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September 12, 2006

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I suggest going for a 30-day trial of the vegan diet. It's a way of tricking your brain, since you can remind yourself that it's only 30 days. Of course by day 30, you're of a different mindset, and it's easy to progress to day 31 and beyond.

Follow Your Heart's Vegan Gourmet cheese is the best. I'm not big on vegan cheese, but my wife and kids love it. It even melts well for vegan pizza.

You can find the closest distributor here:
http://www.followyourheart.com/wheretobuy.php

Thanks Steve. Unfortunately the closest distributor is over 20 miles away! However they do sell online, and you're the second person to recommend the brand, so maybe I'll order a sample set.

One of my favorite vegan cookbooks is How it All Vegan, http://www.amazon.com/How-All-Vegan-Irresistible-Animal-Free/dp/1551520672 When you're in the East Bay or SF, a delicious vegan restaurant is Cafe Gratitude, http://www.withthecurrent.com/cafe.html.

I'm not a vegan anymore 'cause I started to feel like I wasn't getting all the nutrients I needed, but I like to eat that way. In terms of cheese, after a while you don't crave it anymore. Nutritional yeast is an ok substitute and they make soy parmesan which is not bad at all. I'm not a fan of straight soy cheese, but it can be ok if it is melted in something, like tofu stuffed shells.

Hey Britt, thanks. Funny enough, Maria N. and I just tried Cafe Gratitude a couple of weeks ago. I would give it another try, but my initial reaction was that my personal taste runs more toward Cha-Ya a few doors down. Ah, to be in Berkeley where there are actually multiple vegan restaurants within walking distance from one another!

Vegan cheeses are not good. I agree with the above, eventually you learn to enjoy the flavor of foods without the cheese. I order veggie pizza without cheese when we eat pizza, and have learned to make the most amazing tacos, that don't need cheese because the other flavors are so satisfying. You definitely have to be willing to learn to cook and experiment with food. Being vegan is definitely different than being vegetarian. Different, not harder, not worse, just different. Food becomes a whole let healthier. It is much easier to each junk food as a vegetarian, but not so much as a vegan. Not to mention the amount of suffering dairy cows go through to bring you your milk. Think puss, steroidal hormones, pesticides, and cortisol. This is just some of what you consume in cheese.
I think it is awesome that you are working towards becoming a vegan. I will think nothing but good thoughts for you.

Hi Elisa,
To help you figure out what to eat instead of cheese, and how to get over thinking of cheese as food, have a look at 'Becoming Vegan' by Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis, long time vegan nutritionists. Good to keep by your bedside as a vegan nutrition bible. I'm curious why you have to 'steel' yourself to go from vegetarian to vegan? I've heard that dairy is an addiction, like sugar or nicotine - maybe that's why. You can either go cold tofurkey or do it gradually - then you don't feel so guilty if you backslide and eat pizza with real cheese. Good luck!

Hi ELisa,

I agree with Judy that dairy IS an addiction--it's the casein, the milk protein that is very irritating/addictive. In autistic kids, when you take the dairy out of their diet (we watched this personally with our child) they go through what looks like heroin withdrawal. Obviously, it's much less pronounced in an adult, but it you want to hurry and break the addition, this enzyme product works. http://greenfertility.blogspot.com/2006/09/need-help-taking-out-wheatdairy.html

And p.s. fermented foods (okay, kimchi) give off b12, which is something you have to be careful about supplementing if you go vegan!

Go!

marie

Thanks everyone...I can't tell you how helpful and wonderful it has been to get all of this advice.

I've bought the Uncheese Cookbook on the advice of several folks, and Friday is the day I plan to start my 30-day vegan trial, per Steve's advice above.

i have no idea what we can eat when we r on gluten free,casein free diet pl can someone tell me feww things.thanks

Hey All,

Thinking of going vegan this week, already longtime vegetarian but the kind who eats lots of ready made veg junkfood out of laziness and under-developed cooking skills! I got all fascinated with veganism after google searching wheatgrass juice (the internet is a strange and wondrous thing). I have been so fatigued lately that I was looking for some amazing pick-me-up energy drink and thought wheat grass juice might be good, but now I am starting to think the problem is more pervasive than just needing a good energy drink, plus it seems WG juice thing may be largely hype. Any comments on things like this to pick up energy levels, juice bar type drinks or ?? What do you all do for energy? I'm trying to faze out caffeine etc. Any suggestions appreciated...

Staying off the meat but dog tired all the time...

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