Cake
  • Log In
  • Sign Up
    • I've tried to take the plunge a few times now, and here are the problems I keep running into:

      Community

      I haven't been able to find a reasonably large community of people that just want to eat plant based for health reasons. Every large enough community I have found seems to be rather dogmatic in their moral beliefs around animal cruelty, environmental exploitation etc. etc. Those things are good, but I get tired pretty quickly when that is all I hear, and I just want to eat some plants and stay healthy. r/vegan on Reddit is really good example of this, where every post has connotations of us (vegans) vs. them (the world) and how terrible non vegans are.

      Another problem I have seen with online communities is that there seems to be a lot of pseudoscience going on. I see a lot of diet recommendations made by people who don't seem to have any particular dietary expertise, and certainly nothing holistic.

      Obscure Foods

      When I look around for vegan recipes, I see a lot of stuff. That is great. The problem is that pretty much everything has some sort of obscure ingredient like poppy or pumpkin seeds. Then I need to shell out $10 for a container of something to cook one dish that I may never use again. I also see a lot of recommendations to eat relatively rare vegetables, not something I can find at the local Safeway.

      Dietary Completion

      I know the common question is "where do you get your protein". I get it, I mostly understand the difference between complete and partial proteins, so I don't need to be sold there. The main question here I have is how do I know that I'm getting other essential vitamins and nutrients? In general I'd prefer not to take a multivitamin or need to go to the doctor for regular blood work to make sure I'm getting enough iron. I just want to have a balanced diet that will mostly guarantee I get what I need, and not need to go to extreme lengths to find ingredients or take any supplements.

      Some staple meals I have come up with so far:

      1. Instant rice and canned beans with some fruit or vegetable, canned or otherwise.
      2. Oatmeal with walnuts (for omega or whatever) and berries.
      3. Peanut butter toast.

      Any practical advice or recommendations here would be really helpful. Thanks!

    • Ha, yes I went whole plant foods 13 years ago for health reasons and I've seen some of the things you're seeing over the years wrt Reddit's vegan group becoming filled with animal cruelty, yada.

      What has changed over the years is the science has become much more settled and fewer people are worried you'll suffer a nutritional deficiency. @amacbean16 is raising 5 children on whole plants and her husband is a whole plant-recommending family physician. They are models of health. My physician, Douglas Souvignier at the ginormous Sutter Health center in Sunnyvale, went whole plants a few years after me and now he teaches classes on eating whole plants open to the public in the evenings there with other physicians.

      The main worry is B12. It's a worry for animal food eaters too, especially over 50, but with sprayed & washed plants and chlorinated water (it comes from a bacteria in poop 💩), no one can get enough on a plant-based diet without supplementing. Just 1 tablet once a week of the sublingual (under the tongue) 2500mcg units they sell at Costco cheap and you're set.

      Otherwise, if your diet includes a respectable amount of beans, fruit and veggies, it's pretty much impossible to be nutritionally deficient in anything (except Vitamin D if your skin doesn't get much sun).

      Do you eat much pasta? A quick meal for us is one of the bean pastas, like this edamame pasta we get from Costco. They sound disgusting but they're sooo goooodddd. Even the kids scarf them down if we get whatever sauce is their fav.

    • We love these 5-minute meals. Burrito bowls are so easy but we use brown rice. It's hard to keep it in the freezer too long because it starts to taste like freezer, but we have a rice cooker that makes it easy.

      Also, for lazy people (like me!):

    • I'm a big soup fan and I'm always looking for reasonably easy vegetarian recipes. Someone - maybe @Chris - pointed me to https://www.forksoverknives.com/ a while ago. I've started wandering through the recipes there. The first one I tried was the split pea cauliflower soup, very good!

      Another site I've started using is https://toriavey.com/. My first recipe from there was the tomato rice soup.

      There are many more recipes on both sites, and I intend to experiment with more of them.

    • you know what they say: you can has good, cheap and fast. Pick two.

      I figured out how hack that rule to get three:

    • Just to throw in my .02c, I did try the Soylent program for almost 30 days straight. Pretty wacky and I really dislike these 30 day miracle blog posts because they are not realistic. But, it was interesting and yes, it is a total play on Soylent...the owners have a sense of humor and every marketing wannabe gives them crap for it. They DON'T CARE. lol

    • When I was going to grad school full-time I did most of the cooking. Our youngest became a vegan around the same time when she was in high school. I found tofu to be a good protein source for stir fries. The firmer you can buy it the better. It’s pretty tasteless, so an acidic sauce helps a lot—even tomato sauce.

    • There is a widespread fear of protein deficiency but have we ever stopped to ask ourselves how many people we know who have been told by their doctors that they have protein deficiency disease that is causing them harm? Is this fear something that came to us through meat industry marketing?

      There are a lot of diseases that come to us from lack of fiber, like colon cancer, but the foods we consider protein do not contain fiber. Most of us do not get the nutrients in fruits and vegetables that prevent cancer. Shouldn't that be the bigger worry?

    • I've found a lot of helpful practical advice in the book linked below. Some meals I like are oatmeal with blueberries, whole wheat pasta with low-fat marinara sauce, bean/rice/veggie fajitas, and plain old baked sweet potatoes.

      For me, focusing on getting enough "starch" and avoiding all oils/nuts/seeds are the keys since I'm trying to lose weight. Not worrying much about nutrients is very freeing. I'm really in love with McDougall's style of "starch-based" veganism.

      https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/shopping/books/starch-solution/

    • Welcome to Cake, Flint. 🙂

      I know Dr. McDougall picked a currently not-so-popular word (starch) to describe his plant-based diet, but he is the real deal who has had a massive impact for good in his 40 years of helping people get healthy. Some of the most respected cardiologists in the world such as Dean Ornish and Caldwell Esselstyn cite him as inspiration.

      What got him going was having a stroke in medical school. He was one of the first to observe that you could prevent and even reverse chronic diseases like type II diabetes and and heart disease with a whole foods, plant-based diet and he did it through treating everyday working-class patients on plantations in Hawaii.

      One of his key observations is practical: veggies and fruit are healthy & wonderful but not satisfying enough for most people by themselves. But beans, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, brown rice, etc., are and yet they still help you lose weight, lower blood pressure, and prevent the chronic diseases that are so common in the modern world.

      Congrats to you on discovering him. Keep us posted on how it goes. I've been eating his diet for 14 years, lost 43 pounds, saw my cholesterol drop as if I were on a statin, and felt great in the triathlons I like to do. I've never had to worry about portion control or being hungry since.

      Btw, some of the McDougall's food we buy at our local grocer are pretty good, and satisfying.

    • EDIT: After writing this I thought "Don't take the convo another direction, create a separate post". Since I'm new to Cake, is that the expectation in this case?

      I've been eating his diet for 14 years

      Cool, I didn't realize you had a McDougall focus to your veganism.

      One thing I kinda like about McDougall is how he calls things the way he sees them. So you know what he thinks. And he keeps things pretty simple for people.

      This may seem random, but @Chris since you knew Steve Jobs, I'm curious what you think about McDougall's commentary on Steve's medical condition ... both whether you think it was okay for McDougall to weigh in posthumously, and your opinion of McDougall's analysis (if you're willing to give your thoughts on this).

      To me, it seems risky for a non-involved doctor but really gutsy to put it out there to try to defend him posthumously. So I admire it. But not sure how people who knew him would feel.

    • Hi Flint,

      Really sorry to be so slow to answer. It does fascinate me, I just got busy.

      Honestly, I’m very confident in the core of McDougall’s message — that a whole foods plant-based diet is healthiest and it’s most satisfying and sustainable when beans, rice, potatoes, etc., are at its center. He has very convincing data and first-hand experience with it.

      But he’s emotional and I don’t think he can resist expressing opinions forcefully, like thinking vitamin D is toxic. Dunno about that.

      I ate a lot of meals with Steve and honestly I don’t think he knew that much about what he was eating. For example, in the evenings a caterer would bring in a salad and plate of cookies. To Steve’s credit, he’d eat a modest salad — but then eat a lot of cookies. Maybe 6-10.

      I don’t know what was in those cookies but I’m guessing sweeteners and partially hydrogenated oils. I’d guess he got 100 calories from the salad and 700 from the cookies.

      He had become overweight in those days, not like Woz is now, but it’s unusual to be overweight on McDougall’s diet if you really are living it.

      I don’t know that we really understand what causes pancreatic cancer, do we? I have heard Walter Willet say soda is causally related to obesity and obesity is causally related to pancreatic cancer, but that’s about all I know about that form of cancer.