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Went Vegan Yesterday!!!!!

Hi! My name is Ryan and I took the full plunge yesterday after a month as a vegetarian. I decided to do it because my Strength and Conditioning Coach is Vegan and it seems to have worked for him. He's converted a bunch of people at the gym and they've all seemed to go nuts. I'm pretty excited. I'm pretty poor, and I know that eating healthy can be expensive, but I've found that, if you plan ahead and cook from scratch, it doesn't have to be. I train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Impact Jiu Jitsu under Michael Chapman, Dewey Nielsen (Head S&C Coach) and Eric Loar. I've always been overweight (topped out around 250 when I was injured last, and I'm 5'11"), but after a month of heavy conditioning with a veg heavy diet, I weighed in at 216 this morning. I've never felt so healthy. With the Vegan thing, so far, I've found that it's nice to have rules that I'm bound by. Before I was just going along and if I ate something bad, oh well, but now I have a specific guideline to follow and honestly it's been easy. I know, it's only been 2 days, but I've cooked amazing meals (that I got from this website ;) and have felt no fatigue or anything like it. Looking forward to chickpea masala leftovers tonight over jasmine rice, and tomorrow I'm doing a black bean dish that I found today. CHEERS!!!!

Hi, Ryan!  Your gym sounds really cool.  I found vegan to be expensive only during my transition when I wanted a burger and would buy frozen veggie burgers.  I spend roughly the same as before because now I eat more produce, but the added expense is offset by cooking from scratch.  It sounds like you've already found some tasty recipes - now I'm hungry for chickpeas.

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wow awesome! congrats on the switch you won't regret it!

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Yay Ryan!
I think a plant base diet helps you be more in touch with your mind and body. I've been Vegan for a little over a year and found that is it expensive if you don't plan ahead, don't cook you own food and if don't eat leftovers.
Start with staples that you already love (beans, potatoes, rice) and add your fresh veggies when you can.  It gets pricey if you do a lot of faux meats and cheeses. I always have blackbean burgers and tofutti for days I just dont want to cook and they are very handy.  Don't be afraid to eat things that "don't match" either.
I did got through a 2 week period of "Detox" I guess where I was not hungry for anything, probalby just my taste buds adjusting but just try new foods so you don't get bored.
Good Luck and it's so great to have a trainer in great shape represent the veggies!!! ;)b
I want chickpeas too!

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Yeah I bought a bunch of bulk beans, rice, lentils and such. The spices were kind of pricey, but I made the Chickpea Masala on Sunday actually (I guess it was 2 days ago I went full vegan), saved the leftovers, ate the same dish Monday, then last night I stuffed another serving of the chickpea masala into  a roasted bell pepper. I also made a super cheap "southwestern" salad that basically consisted of a bunch of veggies, some hot sauce, and a lime vinnegarette that I made. I don't have a mandolin, but I just took the time to cut the veggies (carrots, cuccumbers, tomatoes) super thin and it was great. I've realized that the thing that turns me off to salads is big chunks of raw veggies, so I just put the time in to avoid that and I ate a bowl for lunch and a bowl for dinner with the stuffed pepper. I'm doing a black bean recipe tonight that I'm excited about too. Like I said, plan ahead and cook from scratch and it doesn't have to be expensive.

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p.s. today is my first day dropping the coffee and replacing it with green tea. I'll tell you how it goes.

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oh yes! Green tea is a must.  I find that latin foods are really easy to make vegan, very healthy and make excellent left overs for a brand new dish.  The stuffed peppers sound awesome, I need to try that sometime :)
Do you do any soy protein shakes?

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Just went from whey to soy...

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yay for you :) as far as the spices go, i spent a lot on them at first but consider them an investment, i hardly have to go out and buy spices anymore i have most of the ones i need, if not i just add to the inventory and that's one less spice to buy... i also keep plenty of canned beans and veggies on hand, as well as veggies i constantly use

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w00t! 

You are so awesome in every whey, I mean way! 

I did the coffee switch to green tea, but over the holidays went back to the coffee thing.  I need some inspiration.

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Green Tea certainly isn't the same. That part's been kind of hard. I just have to keep my mind on my priorities. The vegan thing has been awesome though. I've never eaten so good in my life! I generally cook a new dish every 3 days (leftovers in between) and the people around me, who at first were making fun of me, now ask for the recipes.

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Good job on going Vegan! No way I can give up coffee so props for trying to do that. Dude I feel you though, people make fun of you because you are Vegan. It's somehow not manly  to be Vegan or something...my friends kept giving me shit at first. Now they raid my refrigerator and like you said ask for recipes. Kinda funny we had the same experience. Anyway, good luck bro.

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Welcome and congrats on going vegan! I also found that when I went vegan, I started eating waaaaay tastier food. The Standard American Diet is extremely high in addictive chemicals but actually kinda limited in flavor. Plus, I never knew the glory of Vietnamese, Thai, Ethiopian, and West African food. So delicious.

However, I don't know about giving up coffee... I need it! Okay, I kinda sound like an addict but really, it's so good. I'll work on that next!

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, I never knew the glory of Vietnamese, Thai, Ethiopian, and West African food. So delicious.

So true! I just had rice noodles topped with a stirfry of veggies and tofu and spicy peanut sauce. Un-friggin-believable. I could eat that every day for the rest of my life (alright, maybe not, but I'm going to have a hard time saving the leftovers for dinner)

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Why do you need to give up coffee? I know it IS super acidic and obviously the caffeine is bad for you but is there another reason? I am drinking mine with SoDelicious Coconut Milk Creamer which you can find in the health food section of most grocery stores now. They have flavored creamers and regular and you would never know it was different than moojuice. I notice that with the flavored creamers, I don't even need sugar.

One awesome coffee alternative I can recommend that may do the trick a little better than green tea is vanilla chai tea. It's actually a black tea (pretty sure on that, I think some kinds might be red tea) with vanilla chai spices in it. Just add your favorite dairy-free milk-for me in this scenario it'd be unsweetened soy milk and sweeten and you're good! Give it a whirl sometime and if you do let me know how it works out.

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Hi Ryan,

How are you doing so far? We turned vegan around the smae time -- that makes us buddies, eh? ;) I hope you're still hanging in there and feeling great!

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o ya. Haven't been here in a while. I've dropped 50 pounds, my energy level has gone through the roof, I'm training harder than ever, aaaaaand... yeah, pretty much rocking harder than ever. Thanks for the positive reinforcement!

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Ryan, you are the most awesome vegan of all time!!! 

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Congratualtions and welcome to a wonderful vegan family. I direct all newbies to vegetarianism and veganism to this site.

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