Vegan Challenge Anyone?

1 year, 11 months ago

For the past two years (roughly) I have been a vegetarian and at this point in my life would never consider going back to consuming meat. But within the past few months I have become very curious about veganism and have decided to give it a shot for one solid month. My main reasons for doing this are…

1. The positive environmental impact of adopting a vegan diet is significant… (If anyone wants cited evidence just pick up a book or do a little online research! Also, there is a great Netflix documentary called available right now.)http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Vegucated/70245084?locale=en-US
2. I have heard many reports of how amazing people feel (mentally and physically) after going vegan, so I am curious how that will translate to my experience.
3. Many spiritual-minded individuals also claim that ingesting animal-based foods negatively affect spiritual growth, so I would like to see if that is my truth as well.
4. I just would like to experience veganism for the sake of experiencing it. It is becoming more and more popular as a lifestyle choice and I have been curious about it, so why not adopt this diet for 30 days and just see what it’s like?

I also realize many of you HEthens are content with your current dietary choices and if so that’s great, but this thread is not meant to be a discussion about why going vegan is a “good” or “bad” choice… Instead, I am challenging anyone who is interested in trying out this lifestyle for 30 days to join me for the month of January. Ideally, we could document how we feel physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually throughout the month and compare results with one another. Soooo…Is anyone in?!

December 26, 2012 at 11:36 am

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Profile photo of nataku nataku (@nataku) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

After learning the garbage being put into my body because of the modern american diet I knew I needed a change. I would love to do this but I just committed myself to eating pescatarian for at least 30 days and seeing the difference. I will work my way to eating vegan after experimenting with different diets for health.

I hardly know any vegans personally. So for those just starting out I would greatly appreciate it if you posted the differences you have experienced emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

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Profile photo of  Anonymous (@) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

For those of you participating who would like to drink vegan on NYE, or in general…

http://www.barnivore.com/

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Profile photo of Heed them, HEthen Heed them, HEthen (@heedthem) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

So when you say veganism, I’m assuming you mean all the way, including not using any product with animal products in it as well? Such as shampoo, etc?

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Profile photo of Alex Alex (@domovoi) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

I’m in. This sounds fun, and I’ve been curious.

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Profile photo of jocosejames jocosejames (@jamesroemer) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

I’ve been interested in becoming vegan for a while now, but have not tried it for two main reasons

1. lack of info/motivation to make such a drastic change
2. I have a very high metabolism and generally can’t gain weight unless I eat healthily and steadily work out and will LOSE weight if I don’t eat correctly. I’ve been worried about messing up and not getting enough nutrients basically, but I’ve also heard of people with similar body types gaining weight when they became vegan so I’m not sure really.

If any knowledgable vegans have any helpful input on reason number two, I’d love to hear it!
Also good luck to anyone trying the challenge. I think I’m a little too intimidate to start at this point haha.

~namaste~

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Profile photo of Razique Razique (@razique) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

@jamesroemer,
1- Yah, make sure to slowly transition, you are more likely to suffer from deficiency is the diet is not solid. What do I mean by that : well simply put if the total intake is not sufficient (calorie deficit) considering an extra micro-nutrients deficit (vitamins and minerals), then it’s no good.
Look at my previous comment for the transition.
The only thing which is cumbersome to get into a vegan diet is the Vitamine B12 you can find in several seaweeds and meat only. If you don’t consider seaweeds into the diet at all (but eh, isn’t also the challenge about discovering new foods? :-) then consider a B12 supplementation. If you fear not to have enough dietary micro-nutrients intakes, you can also consider a vitamine complex (
Vitamin B1, B2,C, A, D3, E)

2- The diet doesn’t make you gain weight, it’s the calories surplus (Expenditure lower than intakes). Will you need to eat more whole-grains? Definitely, since the intakes not only will allow you to maintain your weight (or gain if you plain to gain muscles) but also ensure the total macro-nutrients requirements are met (dietary carbohydrates, lipids and proteins)

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Profile photo of Samantha Samantha (@sammomantha) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

@arenofnote, I want to go raw for this month too! I did it for 3 weeks about 6 months ago and I felt amazing.

So…I’m up for the vegan challenge =o)

I was vegan about 5 years ago and that only lasted 1 year…so I’d love to get back into it (along with being raw)

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Profile photo of Samantha Samantha (@sammomantha) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

@jamesroemer, I agree what Razique said. It mainly comes down to calories in versus calories out. However, you can be really healthy on a vegan diet…you can also be really unhealthy. Just skip all the junky food (or have it only on occasion). Or make your own ‘junky’ food using wholefoods. As Razique said – whole grains, and also healthy fats such as avocado, nuts and seeds will help keep calories up without having to eat crap loads.

Also, as he said – B12 is an important nutrient to ensure you get. There is no harm in taking a supplement if you feel more comfortable with that. People also feel iron can be an issue, but I used to be anaemic when I ate meat, and haven’t been since I went vego (except when I didnt eat enough at all due to other reasons). You just need to be aware of iron sources – I think some nuts (maybe brazil nuts but don’t quote me) are high in iron, as is molasses, and cacao powder. Protein won’t be an issue (although many think it will) if you eat enough nuts, seeds, and green leafy veggies.

There are so many healthy, yummy and nutritious choices to make when being vegan. (I think half the reason I am writing this is also to psych myself up ha ha). I think you just have to be prepared, as it seems you already know!

If you like food, like me, then you can have a great time experimenting with different recipes. I found it helpful to find alternate versions of the stuff that I really thought I would miss. Such as for me, I know I’ll miss milk, therefore I experiment with nut milks. I will also miss chocolate, but as long as I’m not lazy I can now make really yummy healthy chocolate at home.

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Profile photo of Razique Razique (@razique) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

@sammomantha, for the iron, in fact, there are some interesting ways of preventing that, via folic Acid, vitamine B12 (yup :) ), adequate protein intakes, copper, vitamine C, spirulina and chlorophyll-rich foods :)
Here is a good list of iron-rich foods : http://goo.gl/sKav9
What I like about being vegan food-wise is that it REALLY brings in the conscious of the diet, hardcore way, so you take a great care (well sometimes it’s not the case, but in most it is, since you just…don’t wake up and say “oh what about being vegan”) thus you sometimes not only to experiment but cook and enjoy trying new recipes. In most cases you always end up to eat healthier that you were previously.

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Profile photo of Samantha Samantha (@sammomantha) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

@razique, oh that’s a really good site! Thanks for posting it…in favourites now =oD

I agree, it does really make you think about your diet! When I originally went vegan I was so unhealthy in some ways. It is only now that I am getting a bit older that I am really conscious about nutrients, and when I have experimented with being Vegan again, and raw, I have really put effort into thinking about what I am eating. Lack of prep can set you up for failure I think (which what happened with me).

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Profile photo of adam adam (@adamd) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

@flightfacilities, @rosehrynickbrowne, anyone else who’s interested: books and websites!

Books:
The China Study by Colin Campbell
The Food Revolution by John Robbins
Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman
If interested in raw; 80/10/10 by Doug Graham
If interested in running; Eat & Run by Scott Jurek
Those are a few of my favorites.

Websites:
veganbodybuilding.com
If interested in raw; 30bananasaday.com
If interested in raw; http://www.rawfoodexplained.com/sitemap.html
Dr. McDougall’s recipe index; http://www.drmcdougall.com/newsletter/recipeindex.html

http://nutritionfacts.org/

Dean Ornish’s program; http://www.ornishspectrum.com/
Physicians committee for responsible medicine; http://www.pcrm.org/
Best speech you will ever hear; http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=es6U00LMmC4
Animal rights argument; http://www.towardsfreedom.com/210.html
Recipe blog; http://veganizzm.com/
Recipe blog; http://theveganstoner.blogspot.com/

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Profile photo of  Anonymous (@) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

@adamd, awesome, thank you very much!

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Profile photo of Carina Carina (@misssunbeam) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

I’m in for vegetarian challenge January :) But vegan will have to wait, maybe February

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Profile photo of Julia Julia (@collinsj2009) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

Great! Thank you guys for all the great resources. So I was thinking every day we take note f how we are feeling 1. Physically (energy levels, digestive issues, change in sleep patterns, ect) 2. Mentally 3. Spiritually and/ or 4. Emotionally. Each week it would be interesting to compare our results with one another and share any insights, recipes or tips. Any other ideas out there as to making this a successful and fun challenge??!

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Profile photo of jocosejames jocosejames (@jamesroemer) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

@razique, @sammomantha thanks a ton!

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Profile photo of James James (@ilooklikeawaterbottle) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

@collinsj2009, Having a partner is the best way for this challenge to work. What do ya think? Staying accountable is critical for any challenge.

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Profile photo of Tom Tom (@scott3600) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

I have considered trying this for a while, however although I hate the way animals are treated for mass meat production, I just love the taste of meat. I don’t know if I will enjoy a vegan diet as I have never ate any of that food before. Also can somebody tell me how expensive it is to become a vegan? I am a student and only spend £15/$25 a week on food and can’t really afford to be vegan if it costs more for the food.

Maybe I am just limiting myself though and that it is worth spending extra just for the experience and to see if It does improve me mentally and physically like some claim.

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Profile photo of Eric Eric M (@blankey) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

@collinsj2009, I am going to try and not consume red meats for a while and see how that goes. So I’ll half go in on this with you haha :)

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Profile photo of  Anonymous (@) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

@scott3600, Shopping at a health food store costs me about $100/wk. I am going to switch to a major grocery and use their savings card which I’m hoping will bring me to 50-75/wk. (I feed 2 people)

Have you considered cutting out meat for 30 days instead going full vegan? It will help you be more aware of what you are consuming, and you’ll still be able to see a difference in your health and body.

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Profile photo of Tom Tom (@scott3600) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

@deafening, Thanks for your reply, I might just try cutting out the meat from my diet like you say, that way it won’t be that expensive. So in a sense I would just be like a vegetarian then. Should I also replace cows milk with soya milk?

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Profile photo of Hermes Hermes (@seeker88) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

i’ve considered going vegan. but i know i would still eat some meat occasionally, it least on the transition. the problem is i need a high source of protein. what are different sources of protein vegan foods/dishes i can try does anyone know? for example im trying to take in 60g of protein a day ( i weight lift, need to gain more weight for my body height ). ill appreciate any @mentions / suggestions. thanks in advance.

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Profile photo of starfirewitch starfirewitch (@starfirewitch) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

@heedthem, give them time to get to the things that aren’t dietary. Even I can’t get away from somethings… *sigh* damn you glues!!!

I’ve been vegan for 2 years. I will never look back. i feel better, my GI upsets are next to non-existant now and mentally I feel more “clear”.

be forwarned.. a lot of people will try and push your button on the subject of being a vegan… stay strong :)

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Profile photo of Matthew Matthew (@ojai) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

Sometimes I feel strange eating meat. I feel almost barbaric at times. Especially when I’m high. For instance during dinner I’m sitting here thinking like…there’s this piece of dead flesh of an animal on my plate. Looks great next to these peas and carrots. Then I think about the animal itself and the process and measures they go aboout for killing and preparing it. Is that weird? I don’t know. I understand it’s the way of nature? All in all I just find it funny how humans are supposed (or many think of themselves as) to be estranged from animal ways but we have the most grotesque and savage ways of consuming. I feel like my post just went in a way different direction than this thread was heading too haha

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Profile photo of  Anonymous (@) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

@scott3600,You should do whatever you feel comfortable with. As a vegetarian, I did eat eggs and cheese, but chose to use Almond milk over cow’s milk. I also did not eat anything with animal broth or fat in it, but I used honey everyday. There are no strict guidelines.

@seeker88, You can get your protein from beans, nuts, seeds, lentils, whole grains, and the easily accessible soy. However, since you lift weights, you might want to try to find a vegan protein supplement.

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Profile photo of Hannah Rose Hannah Rose (@curiouscancer) 1 year, 11 months ago ago

I’ve been eating a red-meat free (including no pork) diet for 6 years, and about 4 months vegetarian…I’m going vegan for at least the first 6 weeks of 2013 for the same reasons and then some, and I’m looking forward to reading about others’ experiences and sharing my own!!

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