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new vegan needs advice, any is appreciated!!

Hi everyone, I've recently made the decision to become a vegan. Im so excited about it. I've been thinking about it for about a year now. My health and love for animals is what turning me.  I'm a little confused about some things, like bread? Do any of you know what brands are vegan? What about pasta's? I thought all pasta was made with eggs and milk, even the whole grain??  How about granola bars? Any brands that are vegan?? I could really use some help here.

granola bars:
some of the nature made (is that the brand)... not the honey.. wait, unless you eat honey?
odwalla
clif
luna
lara

bread:
i always use sprouted barley TJs brand or ezekiel

pasta:
check the label, most does not have eggs, i don't think any has milk.

do you knwo what ingredients to look for in veg foods? try linking to the 'list of animal derived ingredients' on the peta website

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the easiest way of finding vegan brands is just by checking the ingredients on the package and looking for the animal ingredients.  in addition to avoiding milk, whey, eggs, etc., keep an eye out for weird-sounding ingredients--many of these are animal derived.

http://www.vegfamily.com/lists/animal-ingredients.htm

I have this link bookmarked for quick reference.  it describes the ingredients' origins, alternate names, and where they're commonly found.  One thing I see in bread ALL the time is mono- or diglycerides, which unless specified as veg. based, are almost always from animal fat.  >:(
become familiar with the lesser-known animal byproducts and you'll spot them quickly.

also watch out for gelatin!  that crap pops up in the most unexpected places, like some granola bars!

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Welcome to the board! Glad to have another new face!

http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u59/lovely_vanessahudgens/vanessawelcome.jpg

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Thanks so much for the welcome. I'm really excited about it.  :)

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One of the coolest things about being veg*n is the number of things you realize you CAN eat. It's not nearly as restrictive as most people think. After that delightful glow wears off (oh my god, POTATOES ARE VEGAN!!! YAY!) and you've gained a little weight, you begin to realize that french fries and beer, while vegan, are boring and not very good for you. (this is a very personal example. obviously.)

One of the best things about being veg*n, in my opinion, is the number of foods you suddenly open up to. The Standard american diet tends to rely on fats and meats for flavor, instead of spices and herbs. As you begin to add new flavors and recipes to your arsenal out of boredom, you begin to realize how boring your non-veg diet was.

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Pasta and bread are two of the most vegan friendly supermarket items, you can find a huge variety of both in any market. 

Keep an eye out for whey in bread, a good rule of thumb is: if you can't pronounce the ingredient it's probably not healthy. I've found a lot of good whole grain sliced breads, I know Sara Lee makes one specific flavor, but you'll have to read the packages. The ingredients list should be short if you're looking for healthy bread.   Freshly baked baguettes are vegan for the most part, as are bagels.

For store-bought pasta, unless it's labeled as an egg noodle chances are it's vegan, including the whole grain stuff.  For granola bars, you'll find a lot that have milk and honey, but I have gotten some really good vegan ones at Target (as well as them having the cheapest Amy's frozen products that I've ever found).

I love new vegans! It's not as hard as it seems once you get into the flow of things :}

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Welcome! What I did when I first became vegan was to look for the easy stuff first (eggs, milk, cheese, whey, ect). I didn't bother with the stuff you couldn't pronounce at first. It was all too confusing ... for me anyway. I did that for a little while, until I got used to it. Then I learned little by little here on Vegweb what other things to look for. Now it's second nature ;) But now, I cheat. If it doesn't say vegan somewhere on the package, I don't buy it LOL. Except for bread, chips, salsa, bagels, pasta, ect that I know are vegan. Call me lazy  :o  :D  ;D Thanks to my local food chain. They label their store brand stuff vegan (if it is). I just look for the little "V" then I'm all good hehehehehe.

And Kylissa is right as far as pasta. That's an easy one. If it doesn't say "egg noodles" on the front of the package, it's probably vegan. Most plain whole wheat bread is vegan. But you have to watch out for honey in those.

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Hello,  Welcome to the board!!  The recipes on here are really good!! 

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You know what's really crazy? :D  About 5 years ago, I was diagnosed with gall stones that were "mobile". I was in such pain!! I had to wait 3 months to have the surgery. The doctors told me to avoid fats and dairy, so I did. I didn't realize how close I was to being vegan then. No meats, no dairy, and I never ate seafood or fish as I don't like them anyway. It was the healthiest I had felt in my entire life. I learned to enjoy soy and rice milk, and other varius vegan foods. I even lost about 30 pds. When I finally had the surgery, I went back to my "regular" diet just because I could. If I had only known what I know now, I would still have my gall bladder as the "pain" I was feeling was NOT my gall bladder (I still get it). It's apparently a "mystery" pain as I've been scooped, probed and prodded and they can't find anything. I take Nexium everyday to keep the pain at bay and generely eat a healthy diet. Lots of fruits and veggies and whole grains, but have been eating dairy yogart, skim milk, and chicken or turkey. My cholesterol was 280 last september and I really clamped down on myself and it was down to 200 this past june, without the aid of meds. But I still have stomach pain and can't seem to lose weight. I'm easy on the sugars and eat NO junk foods like anything fried or sweets. My weight has stayed EXACTLY the same for over a year. No lose, no gain either. I plan on joining Curves, but do walk on my treadmill at least 3 days a week. Has any one else had the problem?? I think it's the dairy and meat  (although in small amounts) that have been keeping me obese. I had my thyroid checked and thats ok. It's so frustrating!!! I try so hard but get no where. Becoming a vegan seems like the right thing for me as far as my health goes. I've been working with animals for over 20 years and have been a total hypocrite for eating meat and consuming dairy. I've never bought animal products (leather, etc), but still have that guilt for consuming them. Again, I'm so excited about doing this for myself and my love of animals. I just know this board and site are going to be a great inspiration to me. Thank you all so very much. :)

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Wow, how awesome for you! Welcome, welcome, wlecome.

Here's my 2 cents:

Most bread tends to be okay. Look at the igredients and look out for eggs (duh), whey and milk (duh). Most breats will even have in bold at the end of their ingredients list in bold, "Contains ____, ____, and _____ ingredients". While it may not tip you off to some of the items on the list above, it's at least a handy starting guide.

Another bit of advice: Don't obsess too hard on ingredients starting out. For me, I would have gone nuts looking out for every small ingredient at the beginning... so start out witht the biggies: Milk, eggs, whey, casein and go from there. You'll be surprised how soon you start being able to identify "off" ingredients.

And enjoy the recipes on this site... they're amazing!

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Homemade pasta (fresh pasta) has eggs the other kind of pasta is made from semolina.

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