Currently I'm a student on a gap year living at home with the parents. I want to try veganism purely for the health benefits (and possibly in protest to intensive livestock rearing) but am having trouble due to a very small budget and parents who believe that no meal is complete without some kind of red meat or cheese.
I believe wholeheartedly in cooking from scratch but with a very eratic work schedule at the moment I don't have that much time to batch cook or anything of the like.
Basically, I just wondered if anyone had any pointers or advice that might be useful.
You could check out our 'part-time vegan' plan in the Oct issue of Zest if you've got a copy. It was designed by the author of Skinny Bitch Ultimate Cookbook (Perseus books, £19.99) and shows you how you can incorporate elements of vegan diet without having to go 100% vegan. If you're interested in it for the health benefits, as opposed to the ethics, then nutritionists claim you can get the benefits from following a semi-vegan plan, too.
And with meat getting more and more expensive, it could be good for your student budget too!
You could check out our 'part-time vegan' plan in the Oct issue of Zest if you've got a copy. It was designed by the author of Skinny B**ch Ultimate Cookbook (Perseus books, £19.99) and shows you how you can incorporate elements of vegan diet without having to go 100% vegan. If you're interested in it for the health benefits, as opposed to the ethics, then nutritionists claim you can get the benefits from following a semi-vegan plan, too.
Thanks, thats really helpful, I haven't bought this months issue of Zest yet but I'll be heading into town laer to pick one up! I'll definately be checking out that website too.
One of the problems with veganism you will find well documented is vitamin B12 not being widely available in non-animal foods. One food that contains it is high enough quantities though is Aloe Vera.
I am currently doing a 30 day raw vegan trial (I'm normally vegetarian and need to lose weight which it is suppose to be great for).
With regard to the intensive livestock rearing, if you buy locally sourced produce from a butcher they can tell you exactly how it has been reared. We have a very high standard of food welfare in this country. Buying foreign meat from supermarkets is when you come across lower welfare standards, especially food items such as burgers and sausages with unknown meat contents!
We actually don't have a very high standard of food welfare in this country. If you go take a look at the PETA or ViVA websites it will show you the abuse and conditions that these poor animals are forced to endure. Milk and eggs are just as bad, even the so called 'Freedom Food', 'Organic' (which only actually refers to the type of feed that they are given) and 'Free Range' ( a meaningless term that is no better than battery farmed). Also 'part time vegan'? Again a meaningless term. You're either vegan or you're not.
Regards the potential for not enough B12 in your diet there's a good article on the Vegan Society website: http://www.vegansociety.com/lifestyle/nutrition/b12.aspx
Veganism isn't as hard as you think. There are so many substitues out there for a dairy and meat free diet, it's just knowing what to buy.
Alpro (amongst others) offer excellent milk, cream and yoghurt substitutes, and you can also easily find a huge variety of cheeses (Cheezly is available in most supermarkets) and margarines (Pure, Vitalite) and the taste is fantastic. Once you stop dairy, your taste buds change, so you won't be missing out as much as you think.
Check out the Redwood Co website for loads of meat free substitutes (they even do pizzas!), but be careful with Quorn as a lot of it contains cheese or some sort of dairy or eggs.
The animal welfare in this country is still appalling, and as Ann says, the terms used to market so called 'humane' products are meaningless. The dairy industry is just as bad as the meat industry, but it's not something that is made public (obviously) so unless you research it, you remain in ignorance.
Anyway, it's a personal choice, but if you fancy giving veganism a go, just go for it and enjoy it. I guarantee you will feel so much healthier and it will make you look healthier too.
I'm so pleased to hear people being positive about veganism!
I became vegetarian 8 years ago and I didnt feel much different compared to when I ate meat. I didnt feel or look healthier and i didnt lose weight. The reason why I became vegetarian was because of my love for animals. I loved the taste of meat! So it was difficult to begin with..
I then became a vegan around 2 years ago and Im so glad I did. It completely changed me.. nothing else in my life has changed, only my diet but im so much happier, have more energy, sleep better and im a lot more confident! I no longer get breakouts of spots, my periods are less of a hassle and I havent been ill since.
I did research before hand and still enjoy looking for ways to be that extra bit healthy. There are plenty of ways to make sure you get enough protein, iron, vB12, calcium and other nutrients, things people think you can only get from animal products.
My favourite cookbook is 'River Cottage Veg Everyday'. It has vegetarian and vegan recipes. Its good because I also dont have time to stand around cooking all day, I make up big batches in my spare time and freeze them in portion sizes.
'The Kind Diet' is also a good read by Alicia Silverstone.
My freezer is full of curries, casseroles, stews, bolognaise, and chilli! All thats left for me to do is cook rice or pasta or chips! love chips!
And sorry...didnt mean to write so much.
I notice you started this post over a year ago..
How are things going for you now?
For the past few months I've been doing a semi-vegan diet, sticking to a vegan diet during the week and then allwoing myself meat and animal products on the weekend. I read somewhere that doing this prevents your body from platoing, the weekend allowances cause your metabolism to spike, keeping your body constantly second guessing what you're going to put into it.
It's also super healthy as well and even though its mostly fruit, veg and soy it's actually really filling and you'll find yourself losing weight really quickly.
The hardest thing I found was resisting chocolate but sometimes I cheat and mix chocolate powder with soy milk.
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