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new vegan

im really new to being vegan, and i was just wondering what products i should look out for when reading ingredients.
i know the obvious ones like milk, eggs, whey, geletin.
what else???
i get confused when things dont acutally say vegan on them :-[
so i usually just buy things that are really basic or say vegan.
in long lists of ingredients i really dont know what to look for.
also, at resturants, is it safe to order say, pasta with marinara sauce, how do you know if its vegan if it doesnt say so?

watch out for Natural Flavors, Mono and Diglycerides and enzymes.

there is a great series of books that lists tons of non-vegan ingredients in the back. the first is called How it all Vegan, then there's The Garden of Vegan and then La Dolce Vegan. great, easy and quick recipes that are awesome and lots of random cool info. the first series i ever picked up and to this day still my favorite!

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i think a good rule of thumb for food is always "if you don't know what it is you prob shouldn't be eating it"  ;)

you can google online for lists of animal ingredients or if you have something and you aren't sure you can look it up. but take heart, it takes a long time to get it all down so don't get discouraged or down on yourself if you mess up! i mess up every once in a while...we all do it.

re: eating out. it can be a pain... you can ask the server if you aren't sure ("is this broth/sauce/ect made with animal stock?" usually when i eat out (which i generally avoid doing) i try to find the most vegan looking menu item and stay with resterants that would likely have some vegan items. my expirance asking about things is that the waitstaff generally don't know or don't care to find out. i've read you can ask the chef to "create" something for you (they like the challenge?!) or you can order various side dishes or salads.

also finding a veg resterant is a good plan, if you can find one.

something like pasta with marinara can be totally vegan or totally not (eggs in the noodles....meat broth in the sauce)....you would have to ask. i usually just worry about the excessive amounts of CHEESE at italian places!  ;D

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Here's a partial list:
http://cyberparent.com/eat/hiddenanimalsinfood.htm

Also watch out for Vitamind D3 as it usually is from animals.

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