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So let me explain the process that me and my family went for about 5 years and now we are ready to go to 100% vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.

5 years ago we were meat eaters. Basically every day. After seeing documentation about this and even videos (eg: Garry Yourofsky, Mark Hyman) we started lowering the amount of meat. First every day, then every week, then a month. This gradually happened during the 5 years and now in 2017 I have not eaten anything meat or dairy related. Obviously the effect is I have totally removed several issues I had with my back, my skin and other parts.

Currently my wife also wants to make the move. So my question is, what are some of the best recommendations from leaving meat and moving to a vegetarian / vegan lifestyle?

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    Shouldn't she just try to basically do what you do? It's obviously in budget, she knows what you have been eating very closely, etc. – djechlin Feb 6 '17 at 22:56
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    Reopen... too important of a question to close for broadness for this site. – djechlin Feb 8 '17 at 14:03
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    @djechlin "Important" doesn't overrule "overly broad". – Erica Feb 8 '17 at 15:50
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    You've already personally eliminated meat and dairy from your diet, and presumably your wife has significantly reduced her intake as well. Can you be more specific about what foods you/she still regularly eat that you're trying to eliminate? – Erica Feb 8 '17 at 17:54
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    But that doesn't have anything to do with "leaving meat" -- just what do vegans eat ;) – Erica Feb 8 '17 at 18:44
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A typical balanced meal is a bean, a grain and a vegetable.

Grains are carb-heavy and if whole grain the protein complements beans. (Research is ambiguous on whether this is important). Quinoa stands out as a protein-rich grain that has a complete complement on its own.

Beans are protein-heavy, especially soy.

Dark leafy green vegetables taste good and include micronutrients.

Consider high-protein vegan foods instead of beans.

Most are soy: tofu, tempeh, and other artificial processed soy products.

The other high-protein food is seitan, which is wheat gluten, which is protein. This is often a meat substitute.

Root vegetables and squashes have lots of carbs.

They substitute, or complement, grains in a meal.

Beans are culinarily diverse.

There are: black beans, red beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), edamame (soy beans), lima beans, black-eyed beans, pink beans lentils, and many more. There are recipes to cook these in a huge variety of culinary traditions.

Vegan diets tend to be high fat.

Olive oil or coconut oil is used in cooking. Coconut milk is used in curries (Indian or Thai cuisine) and is very high saturated fat. Nuts are frequently cooked with and make a snack on their own. They are very high fat (e.g. peanut butter).

Dark leafy greens are high in micronutrients, but otherwise less essential than you would think.

If you are a lazy bachelor trying to get by on 15 minutes of cooking a day, you can skip the vegetable most of the time if you are meeting your micronutrient needs. You probably want to take a vegan multivitamin anyway since B12 and D are essential.

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First and foremost, it might be needless to say that you must eat vegetables.. all of them, any kind. If you do that, you're probably just fine. I have a friend who tried to go veg, but she didn't like any vegetables at all. Of course, she gave up in a matter of days.

Other than that, you should have a look at:

  • Indian
  • Arab
  • Japanese

All of these have very nice vegan options, and is usually what I go for. Some meat recipes can be adapted, but I'm under the impression that originally vegan recipes are usually better.

Breakfast is still my greatest challenge. I don't know what your cultural habits for breakfast are, but here, in Brazil, it usually boils down to: bread and butter (or cheese), cheese bread, milk, coffee. For me, lots of fruits, soy-milk as a replacement for milk, and Hummus/Baba Ghanoush/Guacamole as a replacement for butter is working fine. Jam is nice too, but I just can't give up on a salty option.

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    Geleia (fruit spread?) may just be jelly/jam. – Erica Feb 6 '17 at 20:32
  • @Erica Geleia can be either jelly or jam. – Ramon Melo Feb 6 '17 at 22:50
  • Sounds like a recipe for starvation. – djechlin Feb 6 '17 at 22:54
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    Gabriel, look for tapioca, it's a starchy, gluten-free flour that has been increasingly replacing white flour. You can use basically anything for stuffing, and it gets ready in just a couple minutes heating on a stove. – Ramon Melo Feb 6 '17 at 22:55
  • @djechlin I'm definitely not starving.. – GabrielF Feb 8 '17 at 10:51

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