So I am currently vegetarian. (yay) I am currently trying to go vegan. Let me ask you this: HOW THE HELL DO YOU DO IT???????

I look on packeges and it will say milk, or egg whites or cheese. My freaking veggi burger had egg whites in it!!!!

EVEN DORITOS HAVE MILK IN THEM!!!!

Eggs are easy to give up. I FINALLY found my milk replacement. (almond vanilla) and am using vegetable spread. Going to start looking for a cheese replacement. But this is a lot harder than I thought it would be! But I really do want to be vegan. Going from meat eater to vegetarian was easy. This is not.

Any pointers because I am really frustrated.

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I am struggling to go vegan too! I post my vegetarian status as being "vegan" here to remind myself that I AM a vegan now and to try my best for health and ethical reasons. I begin by eliminating processed and refined food because they have milk, eggs and even funny chemicals which your body doesn't want. Go for natural and whole food like fruits, veggies, nuts, beans and whole grains. Over time, I find that my body craves more natural food, especially fruits (I cannot live without fruits now!). 

Next, I listen to my body and take baby steps. For example, I eliminate eggs after I find out that there are less pimples when I practise an eggless diet-even just after a week. As for milk, I find out the common food containing milk and avoid them, which are usually processed food. I also remind myself of my decision to go vegan and the atrocities suffered by the animals during the production of eggs and cheese. I can eliminate dairy quite easily because I have lactose intolerance. As for eggs, hmm... it was challenging because I LOVE eggs in everything! Somehow I cut down and eventually eliminate eggs, and replacing them with other food like tofu and beans instead. They are just as delicious, minus the cholesterol and cruelty. I first stopped eating whole eggs, then cutting out cakes, which is an EXTREMELY DIFFICULT process! I filled the void with fruits and large salads.

I also customise my order when I eat out, e.g. asking the waiter to leave out eggs in my dish. Of course, customising food which can be veganised easily such as fried rice and salads is easier than those which are dairy and/or egg based like lasagna. However, when they forgot my special request, I just put the egg aside. This may sound gross, but it is a way to reassure waiters that vegetarians and vegans are not a difficult bunch. The waiter will be happy when we fuss them less and will be more ready to prepare vegan food in the future.

Besides, I learn to prepare simple vegan food and snacks. I cannot prepare gourmet dish in college since the only kitchen appliance allowed is an electric kettle. Thus, I used my kettle to prepare soup, and make salads. They are huge, colourful, filling, and delicious. For snacks, I make stuffed dates, i.e. dates with nuts inside. Lazy? Just eat fruits and nuts. Problem settled and it is healthier than the common snacks, such as fried street food and packaged corn snacks. Most importantly, I try to make my meals enjoyable and delicious.

I admit that it is tougher to transition from vegetarian to vegan than from meat-eater to vegetarian, given the difficulty to obtain all-vegan food outside and the mindset that eggs and dairy are vital to health. Don't give up and all the best in going vegan!

Actually, you can make a cake with 1/4 cup of Applesause insead of an egg. Unless the powder itself has any milk products in it..

I also recently went out to eat without looking at the menu ahead of time. I was able to find something vegetarian! ^_^ Seems like it's getting more popular. The only thing I could find vegan was a cesar salad. And I did ask the lady if the dish had meat and she said no. No fus, no judgment.

I never though of just picking up an apple or anything like that as a snack. Thanks! Wow I feel dumb. lol

Ugh, my mum will NEVER allow me to bake cakes without egg in it and she only allows me to bake when she's around! Plus, there's no way to find vegan cakes in my area (Taiping, Perak, Malaysia)

That's great April, that you are looking at transitioning into being a vegan.

For store-bought vegan options: you can try Boca - which got a range of products that are vegan-friendly; Gardein got a fab line of vegan options; Yves - I like their pepperoni when I was in the transitional zone; Field roast; Tofutti to name a few.

As for crunchy chips snacks: you can go for something like Earth Balance Kettle Chips; Food Should Taste Good Tortilla Chips - I love the multi-grain version; Veggie chips - you get different colours from the vegetables and it's a light puffy chips; and etc. I used to eat Sun Chips - Original and Sea Salt Flavours and dehydrated veggies that is super crunchy.

You just need to look a little bit more and you can find quite a lot of vegan food you like. ^.^ Good luck. 

Thanks! Really, the only substitute I'm looking for for meat is burgers. I don't care for bacon or anything else.

Thanks for the snack tips! I think I need to do much more research. I only have breakfast down.

Hey April:) Do you like mushrooms? I used to make Portabello Mushroom burgers.

You chop and sautee the mushrooms with green peppers, onions and seasoning. You can also add any of your other favorite veggies. Sautee everything until they are tender. pour everything into a bowl and add Masarina (Corn flour) until the mix is thick. Make patties and then pan fry the patties. Put the patties between your favorite bread and add your favorite toppings and you will have a home-made veggie burger.

I approached going from vegetarian to vegan with several different viewpoints.

1.) I stopped buying foods containing diary and eggs, and just slowly used out what I had in the house. When it ran out I could either replace it with a vegan version, or not.

2.) You don't need a replacement for everything.

3.) I looked at it as trying new foods, so I wasn't "giving anything up" in that sense. I looked online for vegan recipes that interested me, and because I looked forward to trying those dishes, I didn't think about the ones I normally ate.

4.) Cooking from scratch: it's healthier, cheaper, and you are assured your meal is vegan.

5.) There are a lot of things to look for in prepared and packaged foods that are not vegan, by doing three and four above a lot, it makes this easier. I recommend the book Veganissimo A to Z. It's small enough you can take it grocery shopping with you if need be. Where I live there are products labelled vegan (by the vegan association), and there are also vegan products which aren't labelled.

6.) Just because a restaurant may label something as vegan, doesn't mean it is. Always ask specifically about lard, chicken / beef/fish broth, fish & shrimp paste, eggs, and dairy. I have had to be very specific, asking if the pasta dough has eggs for example, because people will just say no because they don't see a giant egg on the plate. Same with breads. I have been told that sauteed vegetable dishes are vegan and then I asked if they were cooked in butter and the answer was yes. I have also been told steak was vegan because it didn't have gluten. Basically there are people who don't know anything about anything so be very specific and don't expect people to know what vegan means.

7.) You can pretty much make a vegan version of anything, just google and you shall find.

8.) Cookbooks! For me following a recipe makes my life easier, and helped me learn how to cook all over again. I still need cookbooks for baking but I can easily wing a lot of stuff now and have come up with my own recipies, mostly for quinoa and things my parents made growing up.

What is starting to work for me now is just eating different things all together. And wow. Somebody told you a steak was vegan? Holy cow. (no pun intended)

The only replacements I need are milk, burgers, and cheese. But I am just starting to stray away from cheese we we will have to see.

I do have a vegan and vegetarian cook book. I know a few vegetarian recipes and recently found a vegan one.

I do not expect this to be an over night transformation. (Only if I lived with a vegan) So I am trying my best every day. I already have my breakfast down. Now trying different dishes and slowly making my way to the top of the vegan mountain.

Well apparently steak is gluten free and gluten free equals vegan, if your a moron who doesn't know what words mean, or something.

Yes what worked for me too was eating different things and not trying to eat the same things as before.

There's a whole slew of non-dairy milks where I am, and making your own soy milk or nut milk is pretty easy too. I never drank milk itself, I just use them for baking and things that call for non-dairy milk.

i think there's millions of veggie burger recipes on the internet now, and most stores usually carry several pre-made frozen ones, just check the ingredients because not all will be vegan.

I've recently become vegan, 2 months, and I have to say that the transition is initially difficult however it gets easier as you continue. You're making steps in the right direction and will eventually find a replacement for eggs milk etc. You'll find that it's easier to steer away from the processed food and appreciate natural food and veg a lot more. To start off, maybe plan what you're going to eat for the first few days and make sure you have plenty of variety so you aren't easily tempted by non vegan food/snacks. Hope this helps and good luck :) x

I switched over to a plant-based diet for 2 weeks now. Sometimes it's hard because I live with a meat and cheese eater but I find it fun discovering vegan recipes =] Whenever I have a craving for something, I just make sure to keep myself full of yummy foods. Alot of vegan alternatives tastes just as good as the non-vegan version.

I found the easiest thing for me was to stop buying processed stuff outside, and get some really awesome vegan cook books and begin experimenting. This got my mind off the whole " does this have dairy, does that have egg" issue.
Making your own food is rewarding and also you know exactly what goes in it, which makes the transition far less frustrating.
Now most of my favourite recipes can be made in a blink of an eye because I have made them that often. You would have heard it before but its all about focussing on what you can eat rather than what you cant.. I recommend looking to into the oh she glows website (google it) also Chloe Coscarelli has some awesome easy vegan recipes. :)

Overtime buying and eating vegan foods will become second nature, just like it has when you became a vego, you are taking a step in the right direction and if you fall of the band wagon just get back on and keep trying.

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