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Leaving Meat Behind 03/01/2013

So...after a lot of research and realizing I hate my body, my health, and my ungodly addiction to cheese and nearly rare meat I'm stepping into a healthier happier lifestyle. I know logically why being vegan will make me happier and healtier, but I'm almost afraid in a way. Its a huge change and I don't really know fully where to start other than to scrap my cabnients and start shopping for the ingredients on the handful of vegan recipes I've set aside.

 

I'm a 23 mother of two, with a damn near carnivorous husband and a limited budget. Any advice or encouragment would be beyond epic!

Hi Kristi! Welcome, and good for you for going vegan! 
Everyone has different approaches, but for myself I found that two things really helped:

- transitioning in, learning to cook more and more vegan meals while slowly phasing out the things I wanted to stop eating

- not trying to re-create dishes I ate previously, but learning to cook and enjoy new things. If you adore cheese and you try faux cheeses or make your own cheeses which just don't taste as good to you initially, the disappointment can make it tough to keep going. It takes a few weeks for your taste buds to adapt (watch this video for some interesting information on that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDgA3T_JF2A). These days I make my own almond and cashew cheeses, and I love them as much as I used to love animal foods, but while transitioning replacing didn't work well for me. 

As for the budget, cook from scratch if you can: processed foods are generally less healthy, and also a lot less expensive. Also, buy in bulk for foods that keep for a long time, e.g. rice (go for brown, much more nutritious!), dried beans, cereals. If time is short, your freezer is your friend: cook larger quantities of things like rice and freeze in single portions for later use, freeze things like soups and sauces etc. Is your husband willing to join you in eating some vegan meals? I'm sure it would help if you guys don't have to cook separate meals all the time, both in terms of health and budget. You could also try making things that only require small adaptations, e.g. bolognese sauce with brown lentils for you, and meat for him if he insists, but all the other ingredients can be the same. 

 Good luck!! and feel free to ask any questions you may have. 

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What exactly are you scared about? Define it. I say just look forward to the delicious vegan dishes your going to be making.

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I can see what you mean about being scared. I was like you completely addicted to dairy products, but not too much of a meat eater. Cutting the meat out was not hard at all...although it is so convienent to have meat! So when you become a vegan/vegitarian you need time...We have 6 kids total so I try to make my "huge" batches of food- like stuff for enchiladas or soups or vegan pancakes and stick them in the freezer....Then I find myself cooking for the family! Ugh it can be tiring. The one great thing I have is an enormous amount of support from my fiancee. He always asks what I am going to eat for dinner and most of the time will eat what I am just so I dont eat alone...Believe me he is a processed food junky.

 

A problem you may face is replacing vegan/veggie options that are processed so that you dont feel left out. I wanted to but just try hard. Sometime I allow my self, but mostly I watched what my wants were. For instance I love eating while I am watching our show..so to not snack I will wait to eat dinner.

With a budget as well I find we actually have more food with less money because I dont eat so much meat and dairy...so I use what money I would have and stock up on bulk, and fake meat! The fake meat can be expensive so I use those on occasions...but remember to be creative. I make a meaty cheesy dish called tator tot casserole (I used to love this with tons of sour cream) So one night I made my self a little bit with rice/veggies/tofu and all the kids ate mine and was left with a massive amount of the "gross" kind,

 

You can do it. Of course you are scared because it is a massive life change. It changes everything, social gatherings, eating out, bbq's, parties and just home cooking...but give your self some credit! before you know it you will not even think about it. I have been a vegan for 3 weeks now...it is still hard I had cheated a couple times...but I tell my self each day ok! I will not dream of cheese and drink lots of water!!!

 

You will do it

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