Want to become Vegan

it’s not difficult, but it’s nice to have some help. Read a lot and ask questions. I read so many posts, literature, and asked so many friends before making the decision. To this day, I follow several bloggers and Instagram accounts in order to find out more information and get creative meal ideas.

This blogger is one of my favorites:

  1. Start small by cutting out red meat first, then white, then dairy.

  2. Watch the documentaries.

  3. Do your research online – so many great websites!

  4. Read books – I suggest The China Study by T&T Campbell and  The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone.

  5. Find a support system – friends or online.

  6. There will be haters, non-vegan AND vegan – just do you.

  7. Take a multi-vitamin to get all nutrients, especially at first.

  8. Figure out where you will get your B12 – from cereal to supplement.

  9. Vitamin D is also a biggie, but no worries. Most soy and nut milks are fortified, as well as cereal.

  10. Or, soak up the sun for 15-20 minutes a day to get the required vitamin D that is usually deficient in a vegan diet.

  11. Honestly, don’t worry about protein – if you are eating beans and grains, chances are, you’re getting it!

  12. Seriously, beans are protein powerhouses with approx. 21 grams in 1/2 cup. Add to your salad, stir-fry, or grains.

  13. If you are STILL worried, try a daily protein shake or supplement.

  14. Familiarize yourself with animal ingredients.

  15. Become a Master at label reading – even most bread may not be vegan!

  16. Always check what you’re drinking – you’ll be surprised by ingredients.

  17. Find out which packaged foods are “accidentally vegan.”

  18. MAKE TIME to cook – do not rely on convenience food.

  19. Remember: 99% of meals CAN be veganized! GOOGLE.

  20. Stock pantry with lentils, beans, rice, quinoa, couscous, etc.

  21. Don’t be scared of the sticker price on quinoa – a little goes a long way.

  22. Remember that whole grains are less processed and more nutritious than refined white grains. Brown rice > white rice.

  23. Make veggies the star of your meals. #Spotlight

  24. Eat all colors of the rainbow when it comes to veggies – they have different nutrients and benefits.

  25. Learn to love leafy greens – kale, spinach, collard greens, escarole, etc.

  26. Prep a large fruit salad at the beginning of week to snack on all week.

  27. A flax egg will be your best baking friend: 1 tbs ground flaxseed + 3 tbs warm water

  28. Chia seeds can be used as an egg replacer, too.

  29. Oh, and banana can also be used to replace an egg – great for baking.

  30. Cashew cheese is a savior – 1 cup cashews soaked + 1/3 c. water, 1 tsp lemon juice, salt blended.

  31. Find a milk substitute you enjoy. There are so many options!

  32. Store-bought veggie burgers are nice, but MAKE YOUR OWN! Easy + healthier.

  33. Substitute a bacon craving with tempeh bacon.

  34. Bacon bits are also SURPRISINGLY vegan – who the hell knew?

  35. If you want to never crave bacon again, you can just look at this picture and remember why you don’t.

  36. NEVER be embarrassed to ask questions at a restaurant – it’s your body, you have the right to know what’s going into it.

  37. Keep vegan snacks in your bag at all times – nuts, dried fruit, Clif bars, etc.

  38. Use Happy Cow to search vegetarian/vegan restaurants near you.

  39. Always check out a restaurant menu before you head there to have a game plan.

  40. Fries are almost always vegan (just ask what oil they are fried in and if they are fried separately from meat).

  41. Most restaurants almost always offer steamed veggies, too. Add a side of rice, and you have yourself a stir-fry.

  42. If it makes you more comfortable when eating out, simply call and ask if they have vegan options.

  43. Don’t judge others – it’s not a flattering look.

  44. Sweet tooth? Eat fruit.

  45. Use natural sweeteners instead of white sugar, such as agave nectar, maple syrup, cane sugar, and raw sugar.

  46. Any sugar labeled Organic, Raw, Turbinado, or Beet is guaranteed to be 100% vegan.

  47. Experiment with spices to jazz up meals – instead of salt!

  48. If you mess up, don’t sweat it! Forget about it and KEEP GOING!

  49. Give Indian food a go – a lot of it is vegan!

  50. Embrace lazy dinners instead of packaged meals – fast, easy, and filling!

  51. Cook in bulk to have vegan lunch and dinner throughout the week (go to may be a big pot of veggie soup!)

  52. Frozen veggies are just are good as fresh.

  53. Try faux meat, such as tofurky and seitan, if you are craving.

  54. Try one new veggie/product a week to keep things fun and interesting.

  55. Stash vegan snacks at your desk to satisfy cravings (and keep your hand out of the communal candy dish).

  56. Buy a vegan cookbook for inspiration – or use Pinterest!

  57. Learn how to cook tofu properly – so it has FLAVOR.

  58. Satisfy a scrambled egg craving with a tofu scramble.

  59. Nix processed salad dressings for tahini or flavored hummus. Roasted garlic is wonderful!

  60. Don’t expect permanent weight loss – I weigh the same. It’s NOT a weight-loss plan!

  61. But hey, expect your cholesterol to go down. Have it checked when you start to monitor.

  62. If a product has cholesterol, it is NOT vegan.

  63. Need buttermilk? Soy milk + lemon juice. Boom.

  64. How about some vegan whipped cream? Refrigerate coconut milk overnight and whip it good.

  65. Mimic parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast.

  66. Avocado is great for smoothies, salads, dressings, and in baking. SO VERSATILE!

  67. Avocado is also a great mayo sub. Avocado has healthy fats, too.

  68. To prevent your avocado from browning, leave the pit in it or add lemon juice.

  69. Keep frozen fruit on hand for a quick breakfast smoothie.

  70. Get your greens by adding them to a smoothie.

  71. Get your omega-3s by adding flaxseed oil to your smoothies.

  72. Ice cream craving? Banana “nicecream” is a thing.

  73. There’s also a crazy variety of vegan ice cream brands.

  74. Visit an animal sanctuary – you’ll instantly remember why you are vegan.

  75. Having trouble sticking? Watch Earthlings[highly graphic, highly successful in scaring the carnivore out of you].

  76. Or you could visit a factory farm. Good luck.

  77. Start a garden for infinite, fresh veggies!

  78. Consider investing in a CSA program.

  79. Download the Is It Vegan? app on your phone to use while shopping.

  80. Use Vegan.com as a resource.

  81. If you need a grain in a pinch, boil 1 cup of water and add 1 cup of couscous. Turn off heat and let sit for 3 minutes. THREE MINUTES, PEOPLE.

  82. The freezer is your friend – freeze soups, smoothies, and sauces for those days you are strapped for time and can’t cook.

  83. Stay connected to the vegan world for news and updates – follow Twitter accounts, tumblr pages, etc.

  84. Remember that vegan products are NOT always healthy – especially the packaged and processed foods.

  85. A small handful of nuts is always a filling and satisfying snack – keep an arsenal of types in your freezer.

  86. Read up on vegan celebrities – they can be inspiring!

  87. Remember to drink lots of water. It’s not only healthy, but can help your body process the fiber from your diet.

  88. Missing soda? Polar makes some great flavored seltzer options, with natural ingredients only.

  89. Missing yogurt? Try soy yogurt. Trader Joe’s makes an amazing peach or strawberry version.

  90. Not digging the substitutes? Give yourself time to allow your tastebuds to adjust.

  91. Wondering if you’re getting too much sugar? Too few carbs? Sodium overload? A free app like MyFitnessPal breaks it all down for you.

  92. Can’t find tofu or tempeh in your local grocer? Check the refrigerated produce section.

  93. Grocery stores that have a ton of vegan options include: Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Aldi.

  94. Check out this sample vegan shopping list for Trader Joe’s.

  95. Try shopping at a local Asian market – you may be surprised by how many vegan options you’ll find!

  96. Shop the perimeters of the store – that is where [most] of the good, healthy stuff is located!

  97. Enjoy knowing that you are doing your part to conserve water (it takes 25 gallons to produce 1 lb of wheat vs 5,000 gallons for 1 lb of beef!)

  98. Remind yourself of all the environmental good you are doing by checking out statistics and infographics.

  99. Don’t worry about what others think of your choices – this is your choice.

  100. Remember to take it one day at a time – every small step counts!

Remember, if you mess up (most likely you will), it is A-OK! Just start over. I’ve had the occasional slip up.

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