So new I don't know WHAT to do :)

Hello. I’m Corri. I’m from Portland Oregon and I’m ready to start a vegan life but don’t know where to go. So I found this site and hope that I can learn some things. I am a natural health lover but have always eaten meat. It’s just always been so. My ND told me recently that I am not suppose to eat dairy. It’s been the hardest change I’ve ever tried to do…and failed horribly. When eating or cooking meat lately I’ve thanked the animal that gave it’s life for me to eat, then with the light of the treatment of the cows in california coming to “light” I’ve decided it’s time to make the change. I just don’t know how! Any advice or suggestions or thoughts that you have for me would be fantastic!

Hi Corrihar!

Sounds like you’re already halfway there! :wink:

I became vegan by making small changes:

When I was a student, I started bulking out my meals with vegetables, to save money on meat! I learned to cook things like curries, casseroles, pasta sauces.

Then I cut out meat, and replaced it with meat substitutes - vege-sausages, soy mince, vegetarian pizza, that kind of thing.

Then I cut down on dairy. This was easy except for cheese! :laughing: Vegan mayonnaise and soy milks are nice, but fake cheese is awful! I was vegan during the week, and then “rewarded” myself with an ovo-lacto meal at the weekend.

Then I got fed up with spending all my money on meat substitutes! So I started cooking more, and learning about nutrition. You can cook many vegan meals from scratch easily, it doesn’t need to be time-consuming - dishes like stir-fry or steamed vegetables and tofu, lentil soup, pasta… I also cook a large meal most weekends, instead of eating out.

Then I finally cut out dairy, although I lapsed a few times… I’m always learning, and sometimes there are embarrassing situations where a food you think is vegan turns out not to be, or you get served something with dairy in when you eat out :imp:

All this took a few years, while my digestion and tastes changed. I have now reached a point where I genuinely don’t want to eat meat any more.

Since you’ve been told to cut out dairy, it might be best to prioritise that… And I imagine you want to speed up the process a little! It’s good to reward yourself with, say, soy milkshakes, a good wine, or dark chocolate when you stick to your goals. Or use the money you save to buy some new DVDs or clothes!

If you do lapse, it might be worth thinking about what your body’s trying to tell you. For example, at one point I started eating non-vegan snacks at work, because I felt so tired and drained… So I decided to make an extra effort to make sure I cooked some balanced meals (lots of veggies and protein and slow-release carb), and cooked some vegan flapjacks to snack on. You can also get emotionally attached to food, for example, if you always go and eat burgers or cake with your best friend, those things make you happy.

BTW, I think it’s lovely that you “thanked the animal that gave it’s life for me to eat” - I have heard of people doing this (there’s some Jewish vegetarians on the web who advocate this). I think you’ve already made the biggest step by being aware of where meat comes from :slight_smile:

Hello, Corrihar… and welcome to the forums!
The best advice is to learn to cook yourself.
There are plenty of vegan recipes out there. It is cheaper, healthier and tastier in the end. :wink:
Also some people feel hungry when they stop eating meat… you should eat more beans, peas, soy, nuts and seeds to overcome this problem, especially in the beginning when your body is still used to huge amounts of protein.
Also check you can change the preferences there so that it shows you the percentage of recommended daily amount.