I have slowly been reducing the meat in my diet for years, but just haven't cut it out completely until now (today!). I've decided that I must. I haven't read "The Kind Diet" yet, but am reading "Skinny Bitch", which has pushed me over the edge and made me confident this is the right thing to do. I know it won't be easy. I had my husband read some of the book hoping he would want to convert also, but he's a little more stubborn. We don't eat much meat, but he loves his milk and I love my cheese. I've switched to almond, coconut, or rice milk, so I don't miss the cow milk, but I haven't found a substitute cheese I really like.
Anyway, after having my husband read about the treatment of animals, he just says that it's the people that are bad for treating animals that way. He says he'll still eat meat as long as it's organic....but I'm thinking he's not going to turn down regular meat if it is offered to him. He's just not as affected by it as I am. And then he says that there is no way I'll be saving the planet by just my stopping eating meat. So if that's my only reason I'm going veg, it's not a good reason. I told him it's not just that, it's for health reasons. He said he will support me then, but he might still want to eat meat sometimes. I am ok with that as long as I don't have to cook it. Funny, cause he's not a cook, so I guess if he wants it, he'll have to figure it out!
I'm going to start out vegetarian, partly vegan and eventually be full vegan. Vegan includes not just food, but what products we use in our home, clothes we wear, etc, right? I have leather furniture (shame on me!) so now do I get rid of it??
Brooke, congratulations on making the change. I was vegetarian for 5 years in high school/early college. I then met my husband (an avid carnivore) and started eating meat again for about 10 years. About 2 1/2 years ago I decided to go vegan. Meat was not an issue for me, but I have always loved cheese; it is very addictive. Did you know that there are enzymes in cheese that actually make you happy and make you crave even more cheese!? Crazy, I know. Well, the vegan thing only lasted for about 6 weeks or so because I started craving cheese so bad...I just had to have it. So, I reverted back to just being vegetarian. That lasted until about a month ago. I decided to go vegan again (hopefully this time for good). I've tried to do as much as Alicia recommends in the book; I have added lots of whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat pasta, sprouted grain bread and wraps, and lots and lots of veggies). Cutting out as much refined sugar and processed foods has really helped too. It's amazing and I'm rarely hungry anymore, plus I would so rather be cooking my own food now. It's an amazing transformation really. As far as the vegan lifestyle is concerned, I have leather shoes and handbags that I don't plan on selling or giving away. I've put money into those things and they are very good quality. However, I don't plan on buying any more of those types of things if I can help it. So, honestly, if your leather furniture is of good quality and you paid a lot of money for it, I wouldn't sweat it. Good luck!
Thanks Laura! So you haven't found any cheese substitutes you like? That is going to be the really hard part for me as well. I have heard about the casein in cheese being addictive.
Another thing I'm worried about is time contraints. I'm working full time as a programmer away from home and I just started my photography business part time. I will eventually go full time and then hopefully have more choices and time for cooking.
I'm really excited to try the vegan baking recipes! But one of my goals is to lose weight, so I better watch it!
Regarding the cheese issue--Follow Your Heart makes probably one of the best vegan cheeses you can find. I usually buy the cheddar and mozzarella and they are ok. Not hugely crazy about them. They melt the best of all the vegan cheeses out there, but the taste and texture still isn't quite right.I don't use them very often though. If I do use them, I try to incorporate them into dishes instead of melting on top of things. If you try other vegan cheese, be careful because some of the vegan cheeses contain casein. Follow Your Heart does not. There is also nutritional yeast. You can sprinkle it on top of things to give it a nutty cheesy type flavor plus there are recipes where you can make your own cheese sauce from nutritional yeast. As much as I love cheese, this time going vegan I haven't missed it very much because of all of the good foods I am eating. I just don't feel deprived right now. And, if you consistently don't eat it and stay away from refined sugar, you won't crave it or other things nearly as much.
One of my goals is to lose weight as well. I went from vegetarian to vegan about a month ago, and I have lost 13 lbs without feeling deprived at all, or hungry for that matter. I really haven't exercised either, so this 13 lbs loss is simply from cutting out dairy and eggs. Makes a huge difference--just be sure to incorporate as many whole grains into your meals as possible. Without a doubt, they will fill you up quickly and keep you satiated longer.
I too read the "skinny bitch book" (and bought the cookbook) The chapter about the animals grossed me out so bad that I decided to do a 30 day vegan "trail period" I don't miss meat mainly cause I never really ate it anyway, but I do miss cheese. And not the regular kinds like cheddar and mozzarella, but little things like that light sprinkling of parmesan over my veggie pasta. :( Sigh... And I kind of miss salmon... I'm going to look into the follow your heart cheese and the nutritional yeast. All of the cheese alternatives I've tried taste like... soy-veeta! lol (I never liked velveeta) Have you tried coconut bliss frozen dessert? Dark chocolate is like heaven!
Amanda, fair warning on the Follow Your Heart cheese. I don't eat it by itself like I would often do with a block of cheddar cheese. I have not tried to slice it and put it on a cracker so I don't know how that tastes. I have used it in my cooking and baking however, and it does okay. Still doesn't have that cheesy flavor really or texture for that matter, and the melting is not like regular cheese, but it is the closest out there. I haven't tried any other "cheeses" so I can't compare it to anything. Sprinkle the nutritional yeast on your veggie pasta. It might just do the trick, or purchase some vegan parmesan cheese instead.
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