegetarian for many years before becoming a vegan. Becoming a vegan  for me was a choice of ethical, environmental, and to live a more compassionate lifestyle . Of course the health benefits are a plus. It's hard when other family members aren't vegan so hang in there and lead by example. My hubby is an omi but at home he eats vegan food and the only time he eats non vegan food is at restaurants or at other's home. We have been raising our daughter as a vegetarian since birth. The only time she eats dairy is at restaurants or other's home. There are plenty of options with plant based foods to replicate what your missing. My hubby and most of my family members now prefer my vegan food instead. To introduce your family to the yummy, wonderful world of vegan foods start with dessert. Once they taste how great it really is then you can introduce more vegan food to your family. It will take time. There are some wonderful cookbooks out there for vegan cooking. Colleen Patrick Goudreau is my favorite vegan cookbook author and today she came out with a new book called "The 30 Day Vegan Challenge". Sorry if this seemed preachy or long but I hope this information will help you.

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Sorry just posted my reply right after yours.

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Here is a good vegetarian, gluten free recipes here for you look at.  http://www.sweetnsavoryveg.blogspot.com/ 

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There are tons of great vegan ice creams for you try! Many of them delicious-soy, almond, rice, hempmilk..tons! Check the lovin the loot forum for product reviews and look around at your local grocery/health food store. There are also vegan recipes for caprese salad, good vegan cheese to make enchiladas, and a ton of packaged/veggie burger recipes! Don't give up. :) It might just take you some time to adjust to your new lifestyle.

Revisit the reasons you decided to become vegan, do some more research. Once you are firm in your beliefs and values, it just goes way past the food and those cravings. You will find so many great/better alternatives. It's so much more than that!

Many of us live in not so vegan friendly areas, so you are not alone. There are many members of VegWeb who live with non veg*n family members as well, and many who are gluten free.

Take a look around vegweb topics and the internet as a whole. :)

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I went vegan overnight (I still had chicken in the fridge), so it took nearly a year for my taste preferences to change. I still don't think meat tastes bad or gross, but that's not the reason I won't eat it.  Five years into it, though, I can absolutely guarantee you that I love being vegan and am completely satisfied with the food.

Consider making and freezing vegan meal components ahead of time.  For instance, make a variety of types of rice and quinoa and freeze them in portion snack-sized ziplocks.  Then, you can mix up your meals without having to start from scratch all the time.  Chop onion and garlic for the week.  That sort of thing.  Then it's a quick plug 'n chug.  And then, buy some vegan jerky.  Not all of it tastes good, but it's fun to try them all.

And - if all fails - make a bacon cheese burger.  Top a veggie burger with fake cheese and bacon, and add onion rings (or only "cheese" and onion rings if you can't find vegan bacon - it doesn't add much texture-wise, anyway).  Then (this part is key), smother it in barbeque sauce.  The burger and fixings won't taste a thing like the animal versions, but the bbq sauce will be the same and you'll get the different textures.  I ate that more than once during my first year after smelling barbeque.

cheese (for enchiladas):  Daiya works well.  It's salty and fatty.
ice cream:  omg, there are so many great vegan ice creams (and some lousy ones, too)  Tofutti Cuties VANILLA ice cream sandwiches (even available at Trader Joe's) are vegan and tasty.  They have trans fats in them so they're not healthy, but they're really, really good.

Totally check out ac's review threads.  They're really helpful:  http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=32451.0

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for the ice cream, if you can't buy it, you can make vegan ice cream with either coconut milk or soy creamer (or both) and an ice-cream maker. It's cool because you can make any flavor you want! :)

I think a little bit of cooking & exploring recipes might do the trick in replacing the dishes and flavors you love.

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I have been vegan for six months now (in fact to the day!) and i absolutely love it!  I have found very little in the way of meat and dairy that can't be replaced/veganized (except maybe angel food cake but bleh what's a piece of cake in the grand scheme of things?).  In some cases the taste may be different but its a taste you eventually acquire and appreciate.  I went from omnivore to vegan overnight for very strong ethical reasons so I think that has helped me relearn to think about my food and eat in a way that mirrors my values and is satisfying. 

but I have had my share of challenges.  I have a thyroid condition and take thyroid meds that limits how much soy I can consume without throwing off my TSH.  Still I have learned form trial and error that an occasional soy yogurt or unlimited tempeh does not affect it at all, while soy milk and tofu seem to have a much more profound effect.  I was never a huge fan of dairy and am lactose intolerant so I was already quite familar with many delicious plant milks...almond, oat milk, rice milk, hemp milk... I also discovered coconut milk based yogurt which is awesome!  Coconut milk for cooking and baking has become my best and most useful ally.  I made fudge with it and oh my it was to die for!  There are so many different vegan cookbooks to try out and each has unique ideas.  I have also found that personal vegan blogs have some awesome creative recipes too if you dont have the money to shell out for books.  I have a whole notebook of printed recipes from vegweb, oh she glows, post punk kitchen, and more.  I organized them into main dishes, side dishes, sauces/dips/spreads, snacks, breakfast, desserts, breads.  This is my bible.  Anything I have craved I have found a vegan recipe for.

Another thing that helps.  Craving eggs?  Type in a search on vegweb for vegan eggs.  You will get all kinds of ideas to help similate something similar in texture, color, taste to eggs.  I have found that my new comfort food is macaroni with nutritional yeast sauce.  Sure it tastes different than regular mac and cheese but the creamy texture, filling pasta, added spices make it just as appealing.  AND I know that it is healthier for me and healthier for the environment and means I dont have to support the suffering of another animal for my "comfort". 

My partner still tries to challenge me all the time.  He is a meat and potatoes and dairy guy.  I am the cook and food organizer.  I have made a rule that I refuse to buy any sort of animal product or by product period.  he has to buy his own if he wants it.  Several times a week I have agreed to make him something omnivore but most times I make a vegan meal and sometimes he will eat it and sometimes not. I have my own cooking pots for JUST vegan stuff.  We have had countless talks about why I went vegan, what it means to me, and what I am comfortable and not comfortable with in our house.  he has gotten better at respecting that but he still argues or makes idiotic comments from time to time. I no longer go to zoos and the Fair used to be something we did together but no more.  He has had to adjust to that too.  My mother is the same way when I visit her.  She thinks being vegan is so limiting.  For me it has been anything but limiting.  I have learned more about cooking and foods than I ever knew before and eat a hUGE variety compared to being an om nivore when I ate the same things all the time.  There are unlimited types of vegetables, fruits, beans/legumes, grains, spices out there and the surprising combinations of foods are just awe inspiring.  Most of the time I have learned to experiment and make it all for myself, sometimes for my coworkers who are more open minded and adventurous than my family, occasionally for church or other benefits or even homeless shelters.  The really far out there stuff I save for myself (such as Ehiopian dal) but the more popular items such as vegan spelt cookies or larabars or mushroom risotto I have made for omnivores who have RAVED.  It does take time to overcome the "meat is the center of a meal" mentality and it can be challenging living in a society that loads everything with dairy and meat.  I live far from a very large city and there are few places with vegan specific items here but I have on occasion managed to find restaurants that are willing to work with me.  I eat out far less than most people but I find home cooked food more satisfying, healthy, and cheaper for me. 

GF...at least half of my acquired notebook of recipes are naturally gluten free.  My partner loves "hot rice cereal" for breakfast.  I cook a batch of rice the night before (I make it white for him because he doesnt like the "healthy" stuff), then in the morning I put it on the stove and add raisins, coconut flakes, turbino sugar or maple syrup, and almond milk and heat it all up.  If he wants his own milk in his I make two pots, one with his milk and one with mine, but he has found that there isnt much difference in taste when its all heated up and mixed together.  There you go, a gf breakfast.  Anohter is raw buckwheat groats soaked overnight to soften (or just eat them the way they are for a crunchy grape nuts kind of texture.  Add raisins, cinammon, whole almonds, dried fruits, whatever you want for a nice granola type cereal.  Viola gf.  Sweet potatoes mashed with coconut milk and add Earth balance butter...gl.  Omnvores LOVE this.  There are countless others.  My mom eats GF and while she thinks she struggles to find gf foods as an omnivore, I visit her and whip up a gf vegan meal in minutes.  I did this several weeks ago.  She had a can of kidney beans on hand, fresh tomatoes, brown rice, green onion, some spices.  So I mixed it all up and we had a filling meal.  Nothing fancy but satisfying.  You can do all sorts of things with potatoes that are naturally gluten free and your family would probably like.  Sometimes I throw some potatoes in the oven for bakers and then my partner puts his own dairy ladden toppings on his and I put my own toppings on mine (veggies, vegan sauce, nutritional yeast...).  There you have it a meal.  Or we'll have taco shells and veggies ready and he fills his with his meat and cheese and I fill mine with my tempeh bits or refried beans (lard free) and veggies. 
I am not a fan of fake meats and cheeses but some people swear by them.  I had a fake vegan cheese Once in my six months when I ordered a tempeh stacker sandwich at a restaurant and honestly I couldnt taste the difference from real cheese. 

Hope this helps.  One more thing I make when I crave something creamy and dairy like.  Others have mentioned ice creams etc.  I like to make smoothies with berries, pumpkin, bananas, cocoa, cashew nuts (also a good base for making creamy sauces), avocados (another staple for adding creaminess to dishes..I dont worry about the fat content because I get far less fat in my diet on a vegan diet so coconut, olives, avocadoes etc I allow myself unlimited amounts).  I even throw in leafy greens which add volume and tang and thickness.  Freeze the fresh fruits the night before to make a nice cold ice cream style smoothie.  hits the spot every time.  Invest in a high speed blender and it will open up worlds for you.  I bought a blendtec and havent regretted it at all.  When eating gf it will save you money in the long run because you can grind your own dried chickpeas to make chickpea flour (a gf flour staple), almonds for almond meal or flour, rice for rice flour etc that is cheaper than buying lbs of these flours you wont use much.  The blender allows you to make only enough for a batch using cheap whole foods like rice, beans, nuts.  Try the larabar recipe using just dates and cashews in a blender, and add some dried fruit.  Just three ingredients.  Process it, press it down into a pan, refrigerate for an hour, and viola a gf bar your omnivore family will die for.  Gf, loaded with energy, healthy fats, and sugar form the dates to satisfy that craving. 
I could go on and on but I better stop.  BTW, have you tried doing an internet search for vegans/vegetarians living in your area?  What about a "meetup" group?  I met several vegans here through some forums, one who lives two blocks away that I met on an international forum.  We would never have met otherwise.  Crazy world!

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I forgot to mention about the Blentec high speed blender....ridiculously easy to clean and very fast at processing foods.  I can put whole carrots in there and get a creamy liquid in seconds.  I am still fascinated with that contraption.  One drawback...very loud.  Still quite worth it and it has a warrenty.

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Sorry I promise this is it from me lol. I am having my first cup of cofee in a week and my mind is going.  I make a gf banana pancake using rice flour and almond milk.  Omnivores often love this one as well.  If you ever need help just send me a private message because I have all kinds of ideas for gf vegan dishes that omnivores would like too.  My partner grew up in dairy land and worked on farms so if I can get him to eat vegan than it IS possible.

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i just wanted to point out, how come you are so willing to adjust and eat GF but your husband refuses to try anything vegan? that kinda speaks volumes...

hang in there, just keep trying new things! hardly anyone i know IRL is vegan and i don't expect them to be... i eat what makes me happy and stays true to my values...

i know the family sitch would be harder but it will get better in time... i really don't think your husband is being very mature and he seems to be passing that on to the kids... i would just start out with normal foods that are vegan by default: beans, rice, veggies, nuts, ect and make dishes like that... save the tofu for later LOL

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Your husband doesn't respect you or your values, and it seems as though it has influenced the kids who don't respect you either. Pretty sad.

Excuse me for being rude, but if you miss eating animal products, then eat them. I'm sure the cows, chickens, pigs, etc will be glad to suffer and die so you can eat their byproducts.

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I miss ice cream, caprese salad, enchiladas, a good veggie burger (every where around here puts dairy/eggs into their veggie burgers  >:(), fried eggs, etc.

I know I would be enjoying the vegan diet more if my husband would support me in cooking it but he refuses to eat any of my vegan meals and the kids beg for meat and dairy constantly. It sucks.

I chose to go vegan for health reasons, for humane reasons and for environmental reasons. I feel so strongly about eating this way and live in a part of the country where it's not at all common.

Bleh. The first few weeks were a lot of fun because I was trying new recipes and cooking new foods but I can't do that when I also have to cook a separate meal for the kids and another for the husband.

I'm also stressed lately and start craving those comfort foods, the kind of things that are hard to replicate.

I should also mention that my husband has Celiac so we have to eat gluten free on top of trying to create vegan meals. Trying to make good gluten free vegan meals is extremely challenging.

So he has been cooking his own meals for a few weeks now which is almost worse because my house smells like sausage and eggs all the time.  :-\

If you don't have no support at home you have to play the game this way:
Just say, "More for me". Don't force them. One person became a vegetarian because of me. It's new to them and thats one of the reasons they are resisting.
You have to decide though did you become a vegan as a form of entertainment to enjoy with company or because you believe in it?

Theres a million and a half of scrumptious mouth watering vegan recipes out there. Don't let them go to waste lol.

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You are not alone and you're only human.  Your honesty is appreciated.  Many of us aren't vegan because we didn't enjoy good food.  I miss real mac and cheese, burgers and pizza.  There aren't adequate substitutes for these and I just have to live without them.   I will say that I do love vegan cookies and the coconut ice creams out there.

During times like these you need to remind yourself why you became vegan in the first place.  Read forums, blogs, books, watch Youtube vids, anything you can get your hands on to encourage yourself.

Without family support...and while you might not get it, you need to be firm that you expect it....you have to invest in yourself.  Find out what you do enjoy eating, rather than what you miss eating and get comfortable in the kitchen and start cooking.  There are literally hundreds of amazing blogs out there, as well as thousands of recipes here, and hundreds of cookbooks out there with a huge variety of amazing vegan food.  When I create a delicious meal and enjoy it, I don't miss non-vegan food at all.  

Give yourself a break.  Allow yourself to miss food you miss, that's human.  Accept that you've made this decision and stay encouraged.  Only 1% of people in America are vegan.  You're part of a tiny group of us and we're here for you.  Thanks for sharing.

All the best.

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I miss ice cream, caprese salad, enchiladas, a good veggie burger (every where around here puts dairy/eggs into their veggie burgers  >:(), fried eggs, etc.

I know I would be enjoying the vegan diet more if my husband would support me in cooking it but he refuses to eat any of my vegan meals and the kids beg for meat and dairy constantly. It sucks.

I chose to go vegan for health reasons, for humane reasons and for environmental reasons. I feel so strongly about eating this way and live in a part of the country where it's not at all common.

Bleh. The first few weeks were a lot of fun because I was trying new recipes and cooking new foods but I can't do that when I also have to cook a separate meal for the kids and another for the husband.

I'm also stressed lately and start craving those comfort foods, the kind of things that are hard to replicate.

I should also mention that my husband has Celiac so we have to eat gluten free on top of trying to create vegan meals. Trying to make good gluten free vegan meals is extremely challenging.

So he has been cooking his own meals for a few weeks now which is almost worse because my house smells like sausage and eggs all the time.  :-\

There are a lot of good vegan ice creams. I really like the Soy Delicious ones. There's a chocolate and peanut butter one that I love. For veggie burgers I really like Amy's All-American.

I know there are a few gluten-free vegan cookbooks out there, though I personally haven't tried any. I know it can be difficult cooking seperate meals when no one eats the same way you do.

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Of course it helps that my husband is (mostly) supportive, but I don't cook with animal products any more.  If he wants something, he makes it himself.  The only problems left are with dairy and eggs in baked goods.  He bakes a lot, and it's not always easy to say no when he's making a batch of non-vegan goodies; not because I crave them (we both bake wonderful vegan deserts) but because sometimes he feels hurt when I don't eat his cookies, cakes, etc.
Another way, if you do intend to keep cooking separate meals, is stir-fries that you can cook veggie, then add meat at the end after you've already served yourself a portion.  Or, always keep salad components and beans around and ready to go.  Also, I like to make soup over the weekend and leftovers are waiting in the fridge whenever I have an evening when I don't have time to cook or feel too tired to do so. 
Black salt in tofu scrambles is a good help for eggs... it smells all eggy and imparts that egglike taste.

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Of course it helps that my husband is (mostly) supportive, but I don't cook with animal products any more.  If he wants something, he makes it himself.  The only problems left are with dairy and eggs in baked goods.  He bakes a lot, and it's not always easy to say no when he's making a batch of non-vegan goodies; not because I crave them (we both bake wonderful vegan deserts) but because sometimes he feels hurt when I don't eat his cookies, cakes, etc.

this doesn't make any sense to me... if he wanted you to try them he would make them vegan... i don't think someone i know well would be offended if i said no to a cookie that had animals in it... this gives a lot of mixed signals...

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Jemima, it sounds like your transitionis being made unnecessarily difficult by your family. When starting out on a plant based diet you may not be armed with many recipes that prove vegan is delicious, but it really is.  If we are bring honest we should look at human evolution and acknowledge we love fatty foods for our survival, which is why we love meat and cheese; it it natural that we miss this kind of food. Don't feel guilty, but know slowly we are evolving past those foods.  When I crave, and it happens less and less, animal product I give myself a more ethical culinary treat and then I feel like I can still have what I want and feel good about it. Ps, pretty soon the idea of eating whatever you miss will gross you out!

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I struggled for a while to get my family on board also.  Just keep on making your food and offereing it to them.  Try recipes that kids naturally like.  Pasta is a good option.  Make them mac and cheese with Nutrtional yeast sauce and don't tell them it's not real cheese and see how they like it.  I also agree with the suggestions to start out with vegan treats to win them over.  I slipped twice in 3 years of being vegan because of these same issues and it's just not worth it.  It sounds kinda mean but since I'm the cook in the house my family now knows that they eat what I make or they can cook for themselves.

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