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I had my own Seitan by using this recipe from TDIV I marinated it in Reggae Reggae Jerk/BBQ sauce for about 5 - 10 minutes. Whilst it was marinating I cooked a small onion in my new oil that is made from red fruits then added some finely sliced aubergine (eggplant) and left that to cook whilst I cut a red pepper into strips and then cut those in half added them to the wok then added the seitan to the wok added some broccile and turned it down to a low heat covered and steamed for 15 - 20 minutes. I also used microwave steamed brown and white rice.

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“I’m worried about getting proper nutrition on my new vegan diet. Do you carefully plan your meals to make sure you’re getting everything necessary?”

To be honest I don't look at my meals in that way I didn't pre-vegan and I don't now vegan. I feel that if we eat a variety of foods throughout the day across the week it will benifit us more than trying to plan everything we eat every day. Sometimes I'll think to myself I really fancy eating some nuts now and I will or I get a craving for scrambled tofu with hot sauce and I'll have that for lunch. I basically eat a variety of foods during the day I do try making healier choices I recently changed the oil I was using from extra virgin olive oil to one made from red fruits cooks just like olive oil but retains more nutrients and has antioxidents too. I guess my only advice is follow your gut your body will in time tell you want you need - also don't think you need to have tons of veggies in every meal just try different things for each meal. I sometimes don't eat any veggies in a day as I have say porridge for breakfast, toast with scrambled tofu and then for dinner I might have vegan chicken and rice for dinner. I feel I am my healiest eating wise on the weekends as I tend to make a salad for lunch at work as it doesn't matter that it will take me 2 hours to eat it it's not going to get cold.

“Should I be taking supplements? Which supplements do you take?”

Every vegan needs to take B12 as you can't get it from plants as they don't retain the vitamin as it comes from the earth and 99% of veg is washed before we eat it so we tend to end up lacking this vital vitamin. I also take Folic Acid as it aids in the absortion of B12 but it also an important vitamin for women of child bearing age. I also take Iron with Vitamin C more as a precaution than anything else as I said before I don't always get to eat veggies every day nor do I eat 3 meals a day sometimes it's 1 others 2 mostly I eat 2 meals a day sometimes I get to eat breakfast and dinner but miss lunch or I get breakfast and lunch but no dinner or I just miss breakfast as I oversleep.

“I’m not going vegan for my health, but how will the diet effect me physically? Is it going to take my body some time to adjust? Will I notice any initial effects, good or bad?”

You might after a few weeks/months notice you've dropped a few pounds since going vegan almost 17 months ago I've dropped 64lbs but it was about 6 months after going vegan I really noticed the difference but that was also the time period I lost most of the weight I am still slowly loosing weight which is good but I'm sure after a year your body will stop dropping weight unless your carrying too much weight like I am. Something I also discovered about a month after going vegan was how much more energy I have and I also didn't feel ill after the first couple of months. Before going vegan I had suffered with swollen tonsills and glands for years then within 6 months of going vegan my tonsills settled down and I haven't had an issue with them since.
I don't recall any negitive side effects from going vegan I've only had positive effects but I guess everyone is different and have had different experiences.

“There are so many packaged vegan foods on the market, and I want to try them all, but which ones are your favorite? Which should I save my money on?

With being a British Vegan I have different packaged foods to the US and I haven't really explored all that much with all the different brands of vegan food but I think that's more to do with getting different products. Redwoods have a great selection of vegan foods I haven't not liked something I've tried of theirs. I do alot of my shopping at my local health food store as well as Holland and Barrett but there are times when I can't go to the store or I need things I can't get from my local food haunts then I go to http://goodnessdirect.co.uk they have an option where you can have foods that are vegan or gluten free ect.

“I’m new to vegan cooking and baking. What are a few vegan dishes I can make to impress my nonvegan friends and family and prove to them vegans eat more than tree bark and pine cones?”

I love baking and my family love my peanut butter cookies, muffins, cupcakes. These things are are great foods to make for non-vegans as you can always tempt people with naughty goodies. Another great dish to make is vegan mac'n'cheese as it tastes almost the same. I've even made vegan lasagne for my family before and they couldn't tell the difference.

“What things have hidden animal products that are easy for me to miss? What non-vegan ingredients should I look for on the label besides the given meat, eggs, and dairy?”

A huge on in the UK is whey they love to put that into foods you wouldn't think should have it and gelatine is another one also look out for honey in snacks. I was shocked to discover that alot of crisps have whey in them such as salt and vinger crisps (you wouldn't expect them to have animal products in them but most do). Also look out when buying 'free from' products because they might say dairy free but it doesn't mean they are vegan as they can still egg procucts in them.


“I don’t use animal products, but what else can I do to help the cause?”

I think it's all to do with personal choice what you want to do as far as your veganism is concerned alot of it depends on the reasons why your going vegan if it's for your health, for the animals or for both, then you need to decide what you want to do as far as advocacy goes. I personally avoid entertainment that involves animal acts I don't go to circuses or zoo's. I have chosen to adopt 2 farm animals with Farm Sanctuary and I also advocate on twitter for animal rights, but again these are all personal choices for ME you should do what your comfortable doing. Also even if your not eating animal products doesn't mean you should wear animal products nor clean with them. I use a vegan washing up liquid my Dad raves about how fantastic it is at cleaning and my Mum enjoys using it as it doesn't irritate her hands. I even use a vegan fabric softner not only does it soften your clothes nicely they smell great too.

“It’s as though my friends are trying to catch me in an inconsistency with their constant questions and comments. What should I say to people when they’re quizzing me beyond my knowledge of my new lifestyle?”

I feel lucky to not of had this happen to me maybe because I know so many broad minded people but my advice would be to just hold up your hands and say 'look I don't know the answer to that but if you really want to know then bloody well google it'. That's the answer to everything in our house if you really want to know the answer to something then google it.

“What should I do at social events when there’s no vegan food available and everyone keeps trying to force me to eat things? I know I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to, but it’s awkward.”

Just stick to your guns and just patiently explain to them that you won't not that you can't but that you won't eat something because it isn't vegan and it's against your principles to eat it. I know other vegans use the line of that they are allergic to something so that they don't have to explain why they won't eat something.

“What online resources will be most helpful to me as a new vegan? Are there any books or movies you would recommend to me?”

I've read a few books since going vegan and the important titles are Farm Sanctuary changing hearts changing minds, Why Vegan, Skinny Bitch, The Pig That Sang to the Moon and Vegan Cooking. They have all been great books that have helped me along.
One of the best films as in shocking was Earthlings. Also check out the videos on PETA as well as these here http://www.meat.org/ and on Farm Sanctuary's website http://www.farmsanctuary.org take their virtual tour and watch all their other videos including thier Sanctuary Tails videos so cute.
A good DVD to watch is Meet your Meat it's the only DVD I've brought so far but I am going to be adding to it with Food Inc and The Cove.
I have also subscribed to a few blogs such as I Eat Trees, This Dish Is Veg, Ecorazzi, GirlieGirlArmy and Crazy Sexy Life I am also a member of the social board for TDIV where I have met lots of other vegans don't feel so alone with those peeps.
I also have a subscription to 2 UK magazines Cook Vegetarian and Vegetarian Living they both have lots of vegan recipes or tell you how you can veganize a dish as well as having lots of other information you can read about.

“I was cool and all before I went vegan, but now I’m like, whoa. Why are vegan so awesome?”

Now there is a mystery and one that I shall leave you to ponder over . . .

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
jbn19872005
Nov. 12th, 2010 05:44 am (UTC)
Thanks Sammy!

This was informative :D

Some of your dishes look really tasty!
cleaninggirl
Nov. 23rd, 2010 11:48 pm (UTC)
Your welcome Jessie glad you found it imformative and that you like the look of my dishes. Sorry for the delay in replying just been busy with life tonight has been the first night I've had to catch up on everything.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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