PLEASE HELP! im new to this..sorta
Okay... so here's my story.. I'm 21 years old, and I've been a vegetarian since I was 9. I was quite content and have never struggled to not eat meat or seafood, it's just the way I am. I have never had the urge to eat it because for me to eat meat would be to go against what I believe in. Well, yesterday morning I was out to breakfast and ordered a pancake... as I watched my boyfriend eat his omelet sandwich I suddenly felt sick realizing that the same eggs that were in his omelet were in my pancake. I guess I always knew this in the back of my mind but I never really dwelled upon it. I never ate eggs alone, so I know that part of me believed eating eggs was wrong. Coming from a family of meat eaters it was hard enough to find well balanced meals growing up, so for me, it would have been almost impossible to cut out all egg and dairy products too. I'm almost ashamed of myself for I staying oblivious to this for so long but now I need help to get on the right track... I always eat lots of meat substitutes, veggie burgers, meatless chicken cutlets, etc. but I just looked at the boxes and they all have egg in them. I'm honestly feeling a little overwhelmed. no pasta? no bread? cake, brownies, cookies? (im a chocolate addict) I'm committed to this but I don't know where to start... what do i need avoid on ingredient labels? I'm curious if true vegan products are very expensive, and where to even buy them...so any tips, any help, anything... I really appreciate it.... thanks for listening!
do not get overwhelmed! it is not that hard i promise :) here is some helpful links (keep in mind we are all here to help you)
the best non vegan ingredient list (it is long): http://www.veganwolf.com/animal_ingredients.htm
some "accidentally" vegan foods that you can find at any grocery store: http://www.peta.org/accidentallyVegan/
there are "meat" type products that do not contain animal ingredients: morning star "chicken" strips and vegan boca burgers to name 2 i buy.... learn how to cook up tofu because it is amazing and versatile and cheap!... their is so much info on transitioning in the forums so when u have time check it out :)
for bread organic bread seems to usually be vegan where i live (in cali) i buy o organics (a vons/ safeway store brand) and my friend called orowheat and they said the mono and diglycerides in their bread are from vegetable sources which means you can eat some of their breads... also franscian (spell check) sourdough (the round loaf) is vegan
pasta: most boxed pasta is vegan so don't be worried... always check ingredients though... obviously egg noodles aren't vegan
yummy "junk" food: dark chocolate can be vegan... their are sooooooooooooo many dessert recipes on this website that i am sure you will be able to satisfy your junk food cravings... oreos are vegan fyi
this won't be that hard i promise... you may need to invest some money initially on some things (for me it has always been spices) but try to avoid those expensive prepackaged vegan products and meat analogues they aren't that good for you to eat all the time anyways... good luck questions are always welcome...or just google like crazy :)
Well, most dry pastas don't have eggs in them.
Here's a good place to start: [url=http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=18229.0Vegan Food & Cooking FAQ
For ingredients to lookout for (besides the obvious) are: casein (dairy protein), whey, natural flavors, lard, etc. A good way to look for dairy is to check the Allergy Info below the ingredients.
For important recipes:
I would also suggest you check out some vegan cookbooks or web sites for starter ideas. That is what I did.
What I've found is that the inclusion of animal products in prepared/processed food is usually unnecessary. My family, who are omni, seldom have a problem with the food I cook (I'm the family cook) but they are just conditioned to eat processed foods. My wife and kids never get meat at home unless I'm not there so their diet is 90% OV veg. My kids are now old enough to have a conscious. They are grossed out by where gelatin comes from, how cheese is made, and they are starting to ask for vegan alternatives.
Eating out will always be a problem. There are simply not enough restaurants that serve vegan food, or even non-vegan healthy food. We have TV commercials promoting the unhealthy aspects of food as a selling point.
"Our burger is bigger, has more cheese, more bacon. Would you like to supersize that with a larger cup of liquid sugar and a double order of deep fried whatever?"
We have popular television programs like 'Chowdown', 'Man vs. Food', etc., that promote overeating the most unhealthy stuff. If you want to see unhealthy people, go to a buffet. You can easily tell who the regular customers are. We have cooking shows that show you how to cook 'deep fried butter balls'. Then you have people that sit there on the couch watching 'Biggest Loser'. I alway found that to be insanely ironic. Whenever "Biggest Loser' is on, I do situps between the TV and the family.
Okay. . . time to get off my soapbox.
As others have stated, the best way to eat healthy is to prepare foods and cook for yourself. This is hard for most people because of their active lifestyle, lack of resources, and the need to eat socially with friends and family.
Pasta, cookies, bread, cake... It's all on the menu! You'll probably need to make the cake and cookies yourself (many great vegweb recipes available!), but pasta and bread are fairly easy to find at the supermarket. Here's a similar thread on that subject:
You'll find enormous lists of vegan products in various review threads, conveniently compiled here:
Also, realize this is a great opportunity to learn how to make breads, pastas, and baked goods from scratch, thus you'll be able to avoid all unwanted ingredients.
And as mentioned already, grab some cook books. Avoid pre prepared foods and start making some meals from scratch with whole food ingredients.! This will give you the assurance of eating a 100% vegan meal. And you can take pride in the results. :)
Wow, such amazing advice in this thread!
I don't have much to add but with VegWeb's help, I hope you'll find it easy to become and stay vegan! It definitely becomes second hand after just a little and you're living more cheaply and deliciously than ever before!