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Hello vegwebbers!

Hi there! I'm new to the vegan diet, but I love what I've had so far. It's been a little more than a week now, and I'm learning so much and feeling great!

My family has adopted a plant based, as-whole-as-possible diet in support of my husband, who has really high cholesterol. I talked to both of the kiddos about it beforehand (17 y.o. boy and 11 y.o. girl) and they were all for it, provided I wouldn't be serving meal after meal of boiled-to-mush broccoli with a side of twigs. ;) Anyway, my thinking was that my husband couldn't be reluctant or complainy if he saw that we were ALL eating what he was eating. All for one and one for all, or something to that effect.

So yes, we all feel good, and not just that we're being supportive. We've all experienced more energy and better moods. Our tummies feel better and my son's acne is--for the first time ever-- starting to feel under control!

I have a few questions though.

 

1) I live in a small city in Oklahoma, and it really doesn't seem like there is much ovo-lacto-vegetarian acceptance, let alone vegan acceptance. It's crazy. It seems that the choices at restaurants are limited to a wilty salad from a bag ... or nothing. I don't want to be 'THAT' person at a restaurant, but good grief, I feel like I'm at wits end trying to explain that "just a little bit of bacon" in dressing is still not okay, and that yes, eggs and cheese DO count in this too. How do I navigate this??

2) While I have not had meat or dairy (ha, we switched right before our big monthly grocery shopping trip, so it was pretty easy), I still have things that have animal products in them. A great example would be my vitamins. We're not in a position financially where I can afford to just throw them away and buy new, and that seems wasteful and inappropriate anyhow. I was planning on using them up, and when they are done, switching to a brand with no animal products in them. Are these trace amounts hindering my attempts to go plant-based at all?

 

Thanks so much for reading this, and I look very forward to getting to know all of you!

 

First off congrats on making the awesome decision to go vegan. My family and I have beenvegan over
6 years, and consider it one of the best decisions we have ever made. We do not consume ANY animal products. The more you learn, the more you will find animal products in all sorts of items you would never imagine would have them. There are no vegan police, just do the best you can. My main advice is search online for sites that list 'non vegan ingrediants'. I am fortunate living in Portland most people know what vegan is, but my family and I stopped eating in any non vegan kitchen. Personally I would toss amy non vegan items you have, and donate any new. :)

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Congratulations on your decision.

Regarding being "that person" at a restaurant. What if you had a severe food allergy? Wouldn't you ask questions and expect the waitstaff to be helpful? So as to avoid going into anaphylactic shock! In part you are making the decision to go vegan for health reasons so concentrate on that and try to put aside worry about how people in restaurants see you.

Perhaps you can ask for specific options like oil and vinegar at the table for your salad or oil for a baked potato with no butter at all. Make clear it's for health reasons. And it is for your health, your husband's and that of the animals.

HTH

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Congrats on the decision. I wish you well in OK. My 25 yr old was born there. That is one thing I remember from when I ate out there. Although I was an omni, I had issues getting food that was not drenched in butter, cheese or bacon, things I had issues with. Unfortunately, you may have to give up eating out if you want to go all the way. My ovo-lacto vegetarinan DD manages quite well in the western burbs of Portland. She can find things almost everywhere. I, however, can't. I prefer meatless and am about at the point where all meat makes me sick since I eat so little of it plus I am lactose intolerant. The dietician at a suburban hospital was not very accepting last week when I told her what my food dilema was. She tried to talk me into fish, turkey and the fake eggs made with just the whites because i "need my protein to heal." Without going into trace amounts of animal in ingredients, I was left with vegetarinan taco salad, no cheese or sour cream, bean burrito, veggie soup and sides of hot veggies on the main menu. I knew the veggie burger on the menu contained egg. There was oatmeal, cream of wheat, fruit cup, applesauce and canned peaches on the breakfast menu.

Personally, I have continued to use products with animal based ingredients that I alread had in the house but have been phasing in animal friendly products as they run out. It just makes more environmenal sense to me than ditching my old stuff. Do whichever feels better with your concience.

Back to restaurants, you will have the best luck finding acceptable things the higher class the restaurant is. Call ahead and talk to the manager. Some will cook things specific for you but not on the menu if you give them time to plan ahead. Don't expect fast food or family chains to be very accomodating. Most of their stuff comes in premade.

Again, good luck and welcome.

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Hello! I am happy to see someone else from Oklahoma on here! :-) I am also a new vegan and have been for the past month also.. (and even just signed up on here) It's very exciting and I feel great. Have always wanted to make the switch and finally did! I am also from a small town so it is slightly difficult, I am way better off than I was in the beginning! All it took me was patience and learning. I had to take the time to explore grocery stores and look up vegan certified foods on the web. I also order from Vitacost.com, the website is wonderful and CHEAP, they have markdowns up to 68% and you can find loads of vegan friendly foods and items. I stay away from fast food also. In most places if we go out, which is rare, I do my best NOT to! I usually order a salad with italian style dressings (nothing creamy, theres most likely dairy involved) and most chinese places have a healthy menu that is based on steamed veggies and tofu or the like.. Mexican restaurants have vegetarian options alot, but I haven't come across anything vegan.

You are so right about the no veg acceptance. It's hard to find anyone that will support or help you unless you're in the right environment! I found alot of it in health food stores, local produce shops, and places like whole foods. You just have to find the right places to go, I learned that recently.. ;-)

I wish you the greatest of luck and am proud of the change! Go you! :-)
Keep up the awesome work.

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Hello! I am happy to see someone else from Oklahoma on here! :-) I am also a new vegan and have been for the past month also.. (and even just signed up on here) It's very exciting and I feel great. Have always wanted to make the switch and finally did! I am also from a small town so it is slightly difficult, I am way better off than I was in the beginning! All it took me was patience and learning. I had to take the time to explore grocery stores and look up vegan certified foods on the web. I also order from Vitacost.com, the website is wonderful and CHEAP, they have markdowns up to 68% and you can find loads of vegan friendly foods and items. I stay away from fast food also. In most places if we go out, which is rare, I do my best NOT to! I usually order a salad with italian style dressings (nothing creamy, theres most likely dairy involved) and most chinese places have a healthy menu that is based on steamed veggies and tofu or the like.. Mexican restaurants have vegetarian options alot, but I haven't come across anything vegan.

You are so right about the no veg acceptance. It's hard to find anyone that will support or help you unless you're in the right environment! I found alot of it in health food stores, local produce shops, and places like whole foods. You just have to find the right places to go, I learned that recently.. ;-)

I wish you the greatest of luck and am proud of the change! Go you! :-)
Keep up the awesome work.

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