Virgin vegan needs help
I am 47 yeas old and decided to become a vegan. I want a healthy life style. I quit smoking, I quit drinking diet soda but have no real idea what I should eat especially as I have started working out. Vegan meal plans for one person.....any help, advice will be deeply appreciated. Ty
No more cigarettes? Great! No more diet sodas? Excellent! But be gentle with yourself or you'll quit in no time. Try to veganize some of the receips you already know to star and keep adding some others one by one. As for the workout, you'll need a bit more carbohydrates than normal, but unless you're training for a marathon, the meals shouldn't change that much.
I do hope you succed, because it's a great efford for the good, your's and the planet's (I strongly belive it). It's a new life style to be introduced slowly, but strongly and deeply, only that way can be a lasting change in your life. It can be done, whatever people say (I live with 3 non-vegan people!).
Hi there isa vegan triathlete named Brendan Brazier (I almost typed Brendan Fraser--definitely not). Anyway, if you google him you can read about his diet. A couple of years ago he wrote a book titled "Thrive" which I read and found somewhat interesting but along the lines of similar diet/exercise books. I believe his company puts out the nutritional supplement Vega One, which I also use occasionally. Anyway, I am just throwing his name out there as an example of a vegan athlete who is required to perform at very high levels. So I figure if he can do a triathalon on a giant salad, pretty much everyone else can manage on a vegan diet as well.
Susan, are you sure your protein intake is too low? When my children were small I used to worry about their protein intake all the time but then I just decided to research the RDA requirements and be sure they were met. Here is a link to the CDC (center for disease control) website that discusses the protein RDA:
I think I have seen groupings that break the age groups down even further, but let's just assume your RDA is just south of 50 grams per day. A cup of Edensoy Extra has 10 grams of protein. Half a cup of vegetarian refried beans has 7 grams, as does half a cup of canned black beans. Half a block of silken tofu (about 7 ounces) has 15 grams. Two tablespoons of good quality peanut butter on two slices of decent bread has 13-14 grams. Three tablespoons of hemp seeds have 10 grams. And then there are all the processed foods, most of which have pretty high protein counts as well.
I recommend you check out any of the cookbooks by Donna Klein, but especially Supermarket Vegan. That is the book I now bring with me when we go on vacation. The recipes are not OMG incredible, but they are decent to good and they are made with readily available ingredients that you can find in an average supermarket just about anywhere. It doesn't call for anything special (like vegan sour cream) and I think there are only two tofu recipes in the whole book. In the Cookbook Lab forum there is a thread devoted to that cookbook where people review the recipes they have tried.
For foods that have high protein are--
vegan deli meat sandwiches
sugarless peanut butter
Your looking for a tofu egg substitute? Search for a recipe on vegweb for tofu scramble. We have tofu omelet recipes to.
If your looking to substitute eggs in baking search out on vegweb egg substitutes for baking.
egg substitute: flaxseed and water ground (will get gooey) or my personal favourite is cornstarch and water ~1:3. Also chickpeas are pretty easy to cook from dried, just soak them beforehand and the cook in water in about an hour or so.
I'd recommend lentils and whole grain foods. One of my recent articles on my blog was about wholefoods http://myjourneytoawakening.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/wholegrain-foods/
Be a bit careful with soya (soy), as it may not be as good for you as you think. Check some other articles on my blog too, more to come ;)
I've switched a few years ago and never felt better. Good luck!! xx
I just wanted to mention, while I live in Minnesota, I just came back from Spring break in Palacios Texas on the Gulf Coast. I have been vegan for just over two years and I took it for granted how easy it is to find vegan fare up here where I live. I rarely eat out, maybe four times a year on average (I was this way even before becoming vegan), and love to cook from scratch, even with a busy schedule of work and school and daily exercise. I have been active working out and such for five years. But man oh man I went to a grocery store in southern Texas and couldn't even find plain oats, dried beans, almonds, or much produce. Everything was processed junk food. I was appalled. I was able to find some decent food in a grocery store in Port Lavaca (spelling?) and one in Corpus Christi, but there just isn't the selection down there that there is up here, save for the produce which is wonderful down there in the wealthier areas (fresher and riper this time of year...I miss my summer garden right now). I like to eat millet, bulgur wheat, buckwheat groats, tempeh, nutritional yeast flakes, sea vegetables, etc and I could not find those items at all where I was down there. I couldn't even find almond milk. I feel for you. But I hear Houston has some nice vegan restaurants, healthfood stores, and fare. Could you travel there once a month and stock up? I do on occasion order some food items online from Vegan Essentials online store or Pangea etc. I am not big on processed food but I can find whole grains I can't always find in stores by getting it online. I found an organic rice milk powder online also that I use for canoe camping in the wilderness when I need a plant milk that keeps for a long time. It is an option.
I don't eat much seitan but I have made my own a few times. I think it takes some practice to get it right when you make your own. I love lentils though, brown or red or green ones (you can make burgers, loaves, casseroles, soups, spreads, even soak and sprout them raw and eat them crunchy and raw in salads, you name it with lentils they are so versatile), and yellow split pea mango dahl is an awesome dish. A nice whole foods cookbook with easy to find ingredients is the Forks Over Knives cookbook. Lots of vegetables and fruits are incorporated into the recipes in that book. Homemade soups are also a filling and sustainable option. I sometimes make a batch to last for several days. Someone already mentioned the Thrive Sports nutrition for vegans which I also love. Very whole foods and healthy. Check out the magazine "Vegan Fitness" as well as the forum online (Vegan Bodybuilding and fitness...not just for body builders either) if you get a chance. You will find long term vegans with a lot of experience in keeping fit as a vegan. Also, for an egg sustitute other than tofu, google chickpea flour omelette. They are so easy to make, loaded with iron and protein, and filling for few calories. You can add any vegetable you want to it. I have a high speed blender (blendtec) and I can grind my own chickpea flour from whole chickpeas, but you can buy besan (chickpea) flour from a healthfood store or online (Bob's Red mill has it) if you can't find it. A little goes a long way and it will last a while. It has an eggy taste and if you add turmeric spice to it you get a yellow color that makes it look like an egg omelette. I have to limit soy due to thyroid issues so I am always looking for soy substitutes. Also, you can order "the vegg" online also. I have not tried it yet but it is another egg substitute. Google it for more information but it sounds promising from reviews as far as authentic egg taste and texture.
Also, congratulations on quitting smoking and soda. I have been soda free for five years (I drink only homemade smoothies, plant milks including homemade ones, water, tea, and ah hum...coffee...gotta have at least one vice lol)... and quit smoking in 2006. Smoking was the hardest thing for me to give up. That is a HUGE accomplishment. I am 40 years old and went vegan at 38, so not too far behind you. I still love being vegan and what it means ethically, environmentally, and healthwise. I do not need to lose weight (in fact I need to gain) but I did lose quite a bit when I first went vegan and had to eat a LOT to regain it back and not get too sick. I included nuts, seeds, fresh coconut smoothies, seeded whole grain homemade breads, you name it to keep from losing more. My body eventually adjusted though and it feels so natural now being vegan. It sounds like you have a good handle on your health. Good for you! I am sure there are other vegans in Texas, don't give up! Have you tried a Meetup group online? Some vegan forums have state by state forums to find other vegans and vegetarians in your state. I definitely have a new respect for vegans who live in less than hospitable places and trying to make it work. I thought I would always be able to find SOMETHING vegan as we have a diverse diet, but in poorer areas it seems that even simple staples are lacking and processed cheap food is the norm, along with loads of dairy and shrink wrapped meat. Very sad. I am trying to change that up here as far as food shelves and homeless food pantries by donating vegan shelf stable foods (something besides the standard canned ravioli and macaroni and cheese boxed meals offered in those places that people are forced to live with on fixed or no incomes). I think it is so important that everyone have access to decent food. I feel for anyone who is limited geographically and financially and forced to buy cheap overly processed food to survive or because there are no options locally. I am a poor college student myself (working part time and living on loans while in school) but traveling to a place where people were literally dirt poor was an eye opening experience. I have traveled to farm country also, where dairy is a big deal and grains are a bad word and I always stock up with my own food when I know I am going to go to a place like that. No relying on the stores there. Ugh. Best wishes as you continue on your journey! At least it is warmer where you live. :)