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Old 02-04-2010, 04:52 PM   #1  
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Default Vegans: What do you typically eat?

I'm a new vegetarian who's strongly considering going vegan but haven't made the full commitment yet. So I have a question for all the vegans, if you have a moment to respond...

What do you eat on a typical day? Or in a typical week? If you could give me a broad summary of the types of breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners you eat, that would be wonderful! I'm trying to figure out what my grocery list will look like and how I can plan for a week's worth of meals. I'm also trying to convince my husband to make the decision with me but I highly doubt he will. I'd like to raise my son as close to vegan as possible, though, and I want my husband to be on board with that decision. So far, he's not!
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:57 PM   #2  
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I am not a vegan but I recently started subscribing to vegetarian times magazine. They typically have a vegan section with great recipes. Also look at some vegan websites for ideas.

The most important thing is making sure you get enough protein. On a vegan diet you need to eat a wide variety of fruits and veggies and include beans to ensure you're getting enough. Get familiar with quinoa. It's a grain that is a complete protein and is very versatile.
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Old 02-04-2010, 05:11 PM   #3  
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The most important thing is making sure you get enough protein. On a vegan diet you need to eat a wide variety of fruits and veggies and include beans to ensure you're getting enough. Get familiar with quinoa. It's a grain that is a complete protein and is very versatile.
I will have to disagree with this sentiment. If you are eating a balanced diet, you will get enough macro and micro nutrients including protein. The US RDA for protein is 50 grams which really isn't much. I know a lot of meat eaters like to stress protein but the stress on protein is really a recent thing and I don't know why people worry about it so much.
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Old 02-04-2010, 05:21 PM   #4  
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I will have to disagree with this sentiment. If you are eating a balanced diet, you will get enough macro and micro nutrients including protein. The US RDA for protein is 50 grams which really isn't much. I know a lot of meat eaters like to stress protein but the stress on protein is really a recent thing and I don't know why people worry about it so much.
Maybe I was misleading. It's not how many grams of protein you get but the amount of different kinds you get. There are 20 different essential amino acids that you HAVE to consume to be healthy. Meat contains all 20 where as veggies contain only a few each so you have to eat a variety in order to get all 20. Quinoa is a vegan item that is a complete protein which makes it very popular with vegans.
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Old 02-04-2010, 05:24 PM   #5  
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My typical diet does vary but I can give you a general idea of what I eat at least in the cooler months, summer is slightly different and more fruit heavy.

Breakfast - Protein shake or hot cereal. I don't really like eating in the morning so I usually prefer to drink my breakfast. If it is on the weekend, I may make some oatmeal with cinnamon and possibly almond milk. I will also add some things in like raisins or walnuts as well.

Lunch - smaller portion of dinner leftovers for the most part.

Dinner - I make meals that last multiple days which may or may not work for you. I generally have a bean dish, grain and veggie as part of dinner. Brown basmati is one of my favorite grains. The bean dishes range from curried lentils to spicy black eyed peas. I may cook the veggies ahead of time but not always, sometimes I'll just steam up whatever veggie I have available. We eat a fair amount of greens so steamed greens are often on the menu. I will also sometimes roast various root veggies, especially during winter. The other option is I pick an entree type dish from one of my cookbooks and make that. I also usually make enough that there is leftovers.

Snacks - veggies with hummus, roasted chickpeas, soy yogurt with berries, fresh fruit, raw almonds, raw almond butter sandwich (husband mostly), miso soup, bean/grain salad (like bean/quinoa salad), small portion of dinner leftovers

An example of today was the following:

Breakfast - Protein smoothie (vega chocolate)
Snack - roasted chickpeas and apple
Lunch - Middle eastern veggie lentil/basmati soup
Snack - indian spiced chickpeas with steamed cabbage and tomatoes
Dinner (planned) - Middle eastern veggie lentil/basmati soup with steamed collards on the side.
After dinner snack - piece of dark chocolate
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Old 02-04-2010, 05:29 PM   #6  
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Maybe I was misleading. It's not how many grams of protein you get but the amount of different kinds you get. There are 20 different essential amino acids that you HAVE to consume to be healthy. Meat contains all 20 where as veggies contain only a few each so you have to eat a variety in order to get all 20. Quinoa is a vegan item that is a complete protein which makes it very popular with vegans.
Ahh I get you. Well every whole food has protein in it, so fruits, veggies, grains, legumes, etc. If you are eating a balanced diet throughout the day then you generally don't have to worry about missing amino acids.

Things like quinoa, amaranth, soy and a few others are complete proteins but just eating beans and rice will give you a complete protein mixture.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:34 PM   #7  
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Ahh I get you. Well every whole food has protein in it, so fruits, veggies, grains, legumes, etc. If you are eating a balanced diet throughout the day then you generally don't have to worry about missing amino acids.

Things like quinoa, amaranth, soy and a few others are complete proteins but just eating beans and rice will give you a complete protein mixture.
Exactly. Just make sure you don't limit your diet to only a few things. Plus it would get very boring and hard to stick to if you did. Let us know if you find any great recipes.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:52 PM   #8  
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Hehe recipes I got!!

blog.fatfreevegan.com - tons of good recipes

Books (although I do recommend checking out library books and the availability of vegan books in your library may be limited so I'd say check out what they have and see if you like them)

My Highly recommended book list:
Vegan with a Vengeance
Veganomicon
Yellow Rose Recipes
Vegan Table
The Urban Vegan
The Complete vegan kitchen
Vegan Fire and Spice
Eat Drink & Be Vegan
Vegan Lunch Box (fun, kid centric but good for adults too)

Not vegan cookbooks but vegan recipes and good overall cookbooks:
World Vegetarian
660 Curries

Also, there are a ton of vegan blogs out there with really good recipes. If you just google 'vegan blog', you will find a bunch. Vegan Dad's blog is pretty popular especially for kid friendly recipes.
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:11 AM   #9  
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Oohhhh I love Vegan with a Vengeance! No salads!
I also have a student cookbook for being Vegan that is really great for anyone looking to save some pennies
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:30 AM   #10  
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There are 20 different essential amino acids that you HAVE to consume to be healthy. Meat contains all 20 where as veggies contain only a few each so you have to eat a variety in order to get all 20.
Just a FYI: Out of the 22 standard amino acids, 8 are essential, that is: "...called essential amino acids because the human body cannot synthesize them from other compounds at the level needed for normal growth, so they must be obtained from food."

This reinforces the balanced diet recommendations too, from the essential amino acids link above

"Complete proteins contain a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans. Animal sources such as meat, poultry, eggs, fish, milk, and cheese provide all of the essential amino acids. Near-complete proteins are also found in some plant sources such as quinoa, buckwheat, hempseed, and amaranth, among others. Soya appears as lower in sulfur-containing amino acids (methionine and cysteine), which instead are abundant in many other plant protein sources. It is not necessary to consume plant foods containing complete proteins as long as a reasonably varied diet is maintained. By consuming a wide variety of plant foods, a full set of essential amino acids will be supplied and the human body can convert the amino acids into proteins."
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:04 PM   #11  
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I've been vegan for about 8 years, and I love to cook, but I'm TERRIBLE so I like to keep it reaaaally simple
Breakfast- usually oatmeal or cereal with soymilk and fruit and maybe some almonds.
Lunch- beans, beans, beans. LOL. Then maybe steamed veggies and a sweet potato with vegan margarine. Or I'll do soup and a veggie burger in a Flat out wrap with nayonaise and mustard, YUM Lunch's are simple for me cuz I have 30 min for lunch, enough time to hurry home and throw something in the microwave...
Dinner- if I actually have time I might attempt to cook something elaborate- eggplant lasanga, homemade vegan pizza, tacos... these things are elaborate for me. LOL
This would probably be boring for some people, but it works for me. I guess it shows that going from vegetarian to vegan isn't hard, there are a lot of simple meals to get you started!

Good luck if you decide to go for it! And good luck getting your husband on board!

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Old 02-15-2010, 01:54 PM   #12  
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Thanks for responding, everyone! This helps me a lot!

Monkey, thanks for telling me your simple ideas for meals. I'm not much of a cook either, so it's important for me to have simple things I can just grab or cook really quickly. My big problem now is doing that and also having something for my husband and son to eat. My husband can fend for himself, but my son's another story, since he's only 18 months old! Funnily enough, he seems to prefer my vegetarian foods to meat anyway. He was throwing down on some lentil soup last night!
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Old 02-15-2010, 11:12 PM   #13  
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I recently returned to veggieism and this time am about 90% vegan (100% most days but averaging 90% over time - if people ask I say I'm plant-based or flexitarian, depending on the audience).

I eat a lot of blended salads (because I am lazy on work days) which includes all or some of the following: hemp milk (which you can make with a decent blender), unflavored vega powder, manitoba harvest hemp powder, chia seeds, fresh fruits, frozen fruits, organic baby spinach, kale, cacao nibs, adzuki beans (that was kinda test, to see if I could even tell - I couldn't. hah)

I eat a lot of big salads with fruits, veggies, seeds, and nuts all in one leafy bowl. I like to make batches of things to have for the whole week. Last week I ate tofu lasagna with whole wheat spelt noodles and eggplant slices on top (recipe from Engine 2 Diet), chili (quinoa, amaranth, barley, buckwheat, green lentils, kidney beans, black beans, small red chili beans) and vegan corn bread (from Vegan Lunchbox: Around the world), and short-grained brown rice stirfry with chicken style seitan.

As for cookbooks I like Vegan Lunchbox: Around the World, The Engine 2 Diet, and Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan

Also, I love hemp seeds. A lot.

Good luck!
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:04 PM   #14  
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Lisamarie71- That's great your little one likes the veggie food already... he may be destined to be vegan!
I don't have kids, but I do cook for my carnivore bf. I like to try to cook similiar meals for us sometimes. I'll make spaghetti with meat sauce for him, and make a healthy veggie sauce for me. Kinda feels like more of a "family dinner" when we're eating the same thing ya know?
We don't plan on having kids, but we've talked about if we did, would they be vegan or a meat-eater... He says would raise them to eat meat, and if they DECIDE to go vegan when they're older they can...And I said why not raise them vegan and then they can eat meat if they decide to when they're older. I doubt they would!

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Old 02-16-2010, 11:35 PM   #15  
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I start off my mornings with a green smoothie. It usually has some type of green in it, fruit, spirulina, maca powder, some hemp or chia seeds, and ground flaxseed.

Lunch is sometimes also raw which means bananas, nuts, dried fruit, or a salad. Other times it's cooked so it maybe some millet, quinoa, rice, chickpeas, potatoes with soyrizo, etc.

Dinner is always changing as I cook from recipe books or come up with my own creation. I definitely recommend the books that were listed- they are great to cook from! I also recommend the blog Fatfree Vegan and Happy Herbivore.
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