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New here, not vegan or vegetarian...Need help and advice


freeheeler
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Hello

 

I'm 50 years old, meat and chocolate lover and feel like it's time to change.

 

I've noticed, as I've gotten older that exercise is becoming harder and harder, firstly to get motivated to do it, then recovering afterwards. Stamina has gone downhill very quickly and i want to start getting back some of my old fitness and enthusiasm and i feel that a good, healthy diet will help me

 

A bit about me

 

I'm originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Everything I ate was fried, meat, fish, eggs, even our baked beans would get fired. Then of course there was the "Fish and chips for which we are famous for, great tasting but 'deadly' for the arteries. When i took my wife back to Belfast last September, she also fell in love with fish n' chips and we had it 3 nights in a row, NEVER AGAIN, i blame her!! Breakfast was cereal, full cream milk and of course sugar

 

I'm a compulsive snacker, especially chocolate, I love Cadbury's. I do try to avoid fizzy soda's.

 

Thankfully, growing up i was very active or I might be either dead or at the very least, obese.

 

I played competitive badminton, soccer and squash and would play 7 days a week

 

I skied non stop for 7 years in France and New Zealand

 

Now, both my wife and I are into climbing, cardio and some weights. She is also in the process of trying to become a Pilate’s teacher.

 

We climb mostly indoors, 3-4 days a week with the occasional road trip. Our climbing sessions last for about 2-3 hours and can be quite brutal I need food before I start and I need food soon after we finish. This is my main concern, what can I snack on after my gym sessions instead of chocolate brownies. i used to be able to climb and then do 20 - 30 minutes of cardio afterwards, now i have difficulty finding the energy, enthusiasm to do anything afterwards

 

My supplementation is as follows

 

Multi vitamin (AOR ortho core)

 

ZMK (millennium sports)

 

Fish Oil

Selenium

COQ10 (All from life extension)

 

Drink while training - ICE from XF sports

Protein Powder XF sports

 

Methyl B12 from Jarrow

 

Vitamin D from Now sports

 

It's going to be a major life change to give up meat and dairy and not easy, we both love meat but i try to avoid red meat when possible and my wife love Pork, (she is Filipina). But this is something I really want to try and do

 

What books, videos are there out there that are worth buying, looking at that will help explain the changeover and also give lots of advice on recipes. I'm especially concerned about Breakfast as I always go to the gym around 9am

 

I do currently have a drink which i 'juice' 3 times a week. It contains the following (all organic when possible)

 

Kale

celery

spinach

lemons

apples

broccoli

 

And then blend this three times a week (fruit is mostly organic and frozen from trader Joes)

 

Pomegranate juice

Strawberries

Raspberries

Mangoes

blueberries

1 scoop of Vanilla protein

 

Looking for (Lots) help and advice on how best to get started on this new way of life, books, online reading materials. i have just got hold of forks over knives (DVD) which i will be watching tonight.

 

Thanking you in advance

 

Martin

 

As a footnote, I should add that gaining weight is not a priority, I am 5' 9" and weight 162lbs and if anything would like to lose maybe 5lbs and some bodyfat but gain some muscle

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Wow, awesome intro!

 

You've got some great interests too. I've also enjoyed badminton and climbing throughout the years too.

 

Thanks for being here on the forum. Great to have you and I look forward to your updates.

 

All the very best!

 

-Robert

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Hi Martin! Welcome to the VBB community, and to the vegan lifestyle! I sincerely hope you will give it a sincere try.

 

Reading through your into, I was going to suggest you watch "Forks Over Knives", but it looks like you've already done that! What did you think of it? There is also a companion book to the film, which has lots of healthy recipes. I also recommend the book Engine 2 Diet, which is written by Rip Esselstyn (also featured in "Forks Over Knives"). Those will be great resources for you. I haven't read it myself, to be fair, but I've heard over and over and over again great things about the book Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life by Brendan Brazier, professional Ironman triathlete.

 

Hope that helps you some, and I wish you the very best with this new lifestyle! It's the way to go, for sure!

 

Truly,

Karen

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Thanks for the reply.

 

I'm trying to find out as much information as possible before i start trying the diet. I don't want to do it half-hearted with the wrong information

 

I thought the movie was great, very informative and easy to understand and it made a lot of sense

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I was in the same boat a year or so ago. My advice, for what it's worth, is to go slow and start by giving up the main meat items. I have given up chicken, turkey, pork, beef, lamb, etc. I am still eating dairy products and very, very occasionally eat fish. But this year will see the end of that, too.

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Hey. I'm not vegan & never will be. I'm for the ethical treatments of animals but I grew up on meat & do eat it occasionally. About 10x a month in small portions. If you're going to continue to eat meat, choose to purchase from a local farmer who is certified organic & feeds there animals the appropriate diet.

You don't have to go vegan all at once. Nothing should be a struggle, you should willingly want to give up the carnivorous lifestyle without craving meat.

I read a lot, and I think you should read the book "Healthy at 100" by John Robbins. It talks about the five oldest tribes in the world, even citing centenarians. In goes in depth about their lifestyles and eating habits. You'll notice low consumption of meat & usually they choose fish over red meat but they don't eliminate it entirely. Just moderate changes in your diet & you'll be less stressed about quitting everything cold turkey. Hope this helped.

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@ Incinerate and space tycoon

 

Excellent advice. That was my main concern, going "Cold turkey"

 

I have pretty much given up red meat and eat a lot of chicken and fish. I now want to try and limit that to maybe once a week and then once a month and take it from there.

 

I really want to get a better knowledge of plants and other essential foods that I can swap them with. I've never had tofu before apart from Korean restuarants and want to learn how to cook these new foodstuffs. My main concern is food to "snack" on, after my workout, at work etc etc. anything so I can stop eating chocolate

 

Thanks again for all the helpful ideas and encouragement

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  • 5 weeks later...

Well, it has been 4 weeks now since I started

 

I went all the way right from the start. No meat, fish, milk, eggs, chocolate and anything else I should avoid.

 

After 50 years of being a meat eater, everything from steaks, chicken, pork, lamb, sausages all types of fish etc etc I stopped overnight.

 

And believe it or not, I don't miss it at all.

 

Now, what I do miss is chocolate, anything sweet I crave.

 

I had watched the following movies before I started all this

 

Forks over knives

 

Food inc

 

Fat sick and nearly dead.

 

I had read

 

Engine 2 diet

 

And all of Brendan Brazier's books

 

I wanted to find out new recipes and new ingredients so I would be prepared for the big change

 

I was not doing this to lose weight. I had been feeling lethargic and lazy over the past 8 months, mostly due to a move to a more stressful job. I was snacking on rubbish and fast foods, my weight had gone up to 162lbs, not a lot but I always use to weigh around 154lbs but I could feel the difference when i was training or climbing or just getting up in the morning.

 

Now, 4 weeks later I am down to 150lbs. I still eat a lot but just make it the right stuff My time for running the mile on a machine has gone from 9.10 and getting slower, to 7.35 and getting faster. Both Rip's and Brendans recipes have been great, especially the energy stuff in Brendan's book. My strength hhas not gone down but if anything my climbing has gotten better.

 

So, hopefully the craving for chocolate will soon vanish and everything will be good

 

Thanks for all the help in this thread

 

Martin

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  • 3 months later...

So, here we are 4 months down the line

 

Still going strong, chocolate cravings are not as strong as they used to be

 

Weight has leveled out at 148lbs from 160lbs+

 

Still eat till i am full but i am eating clean all the time

 

Had a blood check done after 3 months and cholesterol went from

 

220 to 144

 

B12 went from 862 to 1712

 

Running under a 7 minute mile for the first time in 15 years

 

Climbing has gotten better, due to increase in strength and recovery (and lighter weight).

 

No complaints here, life is good

 

 

Hello

 

I'm 50 years old, meat and chocolate lover and feel like it's time to change.

 

I've noticed, as I've gotten older that exercise is becoming harder and harder, firstly to get motivated to do it, then recovering afterwards. Stamina has gone downhill very quickly and i want to start getting back some of my old fitness and enthusiasm and i feel that a good, healthy diet will help me

 

A bit about me

 

I'm originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Everything I ate was fried, meat, fish, eggs, even our baked beans would get fired. Then of course there was the "Fish and chips for which we are famous for, great tasting but 'deadly' for the arteries. When i took my wife back to Belfast last September, she also fell in love with fish n' chips and we had it 3 nights in a row, NEVER AGAIN, i blame her!! Breakfast was cereal, full cream milk and of course sugar

 

I'm a compulsive snacker, especially chocolate, I love Cadbury's. I do try to avoid fizzy soda's.

 

Thankfully, growing up i was very active or I might be either dead or at the very least, obese.

 

I played competitive badminton, soccer and squash and would play 7 days a week

 

I skied non stop for 7 years in France and New Zealand

 

Now, both my wife and I are into climbing, cardio and some weights. She is also in the process of trying to become a Pilate’s teacher.

 

We climb mostly indoors, 3-4 days a week with the occasional road trip. Our climbing sessions last for about 2-3 hours and can be quite brutal I need food before I start and I need food soon after we finish. This is my main concern, what can I snack on after my gym sessions instead of chocolate brownies. i used to be able to climb and then do 20 - 30 minutes of cardio afterwards, now i have difficulty finding the energy, enthusiasm to do anything afterwards

 

My supplementation is as follows

 

Multi vitamin (AOR ortho core)

 

ZMK (millennium sports)

 

Fish Oil

Selenium

COQ10 (All from life extension)

 

Drink while training - ICE from XF sports

Protein Powder XF sports

 

Methyl B12 from Jarrow

 

Vitamin D from Now sports

 

It's going to be a major life change to give up meat and dairy and not easy, we both love meat but i try to avoid red meat when possible and my wife love Pork, (she is Filipina). But this is something I really want to try and do

 

What books, videos are there out there that are worth buying, looking at that will help explain the changeover and also give lots of advice on recipes. I'm especially concerned about Breakfast as I always go to the gym around 9am

 

I do currently have a drink which i 'juice' 3 times a week. It contains the following (all organic when possible)

 

Kale

celery

spinach

lemons

apples

broccoli

 

And then blend this three times a week (fruit is mostly organic and frozen from trader Joes)

 

Pomegranate juice

Strawberries

Raspberries

Mangoes

blueberries

1 scoop of Vanilla protein

 

Looking for (Lots) help and advice on how best to get started on this new way of life, books, online reading materials. i have just got hold of forks over knives (DVD) which i will be watching tonight.

 

Thanking you in advance

 

Martin

 

As a footnote, I should add that gaining weight is not a priority, I am 5' 9" and weight 162lbs and if anything would like to lose maybe 5lbs and some bodyfat but gain some muscle

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That's great to hear. Nice to get a positive update. I'm 5 weeks in myself and loving it. Won't be going back.

 

I have a protein bar (clifs) and that works as my chocolate fix - it is sweet and feels pretty unhealthy to me, but apparently it has vitamins (just like pop-tarts lol) and protein.

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So, here we are 4 months down the line

 

Still going strong, chocolate cravings are not as strong as they used to be

 

Great that it's going so well with the cravings, your weights, your health ánd your sports.

 

I've gone vegan very recently, and chocolate was one of my 'concerns' too

I usually had 1 cheat/junk meal a week, and for the last year it was almost always some chocolate bar. So I just went to 6 different stores, read aaaaall the labels and found a few nice vegan options. I bought 2 different kinds (one with marzipan and one with hazelnuts ) a few weeks ago, to have something vegan ready in case I would get a huge snack-craving , but they're still in my cupboard, waiting...

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Hiya, freeheeler, welcome!

 

Just so you know, there is nothing inherently bad about chocolate. In raw form it actually has a higher amount of antioxidants than red wine. It's the way it usually gets processed--cooked to death and then drowned in chemicals, processed sugar, and fats--that makes it tough on the system in any substantial quantity. Raw cocoa is amazing and I have made the most decadent dark chocolate vegan cupcakes and brownies with it for special occasions. http://www.amazon.com/Vegan-Cupcakes-Take-Over-World/dp/1569242739 It makes great mocha and hot cocoa, too. I get Holy Kakow locally but it is available online as well. http://www.holykakow.com/products-raw-organic-cocoa-powder.php When you are dying for a chocolate fix, mash a heaping tablespoon of raw cocoa powder together with a teaspoon of coconut oil and a teaspoon of coconut milk and eat it like fudge. Or make like an ancient Mayan and mix raw cocoa powder in hot water with a pinch of cayenne pepper and a pinch of cinnamon.

 

If unsweetened chocolate like that doesn't do it for you, then it's not the chocolate you were craving, it was the sugar.

 

Baby Herc

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Martin, WOW! CONGRATULATIONS! That's so impressive what you've done, and how you were able to change your diet and lifestyle so completely overnight, and with such enormous success! Indeed, you have much to be proud of! I know we don't know one another, but I'm proud of you nonetheless!

 

Much respect,

Karen

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Hiya, freeheeler, welcome!

 

Just so you know, there is nothing inherently bad about chocolate. In raw form it actually has a higher amount of antioxidants than red wine. It's the way it usually gets processed--cooked to death and then drowned in chemicals, processed sugar, and fats--that makes it tough on the system in any substantial quantity. Raw cocoa is amazing and I have made the most decadent dark chocolate vegan cupcakes and brownies with it for special occasions. http://www.amazon.com/Vegan-Cupcakes-Take-Over-World/dp/1569242739 It makes great mocha and hot cocoa, too. I get Holy Kakow locally but it is available online as well. http://www.holykakow.com/products-raw-organic-cocoa-powder.php When you are dying for a chocolate fix, mash a heaping tablespoon of raw cocoa powder together with a teaspoon of coconut oil and a teaspoon of coconut milk and eat it like fudge. Or make like an ancient Mayan and mix raw cocoa powder in hot water with a pinch of cayenne pepper and a pinch of cinnamon.

 

If unsweetened chocolate like that doesn't do it for you, then it's not the chocolate you were craving, it was the sugar.

 

Baby Herc

 

I have no doubt that it was probably just the sugar. I always loved milk chocolate back in Britain, never liked dark, along with other candies. sugar on my cereal, sugar in my tea, you name it, I even dipped my apples in sugar!!!

 

I'll definately give some of those treats you mentioned a try

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Martin, WOW! CONGRATULATIONS! That's so impressive what you've done, and how you were able to change your diet and lifestyle so completely overnight, and with such enormous success! Indeed, you have much to be proud of! I know we don't know one another, but I'm proud of you nonetheless!

 

Much respect,

Karen

 

Thanks. I'm suprised I was able to do it so easily. Having been a big meat eater for over 50 years, including a birhtday treat at the House of Prime Rib in San Francisco last December where I demolished the King Henry VIII cut, which was the thickest cut they had, at least an inch thick. I don't miss it at all now.

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I have no doubt that it was probably just the sugar....I'll definately give some of those treats you mentioned a try

 

Sounds like you know yourself pretty well and have it figured out, good for you. What good is a big brain if you don't keep it tuned up? If you try raw cocoa, brace yourself because it's s a bit of a jolt when it's devoid of sweetener. Maybe try a happy medium: make the Mayan cocoa with just a little raw agave in it.

 

1 heaping tablespoon raw cocoa powder

1 level tablespoon raw agave syrup

pinch cayenne pepper

pinch cinnamon

1 C. very warm but not hot water (don't want to destroy the nutrients in the raw cocoa)

 

The Mayans would whisk it all together to get it frothy but you will save time and arm cramps by pouring it into your blender and hitting Frappe. Drink it while it's fluffy--there will be some silt at the bottom which I find delicious--and then sit quietly afterwards and meditate. They used this stuff to bring on visions. But then again, they DID add a couple extra ingredients....

 

Baby Herc

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  • 2 weeks later...
What an awesome journey! Congratulations freeheeler on changing your life for the better.

Can I ask how your friends and family reacted to such a sudden and dramatic change?

 

Well, there is only my wife and I here in California.

 

My wife is a Filipina who grew up on meat and fish, especially Lechon (Pork) loving the skin with the fat attached. She has never been overweight being only around 102lbs. I was not going to force her to change her eating habits although I have always tried to get her to eat organically and swap the white rice for brown rice. Getting her to eat brown rice was a major deal. She also loved her fast food, McDonalds, Wendy's burgers and fries.

 

She sat and watched all the movies with me

 

Forks over knives,

 

Fat sick and nearly dead

 

food Inc

 

Etc etc and it did get her thinking about the food she was eating. She did start to eat a lot more veggies, mainly because i was doing all the cooking and preparing. Then one day I got her to watch "Earthlings" and this really shook her (and me). Since then she has cut way down on her meat consumption and cutting our dairy slowly. As a newly qualified Pilates teacher he is concerned about her fitness levels and energy levels and after seeing how much better I feel and perform she is now enjoying the benefits also. She will have a lot of difficulty sticking to this when she goes back home to the very rural area she is from in the Philippines due to a lack of supermarkets and stores but hopefully she will be careful.

 

Some friends have been supportive and talked about trying it, specially those that are cholesterol meds, others say it's too much hassle.

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Great list of films!

 

Glad they were a helpful resource.

 

All the very best! I know traveling to remote and rural areas can be tough, but there is often a lot of produce available, especially fruits, depending on the area and time of year. Are there fruit or produce stands where she is traveling? I know they are often more common than supermarkets in some places.

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