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RHEYNKLAW
RHEYNKLAW's Photo SparkPoints: (70,128)
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7/26/12 7:25 P

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We are glad to have you, Michelle.emoticonEvery little bit counts, so though you say you're not a "health nut," even small changes are worth making.
emoticonRheyn

Edited by: RHEYNKLAW at: 7/26/2012 (19:25)
Rheyn

"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
-Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

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MICHELLE6468
MICHELLE6468's Photo SparkPoints: (29,791)
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7/26/12 7:17 P

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I just joined this group. Based on what I've read in this group so far, I'm not as much of a health nut as the rest of you, but my family and I are trying to eat healthier. I just joined this group today, but I've been a Spark member for a long time.


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REBZ_BABYGIRL
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5/28/12 7:45 P

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I have tried tvp. I'll have to pick up some tempeh this week and give it a whirl



RHEYNKLAW
RHEYNKLAW's Photo SparkPoints: (70,128)
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5/28/12 7:43 P

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Just one of the many fun foods to discover when meat and dairy are out of the picture.emoticonIt's cultured soy, usually packaged in a dense rectangle, found near refrigerated tofu. You can use it in place of ground meat or TVP crumbles in sauces and soups, steam and marinate it for mock hot wings or bacon, or just slice it and put it on a salad. I love tempeh!

Rheyn

"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
-Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

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REBZ_BABYGIRL
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5/28/12 7:35 P

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no, I haven't tried that yet.



RHEYNKLAW
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5/28/12 3:24 P

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It sounds like you're doing great, even though you say you're just starting out. Have you tried tempeh?

Rheyn

"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
-Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

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REBZ_BABYGIRL
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5/28/12 1:18 P

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yeah, I knew that about the cheese and the caesin being in it. They are sneaky with that. I have found too that some of the ready made or processed stuff is very high in sodium. So, I figured it was better to make your own if possible. I have high blood pressure and am on 2 different prescriptions for that. My goal is to get off of the meds completely.

Eventually I will dabble in making my own stuff especially now that I have a vitamix. That thing is the bomb! I work full time, so I don't have tons of time. But on the weekends I go through my recipes and decide which few I am going to try for the coming week and make up my grocery list and go get everything I need.

I have seen some recipes for the tofu omelette. I haven't tried it yet, I will though. I totally love the Sprouts farmer's market store we have here. I buy lots and lots of fresh fruits and veggies there. I think they know me by name, I am in there so much. LOL

I did try a vegan macaroni and cheese recipe (not a box mix) using the nutritional yeast and wheat pasta. my daughter loves it. I thought it was ok. Although the recipe I tried didn't include the miso. Maybe I should try it that way next time.

I had a hard time trying to figure out what to take to work in my lunch. One friend suggested making a blt sandwich. I use whole wheat bread and the vegan mayo and sprinkle imitation bacon bits (soy), tomato and fresh spinach. I absolutely love that and have been taking it everyday since. I also like the soy fruit yougurts, so I take one in my lunch also along with rice crackers and bottled water. I drink my green smoothie at work for breakfast and I also take my coffee. I am a coffeeholic if nothing else. I did switch from regular french vanilla creamer (I hate black coffee) to the silk french vanilla creamer. Now that I am drinking the smoothie, I do not drink as much coffee as I used to.

I do make home made granola for my daughter to snack on. she loves that. I am lucky that she has liked salads for years, not like most kids. and she loves drinking ice water. I did start buying her the stevia cola for a treat once in a while. we no longer go to fast food and I fry very little at home anymore. We do not hardly eat out at all, it's almost impossible to find anywhere that is vegan friendly. We did find one restaurant in town that has a 100% vegan menu, so we go there occassionaly. It takes alot more time, effort and thought into meals but I know it is worth it in the long run.



RHEYNKLAW
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5/28/12 12:46 P

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Believe it or not, you can make a pretty good baked omelete using tofu and garbanzo flour. I don't have a recipe (I just do it), but I'm sure there are some floating around there in cyberspace.

Have you tried nutritional yeast yet? Together with miso, you can get a "cheesy" flavor for much less than the price of fake cheese, and with better nutrition. The best vegan cheese I've tried -- and I know some other Sparkies who will agree with me on this - is Daiya. It's new within the last few years, and this spring they released wedges, which are amazing. (Before, they only had shreds.) Teese is also quite good. Both melt better than Galaxy slices. One thing you want to watch out for in veggie cheese is casein, which makes it NOT vegan even if the label says it's "vegetarian" or "non-dairy" soy/rice/etc. cheese.

I have mixed feelings about packaged vegan foods because, on one hand, they ARE animal-free, and that's an important part of eating a vegan diet, but on the other, the best way to eat is real, whole plant foods, and many vegan convenience foods are just as heavily processed as omni versions. I try to do as much as I can without, but have a something as a treat every once in a while. Once you become more comfortable with the substitutions, try making your own versions of things like veg mayo, sour cream, and cheese sauce. It's a lot easier than it sounds, but, again, one step at a time, right?

One of my favorite cookbooks at the moment is Chole's Kitchen by Chole Coscarelli. Lots of recipes that will appeal to children and die-hard omnis. Definitely not a diet book (she uses oils and nuts liberally), but for the most part the ingredients are identifiably things that grew from the earth, and even most of the richer, more decadent recipes can be healthified by reducing the oil, using less sugar, subbing whole grain flour, etc. I also like the Happy Herbivore books, and anything by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, whose latest book reflects her personal effort to cook healthier, not just vegan.

-Rheyn

Rheyn

"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
-Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

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REBZ_BABYGIRL
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5/28/12 12:22 P

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I am still a beginner in the whole vegan thing. I am the kind of person that will research and find information as opposed to just beleive or not beleiving what others say about it. the biggest thing I get from family and friends is concern for my 12 year old daughter getting her needed vitamins, etc. So, to shut them all up, she and I both take a multivitamin everyday, just in case. She will not drink the green smoothies with me, so I started making her her own smoothie to try and get some vitamins into her. I blend 2 cups chocolate almond silk milk, 4 tablespoons almond butter (or peanut butter), 1 large banana, 2 teaspoons ground flax seed, and a handful of fresh spinach. you cannot taste the spinach, but at least it is getting some greens in her and she thinks it's a dessert shake. LOL I split all that into 2 cups and she gets 1 a day.

I've never been a big fan of merengues, but I think that would be tricky to fake. I have made like some vegan cornbread using the Ener G egg replacer and it turned out fine. I love omelets too and I don't think there is going to be a way to fake that either. I am not super fond of the fake shredded cheese. but some of the other non dairy isn't bad at all. the veganaisse isn't bad and the tofu sour cream isn't bad. I haven't tried the cream cheese yet. This stuff is expensive, I don't care what anyone says, so I buy a few new things each week to try. I cleaned out my pantry of non vegan stuff and gave it to a needy family. I won't throw away food, but I didn't want it here to tempt me. Although, my husband will not commit 100% to the diet change, I am not cooking much meat at all for him, so he has no choice. LOL

In my journey for more information, one of the first books I bought was The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vegan Living. you can find it pretty cheap on amazon. it has some recipes but it also has alot of reading and information that really taught me alot I did not know. one thing it said that osteoporosis is highest in countries that consume the most dairy/milk. And the asian countries that consume very little of it, but have a high diet of soy and fish have much lower cases of osteoporosis. So, that tells me that America pushing milk and dairy for bones is not accurate on it being helpful.

I buy almond silk milk to drink and cook with. it has more calcium in it than cow's milk. And personally I think it's delicious. The vanilla one is best to drink. but I use the unsweetened one to cook with. From what I've read too, there is alot of calcium in the dark leafy greens. You won't be missing your nutrients by giving up dairy, but you will definitely be eating less fat and cholesterol. I love cheese like nobody's business. but never realized how much fat is in it til I started reading up on all of this.


I do have a free recipe board that I've typed out a ton of the recipes on from all these cookbooks I've been buying. it is at http://receipeswap.proboards.com/index.cgi and the vegan/vegetarian recipes I've typed in the lite/healthy section.

~Kim






RHEYNKLAW
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5/28/12 11:52 A

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Hey, Kim, welcome! You sound like you're becoming a vegan success story -- good for you!

What are some of the cookbooks you've bought? I had an extensive omni collection before my husband and I made the switch, and for a long time, I still consulted those same books for inspiration or to veganize baked goods. (I have never been one to follow recipes, which is perhaps one reason I dropped out of culinary school, lol.) Then I decided that I wanted to do more than just cook and eat better, I wanted to support other proponents of plant-based living, so I started buying vegan cookbooks and for the last few months I've had a personal goal of making at least one cookbook recipe a week.

How are you doing in the kitchen without eggs and dairy so far? I've yet to figure out how to make vegan merengues, lol.

Rheyn

"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
-Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

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DEEANN8
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5/28/12 9:03 A

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Hi Kim, Nice to meet you & welcome to the team!

Dee

"All things can be done for the one who believes." Mark 9:23

“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” --Will Rogers


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REBZ_BABYGIRL
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5/27/12 9:40 P

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Hi, I am Kim from Tucson Arizona. I am a native Texan and last summer we had to move to Arizona for my husband's health. I watched him go through a triple bypass surgery and recovery. I am in a yahoo group where alot of the members are vegan and have read what all they've had to say. after going to the dr myself and finding out my cholesterol was 400 and I was borderline diabetic I decided it was time for a change. At first, I was only going to do vegetarian. But I have been reading alot of info about it and I never realized about all the fat and hormones and antibiotics that is pumped into our dairy. Trust me, I love cheese and eggs like anyone else. What I couldn't wrap my head around was how do I cook without some of that stuff.

I have jumped all the way in to the vegan way of eatting as of end of March 2012. I love to cook, so I have tore up the internet for recipes and ordered tons of cookbooks. I also bought a vitamix and have been drinking green smoothies (fruit and greens) everyday. I haven't lost a ton of weight yet, but I recently went back to the dr and my over all cholesterol is down to 140 and my blood sugar was normal!!! my good cholesterol is still too low and my triglycerides are still too high, so now I have started adding ground flaxseed to my smoothies.

my main reason for this lifestyle change is for health. but I am also a huge animal lover and have seen some of the undercover videos online from slaughter houses that will forever give me nightmares. I can't watch those and it makes me mad that anyone would treat an animal the way some of them do.

I have a good friend that turned me on to spark people. I am brand new here and still learning my way around and what all it has and does.




 
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