21-Day Vegan Kickstart

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Forums: September 2012 Kickstart Forum: Vegan cheeses, etc.
Created on: 08/31/12 11:50 AM Views: 1881 Replies: 10
Vegan cheeses, etc.
Posted Friday, August 31, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Is is ok to eat the vegan cheeses, sour creams, cream cheeses, burgers, bacon, etc.?

RE: Vegan cheeses, etc.
Posted Friday, August 31, 2012 at 12:08 PM

I took a quick look through the 21-day Kickstart menu and shopping list and found a few prepared/packaged foods: vegan mayo, tempeh bacon, soup (McDougall's or Amy's), and a veggie burger.

My thought is this - if these products help you stay vegan, you don't overdo it on processed foods, and you make sure to get plenty of fresh fruit and veggies, then they can't be that bad in the long run.

RE: Vegan cheeses, etc.
Posted Friday, August 31, 2012 at 12:57 PM

That was my thinking also...

RE: Vegan cheeses, etc.
Posted Friday, August 31, 2012 at 4:29 PM

It truly depends on your goals at this point. Are you just trying for vegan?? Is it weight loss? Unprocessed vegan?

Most of those items "alternatives" are heavily processed and high in sodium and often fat.

Sooooo, if you are aiming for vegan and will work the others out later, in moderation, go for it. Keep in mind it is ENTIRELY POSSIBLE to be a fat vegan.

If you are looking for the best health possible, weight loss, unprocessed, keep clear of alternative items.

They are great for transitioning if you need it. I would not consider them part of a healthy daily food plan.

Best wishes and Welcome Aboard!

Always offer kindness and a soft word to the beings around you; You do not know their journey. Your words can be the hug they need or the shove that breaks them.

RE: Vegan cheeses, etc.
Posted Friday, August 31, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Definitely be aware of the fat content of some of these products, especially the vegan cheeses, sour creams, mayos, etc.

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

RE: Vegan cheeses, etc.
Posted Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Oh, ok, thanks everyone! I'll have to pay attention to the fat/salt content in them for sure...

RE: Vegan cheeses, etc.
Posted Monday, September 3, 2012 at 8:55 AM

The smokey maple bacon tempeh seems to be a good alternative to bacon IMO. I tried making the facon bacon last kickstart but mine was so nasty, I've since found this product and theirs tastes so much better then mine did Very Happy The same brand also makes a sesame garlic one thats pretty yummy in a wrap. Some of the premade veggie burgers aren't too fattening either, just not something you should rely too heavily on because they are very processed. Just read your labels to check fat and sodium contents Very Happy I would imagine the vegan cheeses to be pretty fattening, I've never tried any of them, probably best that I don't, don't want to replace one fattening product with something equally fattening

RE: Vegan cheeses, etc.
Posted Tuesday, September 4, 2012 at 9:20 AM

also, watch the cheeses carefully - some of them contain casein (milk protein) or animal-based rennet (the stuff that makes the liquid curd up into cheese).

I've yet to find a faux cheese that makes any kind of sense - totally vegan, lower in fat and sodium, and not horribly expen$ive - so we just pretty much skip the cheese. We do make the not-cheese sauce a couple times per month to get the creamy mouth-feel of cheese. We do have yogurt, cheddar, and parmesan in the house for anyone who chooses to use it on top of something but it's not integral to anything so it's easy to opt out.

--Deb R

Edited 09/04/12 9:21 AM
RE: Vegan cheeses, etc.
Posted Tuesday, September 4, 2012 at 3:15 PM

you can find it in stores or on amazon...

Edited 09/04/12 3:15 PM
RE: Vegan cheeses, etc.
Posted Tuesday, September 4, 2012 at 3:39 PM

I personally avoid nearly all of them. The fake dairy products are nearly all highly processed oils, making them basically the same as the real thing. Dr. Barnard was writing about me when he described the addictive power of cheese, so I steer clear. I think it also reinforces cravings for rich food. For meat substitutes, I stick to plain old reliable tofu, tempeh and seitan on occasion. The other fake meats have really scary ingredients lists. These days I prefer whole beans anyway most of the time.

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RE: Vegan cheeses, etc.
Posted Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 2:15 PM

I used to use Daiya cheese because it actually melts but the taste is still just off to me...I also can't stand the taste of tofutti cream cheese or sour cream. Vegenaise kind of ruined my sandwich. If you can stand the taste, I think it's a great way to get started. Eventually, when you have some recipes under your belt, you might want to start looking into making your own mayo, cheeses, and sour cream - even milk. I started looking for ways to make vegan "dairy" myself and I have found a lot. The mayo is the easiest so I think I'll start with that. I've also found some vegan yogurt recipes (as the ones I've tried taste really gross or really sweet). Just google vegan mozarella, vegan parmesan, vegan greek yogurt, etc and you'll find a ton of recipes from really creative vegans (even non-vegans) that you can try. But if you're just starting out, I would keep these receipes on the backburner until you're ready to handle even more.

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