Since What the Health, a documentary that exposes big businesses and government method of keeping individuals sick, the idea of going vegan has taken over the world. So many people (including myself) opted to remove all animal products from their diet and life to become healthier. But how?
"Isn't it hard?"
"You don't eat cheese?"
"Isn't it expensive?"
The answers to all are no ! Going vegan doesn't make you broke, there are substitutes for almost every single food and it's easier than you think. Here is my guide on how to go vegan with your diet !
What is Vegan?
Vegan is a sort of vegetarian diet where the person does not eat foods or products that are animal derived like meats, milks, eggs, cheese, etc. A person who is vegan only eats plant-derived foods and follows this "rigid" eating structure.
How to Begin:
First you should remove from your mind that you will be starving, unsatisfied or hungry all the time. Not only are their vegan subsitutes for almost every single animal-derived product but you can eat more foods and feel physically better than you did eating meats. Secondly, your pockets won't suffer. Becoming more conscious of eating, usually makes people think they will pay more for the consciousness. However, that is wrong. Going vegan will cost approximately the same and probably less than what you pay for food now. You will be preparing most of your meals, so you will save on dining out or spending extra $$$ on work lunches. If you don't like to cook, this will be where you run into problems. Although many restaurants are adding vegan friendly options to their menu, veganism is deeply rooted in the desire to make more conscious decisions on what you are consuming. Meaning being hands on with everything you eat, which requires some serious time in the kitchen. If you never cooked before, this is the time to start !
You can eat bread as a vegan! The discrepancy is what kinds of bread you have. Fresh breads are made with flour, yeast, water and salt and are almost always vegan friendly. However, some shelf-breads have added eggs or milk so read all the ingredients before purchasing. Vegan-friendly breads also include bagels, ezekial breads and rolls.
No, when you are vegan you cannot eat eggs :( However, there are substitutes to the breakfast essential, tofu. Tofu is condensed soy milk, that has been pressed into blocks, a similar process to how cheese is made. This is one of the most versatile forms of protein for vegans and it can be your new scrambled egg go-to. Use it in the place of your eggs and add tumeric for the yellow color!
In addition to tofu, there are many meat substitutes for vegans that include seitan, veggie burgers, tempeh, jackfruit, etc. Once you find the meat substitute section, it can be overwhelming but try one thing at a time. My advice is to start with tofu because it is so easy to work with! Then try some veggie burgers, my favorite is the Boca brand ones. After you master those, work your way up to seitan and tempeh. Two of which I am working on mastering. You can also get your protein from lentils, nuts, quinoa, peanut-butter, vegetables, beans and many other foods!
Vegetables and Fruits: If you haven't tried them much, now is your time!
Other Foods to Be Cautious About:
Cheese: Yes their are cheese substitutes that taste like cheese !
Granola Bars - always check the ingredients list
Salad Dressing - cream based dressings are often not vegen
Alfredo Sauce - I have yet to find an alfredo sauce that's vegan
Barbeque Sauce - check the ingredients
Hot Sauce - yes, you can have hot sauce