Any Decent Vegan Websites?
My wife and I are considering Veganism, her because of seeing one too many slaughter scenes on History Channel documentaries, Me just to be supportive and hopefully to lose some weight. Does anybody know of any vegan or vegetarian websites that aren't all about trying to convert the world? I'm just looking for some good dietary information and recipes without all the preaching.
One of the biggest is veggieboards.com. It's not nearly as active as it used to be, though.
And, truthfully, you're not going to get good dietary information from a vegan board. They simply spout the "party line." It's almost like a cult. I saw someone on veggieboards.com recently tell another new poster that soy was fine. They totally ignore the fact that soy has been shown to affect the sperm count of men, affect the thyroid, and raised the estrogen level of this guy dramatically: http://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/s...
Health agencies in France, Germany, Israel, New Zealand and other countries have issued warnings about soy consumption....especially for kids. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended cow's milk formula to mothers who can't breast feed instead of soy formula. IMO, soy is bad stuff. http://thyroid.about.com/cs/soyinfo/a...
Not to mention that most soy products on the shelves in the US are from GMO soy. Asians mostly eat fermented soy, soy that's been treated to remove the estrogen-like hormones.
For recipes, the vegweb.com site has a lot. The allrecipes.com site also has some veg*n (shorthand for vegetarian or vegan) recipes. For health info, I'd look at VeganHealth.org. It's run by a registered dietitian. He's definitely got his vegan agenda, but is pretty upfront about the pitfalls of the vegan diet. Pay special attention to his recommendations about supplementing (pills) your diet. You'll at the very least need a B12 supplement. B12 is not found in any plant. You'll either need to take pills, shots or eat manufactured B12 that's been added to highly processed foods.
I'd really advise you to stick with an ovo lacto vegetarian diet (still eat eggs and dairy products) or pescetarian (include some fish in your diet). Veganism can make you very sick. This from a young woman whose food blog was voted a top ten blog in 2010, the year she got sick and started eating meat again: http://voraciouseats.com/2010/11/19/a...
I'd also recommend reading Lierre Keith's "The Vegetarian Myth." She was a vegan for twenty years and she almost destroyed her health as well. In the book she addresses the three reasons people go vegan--ethics, politics and health--and debunks a lot of the information that's out there. No matter what diet you choose, something has to die for you to eat, period.
The real truth of the matter is that it seems you can barely speak to anyone without getting some kind of strong, polarised reaction. Meat eaters get very upset and reel off all the various vegans they kinow who are really unhealthy, and vegans do the same with all the meat eaters they know. Both sides find scientific studies to back up their opinion that the other diet is utterly terrible for you, both sides make snide personal comments and jokes. It's all very depressing.
My own tip in this situation: Please consider your personal choice carefully. It's wonderful that you want to support your wife, but you may find it very difficult to stick to if that's your only incentive.
Just for full disclosure: I am a lacto-vegetarian. I don't care what other people eat, as long as they are happy and aren't hurting anyone else.
My advice would be to use a website like mypyramid.gov or the daily plate to track what you eat for a little while. You enter your foods and at the end it spits out how many total grams of protein, mg. of vitamins, etc. you ate. You'll be able to find plenty of vegan recipes online or in cookbooks, but that kind of dietary website will help you figure out what you need to adjust as far as getting the right nutrients.
Though lacking in nutritional info for the recipes, once you get an idea of what types of food best suit both your diet and your palate, you might like the rather laid back Post Punk Kitchen: http://www.theppk.com/recipes/
And I second vegweb for recipes, and general info. I know it's tough to get the information without the opinions on this subject, so I hesitate to recommend anymore sites. Good luck.
The above has solid info. Their (veganism in a) nutshell section is fairly accurate, although I'd like to see them just say, "take supplements for this and that."
Some quick thoughts:
Iron, omega-3 and vitamin B12 are somewhat tricky. Just take a supplement for B12 and fish oil; huge headache otherwise. Using cast iron surfaces actually help with iron. Easy to go overboard with iron supplements so best to consult your doctor there. Speaking of, I'd strongly recommend you both see one before doing this and get some blood work done so you both have a baseline for comparisons down the line. After 6+ months you can get another, just to make sure everything's okay (if not better).
It's still cooking. Ingredient + Technique = Yummy
Just play around with produce and try different things with them. Braise, broil, roast, puree, fry, saute, on and on.
Map out Indian restaurants near you!