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May 31, 2013

  1. Purchase what is in season.   Although you may want those organic tomatoes in the dead of winter, you will have to pay a high price for them.   Stock up on organics in their season and freeze them for later.   Better yet, savor your favorite dishes when they are in season and plan your weekly dinner menus accordingly. 
  2. Plan weekly dinner menus around deals and sales.  Many organics go on sale at one point or another so it is important to buy organics while they are on sale.  Also, when some fruits and vegetables are on their last leg, stores will offer them for an even greater discounted price.  Although these probably won’t last more than a day, these are great for smoothies, broths, or a quick dish.  The website www.food.com offers a free weekly meal planner. 
  3. Join a CSA. A CSA is basically were a group of people go in together to buy fruits and vegetables form local farms. The farmers are able to plan better and this saves them money. They pass the savings over the members in the CSA. 
  4. Get to know your farmer’s market.  Going to the farmer’s market is a great experience because you get to communicate with the people who grow your food.You can learn about how your food is grown and ask a lot of questions.  Sometimes, when farmers get to know you better, they will offer deeper discounts.  Also, at the end of the farmer’s market, because many farmers don’t want to take the leftover produce back with them, they will offer it at a deeper discount.
  5. Purchase the dirty dozen and top GMO foods as organic. Although you may not be able to buy everything organic at least follow the Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean 15 shopping lists. (http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/) The GMO list includes canola, corn, papaya, soy, sugar beets, zucchini and yellow summer squash. (http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/what-is-gmo/) By following these lists, you will reduce your exposure to pesticides and GMOs.
  6. Avoid packaged foods. Packaged organic products are overpriced and way more expensive than just cooking your own version of the packaged product. For example, you can pay almost $4 for half a gallon of organic soy milk when you can make your own soy milk that tastes way better for less than $1. Although it takes time to make something you can buy in a package, the cooked food is often times healthier.
  7. Buy in bulk. Buying in bulk is always a good way to save money but make sure you have a plan to determine how you are going to use all your organics before you buy. A good idea is to go in with a friend so you can get the cheaper prices and have less to store.
  8. Budget for organics. If you budget, you are less likely to impulse buy when shopping for your organic vegetables. Impulse buying can prevent you from getting the best deals and will cause you to spend more than you wanted.
  9.  Grow your own. Growing your own vegetables and fruits is the best way to enjoy your favorite organic produce. If you don’t have a lot of space, you can replace household plants with produce that can be grown indoors.
  10. Eat Less. By eating less, I mean don’t emotionally eat or eat when you are not hungry. Many people have problems with overeating and overeating can drastically cut into one’s food bill. The best option for these people is to get the help they need and try to combat their addiction

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Posted: May 31, 2013 2:00pm
Apr 25, 2013

Many people may not know this but it isn't actually the fact that a person loves dairy but the addiction to dairy that makes it very hard to give up when switching to a vegan diet.  The milk from any milk producing animal is designed to nurious a growing baby.  As a survival mechanism, the milk provides a high to the baby animal.  This high prevents the baby animal from straying too far from its food source.  When the baby animal gets old enough, the mother weans it off of the milk.

Batteling a dairy addiction can be challening because many times people don't know where to start.  Below are ten tips a person can use to wean themselves off of dairy products:


1.  Start eliminating dairy from your diet slowly.  Cut down on your servings until you no longer have any dairy products in your diet.

2.  Look for hidden dairy products.  Just because a product is labeled meat free does not mean it is dairy free.  Many of the products that include dairy have "contains milk ingredients" on the label.  At resturants ask if they add any dairy products to their prepared food.  Any small amount of dairy products can renew your cravings.


3.  Eat until you are satisified.  Eating until you are satisfied reduces the amount of food cravings you will have.


4.  Don't eat when you are emotional.  Emotional eating leads to poor food choices.  When you eat due to emotions you are most likely going to pick up the food that will give you the greatest high.   
    
5.  Think about your enviormental impact.  Going vegan and cutting out dairy is not for yourself but for the animals.  When you take on a vegan lifestyle, you are saving animals and setting an example for others.


6.  Try to incorporate vegan subsitutes into your diet to satisfy the cravings.  Nutritional yeast will give you the cheese flavor you desire.  Nut butters will work great as cream cheese subsitutes and plant based milks will satisfy your milk cravings.  Instead of using butter, you can try a variety of plant based oils.


7.  Try a short food fast.  A short food fast is a great way to retrain your taste buds and forgo food cravings.


8.  Block your cravings with activities.  Whenever you crave dairy, try engaging in a different activity such as taking up a new craft, reading, exercise, or listening to music.  When you distract yourself with something you have to concentrate on, you will forget about the craving.

9.  Create non-dairy versions of your favorite dairy filled food.  Rediscover your favorite dairy filled foods in a whole new light by challenging yourself to create tasty non dairy versions.  You can start with recipes online or just replace ingredients on your favorite recipes to develop a new flavor.


10.  Don't give up.  If you make a slip up, just consider it that and go back to trying to break the addiction.  Breaking an addiction is difficult but don't be too hard on yourself because you can do it.  Just take it one day at a time and focus on the positives you have achieved and will achieve.
          

Note:  This post may not apply to many of you on the blog but I wanted to give information for those who are considering transfering to a new vegan diet.

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Posted: Apr 25, 2013 4:38pm
Mar 28, 2013

What people fail to realize when they compare a vegan to a vegetarian is the main difference is not about diet but more about the difference in philosophies.  Vegetarians focus more on the diet aspects of the ethical issues involving animals while vegans focus on the diet, social, and environmental issues.  For example, a person who wears leather, silk, etc. but eats no animal products whatsoever is a vegetarian rather than a vegan because they do not embrace the ethical side of the vegan lifestyle.

As the lines between vegetarianism and the traditional omnivore diet become more blurred, so called gurus are forgetting what true veganism really is and are spreading misinformation to the masses.  This misinformation includes reducing veganism to just a fad diet or a diet that people go on for health benefits.   As vegetarians begin to include omnivores such as pesce-vegetarians (those who eat fish), pollo-vegetarians (those who eat fowl), and flexitarians (those who are vegetarian when they want to be) to increase their numbers, they lose out on their true purpose which is to limit the harm done to animals.  The vegan philosophy make no distinction between the different types of animals and eating one type of animal is just as bad as eating another.

I see in veganism that many are focusing on the number game and including others who do not fit the true description of what it really means to be vegan into the groupings to make our numbers seem larger.  Large numbers can help spread the message about veganism and do more for animals but only if the numbers come from people who are truly engages in the lifestyle.  If we include those vegetarians who only focus on the diet aspect of veganism for health reasons then veganism runs the risk of being reduced to a fad diet.

As vegans we need to solidify our philosophies and draw a clearer line between vegetarianism and veganism.  The line is not created to exclude others but it is created to give others something to strive for other than maintaining a perfect diet.  Diet is only one aspect of veganism and finding plant alternative to animal derived products is just as important as important as abstaining from eating animal flesh.

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Posted: Mar 28, 2013 11:33am
Mar 28, 2013

Here at the Vegan Lifestyle Group, we don't have many rules in additional to the general Care 2 rules.  Some rules are added to make the experience more welcoming to others and make the forum easier to navigate.

 

  • Please read and comprehend the Care 2 rules before posting in this group. The rules created by Care 2 cover all the basics of posting in a group and will answer many of your questions about basic group ettiquite
  • When posting articles please use the blog function and provide a link to the orginal article at the end of the article. Also, please post aricles in their entirty. By doing this you are allowing others to read the entire article without going to a differnt website. You give credit to the orginal article by listing the source.
  • Please stay on topic.  Going off topic will defeat the purpose of the group which is to analzye the vegan lifestyle and offer solutions that may help our community.
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Posted: Mar 28, 2013 8:46am

 

 
 
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.

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Deborah Hearne
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Moreno Valley, CA, USA
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