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liminal's avatar

Is there something you thought you would certainly miss before you started eating a vegan or vegetarian diet, has the missing lasted?

Asked by liminal (7714 points ) March 6th, 2010

When I was first considering switching to a plant based diet I remember constantly thinking about the things I would be abstaining from. Dairy being the one thing I dreaded most.

Then I discovered coconut milk, oh my, the things one can do with that! I also found earth balance and my love for butter was not completely forgone.

How about you, what did you dread giving up? Did you find a substitute? Or, did you end up not really missing it?

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37 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

How much fat is in the coconut milk?

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

I was worried about hot dogs (of all things) and eggs. I find the Smart Dogs to be just fine and can be cooked in just about any fashion and as for eggs, I’ve learned to scramble up tofu. Tastes almost identical and doesn’t put my health at risk, so I can have it every day! Woo hoo!

Your_Majesty's avatar

I’m a half-vegetarian(at least 75% vegetarian and 25% non-vegetarian). I choose to eat vegetable based dish most of the time. I don’t feel that I’ve lost something I like. I’ll give up everything for health reason. After all,when you get used to vegetarism lifestyle you’ll tend to love all their taste and forgot about non-vegetarian taste. As an addition,coconut milk contain more cholesterol than normal milk,so it’s better for you to consume soy milk.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I don’t want to answer under false pretense because I don’t follow a veggie diet, but I enjoy alot of the ideas.

fathippo's avatar

I haven’t eaten meat/ fish for a long time, and didn’t miss anything then; but now I am trying to be vegan, it is so hard with all the wine gums. I try to get some kind of a fix from what vegan things I can find, but it’s just not the same (love hearts are vile).
I have been caving in too often. =/

About the milk thing, I have ze rice stuff it is awesome =)

liminal's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe and @Doctor_D I don’t know much about the fat content of coconut milk. I know there is a difference depending on if you make it or what brand you buy. I use it to make things. (okay I use it to make ice cream sometimes, but who says ice cream is supposed to healthy :P). I use almond milk, soy, and rice for drinking situations.

Seek's avatar

I thought about doing a vegetarian diet once. Then I looked at all the processed food and chemicals Vegetarians are required to consume to get out of eating nothing but cold, bland veggies.

Now, I’m on a sort of modified version of the Paleo Blueprint, or “Caveman Diet”. Nothing processed, no substitutions.
It’s basically a no dairy, no grains, no refined sugars. Fat is good. Sugar is what kills you. Eat as much meat, veggies, fruits and nuts as you want. I’m never hungry, though sometimes I really crave chocolate cake. I don’t even miss milk and cheese.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@liminal I know it’s usually the one to watch out for, something like 97 percent saturated fat, but the ice cream idea is killer.

Supacase's avatar

@fathippo Have you tried the vegan wine gums?

I had no idea what wine gums were until I looked them up. Seem to be what we call gummies in the US.

liminal's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I hear you about the processed stuff! I do make an exception with the earth balance. I actually enjoy the taste of my own almond milk and butter better than store bought. I wonder if there is a way to get cocoa beans and make one’s own chocolate? I must find this out!

liminal's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe your input is still appreciated :)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I have a couple of veg cookbooks. I’ll see if they have anything, and of course theres always google.

talljasperman's avatar

slow cooked beef ribs in barbeque sauce…. then I missed milk and honey…then I switched back to the four food groups after becoming 100lbs underwieght

liminal's avatar

Your answers here lead me to this question.

fathippo's avatar

@Supacase Those are the things. =)
Kind of expensive, but it may be worth it, because I am nearing an addict.
Thankyou..!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr wait, what processed foods? as vegans we eat no such things.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I thought I’d miss chicken and fish but found meat substitutes to be perfectly acceptable. I’m vegan-lite because I sometimes eat regular ice cream since nothing comes close to Haagen Daaz (misspelled)

liminal's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir ice cream, sigh, it is so wonderful.

Seek's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir

1. I said “Vegetarians”.

2. Walk into any health food store. To the right you will see organic produce. Probably an aisle or two at most. To the left of that will be aisle upon aisle of boxed pastas, processed grain products, breads, soy protein-based meat alternatives, fake butter, fake yogurt, fake milk…. to the right of THAT will be nearly as many aisles of protein shake mixes, supplement powders, and vitamins meant to replace everything you’re missing with an animal-free diet.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Okay, vegetarians – doesn’t matter still – I suppose vegetarians like anyone else can have bad food practices but it’s not because of their vegetarianism – no one should eat processed foods – we’ve had not trouble finding whole grain anything and everything, meat alternatives that list ingredients we can understand – all the products that are ‘fake’ as you say have nothing processed in them, they are no worse for you (only better) than the real stuff. As far as supplements and vitamins, everyone’s missing those no matter their diets – people have no clue how much protein, calcium, calories they’re supposed to be consuming. Certain things like Vitamin D or many of the b-complex vitamins people don’t get enough of, especially if you have more of a focus on protein foods and less on veggies. Because vegetarians and vegans focus more (so it is hoped) on getting nutrients out of veggies, they get more vitamins even without the supplements. I can tell you that when I was a meat eater, I actually ate less protein than I need because I never cared to find out how much I should consume. Because I simply can’t eat tons of food these days (my stomach has gotten smaller) I do use a protein powder supplement sometimes to make sure I hit my protein for the day even after all the soy milk, soy meat substitutes, seitan, beans, and veggies – I mix it with acai berry and bananas and soy milk and it’s a great start to a good day of metabolism. Anyway, just wanted to point out that meat eaters should also be on supplements because there is nothing in meat other than protein and we need more than that – we need all the vitamins, we need b-complex vitamins, we need D3 (unless you eat a crazy amount of mushrooms and live outside), we need all the omegas (and there are many different kinds…many that can’t be found in fish…and no one consumes enough fish to get a good amount) and a bunch more stuff.

rangerr's avatar

I was really sad about missing out on my granddad’s deer jerky at first. It’s one of the staple foods in my family.. so it was a bit weird not having it at first, but I’ve forgotten what it tastes like so that thought isn’t in my head anymore.
Luckily, a lot of barbecue sauces are vegetarian/vegan, so I haven’t had to miss that taste either. Tofu soaked in barbecue sauce is great.

liminal's avatar

@rangerr I’ve never put bbq sauce on tofu before… do you do anything to the tofu before adding the sauce?

rangerr's avatar

@liminal A lot of the time, I’ll grill it.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I was a vegan for over a year. It was very healthy….for a while. You need to at least eat fish to get all your b vitamins naturally. malnutrition can kill your health and supplements don’t seem to do the trick. Be sure you eat organic as the risk of cancer increases when consuming produce that has been genetically modified and pesticide sprayed. Most soy is genetically modified and I stay away from it. Coconut is extremely healthy, don’t let the saturated fat scare you. Not all saturated fat is the same or even bad for you.

Kraigmo's avatar

I dreaded giving up cheese and pepperoni. I never did eat pepperoni again, but I do eat cheese. But I prefer soymilk over real milk, and soy cheese over real cheese… but only certain quality brands.

Seek's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir

Having to worry about all of that sounds like a miserable way to live.

I take a multivitamin every morning, just to make sure I’ve got my bases covered just in case, but gods… number-crunching every meal would drive me insane.

I suppose it all comes down to my personal perception. I’ve never met a Vegan that looked healthy. I’ve never met a Vegan who was stronger than me (pound for pound). I’ve never met a Vegan who was any fun to have around in situations where food was concerned. Food is fun, IMO, and having to hear “Oh, I can’t eat that” or “Do you know what that animal had to go through?!?!” at every dish is maddening.

I’m on a restricted diet as well, I don’t consume dairy products or grains. However, if I’m at a birthday party, I am not going to say “no” to a piece of chocolate cake or a slice of pizza just to save my morals.

Also, yes, Tofurky and Veggie-Burgers are processed food. They are bad for you, especially if you’re a growing boy. Soy is horrible for you – it raises body estrogen and leads to cancer in females and serious problems in males.

Which isn’t surprising, as I’ve never seen a 100 year old Vegetarian, much less a vegan, and I used to work in nursing homes.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr It’s nothing to worry about, actually – just like you’re following the diet your blog about, we are aware of how to properly supplement ourselves and it’s nothing that brings us any misery. No number crunching, once you know what you need, you find where to shop and that’s that. As per never meeting anyone vegan, here is a picture of my family – we’re all vegan, do we look healthy to you?
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=50184849&l=6365f6ae30&id=805316
and we have just as much fun with food as we can especially now that we don’t have to worry about the animal abuse. And when we’re someplace and there are no alternatives, we can wait or we eat whatever is given – we’re not really all that radical about it. Veggie burgers of a really good brand have only vegetables in it, nothing processed and the links between soy, estrogen and cancer are a hotly contested topic – we don’t only consume soy products, obviously, because we’re all about whole grains, fiber, vegetables rather than soy or tofu – we eat seitan and veggie subsitutes that have nothing to do with soy so overall I think you’re pretty misinformed and just need to be more open minded. Just because you worked in nursing home (I’m sorry what a biased sample) doesn’t mean much – vegetarians and vegans are healthier on a couple of levels than meat eaters – my husband will provide you with some of that information. But I’ll leave you with this
http://www.faqs.org/nutrition/Smi-Z/Soy.html

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr It’s not really about number crunching, it’s actually just as easy once you get into the habit, and you know you’re getting all your nutrients… which is more than most people can say.

Lots of vegans are healthy and lots are unhealthy, just like meat eaters, and this vegan could kick the crap out of all of us… probably even if we ganged up on him.

Food is fun… but it need to be fair as well. Like for the Chickens that have to have their beaks trimmed because it’s so hard for us to deal with them acting like chickens. It’s also horrifically unhealthy

The oldest person alive is a Vegetarian

Soy hasn’t been definitely determined or linked, but meat eating has been difinitively linked to to heart disease cancer and high cholesterol

Meat has gotten significantly more dangerous as the advent of factory farming has made antibiotics less effective, spread disease, and made animals genetically weaker.

I’m sorry to be a link ranger, but you’ve been misled. If you look at the history of healthy eating, lots of fad diets come and go… but vegetarians have consistently been healthier (and smarter) than meat eaters.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@liminal I didn’t come across any good recipes for making chocolate but I did come across a chocolate pudding cake recipe in my weight watchers cookbook that was as close to vegan as anything I’ ve seen. The only non vegan thing was a ½ cup of skim milk. Switch in your coconut milk and vegan chocolate cake. I can get it if anyone’s interested. Yes, I’m an american male with a weight watchers cookbook.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe no need to qualify…I think it’s wonderful

liminal's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe sounds tasty. Please pm it to me.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I must say that the meat we consume is terribly unhealthy for us. We are not supposed to be eating animals that are not wild and healthy themselves. We eat entirely too much, waaaay more than is natural. Wild game is healthy, yummy and much more humane than feedlot cattle. Did I also mention that it is delicious? Especially trout…mmmmmmm. The time you spend with friends and family catching it is good for you too… The non-animal products we eat are horrible also. Flour is probably about the worst thing you can eat aside from straight margarine or sugar. (even unbleached folks) Any carb that is already high on the glycemic index and then ground to a powder with an immense surface area should never be consumed….ever. Most of us are addicted to it not unlike some are addicted to alcohol. Most vegetarians I have met, including me when I was a vegetarian suffered from depression. Ring any bells here????.... thought so (it’s mainly the soy and pesticides(synthetic hormone like compounds) not just b12 deficiency BTW. ) Some veggies from your organic garden and fresh wild fish + sunlight & exercise will cure your vegan induced melancholy. Organic non-GMO edamame is fine though in reasonable amounts.

downtide's avatar

I was vegetarian for about 8 years, I really missed fish, and I never stopped missing it. In fact it’s the sole reason why I’m no longer vegetarian. I didn’t miss meat at all really.

NaturallyMe's avatar

When i gave up meat, i knew i was going to miss it. I’ve been a vegetarian for about 2½ years now and i still miss meat and a medium rare fillet looks SO good…..!! But i’ve managed to not slip back, not even once. I think if you’re made up your mind and you’ve made that decidion to change, you’re set and nothing can change your new way of living. Eating meat is just not an option for me anymore, like it’s not an option for me to eat used bubblegum on the parking lot floor – it’s just NOT an option, end of story. :) So that mindset surely makes it easier to deal with your dietary change, as long as it’s a decision you’ve made deep down and the roots of those decisions are firmly implanted in whatever believe you have that caused you to change your diet.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Protein and the essential vitamins required that is not in vegitarian food.

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