Monday, 25 January 2010 22:56

Friend going vegetarian/vegan

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I got an exciting email yesterday from a friend I haven't spoken to in a while: he's thinking of going vegan (or at least vegetarian)! He said, "right now, I'm trying to transition away from meat and a generally crappy diet over the last couple of weeks. I've cut down to just lean turkey and will probably go completely meatless by Wednesday...Part of the reason I'm planning this is that I'm fighting in a boxing tournament at the end of March, so I'm looking to lose some weight, but I also need to keep my strength and energy."

I am thrilled, especially since he contacted me for advice. But I would love your insight too, so I can give him some really well-rounded tips.

#1 resource right now would be PCRM's 21 Day Vegan Kick Start

Here are his questions:
  • Are there any good books or resources for beginners? (I suggested The Kind Diet, since it's half recipes and half informational; and Skinny Bastard (though I haven't read that)
  • Beef and chicken is a big part of my current diet, so I'm going to need to replace it with something... (I suggested Gardein and some Morning Star products since they're similar to meat in taste/texture/appearance and easy to find)
  • Is it possible to eat a vegan diet without spending ridiculous amounts of money on your food and/or spending ridiculous amounts of hours in the kitchen? (I said yes, and he could find inexpensive options at Trader Joes, Ralphs markets, and many food chains)
  • Do you know many or any athletes who are vegan? (I pointed him to Brendan Brazier & VEGA supplements and Robert Cheeke)
What else would you suggest for him? Please leave your suggestions in the comment section below, and I will pass them on to him.

Some of you have messaged me separately and said:
  • "Definitely Gardein, take him to Veggie Grill to see how good it can taste, bayou chicken sandwich. Seitan too, that helped me transition."
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