So you’re looking to make a vegan transition! Dive in! The slower you adjust, the more likely you are to cave or cheat. You need to cleanse your body and adjust to your new healthy lifestyle as quickly as possible.
Here are just a few pointers that might help you along the way:
Use the alternatives available to you.
Nondairy milks, ice creams, cheeses and meats are all easily available. It’s best to avoid the processed foods and lean towards whole foods, but they are fantastic substitutes while you’re transitioning. And sometimes you just need coconut milk ice cream.
Try new things on your vegan transition
You will get bored very quickly if you eat salads every day with the same dressing. Buy a vegetable you’ve never tried before. Have a new special treat every week. Look at what other people have in their grocery carts and maybe try what they’re getting!
Explore cultural food.
Indian, Thai, Japanese, Chinese and Mexican foods all have readily available veggie options.
Don’t be afraid to go out.
Ask your waiter about veggie options, or look up the menu before going. Most chefs can work with you to remove cheese or meat easily. Don’t assume restaurants won’t comply; they want your business so most will do what they can.
Know your nutrition basics.
When people find out about your new lifestyle they’re bound to ask questions, argue, judge or mock you. So it’s good to be able to offer polite, informative and concise answers.
Find blogs online that you like.
The Internet is a gold mine of information and recipes, and it’s always fun to see what everyone else is cooking. Also if there aren’t any veggies in your area, it’s nice to have an online support base (I know it helped me)
Load up your pantry with vegan goodies.
If you have good food, you’ll eat good food. If you have junk, you’ll eat junk. This next page outlines how to stock a pantry, but this is general. Don’t feel like you need everything, I never have ALL of these foods at once. But it’ll take time for you to get into a routine and know what you do or don’t need in your kitchen.
Share your recipes with friends or online, have people come over, show your lunches off to coworkers or fellow students. Showing people what you cook will help you feel proud of what you’re doing, and it will probably open your friend’s minds as well.
Here’s a beginner’s list of easy vegan transition snacks and meals:
Easy vegan Snacks
- Toast with
– peanut butter and flax meal
– almond butter and apple slices
– sliced tomato, olive oil and pepper
– avocado slices
– Tofutti better than cream cheese
- Pretzels with hummus
- Chips with salsa and guacamole
- Rice cakes
- Fresh fruit (apples, pears, oranges, berries, bananas, mango etc.)
- Grab and go veggies with hummus (carrots, zucchini/squash sticks, cucumber and pepper slices etc.)
- Banana chips
- Kale chips
- Dark chocolate
- Popcorn with seasonings (cinnamon, brown sugar, cayenne, nutritional yeast, pepper)
- Nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews etc.)
Easy Vegan Breakfast
- Fruit smoothies
- Green smoothies
- Oatmeal (steel cut or rolled, mix in nut butter, cinnamon, berries etc.)
- Bagel with hummus, Tofutti, peanut butter, almond butter etc.
- Fresh fruit
- Whole grain cereal with nondairy milk
- Quinoa porridge
Easy Vegan Lunch/Dinner
- Baked sweet potato (mix in applesauce, raisins and peanut butter)
- Amy’s frozen dinners
- Veggie pizza (with olive oil or pizza sauce, no cheese or with a cheese replacement)
- Salads loaded with veggies
- Soups (especially lentil)
- Pasta with marinara and veggies
- Tofu veggie stir fry
- Bean salads
- Black bean/veggie burgers with sweet potato fries
- Bean chili
- Pita pocket with tomato and avocado
- Roasted vegetables with a side of quinoa/rice/another grain
- Bean tacos
- Chickpea taco salad
- Tofu scramble
- Spaghetti squash