Hello :) I am very excited to be going vegan (I'm on day 2!), but I have a lot of bad habits and obstacles in my way that are stressing me out. Just wondering if anyone has some advice on a couple things.
1. I have a job that sometimes does not have lunch breaks. (I'm a court reporter for a freelance company and if the attorneys at my assignment don't take a break, I can't either!) What are good snacks or foods I can keep in my bag to tide me over?
2. I am not a cook. Until yesterday I subsisted on microwave meals or fast food (I'm also kinda lazy). I cooked a meal last night and it took me hours, from shopping to finally sitting down to eat. And I was so worn out I went almost right to bed! I'm really trying, but it feels like such a daunting task to eat the way I really want to. I don't have recipes to just simply alter. It feels like I'm starting from the very beginning, which in a way seems cool, but it's kind of overwhelming. Has anyone else dealt with this kind of start?
1. You can make yourself some trail mix by combining nuts and dried fruit. This will give you some protein and good fats to tide you over.
2. Keep it simple. On the weekend fix some whole grain (brown rice, quinoa ...) and some beans (soak overnight then cook). Keep these in containers in your refrigerator. For a meal you can saute up some vegetables in a little olive oil, then add beans and rice (about 1/2 cup of each) and you have a good meal. You can change the taste by adding soy sauce or salsa or curry powder. Also you can make some vegetable soup by combining any vegetables you have around with some broth or miso and herbs and some sea vegetables and have a cup of this with your dinner each night. Save the more time consuming recipes for when you do have the time.
I've been vegan for a month now and I'm still definitely still getting used to the more practical aspect of it (such as diff. groceries, getting used to ALWAYS having veggies available etc.) some tips I would like to share are: -get lots of different ingredients for snacks like diff. seeds, dried fruit, nuts; never go overboard with any (ex: 2 dried fruits, 5 nuts, etc) they really do their job -I use humus and eat lots of veggies as a snack; the humus keeps it insteresting -the tip about cooking grains and beans ahead of time (ex: weekend) has been terrific for me -for work, I always make myself crazy mix salads, I basically try to keep in mind my portions of grain, veg & beans and then go nuts, for example, lentils, parsley, mint, almonds, cranberries, zucchini, quinoa, seasame seeds and balsamic vinegar (yum!)
-always make enough for 3-4 meals; super practical!
I've been having lots of fun with new ingredients (even the ones I turned out not liking so much haha)
I feel your pain, I started a little over a week ago. Just trying to pick recipes with foods I've not heard of much less tasted...? and it's quite a trek to whole foods store in my area and my local grocery stores don't carry many of the things listed in the recipes and are very limited in the organic section. I am so not a cook either, consequently, I did eat a lot fruit, cereal, eggs, sandwiches, and veggies so acclimating myself to veggies only wasn't a huge stretch, but still going totally vegan is different. So to get started and keeping it simple, I am doing a lot of steamed broccoli and carrots, corn on the cob, brown rice mixed up with different beans with some Ro-Tel tossed in. It's very filling but not in that gross way with meat. I've even gone to a salad bar and got huge salads to go loading up with the sturdier veggies so I can break it up into a couple of different meals. I also get a little tub of this red roasted hummus I use to snack on like a dip with carrots, celery and sometimes a some wheat crackers. For breakfast, oatmeal using soy or rice milk with bananas, raisins and cinnamon. I keep the meals small and "try" to eat about every 3-4 hours but that doesn't mean cooking each time. Either heating something up or eating off the salads. I know it's not organic yet, but it's a start. I am making myself go the whole foods this Thursday with only a limited list so i don't get overwhelmed. I will say focusing on the chewing, eating slow and counting your chews as Alicia describes has really helped in portions and digestion, makes me aware how fast and without thought I used to eat. So for me so far, it's really not so bad, I'm taking a lot of pride in it now. And i joined a co-op! clueless there too but jumping in ready to learn. Hang it there and keep it simple!