Inspiration for eating healthy at uni

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Fitnesswellness
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Hey guys,

Since starting uni, one of the things I've struggled with is eating healthy. I have found myself deprioritising it, partly because I stuggle to find interesting healthy recipes.

I am at a stage now where I would like to focus more on my eating habits. I am even transitioning to a vegan lifestyle.

I was wondering if you had any recommendations for interesting health vegan meals. I'm seriously in need of some inspo. I would also love to hear if any of you have been through a similar journey.

Thanks so much!
Fitnesswellness
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Guns_and_Ships
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(Original post by Fitnesswellness)
Hey guys,

Since starting uni, one of the things I've struggled with is eating healthy. I have found myself deprioritising it, partly because I stuggle to find interesting healthy recipes.

I am at a stage now where I would like to focus more on my eating habits. I am even transitioning to a vegan lifestyle.

I was wondering if you had any recommendations for interesting health vegan meals. I'm seriously in need of some inspo. I would also love to hear if any of you have been through a similar journey.

Thanks so much!
Fitnesswellness
Hello! Eating vegan can be very cheap and easy if you know how to do it. I'd recommend bulk buying some lentils, rice and beans as these can serve as staples. Find ways to sneak lots of vegetables into every meal - this will keep your meals interesting as well as providing lots of vitamins and flavour. A basic tomato sauce recipe will get you far - try sauteing an onion in a tiny bit of oil with a bit of garlic (you can get frozen pre-chopped onion too which speeds this up) then once translucent, you could add in some curry spice / mix or some paprika and tomato puree depending on what flavour you want. Spices are really worth investing in as they can transform a meal without lots of oil and salt (or meat). Then let the spices cook down a bit and at this point you'd add in any vegetables (carrots first as they take the longest, then things like courgette and aubergine (zucchini), then pepper or mushroom, frozen vegetables at the end). Next add in a tin of tomatoes (cooking essential!!!) and let it simmer on a low heat until some of the water has evaporated and it has thickened. Balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper, sweet chilli sauce and even some cheap cooking wine (£3 a bottle and lasts a good long time) will all help you along here! You can add beans or lentils along with the tinned tomatoes to make sure you get some protein in (and they also make it a more filling and satisfying meal) or even get a "mixed bean salad" tin from your supermarket to dump on top. Tofu is easy to do - make sure you marinade it though (1 tbsp soy sauce, 1tbsp tomato puree, 1tbsp vinegar of choice and a bit of sweetness like sweet chilli sauce or even maple syrup if you want) - then just wipe a pan with a little oil ( I use kitchen roll) and cook on all sides. Very tasty!
Oats are your best bet for breakfast - soya milk porridge can be done in a microwave in 2 minutes and is super cheap. Add fruit to make it more exciting! (and maybe some nuts? or a bit of plant yoghurt?).

Don't know if this was helpful - let me know what sort of food you like and I'd love to share some recipes with you I've been cooking my own meals since I was around 13 so hopefully I've picked up a few tips and if you need help with "veganising" any of your favourite meals, I might have made a recipe for it so just let me know I'm afraid I can't help you as much on the healthy lifestyle side as I mostly went vegan because of the many cows down my lane (not even kidding.... I was a bit obsessed with cows when I was little!) rather than health reasons (hence my over-dependency on soya chocolate... and vegan Ben and Jerries) but my day to day food I guess is pretty healthy as I like cooking from scratch So yeah! Just let me know how I can help! And good luck
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Guns_and_Ships
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Oh and two really good youtube channels for you - Caitlin Shoemaker (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0c...ykJffZA/videos) does easy, cheap recipes: try her budget playlist or meal prep playlist. Her recipes are proper food too... none of the chia seed / goji berry stuff you can't pronounce, just tasty, healthy food without animals Then CheapLazyVegan is also pretty good for super quick meals that are still full of good stuff! She has a quick dinners playlist all under 15 minutes. Maybe try using recipes you know too and just substituting the meat for beans/lentils/tofu/seitan and veggies.
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Fitnesswellness
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Oh wow this is such amazing advise! Thanks so much for being so detailed. There definitely feels like there's loads that can be done with veggies and beans. I'm a huge fan of lentils, especially when they're cooked with the right spice combo! You're right, spices are everything. Thanks so much for tips for cooking on a budget as well.

Are there any other YouTube/ other social media accounts that you recommend checking out for vegan recipes? ☺️☺️
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anosmianAcrimony
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How fantastic! Good on you!

Start by chopping up an onion and starting it frying in some oil with black pepper. Chop up half a bell pepper and half a courgette and put those into the pan too. Once those are nicely browned, put a can of beans into the pan with them. I prefer kidney beans in a chilli sauce but ordinary baked beans work well too. Let it simmer for a little while, then put in half a jar of tomato sauce. Let all of that simmer for a while, and then - here's the kicker - put in a few knife-fuls of crunchy peanut butter and mix thoroughly. At about the same time you put the peanut butter in, put a couple of slices of bread in your toaster. When the toast pops, put half the veg/bean/tomato/peanut concoction on your toast and half in a tupperware for tomorrow's breakfast.

Enjoy the best beans on toast you'll ever eat.
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Guns_and_Ships
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(Original post by anosmianAcrimony)
How fantastic! Good on you!

Start by chopping up an onion and starting it frying in some oil with black pepper. Chop up half a pepper and half a courgette and put those into the pan too. Once those are nicely browned, put a can of beans into the pan with them. I prefer kidney beans in a chilli sauce but ordinary baked beans work well too. Let it simmer for a little while, then put in half a jar of tomato sauce. Let all of that simmer for a while, and then - here's the kicker - put in a few knife-fuls of crunchy peanut butter and mix thoroughly. At about the same time you put the peanut butter in, put a couple of slices of bread in your toaster. When the toast pops, put half the veg/bean/tomato/peanut concoction on your toast and half in a tupperware for tomorrow's breakfast.

Enjoy the best beans on toast you'll ever eat.
Why have I never thought of PB-Beans on toast?!?!?! I've used PB in african stew before but you sir/siress are a genius!
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Guns_and_Ships
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(Original post by Fitnesswellness)
Oh wow this is such amazing advise! Thanks so much for being so detailed. There definitely feels like there's loads that can be done with veggies and beans. I'm a huge fan of lentils, especially when they're cooked with the right spice combo! You're right, spices are everything. Thanks so much for tips for cooking on a budget as well.

Are there any other YouTube/ other social media accounts that you recommend checking out for vegan recipes? ☺️☺️
No worries and absolutely yes there are!! I will get to work in the morning but I've just finished a heck of a lot of organic chemistry so I'm going to go and play with a kitten for a bit before bedXD I'll have a look through my youtube sub box tomorrow and update you!
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Hey that's great! Good on you for trying to be healthy while at uni, I know it can be hard!

I always find that Instagram has some great inspiration! You can check out hashtag or find accounts that fit your niche. Here are some that I follow which I think you might like!

@thefoodmedic Not vegan, but she has a great nutritional focus to her meals. It's a good way to cut through some of the nonsense when it comes to healthy food. You should check out her podcast too... If you are into that kind of thing.

@alchemy_ldn They base their food and drink around superfoods, like matcha, which leads to some creative and colourful things. From what I can see, all their content is vegan so I'm sure you'd get some great inspiration! You should check out their recent post with those pink donuts... They look amazing!

@healthy_ish Covers food and lifestyle. It's a magazine or online brand that talks about some of the things you mentioned in the OP. It's a good place to start for ideas. Although, I think they are American, so perhaps you can't get all of their product recommendations.

Anyway, best of luck and let me know how it goes for you!
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Fitnesswellness
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(Original post by anosmianAcrimony)
How fantastic! Good on you!

Start by chopping up an onion and starting it frying in some oil with black pepper. Chop up half a bell pepper and half a courgette and put those into the pan too. Once those are nicely browned, put a can of beans into the pan with them. I prefer kidney beans in a chilli sauce but ordinary baked beans work well too. Let it simmer for a little while, then put in half a jar of tomato sauce. Let all of that simmer for a while, and then - here's the kicker - put in a few knife-fuls of crunchy peanut butter and mix thoroughly. At about the same time you put the peanut butter in, put a couple of slices of bread in your toaster. When the toast pops, put half the veg/bean/tomato/peanut concoction on your toast and half in a tupperware for tomorrow's breakfast.

Enjoy the best beans on toast you'll ever eat.
This sounds so delicious! Thanks for sharing such a tasty sounding recipe. Adding peanut butter to savoury food is genius!
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Fitnesswellness
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Hey that's great! Good on you for trying to be healthy while at uni, I know it can be hard!

I always find that Instagram has some great inspiration! You can check out hashtag or find accounts that fit your niche. Here are some that I follow which I think you might like!

@thefoodmedic Not vegan, but she has a great nutritional focus to her meals. It's a good way to cut through some of the nonsense when it comes to healthy food. You should check out her podcast too... If you are into that kind of thing.

@alchemy_ldn They base their food and drink around superfoods, like matcha, which leads to some creative and colourful things. From what I can see, all their content is vegan so I'm sure you'd get some great inspiration! You should check out their recent post with those pink donuts... They look amazing!

@healthy_ish Covers food and lifestyle. It's a magazine or online brand that talks about some of the things you mentioned in the OP. It's a good place to start for ideas. Although, I think they are American, so perhaps you can't get all of their product recommendations.

Anyway, best of luck and let me know how it goes for you!
Thanks so much for these suggestions! I've come across thefoodmedic before, I really enjoy her podcast. Wow you're right, those pink doughnuts from alchemy_ldn look insane, I'd never come across them before, they're stuff looks really innovative and I can't say no to a good smoothie bowl! Thanks so much for the tips! I can't wait to dive deeper into this world of healthier vegan food! ☺️
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Guns_and_Ships
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(Original post by Fitnesswellness)
Oh wow this is such amazing advise! Thanks so much for being so detailed. There definitely feels like there's loads that can be done with veggies and beans. I'm a huge fan of lentils, especially when they're cooked with the right spice combo! You're right, spices are everything. Thanks so much for tips for cooking on a budget as well.

Are there any other YouTube/ other social media accounts that you recommend checking out for vegan recipes? ☺️☺️
Ok - some more youtube channels ---- Sweet Simple Vegan is a channel from a couple that cook together. They've just done a video on how to use up leftover rice too which is always a problem I have! They're all quite simple and quick too.
Madeline Olivia has some good videos such as her Go-to cheap and easy ones which are all simple things like oatmeal, stirfry, macaroni cheese (but using cashew nuts and plant milk instead of lots of cream) and mexican rice.
Rachel Ama has done some good "under a pound" recipes too - these cover nice basics like stews and chillis.

I quite like "Minimalist Baker" which is a website, as they do simple recipes with ingredients you'll already have instead of really long complicated versions. You can always add in extra veggies or sauces to change it up a bit, but they provide a good base recipe.

Recipes to master would be your basic bean chilli or soya mince bolognaise (sainsbury's own soya mince is really good and cheap but it soaks up flavour so well!) as you can use this for loads of stuff - like stuffed aubegines, lasagne, burritos etc... Tofu scramble is nice and simple, but make sure you cook it for a good while with lots of flavour (e.g. nutritional yeast - worth investing in a tub as it lasts ages - marmite, mustard, salt and pepper, paprika, tumeric and whatever else you feel like - OH and rosemary!). This can be a breakfast or lunch and its really simple - use silken tofu for a mushy one or firm for one that holds it shape and has a bit more bite. Add in some mushroom and onion for extra yumminess. If you're in the UK, sainsburys does the Vivera range which has fake meat strips that make super easy stir frys or can be (very very very) easily eaten on their own with veggies and rice / potato, or Holland and Barret do VeggieDeli fake meats which I love. These will still have no cholesterol (cholesterol is produced in the liver so only animal products contain it) and lower fat / calories than normal meat and I can't tell you for the life of me if it actually tastes "meaty" but it is great in a curry!

Curry is very easily adaptable too - switch up your spice mixes and the vegetables you add to keep it interesting. For stews and currys, if you are wanting to thicken it up a bit, try soya yoghurt (plain) or light coconut milk or even (this works very well for stews) take a few cups out of the pan, blitz it with a hand blender (or any type of blender you have) then return it to the pot. This really adds to the texture. Making a big batch of soup on a sunday is also a good idea as you can take it in a thermos with some bread or crackers for lunch and then add spoonfuls into whatever sauces you make as it adds so much flavour! You could even make a big batch then freeze it so that you can keep adding it to recipes throughout the month.

Your freezer will be your best friend seriously - you can make your own ready meals by just taking a portion out of whatever you make and storing it in a plastic pot (this helps with portion control too as you only have one portions worth).

Another good meal is to just chuck all your old vegetables (tomato, carrot, courgette, aubegine, pepper all work well) into a baking pan then mix your favourite vinegar with some spices or herbs and crushed garlic (balsamic vinegar, garlic, ginger, basil and oregano work well - even a tiny bit of maple syrup) and drizzle it over the top then toss it and bake at 180 degrees celcius in ten minute increments until the juices are coming out and the tomatoes are all soft. Then you can just dry fry a bit of onion (or use a little bit of oil) in a pan, add any more spices (I love paprika) and chuck it all in with some bean/lentils/tofu etc. The roasting really helps to bring out all the flavours and you could also use this technique to make a soup by adding in some vegetable stock and then blending it (or just having it lumpy - but make sure to let it simmer for a good hour if you aren't blending so it has time to infuse).

A simple lunch - chop up 4 ish mushrooms, mix a clove of crushed garlic with a teaspoon of soya cream cheese (sainsbury's sells a really good one), salt and pepper and a dash of soya milk then heat in the microwave for around 20 - 30 seconds. Then add in the mushroom and cook it in the microwave again until they have gone tender. Serve on toast or with left over pasta/rice - it's really good

I also like cooking some slices of aubegine in soy sauce and sometimes sweet chilli sauce in the microwave then adding a chutney of some sort (brushetta is nice) and some fake meat, tofu, soy cheese or beans if you have them spare and serve in a sandwich or in a salad (with some potato).

That leads me onto my final point - make sure you are staying full! Dietitians always recommend getting 50% of your calories from carbohydrate, so adding enough potato or rice to your meal will help you feel full after the meal so that you don't end up snacking - sadly there is now a lot of very tasty vegan junk food XD Also, maybe try ending meals with a hot drink like peppermint tea, normal tea or hot sugar free squash (I make this with water from the kettle and then 2 tbsp of sugar free summer fruits squash). It's really comforting in winter and it helps you feel like the meal has finished. Alternatively, get some sugar free polos and have a mint at the end of the meal - this is helpful if you tend to end a meal and still want to snack. Although tbh, whenever I have lentils or beans I always end up feeling pretty full XD.

Oh! And frozen fruit / vegetables will make it really easy to eat your five a day without worrying about them going off. Frozen spinach is good as it can be added into stews and just adds a bit of texture every now and again without changing the flavour much. It comes in little cubes too so you can just chuck in a few cubes. I always keep frozen raspberries in stock and just microwave a handful in the morning to have on my porridge or toast (a much nicer and low sugar alternative to jam - seriously though, defrosted raspberry mush and yogurt on toast is awesome!). You can also just have a few to snack on in summer (frozen grapes work well here too). Maybe even keep a bag of frozen mixed vegetables so that you can always add some to every meal/sauce with minimal effort. Adding veggies really helps bulk out recipes too so that the more expensive ingredients last longer.

Anyway... that's all I can think of right now! Again, ask me anything and I'll do my best to answer I kind of love cooking...
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Fitnesswellness
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(Original post by SarahStubSloth)
Ok - some more youtube channels ---- Sweet Simple Vegan is a channel from a couple that cook together. They've just done a video on how to use up leftover rice too which is always a problem I have! They're all quite simple and quick too.
Madeline Olivia has some good videos such as her Go-to cheap and easy ones which are all simple things like oatmeal, stirfry, macaroni cheese (but using cashew nuts and plant milk instead of lots of cream) and mexican rice.
Rachel Ama has done some good "under a pound" recipes too - these cover nice basics like stews and chillis.

I quite like "Minimalist Baker" which is a website, as they do simple recipes with ingredients you'll already have instead of really long complicated versions. You can always add in extra veggies or sauces to change it up a bit, but they provide a good base recipe.

Recipes to master would be your basic bean chilli or soya mince bolognaise (sainsbury's own soya mince is really good and cheap but it soaks up flavour so well!) as you can use this for loads of stuff - like stuffed aubegines, lasagne, burritos etc... Tofu scramble is nice and simple, but make sure you cook it for a good while with lots of flavour (e.g. nutritional yeast - worth investing in a tub as it lasts ages - marmite, mustard, salt and pepper, paprika, tumeric and whatever else you feel like - OH and rosemary!). This can be a breakfast or lunch and its really simple - use silken tofu for a mushy one or firm for one that holds it shape and has a bit more bite. Add in some mushroom and onion for extra yumminess. If you're in the UK, sainsburys does the Vivera range which has fake meat strips that make super easy stir frys or can be (very very very) easily eaten on their own with veggies and rice / potato, or Holland and Barret do VeggieDeli fake meats which I love. These will still have no cholesterol (cholesterol is produced in the liver so only animal products contain it) and lower fat / calories than normal meat and I can't tell you for the life of me if it actually tastes "meaty" but it is great in a curry!

Curry is very easily adaptable too - switch up your spice mixes and the vegetables you add to keep it interesting. For stews and currys, if you are wanting to thicken it up a bit, try soya yoghurt (plain) or light coconut milk or even (this works very well for stews) take a few cups out of the pan, blitz it with a hand blender (or any type of blender you have) then return it to the pot. This really adds to the texture. Making a big batch of soup on a sunday is also a good idea as you can take it in a thermos with some bread or crackers for lunch and then add spoonfuls into whatever sauces you make as it adds so much flavour! You could even make a big batch then freeze it so that you can keep adding it to recipes throughout the month.

Your freezer will be your best friend seriously - you can make your own ready meals by just taking a portion out of whatever you make and storing it in a plastic pot (this helps with portion control too as you only have one portions worth).

Another good meal is to just chuck all your old vegetables (tomato, carrot, courgette, aubegine, pepper all work well) into a baking pan then mix your favourite vinegar with some spices or herbs and crushed garlic (balsamic vinegar, garlic, ginger, basil and oregano work well - even a tiny bit of maple syrup) and drizzle it over the top then toss it and bake at 180 degrees celcius in ten minute increments until the juices are coming out and the tomatoes are all soft. Then you can just dry fry a bit of onion (or use a little bit of oil) in a pan, add any more spices (I love paprika) and chuck it all in with some bean/lentils/tofu etc. The roasting really helps to bring out all the flavours and you could also use this technique to make a soup by adding in some vegetable stock and then blending it (or just having it lumpy - but make sure to let it simmer for a good hour if you aren't blending so it has time to infuse).

A simple lunch - chop up 4 ish mushrooms, mix a clove of crushed garlic with a teaspoon of soya cream cheese (sainsbury's sells a really good one), salt and pepper and a dash of soya milk then heat in the microwave for around 20 - 30 seconds. Then add in the mushroom and cook it in the microwave again until they have gone tender. Serve on toast or with left over pasta/rice - it's really good

I also like cooking some slices of aubegine in soy sauce and sometimes sweet chilli sauce in the microwave then adding a chutney of some sort (brushetta is nice) and some fake meat, tofu, soy cheese or beans if you have them spare and serve in a sandwich or in a salad (with some potato).

That leads me onto my final point - make sure you are staying full! Dietitians always recommend getting 50% of your calories from carbohydrate, so adding enough potato or rice to your meal will help you feel full after the meal so that you don't end up snacking - sadly there is now a lot of very tasty vegan junk food XD Also, maybe try ending meals with a hot drink like peppermint tea, normal tea or hot sugar free squash (I make this with water from the kettle and then 2 tbsp of sugar free summer fruits squash). It's really comforting in winter and it helps you feel like the meal has finished. Alternatively, get some sugar free polos and have a mint at the end of the meal - this is helpful if you tend to end a meal and still want to snack. Although tbh, whenever I have lentils or beans I always end up feeling pretty full XD.

Oh! And frozen fruit / vegetables will make it really easy to eat your five a day without worrying about them going off. Frozen spinach is good as it can be added into stews and just adds a bit of texture every now and again without changing the flavour much. It comes in little cubes too so you can just chuck in a few cubes. I always keep frozen raspberries in stock and just microwave a handful in the morning to have on my porridge or toast (a much nicer and low sugar alternative to jam - seriously though, defrosted raspberry mush and yogurt on toast is awesome!). You can also just have a few to snack on in summer (frozen grapes work well here too). Maybe even keep a bag of frozen mixed vegetables so that you can always add some to every meal/sauce with minimal effort. Adding veggies really helps bulk out recipes too so that the more expensive ingredients last longer.

Anyway... that's all I can think of right now! Again, ask me anything and I'll do my best to answer I kind of love cooking...
Omg you are an absolute star! This is all such amazing advise. Thanks so much for taking the time out to share all of this with me, that's so generous of you. This is the perfect starter kit for my journey! Thanks again! ☺️❤️❤️❤️
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bigmandubz
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Hey, I found this company called Studifuel. It's a healthy lifestyle subscription box for students full of vegan snacks, recipes, herbal teas and comes with a monthly supply of vitamins. You should check it out!
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Fitnesswellness
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(Original post by bigmandubz)
Hey, I found this company called Studifuel. It's a healthy lifestyle subscription box for students full of vegan snacks, recipes, herbal teas and comes with a monthly supply of vitamins. You should check it out!
That sounds awesome! That's for sharing 😁
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Fitnesswellness)
Hey guys,

Since starting uni, one of the things I've struggled with is eating healthy. I have found myself deprioritising it, partly because I stuggle to find interesting healthy recipes.

I am at a stage now where I would like to focus more on my eating habits. I am even transitioning to a vegan lifestyle.

I was wondering if you had any recommendations for interesting health vegan meals. I'm seriously in need of some inspo. I would also love to hear if any of you have been through a similar journey.

Thanks so much!
Fitnesswellness
You seem to be equating veganism with a 'healthy lifestyle'. This is not the case, and it's actually much more difficult to get a healthy, balanced died if you're a vegan. Fad diets like veganism should always be avoided wherever possible. If you're in doubt about this, open you mouth and have a look in the mirror at your teeth. You will notice that we do not have broad, flat molars and that's it, but we have incisors and canine teeth. That should tell you something...

It's probably not what you want to hear, but I'm afraid the science speaks for itself. To get a healthy, vegan diet includes a huge amount of planning and expense and even then usually some form of supplementation of things like B12 is still required. Unless you have some sorts of ethical objections which have driven you to veganism, I strongly encourage you to do some research from reliable sources (i.e. not TSR and not blogs and other fitness/wellness sites, but sites like patient.info, NHS, Cochrane Reviews etc) before committing to such a drastic and troublesome way of eating.

You will be able to eat far more healthily more easily and cheaper by ditching it and including a variety of foods, from each food group, to create a healthy, varied, energy-appropriate diet that's both nutritious AND tasty.
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HappyBuddah
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There's loads of recipes on Pinterest. Please avoid 'clean' eating, it's a pile of rubbish. Food isn't 'dirty', just aim for unprocessed and lots of colour (fruit and veg). Being vegan is difficult and I don't think it's that healthy. I had a vegan friend who was always underweight, looked very ill, and was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 24.
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Guns_and_Ships
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For many, veganism isn't a "fad" but rather an educated decision based on the ethical and environmental benefits. As long as you do some research beforehand, it is actually very easy to get all the nutrients needed and it doesn't need to be expensive - it is the highly specialised foods that get expensive, but beans, pulses, lentils, fortified plant milk etc can be cheap and healthy. B12 is a very common deficiency in both vegans and non-vegans alike - supplements can be helpful for many people, but it is still possible to live supplement free as a vegan by including fortified foods or yeast extract/marmite.
It is also a slightly flawed argument to point to our teeth and claim eating meat is natural as there is very little natural about the way the meat and dairy industry operates today.

I'm not trying to criticise you or any of your personal decisions, but it is unfair to ignore the many benefits of a animal product free lifestyle. I understand you may have had negative experiences with some people that go vegan for the wrong reasons, but please give the other people trying to make a positive impact through it a chance!



(Original post by Reality Check)
You seem to be equating veganism with a 'healthy lifestyle'. This is not the case, and it's actually much more difficult to get a healthy, balanced died if you're a vegan. Fad diets like veganism should always be avoided wherever possible. If you're in doubt about this, open you mouth and have a look in the mirror at your teeth. You will notice that we do not have broad, flat molars and that's it, but we have incisors and canine teeth. That should tell you something...

It's probably not what you want to hear, but I'm afraid the science speaks for itself. To get a healthy, vegan diet includes a huge amount of planning and expense and even then usually some form of supplementation of things like B12 is still required. Unless you have some sorts of ethical objections which have driven you to veganism, I strongly encourage you to do some research from reliable sources (i.e. not TSR and not blogs and other fitness/wellness sites, but sites like patient.info, NHS, Cochrane Reviews etc) before committing to such a drastic and troublesome way of eating.

You will be able to eat far more healthily more easily and cheaper by ditching it and including a variety of foods, from each food group, to create a healthy, varied, energy-appropriate diet that's both nutritious AND tasty.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by SarahStubSloth)
For many, veganism isn't a "fad" but rather an educated decision based on the ethical and environmental benefits. As long as you do some research beforehand, it is actually very easy to get all the nutrients needed and it doesn't need to be expensive - it is the highly specialised foods that get expensive, but beans, pulses, lentils, fortified plant milk etc can be cheap and healthy. B12 is a very common deficiency in both vegans and non-vegans alike - supplements can be helpful for many people, but it is still possible to live supplement free as a vegan by including fortified foods or yeast extract/marmite.
It is also a slightly flawed argument to point to our teeth and claim eating meat is natural as there is very little natural about the way the meat and dairy industry operates today.

I'm not trying to criticise you or any of your personal decisions, but it is unfair to ignore the many benefits of a animal product free lifestyle. I understand you may have had negative experiences with some people that go vegan for the wrong reasons, but please give the other people trying to make a positive impact through it a chance!
I'm sorry, but this is just not correct.

  • Veganism is a fad diet. It waxes and wanes in popularity, and always has done. At the moment, it's been conjoined with the 'clean eating' fad and is popular. A lot of that stems from the fact that fruit and vegetables are nice and colourful and photograph well for instagram.
  • Human beings are omnivorous animals, as can be seen by our dentition. The 'meat and dairy industry today' have nothing to do with this statement or its veracity.
  • Very few people eating a mixed diet have vitamin B12 deficiency. A large number of vegans have a B12 deficiency, as well as a poor protein intake and poor intake of several other vitamins. Human beings were not, are not and will not be 'designed' to eat a purely plant-based diet.

I agree with you regarding personal choice, but I disagree that there are any 'benefits' about an animal product-free lifestyle.
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Guns_and_Ships
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Hello again, sorry for the delay - blame it on A-Levels!
I'm afraid I don't think I expressed myself very well in my last comment; I am not trying to argue that there B12 deficiency and poor protein intake is not possible on a vegan diet or that for some people it is not a fad, but rather that it is harmful to characterise all vegans under the same banner. There definitely are some people who choose to eat vegan / "clean" food to follow a trend or try and loose weight but there are also many many people who follow an "animal product-free lifestyle" specifically to reduce their negative impact on the planet and other organisms.

The benefits to the environment are significant - the meat and dairy industry contributes more greenhouse gas emissions than all of the transport sector There has been a recent study into this by Cambridge university which is well worth a look into, mostly just because it's really interesting (if you're interested in environmental science that is...) Just from a perspective of efficiency, it is better to eat plants directly than to extend a food chain and eat the animals eating the plants (thus losing 90% of the energy to life processes). I won't go into the ethical side as I don't think that is what this thread is really about, but I think the benefits are fairly evident there. All I will say is that personally, I have lived near farms my whole life so understand in detail the processes that occur as a byproduct of dairy and eggs, and that for many, this is the objection rather than merely the principle of eating animal products.

Admittedly, I am not as educated in the health benefits of veganism as this was not my reason for the change, although obviously no dietary cholesterol is a benefit and vegan diets do tend to be lower in fat (especially saturated fat simply as this is most commonly found in animal products), although that might go out the window now Ben and Jerries does vegan chocolate brownie ice cream XD However, I do not that it is possible and easy to live healthily - I have worked with a dietitian in the past to ensure this. Protein really isn't a problem as long as you eat a variety of beans, pulses and meat alternatives (tofu, tvp etc), almost all plant milks, soy products and cereals are fortified with calcium, iron, B12 and vitamin D. As long as you go into a vegan diet with the intention to eat a balanced diet rather than the intention to have a restricted or low calorie diet, you will be fine. And if you fear you won't get enough B12 - or any other vitamin/mineral - there are specialised supplements available (such as VEG1). These don't need to be necessary, but can be more convenient.

My statement relating to your teeth comment was poorly worded - the point I was trying to make was that it isn't really relevant that we have evolutionary adaptations to eating meat as we have adaptations to many other processes that - due to modern technology and knowledge - are no longer necessary. We have hair and "goosebumps" which are residual from being completely covered in hair, something no longer necessary as we wear clothes (on a side note some anthropologists think that the "invention" of the needle was a really big turning point in human history as it allowed close fitting clothes!). The shape of our teeth tell us that we are adapted to an omnivorous diet - yes - but the dimorphism between men and women also suggests we may be adapted to polygamy. Just because it is "natural" to live in a certain way based on our species' history does not mean that is the most beneficial way to live. We are now at a stage in human development where eating meat and animal products is no longer necessary and so many people choose to stop as way to minimise their negative impact on other animals and the environment.

Again, I am not referring to people who follow a vegan diet for the purpose of losing weight or following the trend, but to those who do it with the aim of eating a balanced and healthy diet.

My apologies for writing an initially hostile reply - I get annoyed by all vegans being lumped under one label - and hopefully I have better explained my point of view.Thank you also for an interesting conversation, and for helping me to challenge my position (it's the only way to keep checking it is justified!). Again, I am not trying to critisize or judge, I just want people to understand that there are more complex reasons for removing animal products, that it is possible (and after a bit of practice, very easy) to live healthily and that if the environment and animals are important to you, it could be worth trying to reduce animal products (doesn't have to be all or nothing to make a difference).


(Original post by Reality Check)
I'm sorry, but this is just not correct.

  • Veganism is a fad diet. It waxes and wanes in popularity, and always has done. At the moment, it's been conjoined with the 'clean eating' fad and is popular. A lot of that stems from the fact that fruit and vegetables are nice and colourful and photograph well for instagram.
  • Human beings are omnivorous animals, as can be seen by our dentition. The 'meat and dairy industry today' have nothing to do with this statement or its veracity.
  • Very few people eating a mixed diet have vitamin B12 deficiency. A large number of vegans have a B12 deficiency, as well as a poor protein intake and poor intake of several other vitamins. Human beings were not, are not and will not be 'designed' to eat a purely plant-based diet.

I agree with you regarding personal choice, but I disagree that there are any 'benefits' about an animal product-free lifestyle.
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Fitnesswellness
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(Original post by Reality Check)
You seem to be equating veganism with a 'healthy lifestyle'. This is not the case, and it's actually much more difficult to get a healthy, balanced died if you're a vegan. Fad diets like veganism should always be avoided wherever possible. If you're in doubt about this, open you mouth and have a look in the mirror at your teeth. You will notice that we do not have broad, flat molars and that's it, but we have incisors and canine teeth. That should tell you something...

It's probably not what you want to hear, but I'm afraid the science speaks for itself. To get a healthy, vegan diet includes a huge amount of planning and expense and even then usually some form of supplementation of things like B12 is still required. Unless you have some sorts of ethical objections which have driven you to veganism, I strongly encourage you to do some research from reliable sources (i.e. not TSR and not blogs and other fitness/wellness sites, but sites like patient.info, NHS, Cochrane Reviews etc) before committing to such a drastic and troublesome way of eating.

You will be able to eat far more healthily more easily and cheaper by ditching it and including a variety of foods, from each food group, to create a healthy, varied, energy-appropriate diet that's both nutritious AND tasty.
Hello - The question I posted did not ask for thoughts on the validity of veganism, so I am confused as to why you chose to make that the focus of your response. You are entirely entitled to your opinion on this topic, but, with all due respect, it wasn't what was asked for. By answering a different question to the original, you make assumptions about the OP's motivation and knowledge. To share another view that wasn't asked for, volunteering unsolicited opinions can often be unhelpful and unproductive.
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