Vegan How To Series – Introduction (Why this series?)

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vegan how to 2963b thumb   Vegan How To Series – Introduction (Why this series?)

As the year draws to a close, I’ve been thinking a lot about this space and what I can do in the new year to challenge myself (and hopefully you) in new ways. It probably doesn’t come across this way on the blog, but I often struggle with questions like – What am I doing to make a difference? What can I do to help people and animals? Am I growing on a personal level? Lately, these questions have gone mostly unanswered. Don’t get me wrong, I love sharing my recipes with you (and I know it makes a positive difference based on your feedback – thank you), so I have no plans to stop recipe development. It’s something I enjoy immensely more days than not. But there are other things I could be doing and I’ve felt this pull at my heart strings a lot in recent months. With only weeks to go until my cookbook manuscript is due, I’m feeling worn out and I’m sure this a big reason for the rut I feel like I’m stuck in. The good thing about a rut is that it usually prompts a change for the better (with time). Discomfort prompts motion.

In spirit of change, I’m starting a series on veganism this year – simple posts that can make the transition to a plant-based diet easier. I’m really excited about this. To be honest, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for over a year now, but I tend to suffer from the mindset that if I can’t do it exactly right or if I don’t know all the answers, then I shouldn’t do it at all. Well, this is a rather silly way to go through life, don’t you think? The truth is, I’m the only one holding myself back. I want to share whatever it is that I can offer and trust that it will be helpful for some of you. Even if you have no desire of going vegan or if you are already a vegan yourself, I still hope that this series will be inspiring and peak some curiosity about things you may want to know more about.

Here are some examples of questions I receive every week:

What can I replace yogurt with?

What’s a substitute for sour cream?

I have no idea what to do. Do you have a vegan 101 Series I can read through to get started?

What do you eat each day?

How do I get protein?

What the bleep is a flax egg????

What do I do if I have a craving for an old food?

Why do you soak beans and nuts? Will my husband fart less if I soak his nuts? (Yes someone wrote this once…I almost spit out my drink.)

I want to start TODAY…help me!

It occurred to me that it would be more helpful if I posted my experiences on the blog, rather than simply via email. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few years, it’s that a vegan diet isn’t about what you take away; it’s really about what you add in. I didn’t know this for a long time. For every food that I decided to forgo, I eventually added at least a handful of new, vibrant foods in its place. But first, I had to learn what it is I could add into my diet. This wasn’t easy for me in the beginning and I suspect it’s not for many. Three and a half years into it, I’m still very much learning.

To make this series a success, it’s important for me to have your feedback and input. I’d love to know some of the questions you are struggling with right now or perhaps things you struggled with in the past but triumphed over. Everyone loves a good success story, myself included. [Side note: I’m considering the return of reader success stories, perhaps in a Q & A format – would you enjoy this feature again on OSG?]

For those of you who are making some changes to your diet in 2013, I hope you’ll find this series timely and helpful in your journey. More on all of this very soon.

For more in this series, see:

Part 1: How To Make The Transition

Part 2: Replacing Dairy Milk

Part 3: Homemade Oat Milk

Part 4: Homemade Almond Milk

Part 5:  Ten Tips for eating out as a vegan

I wish you a happy, fun, and safe New Year’s surrounded by the people you love! Happy New Year to you all. Thank you for reading Oh She Glows and bringing me into your home each week. I bid farewell to 2012 filled with gratitude.

Previous Posts

{ 314 comments… read them below or add one }

Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl December 31, 2012

This sounds like a great series!

One question that I have: What are you thoughts on meat substitutes? Do you eat them? If so, what are your favorite brands/products?

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helen December 31, 2012

most meat substitutes are highly processed and contain ingredients that aren’t desirable in any diet. I’ve been vegetarian then vegan for over 25 years before it was fashionable and I’ve researched every angle. plant based protein is more digestible, bioavailable, and found in all plants…many in higher concentration than animal proteins. Organic. fresh tofu, grains, and legumes can be formed I to steaks, patties and roasts that rival animal counterparts. falafel is a perfect example. there are so many sites and recipes on the internet…do your research and be creative….enjoy! :)

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Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl January 1, 2013

Thank you for your reply and advice! I love falafel! :)

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Lindsay V. January 2, 2013

Don’t forget spirulina powder as a supplement if you’re concerned about protein. It’s something like 85% protein, shockingly, and extremely bioavailable.

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Sarah January 2, 2013

Hi Helen,

I agree with you about meat substitutes. I have been in dietary trasition for almost a year now. Instead of looking for any meat substitutes, my family and I gave up all meat and found delicious homemade veg and legume alternatives (try Angela’s lentil loaf – better than any “fake” meat you will ever find!!). We eat tofu, mostly because we love the texture and find it easy to flavour with marinades.

The transiton for us is about real, plant-based foods. For this reason we opt not to eat things like vegan butter spread, vegan mayonaise, etc. I really beleive this is the best route for us.

The journey from meat eaters, to vegetarian and now to vegan has been a slow steady process for us and we have enjoyed it tremendously and are reaping the healthy rewards everyday. We have a healthy vibrant 22 month old and I am expecting another baby in March. We have never felt better :)

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Julie Boyer December 31, 2012

What’s interesting about meat substitutes is that most of them have wheat ingredients. I have been a vegetarian for most of my life and used to enjoy some of these foods – veggies burgers or veggies ground round for a chili or pasta sauce. Now that I’ve found out that I am gluten-intolerant, I realize why I never seemed to digest these products! Angela has shared many great burger recipes in the past, so I know there are so many more flavorful and tummy-friendly ‘meat substitute’ recipes out there.

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Rainbo Mercado December 31, 2012

I agree with Julie! Ive been a vegetarian for over ten years and want to go vegan. I am having a horrid time now that I am gluten intolerant! Can u post more bean adaptable “meats”

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Teresa December 31, 2012

I’m on this page as well; I’ve been vegan for almost 3 years and just recently determined that gluten causes severe sinus problems for me, so I’ve mostly eliminated it from my diet. I’m okay not eating the meat substitutes, but would love additional recipes that are vegan, gluten-free entrees. Also, if you had any suggestions at all for substituting vital wheat gluten, that would be awesome.

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pdw January 1, 2013

I am vegan and grain free (not just gluten free, but no rice, corn, etc.) and although it does take some time to adjust to not eating handy meat analogs, it is possible and even enjoyable. I am happy that I am still able to eat soy and other legumes; I have other friends who are not able to enjoy these foods, and I think it would make it pretty difficult. Mind you, when I was “only” vegetarian, I was afraid of having to go gluten-free. And when I was “only” vegetarian and gluten free, I was afraid of having to go grain free. So I guess you figure it out as the need arises!

My best advice for baking is to start with a vegan recipe, and substitute for the gluten ingredients, rather than starting with a gluten-free recipe and trying to veganize. It just seems to work a lot better that way. My usual sub for wheat flour is 50:50 buckwheat and tapioca, with a little xanthan gum where necessary.

As far as replacing the meat analogs, if you live in the US you have a lot more options, with quorn, tofu pups, sunflower burgers, and Amy’s gf/vegan products, so there are some analogs/convenience foods available. Here there is one brand of veggie burger that is gluten free/grain free that I occasionally get as a convenience, but that’s it. We use lots of beans and lentils for chili, curry, falafel, salads, etc. and tofu for stir fries, baked tofu sides, etc. Plenty of vegan meals don’t need any meat subs at all – pasta/dumplings, wraps, stuffed potatoes, pizza, and so on. Then of course, there are nuts and seeds which, if you tolerate them (I am allergic to some) can be used to top salads and other dishes, make nut loaves, sauces, and so much more.

Look at international dishes, pre-industrial vegetarian recipes (there are a number of vegetarian cookery books available through Gutenberg), raw foodist recipes, and the plethora of vegan and gluten free blogs available online.

You can do it!

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Monique Young January 9, 2013

I’m very green when it comes to this eating style. I recently took the dive for health purposes. Although, the meat substitutes are highly processed and often have the nutrition of fried bread they can help in a class five craving. I find that they have gotten less desirable as I have started to get more recipes under my belt.

As for a favorite, Loma Linda Swiss Steak is pretty amazing.

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Jen Adler December 31, 2012

Hi Angela,
This is so timely! I’ve played with vegan-ism for 21 days a few years ago, but it didn’t stick. Now, I play with vegetarianism. My husband and I have incorporated many of your recipes into our regular routine and he probably eats meat once or twice a week for dinner (lunch is on his own). I’d like to take being a vegetarian for vegan further though.
Last night we watched a documentary on going Vegan and afterwards my husband said he could probably cut out cold cuts and he agreed to be a pescatarian for the month of January and I would be a vegetarian.
Eventually, I’d like to go vegan, but here are my main concerns: social eating – what do you do when someone makes you cake, cookies, or biscuits and you know they have eggs in them, or everyone is getting together for pizza? In-laws are a huge deal for me. My step-mother-in-law is a gourmet and when we go out to eat, she orders and we all share. My mother in law does the traditional Italian Christmas eve with the seven fishes and it would cause such a headache to bring my own dish.
Also, my husband is currently training for a half iron-man and is worried about protein. He’s not really into quinoa and gets tired of beans all the time.
Also a little concerned about some of the prices for substitutions, like buying cashews to make cream, etc.
Thanks!

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Johanna December 31, 2012

Hi there Jen

I saw your post and wanted to respond. Angela, I hope I’m not stepping on any toes here by responding. Love your work and read this blog regularly.

Jen – check out Brandon Brazier’s book – Thrive. He’s a vegan ironman or ultramarathoner and not only has he developed great recipes geared at endurance athletes, but he’s also developed some great vegan protein products, electrolyte replacers etc. I trained for my 3rd and 4th half marathons this summer, followed a lot of his stuff and ran the best I have ever run. I highly recommend it and encourage you and your husband to experiment. It sounds like you are open to new ideas which is the best place to start from.

xo Johanna

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 31, 2012

Yes by all means feel free to respond to others! I’m using this more of a way to inform my future posts. Love reading everyone’s comments.

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Julie Boyer December 31, 2012

And the great book Eat & Run My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek. He shares his journey to becoming vegan and about a dozen recipes too!

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Jen Adler January 1, 2013

Thanks to you too, Julie. Maybe I’ll leave that one on my husband’s nightstand!

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Jen Adler January 1, 2013

Thanks, Johanna. I will check out that book. I knew there were a few extreme athletes out there, but couldn’t remember where I heard about them. Congrats on your marathons!

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Kirsten Lee December 31, 2012

Jen,
I TOTALLY understand your social eating situations, I feel the same way. this christmas, my mom hosted, and she knows I am trying to go vegan. I gave her suggestions for side that I could eat. When you go to someones home or out, I have no idea! We’ll make it through!

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Mélanie January 2, 2013

For going to someone’s house, I always mention that I don’t eat meat, dairy or eggs and I always bring a vegan dish to share.

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Sarah January 2, 2013

Social eating has been the most challenging aspect of changing our eating habits as well. One way around it is to always bring a dish or two with you when going to other people’s houses for meals. I always bring a salad chock full of veggies and sprouts and grains (quinoa or brown rice pasta). Accompanied by a homemade dressing, it is always a hit. When we go to a restaurant (which is rare because we love to prepare our own food and hate the uncertainty of restaurant options and ingredients) we don’t expect to get a high-nutrient meal – it’s a compromise for the sake of being social, but there is always a salad on the menu :)

I find the more we educate our family on the reasons for our change, the more open poeple are to alternatives and to trying new things themselves.

PS – I always have a containter of nuts, homemade energy bars and/or fruit in my purse :)

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Taylor December 31, 2012

Just curious – was the film you watched Vegucated? I also watched that last night, if so. What a funny coincidence that would be!

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Melissa December 31, 2012

I have been a vegetarian for more than 20 years without ever considering going vegan, but I just watched Vegucated and am now giving it serious thought. Pretty gruesome.

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Jen Adler January 1, 2013

It was Vegucated! Funny. We’ve watched a bunch and some like Food Matters that I thought were more informative and would have more sway with my husband didn’t convince him as much as this one did.

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Patty January 2, 2013

I watched Vegucated on the 31st too! I saw this today and thought how timely it was.

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Erin January 2, 2013

I watched it too…I grew up in a farming community and am married to an avid hunter…I thought I knew a lot about where our food comes from but really had my eyes open. I’m not sure if I am ready to become vegan, but have been thinking much more critically about what I eat since watching it. My plan for this year is to gradually reduce my intake of animal products. I think the thing that bothered me most was the eggs…I try to follow the Eat Clean diet which is heavily dependent on dairy and eggs. I’ve found it easy to reduce my intake of meat pretty dramatically, its the eggs and and dairy that I’m struggling with. Ang – advice on sources or probiotics and eggs (so quick, easy and transportable) would be great. Especially ideas for brunch and breakfasts for social gatherings.

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Mélanie January 2, 2013

Hi Jen,
I found social eating to be the biggest obstacle for me when I went vegan 2 years ago. It does get easier as time goes by because the people in your life know and start to remember that you are vegan and so don’t (or rarely) offer you non-vegan foods. It find it’s matter of deciding that you are worth it. You deserve to eat what you want and not eat what you don’t want. You alone get to decide what you put into your body. That is not being “selfish” or unreasonable, it’s a basic right. I found it helpful to just calmly tell people, “I’m no longer eating meat, dairy or eggs” and just leave it at that. No jugement or explaination needed. If people ask why, which they often do, I would just tell them it was for health reasons and that I felt much better this way. Just pick out and practice your go-to answer and stick with it. If you reamain consistent and don’t act self-rightous or like you’re depriving yourself, people will eventually accept it. Be confident! And if you’re not, fake it. It will come :)

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Chloe January 8, 2013

I agree with Brendan Braizer’s book recommendation (although I find him to be a bit pushy on his own products, but does include DIY recipes). I would also check out the ‘No-Meat-Athlete’ community (on Facebook, etc.) I am a triathlete and 95% vegetarian (I eat sustainable seafood sometimes) and I find they have great resources. I have found shakes (which angela has great recipes for) with Hemp powder to be useful.

Also, a book called Eat to Live, was transformational for me. It shows how much protein veggies actually have and makes the case for plant-based diet, with good info on protein. The big challenge I find for athletes is being gluten free and veggie, as many of the protein/energy bars out there have gluten (less so in US, but here in NL its tough). Good luck. It’s totally doable!

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Kaila @healthyhelperblog! December 31, 2012

Great idea ange! EVen though I’m not vegan I love making vegan swaps when I cook! So I can’t wait to see what tips you share!

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Stacy L. December 31, 2012

Angela – This is really great and I’m definitely looking forward to your new series and to see what comes from the current tension/struggle of thinking through future direction of OSG. You’re right, that tension does indeed prompt reflection, consideration, and eventually change and progress – so I hope you find joy in even the season of tension, but I know it’s not always easy!

Some of the topics I either currently wrestle thinking through, or have in the past are:
1. Fueling an active lifestyle – am I getting great enough diversity of foods in my diet to fuel my active lifestyle?
2. Pursuing a healthy balance in life – specifically balance in caring for my body well (ie: balance between pushing myself physically & rest/repair for my body, emotional rest, etc…)
2. I loved how you wrote – “it’s that a vegan diet isn’t about what you take away; it’s really about what you add in….For every food that I decided to forgo, I eventually added at least a handful of new, vibrant foods in its place.” I completely agree with you on this! Prior to being more adventurous with foods, I often felt dumbstruck in the grocery store and would revert to the “same old, same old”. Over time I’ve actually come to look forward to my trips to the grocery store each week and challenge myself to find one new and exciting item each time. I have been so thankful that you’ve challenged me to consider exploring new foods (and activities) that I believe has made me healthier all around.
3. “How’s to’s” of various sorts – especially vegan baking. I, and I believe many others, fail at vegan baking all the time.

I really like the idea of Success Stories from readers. They’re always encouraging, challenging, and inspiring.

Thanks so much!

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Barbara Clough December 31, 2012

I think your plan for 2013 is great! My graduate school daughter and I have been struggling a bit over 2012 trying out different recipes, but it’s exhausting sometimes. Would be nice to know your typical fall-back recipes for during the week. (quick/easy, tasty and nutritious would be a BIG bonus) Also, what are your standard cupboard/fridge/freezer items that you always have on hand. And lastly, I have tried squeezing water out of tofu – time consuming and a pain – most recently, it crumbled into bits instead of staying in 1 piece for me to cut up nicely…..guess I’m in a rut too!

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Christine December 31, 2012

For the tofu pressing, I hated trying to use plates, trays, or cans. I bought a Tofu Xpress off Amazon. It was only ~$40. It even has a lid to use it as a marinating tray after the press. I’d highly recommend the Tofu Xpress.

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Mary January 1, 2013

Me too, it rocks!! Worth every penny.

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Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl January 1, 2013

I just got a tofu press for Christmas and I LOVE it! If you cook with tofu frequently then you should definitely look into getting one.

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Rebecca December 31, 2012

Try baking it first. Cut it into triangles and throw it on a cookie tray. 350 for about a half hour. t gets rid of the liquid without taking up your time!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table December 31, 2012

I love this idea! I was vegetarian and then vegan for a while, but decided to incorporate meat back into my diet. However, I still love eating a (mostly) plant-based diet and am a firm believer that vegans have for fun in the kitchen. I love the creativity that’s required!

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Becky December 31, 2012

My whole family has committed to going plant based in 2013. I have “collected” dozens of recipes from the Internet that are vegan but I can see that I need to focus on hearty meals that will keep my family, especially my husband, interested. They are turned off by weird sounding recipes and dishes with a lot of unfamiliar ingredients. My goal is to try to learn to prepare vegan meals that are simple and “normal” looking. :). I guess that is not really a question but are instead things that I am looking for.

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Terra January 1, 2013

Congratulations, Becky! That’s a great commitment for your family. Enjoy the good life!

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Kim L. January 1, 2013

Hey Becky! You should check out the book “Fresh Vegan from the Slow Cooker,” it has many great family recipes that are simple to throw together! Good luck :)

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Christina Shumway December 31, 2012

Thank you for this!

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Heather December 31, 2012

Awesome Ange – I am so excited to follow along with this new blog series!

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Goddesswifemom December 31, 2012

I am REALLY looking forward to this series. I have been struggling with an eating disorder now for over a year, since the extremely premature birth of our son at 26 weeks, and I would really like to finally overcome it but it’s so hard to break the habit of the familiar.

I have been making various recipes of yours for over a year, here and there, and LOVE them. I want to gain the needed weight but I’d like to do it in a healthy way and not just eat junk like everyone suggests. I have been thinking of going totally vegan but wasn’t sure where to start so this is perfect. I hope to be a success story in 2014. :)

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Laura December 31, 2012

I would love a series like this! Like an earlier commenter, I have difficulty with social situations. I don’t want to seem rude and not eat the meal someone has prepared, and I feel like it can come across as “I’m better/healthier than you” if I bring my own meal. Also, hosting company that is used to a “meat and two sides” type of meal can be a challenge. Lastly, I am allergic to tree nuts so I’d be interested in some nut-free meal ideas (particularly main dishes). Thanks for all your great recipes and insights!

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Cady December 31, 2012

Happy New Year to you, Angela. It’s interesting to read your thought process behind the blog, and that’s a great reminder to turn that “stuck
in a rut” feeling into a positive chance for change. I’ll look forward to this new series. I would like to read suggestions on eating enough protein (as well as knowing what is enough). I am not vegan but I have been trying to be a more healthy eater the past couple of years. Your blog has been very helpful and motivating, so many thanks!

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Bethany :0) December 31, 2012

Congratulations! I so look forward to learning more from you about veganism itself. Your leap into a new year with new and expanding goals that honor what you truly want is inspiring.

A question that I deal with week to week is how to stretch my money, and I’m wondering if there’s any way you can integrate the low cost of veganism into your new blog and how to find lower cost ingredients (in particular nuts). I feel this might be a valuable insight for others working on a tight budget, too.

Thank you! I have so loved following Oh She Glows over the years and plan to keep spreading the word about your awe-inspiring blog!

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Kathryn Bardolph December 31, 2012

Hello – My nutritionist has encouraged me to stay away from soy. And I would like to embrace a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle that uses the food God gives us – without adding a bunch of meat substitutes, etc. I like the idea of celebrating the healthy food and making it so tasty that no one would want to go back to crap.

All that said, I love the recipes of yours I’ve tried – a few have become staples in our home. I’m excited about your blog idea for 2013. Love and peace to you, Angela.

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Amélie December 31, 2012

I will definitely be following this series!
My boyfriend and I have been vegetarian for about 3 years now and last week he announced to me that he was giving up dairy for the new year. As much as I am informed on the topic and agree fully with his decision and know it’s the right thing to do, I can’t seem to bring myself to follow suit. I wake up one day and believe that I can commit to this and the next day I’m thinking the opposite. I know I can give up on milk and butter without a problem because there are great substitutes, but never until now have I thought that I have an emotional attachment/dependency to a food, and I’m talking about cheese :/ And I’m not talking about daily consumption here, it’s only just a rare indulgence, but one that I can’t bring myself to think I could happily live without.
Were you a big cheese eater before going vegan? Do you crave it? Have you found a good substitute? I don’t like Daiya or any vegan cheese substitutes I have tried.
Also, I am a bit scared of how it will be like being guests at other people’s for a meal as well as going out for a fancy meal in a restaurant (options are thin in Montreal…)
Anyway, this comes in good time and hopefully you can convince me! :)

Amélie

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Teresa December 31, 2012

Amelie,

Cheese was the hard thing for me to give up too! I do like Daiya, but I recognize not everyone enjoys it. When I took the vegan plunge I didn’t have any cheese substitutes for the first several months, which I think helped when I started experimenting. And honestly, I didn’t-and don’t-miss it as much as I thought I would. That being said, I really, really love Wayfare’s Hickory Cheddar spread. It isn’t the same type of cheese as Daiya, but I’m an addict. I also cook with nutritional yeast a lot and just got an Artisan Vegan Cheese cookbook, which I am excited to experiment with. You might look further into these to see if any will suit your needs!

Good luck!
Teresa

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Mélanie January 2, 2013

Hi Amélie,
Cheese is a hard one, I found I had a real emotional attachment to it. However, once I gave it up for a while, I didn’t crave it anymore. As time went on, I craved it less and less. Now, I don’t crave ir at all. Also, I rememeber how I felt after eating it and I really don’t miss that. I don’t use a replacement per se, but I like putting baked marinated tofu cubes in soups ans salads to sort of recreate the effect of cheese cubes. Also I make my own vegan parmesan (1 part cashews and 2 parts nutritional yeast in food precessor) to add to pasta and dips. Delicious! As for being a guest in other people’s homes’, it just a matter of being confident, comfortable and consistent. And always bring a dish to share.

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Tamara Paton December 31, 2012

What a FANTASTIC idea! Thank you for launching this and at just the right time.

I’ve been completely veggie for about 6 months now and your site has helped me nudge along the spectrum towards vegan. I think we are very close to going vegan at home, with some flexibility when eating out or at other people’s homes. The going vegan posts you’ve proposed will get me all the way there.

In addition to sharing ideas about HOW to go vegan, it might be helpful to share info on the WHY part of the equation. There are so many great documentaries and websites out there and I find them really motivating. It would be great to learn about more information sources.

I really like the reader stories posts, especially if they include links to the reader’s favourite OSG recipes. You have so many great recipes on this site and it would be great to rediscover those that are not in my regular rotation.

As an aside, I used to be employed by Harlequin and I remain a freelance consultant for the company. I’m very excited to see your book hit the shelves!

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Shilpa December 31, 2012

Lovely idea Ange. I decided to become a vegan last year and have stuck with it. I was raised vegetarian, so the transition wasn’t really bad – just had to cut out dairy; never did eggs. This year I would like to eat more fruits and veggies and help my hsband and daughter do that as well – my daughter is a vegan as well. She is very picky and dislikes most vegetables. Is there any way I could make veggies more appealing to her? I have tried various techniqes but nothing has worked so far. Some kid friendly recipes would be great. Thanks so much. And a very happy new year to you and your family.

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Greta December 31, 2012

I second this request for kid-friendly veggie recipes! My boyfriend’s kids have recently request more vegetarian dinners, and I’m thrilled to oblige – but “meat-free” to them means huge plates of pasta, baked beans and toast, or just french fries and ketchup. The bf and I are happy with a bowl of spiralized veggies or sauteed greens, but that doesn’t really work for them. Any ideas would be great!

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Katie December 31, 2012

Seriously Angela this post could not have come at a more perfect time. A long time follower of your blog (which has already changed me and my family in more ways than one), I have looked at Veganism in a whole new light but couldn’t commit to it fully. Last night, I sat down and watched “Vegucated” on Netflix and made a promise right then and there to make the change. I want to start of the new year right. You have already made such a impact in my life but this series would help me tremendously. I want to thank you for all that you do and even though we don’t know eachother, I feel better knowing you’re there for support.

Happy New Year!!

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Lea December 31, 2012

Its amazing how a documentary can inspire change and how Oh She Glows and this new blog can assist us in making it happen. I saw the documentary too and I’m getting emotional just thinking about it. And Angela, in answer to your 3 questions at the beginning of this blog entry….you already have……

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Stephanie December 31, 2012

I’m struggling with an added 20+ pounds right now. 2 yrs ago I was high raw diet and felt great, was also running 3-5 miles/day, but i’m dealing with tendonosis right now…thankfully physical therapy is helping, so I hope to get back to my active lifestyle. On the other hand, my biggest struggle is the ridicule and sarcasim I get from my family about my diet. Its hard on my mind and I think my poor self image is a result of this too. I struggle with finding things my family loves so I can cook for us all with one recipe/meal instead of always cooking for them and I end up not even wanting to eat because I don’t want to think about what I can have or should have. I just want to be happy with food again!!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat December 31, 2012

I think you’re going to have a lot of questions coming your way on this one Ange! Oh, and “Discomfort prompts action” –> AMEN to that!! I totally agree and often find myself feeling that way as well. I can’t wait to see the rest of the posts in this series Even though I’m not vegan, I love learning more about the adaptations that can be made to every-day dishes to make them suitable for everyone. Happy New Year!

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Kimmoy December 31, 2012

I would like to see more information on preparation and grocery shopping. I drool over your recipes, but I could use more help in knowing what I should have on hand to make it easier to whip up whatever feeds my fancy. I like the idea of meal plans for beginners too. I’d also like to see substitutes for cheeses :)

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Jolene J. December 31, 2012

Angela, this could not come at a better time! I have used your blog as a resource for the past 5 months or so! I love it and have gotten so many good ideas for breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner….and a lot of the recipes are so tasty my husband does not mind when I make them :) I found out last May that I had an allergy to dairy and eggs, so while I can have meat basically my entire diet is vegan. I have decided in 2013 to become fully vegan and I know it is a lifestyle that I can stick with that will over all make me feel better about food decisions.
My only thing that I struggle with is that there are hardly ever any quick, on the go meals to make as a vegan and sometimes that can get exhausting. Do you have any suggestions for quick snack ideas?
Also, I am assuming your husband eats meat, so how do you do you make meals work so that both of you can eat them?
Finally, how do you suggest to make it work when going to a family function and no one else is vegan? I struggled with that a lot this Christmas (however, my husbands side of the family is very supportive and helped me out a lot!)….
Anyway, THANK YOU again for bringing this series onto the blog, I for sure will enjoy it and learn from it! :)

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April December 31, 2012

I can’t believe you left us hanging with the nut soaking question! Was the reader referring to the husband’s nuts or the nuts the husband consumes? Either way, I am looking forward to the answer too! :)

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Zoe@loseweightandgainhealth December 31, 2012

I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog. It is one of a handful I look at EVERY day. I do not want to become a vegan but read it because I am trying to lose weight and gain health. I like to eat vegan foods and want to add more vegan meals to my life in 2013 so i am really looking forward to your new series.
Please don’t feel stuck in a rut. Your blog does not seem at all rut like. I enjoy every post you put out there. You are one of the bloggers I would most like to meet as you seem such a lovely person and I have really enjoyed watching your photography develop this year. My aim for 2013 is to improve my photography. So you inspire my photography and healthy eating. Happy New year to you :-)

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Cook Snap Savour December 31, 2012

This will be so helpful! Can’t wait to see the rest!

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Lauren December 31, 2012

Angela, you have absolutely made my day! I have struggled with converting entirely to a plant based diet for quite some time now. My main setback would be that I am the only one in my family of four that hates meat. How do I incorporate a vegan diet with my meat-loving family?
Also, how do I grocery shop wisely and spend less? I absolutely love the grocery, but sometimes feel lost and overwhelmed once I get there.
Keep doing what your doing, your blog is amazing! My mother in law just converted to becoming vegan so your blog has been a great topic of conversation for us :)

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Karen December 31, 2012

That sounds so exciting! I have started flirting with going vegan. My husband and daughter will probably not be on board, but I really want to do this! Thank you Angela!

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Cris Z. December 31, 2012

Love learning from your blog! Although I have no desire to be completely vegan I am mostly interested in incorporating as much fresh fruit and veggies for the healthiest life I can live. I always enjoy your recipes that focus on an abundance of fresh fruit and veggies! You are an inspiration for a healthy way to live!

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Abby @ Change of Pace December 31, 2012

I love this idea! I’ve been a reader of your blog for a couple years now. My husband has been vegetarian for almost three years and vegan for a year and a half. I’ve found many awesome recipes from you and other bloggers, so I think I learned a lot through here.
I’m by no means an expert though and would love any advice or information you provide!
Oh, and I love success stories!
Happy New Year, Angela!

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Natalie December 31, 2012

I would LOVE this. My questions are, what are some easy meals with few ingredients that would be quick to prepare after a long day at the office? I would love if you had some crockpot vegan meals as well! Also, I’m so confused on protein… some say you lack it in a vegan/veg diet, others say we actually need far less than we think. What are good protein sources other than beans (I get tired of them so fast) and quinoa (I’ve tried so many times, but I just don’t like it)? Also, if you could provide more details on where to find certain ingredients in your recipes… like cocoa nibs? I’ve searched high and low. Also, is it possible to eat vegan without breaking the bank? So many products and ingredients in your recipes I’ve found at the store, but are so expensive! But yes, I understand that you get what you pay for!

Also, I loooove your more personal posts, so I would love to see more of those in the new year.

That was a lot of questions. Looking forward to this series, I read your blog every day! All best in 2013!

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Megan M. December 31, 2012

I’m definitely looking forward to your series! The two HUGE issues for me are budget and being able to find required ingredients in my area’s grocery stores!

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Christina Summers December 31, 2012

This is a great idea Angela! I became vegan April 2012 and have not looked back since! Of course there are those times I would eat something then later realize that there was some form of dairy, egg or honey in it. All you can do is live and learn. My husband decided that a plant based diet is also for him last week. I am more than thrilled that he is doing this for himself. He is now going through the same “growing pains” that I did. The other night he came home with a headache, I asked if he had enough protein which he replied no. Sure enough after getting some protein into him, his headache went away. This will be helpful for both of us along our vegan journey.

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Cindy December 31, 2012

Thank you so much for doing this series!! 2013 is the year I finally go vegan, a decision I have been struggling with for a couple of years. I have been vegetarian for a while, but I am ready to make the leap.

My question: How do I deal with the negativity of others when I communicate my decision? My family does not understand my desire to be vegan, and I feel like I inconvenience them even if I try not to by bringing food to share.

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Brittany December 31, 2012

I absolutely LOVE this blog and I look at it every day! I am always so excited to see new posts. Thank for all of your hard work and dedication to this blog; I know it helps countless people and blessed us followers immensely!

I also would love to hear how us fellow vegans tell our non-vegan friends/family that we eat a vegan/plant-based diet? So far, many people I’ve encountered do not support it or know much about it, and I haven’t found “the” thing to say right off the bat to people.

Also, I LOVE LOVE LOVE being vegan and consider it one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, but I have found that I dread going to restaurants, especially with non-vegan people. My biggest fear is that going to non-vegan-friendly restaurants will leave others with the impression that being vegan means you can only eat iceberg lettuce salads with oil & vinegar dressing. Anyone else know what I mean?

I just want to prove to others that it’s possible to have amazing food when dining out, but I don’t know how to handle this when dining at non-veg-friendly places!

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Savannah December 31, 2012

I started my New Year’s resolution a bit early and have cut out all dairy. I was vegan for about a year but drifted back, mostly because I got lazy but also because I have a cheese addiction! The “fake” stuff just doesn’t do it! I have decided rewarding myself with better skin will be worth it. I’ve been a long time reader and have seen many of your “cheesy” recipes….I think it’s time to actually make one! :)
Happy New Year!
ps-The nuts part totally made my day.

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Rebeca E. December 31, 2012

I love this idea, I’ve been slowly transitioning into a more plant based diet but feel like I’m unable to let go of eggs, poultry, or seafood. As well, my difficulty lies that my iron levels are extremely low, and I’m finding it hard to eat iron rich plant based foods (usually now I’m mixing pumpkin seeds with a source of vitamin C like kale, spinach, strawberries etc.) and taking an iron supplement. As well, I train a lot, and as a result I find it difficult to find that post workout protein that I usually crave in forms of poultry, seafood etc.

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Melissa December 31, 2012

This is exactly what I need! I am making the transition into veganism, and while it doesn’t seem overly difficult now, I definitely am going to need some advice when school starts back. Being a grad student, I am so busy during the semester that I struggle with how to eat healthy, let alone eat vegan. So, I guess some tips/advice would be helpful with how to be a healthy vegan while constantly on the go.

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Kristina December 31, 2012

“Discomfort prompts motion.” – I *LOVE* this. Great idea, it would be incredibly helpful to have such a series! Happy new year, may it bring you great things. :)

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Jennifer December 31, 2012

This couldn’t have come at a better time! I’m making 2013 my year of clean eating and I’ve been flirting with the idea of going vegan. I’ve been a reader of your blog for a while now and I’m really looking forward to these posts. Happy New Year!

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Jessica December 31, 2012

I echo earlier comments. I am a single mother of three teenagers with voracious appetites. I decided to move progressively toward a plant-based diet in 2012, even if my kids want me to make periodic traditional, non-vegan meals for them. Pre-planning, knowing what to stock, understanding new foods and substitutes for old ones, and having quick meals at the ready–these have been early challenges for me in 2012. I look forward to your blog. What perfect timing!

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Susanne December 31, 2012

Angela,

I also think the “how to” series is a wonderful idea. I love your recipes and have been making many of them throughout the past years. I am not a full vegan but I am very interested in going vegan. At this time, I am not really sure how to make the transition. Some of your readers stated above that they worry about social situations. I feel the same way. How do you handle pressure to conform from friends, family and colleagues? Also, I would love to see some recommendations on how to cook delicious vegan meals on a budget.

Keep up the great work and happy new year.

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