Tips For Successfully Eating Vegan

Tips for successfully eating vegan

I thought it was time to let you know how my vegan adventure was going. As you may remember I am working to eat vegan 100 percent of the time for breakfast and lunch and as many dinners as I can with the goal of choosing vegetarian when not presented with an easy vegan option (i.e. eating out of the house).

I have found this to be easier in some situations and much harder than I thought in others. When I was in Iowa I early May for Climate Reality training my off site meals were virtually impossible to have vegan and very hard to be vegetarian. Being from NY I was surprised I thought they’d have one or two token veggie dishes at restaurants. Airports are also harder than I thought they would be especially the big ones like O’Hare!

I really want to tell you some of my tips on how to be successful in your transition…

Don’t take one non-vegan meal as a failure. For whatever reason you made this choice keeping with it is better than beating yourself up over the one or more meals that it just did not work out. Even if you ultimately can’t do it 100 percent doing it even 50 percent is better than most people and making an impact that matters to you.

Don’t replace with meat substitutes. You have probably heard this before but Tofrukey and other vegan “made to be like meat” options are usually not that healthy because they are probably using some chemical flavoring to give you the old flavor. Embrace veganism for what it is… Real whole food. *unless it is ice cream than find a soy or coconut substitute life isn’t worth living without ice-cream (only kinda kidding).

Get some good cookbooks. There are tons of things we already eat that are vegan but finding three cookbooks with some real go to meals for every meal of the day will make the transition not seem so hard. My favorite vegan cookbook is Bowls by my good friend Becky Striepe.

Find resources that speak to you. Are you vegan because you care about animals? The environment? Your health? Look for websites that speak to you and how you feel about it. Find websites to have recipes you like. Feeling connected to people who are similar to you is key to success in making a choice that is not totally mainstream yet.

Find people local to you that are vegan. Vegans want to have more vegan friends look on Facebook or meet up for local vegan groups. Often there are potluck meals where you can try new things, swap recipes and learn about great local restaurants that cater to your food choices. I do not have any local vegan friends so I found this to be so important for me to find.

Find a few local restaurants. Whether they are dedicated vegan restaurants or just ones that have vegan options search them out. We all want to go out to eat sometimes and options for vegans can be hard so not just for your own convenience but to support the businesses the support your choice.

Figure out what you like and don’t like. I am still on the fence about soy and how much I like it. I know I prefer almond or coconut milk as my milk but I don’t like tofu based meals and have found a few deserts with silken tofu I like. Many vegan meals call on things like tofu, non-dairy milks and other items figure out what you like early on it will save you from long-term frustration.

Don’t give up. I say that not because I think the world is going to end if you do but rather there is a reason you made the choice and even a reason you are reading this post. Don’t forget those reasons. Even if you go on vacation and eat tons of stuff or your family does not understand and feeds you meat at family meal move on from that and remember why you made the choice.

What are some of your tips for vegans or just sticking with decision you made the society does not make easy for you to keep?

Comments

  1. I came to the realization that a few meals in our regular rotation are vegan without even trying: chili, spaghetti (our local supermarket generic brand has no eggs. Some do. You need to read the label) and stir fry, which is generally whatever leftover veg we have at the end of the week sauteed and served over rice or another handy grain. I ate vegan meals before I knew what the word meant.

    But I’d like to share my own vegan adventure, which failed right out the gate. I was vegetarian the whole of Earth Week this year (no problem), and decided to go vegan on Earth Day itself. I had my meals figured out and cashew milk in the fridge. My breakfast was the usual go-to smoothie, and without thinking I threw in a dollop of plain yogurt as always. I didn’t even realize until a couple of hours later that I broke the rules! As it happens, I really did need cow’s milk for my coffee and tea, although otherwise the day went fine. I figured I could be near-vegan if I was allowed maybe a quarter cup of milk a day to get me through morning coffee and afternoon tea. I could even do without the yogurt if I keep my wits about me. All in all it was a good experiment.