I have had so many people ask me over the past 4-years about going Vegan and if I have any recipes. Well, a lot has happened in 4-years. Grocery stores now many options that we used to have to go to a specialty store for. It’s pretty awesome for us, especially since Covid-19 as our family’s quarantine continues. All that to say that this has been a long time in the making. I am going to do a blog series on being Vegan with recipes (that aren’t just beans, rice and pasta), tips and tricks from our home to yours.
I would also like to note that a lot of what I will post will have a soy-free option because my son is allergic to dairy and soy because just being vegans wasn’t good enough for him. Since my husband’s stem cell transplant (this past December) he doesn’t like much of our normal vegan food, or any food really that we used to eat. He doesn’t like beans anymore! Kills me because I love beans. So cooking for my family has proven hard! Who has ever heard of a soy-free, bean-free, non-salad-eating, And I have actually gone back through my own e-course, re-read all the emails trying to reconfigure my meal plan, our meals, and my meal prep since all the new food changes in our house.
Ya know, the ol’ reminding myself of what I already know because sometimes our brains get stuck on autopilot until someones furniture falls out of the back of their truck going 75 mph on the hwy and you have to swerve? You know what I mean? Life.
7 Best Tips for Starting a Vegan Diet
- Don’t skimp on the good appliances. This is the link to my very favorite “going Vegan tool.” It will not disappoint. I promise. You will use them daily (if not, nearly everyday). I literally use mine every single day, multiple times per day. Today alone I used it 3 times.
- Don’t get too legalistic about it that you forget the simplicity there can be in cooking as a Vegan.
- Don’t wig out about weird stuff like “cashew cheese.” Try it! I promise you will not be disappointed. But also try to refer to things that are way out of the norm as what they really are. Example: Cashew Sauce instead of Cashew Cheese It helps the [mind over matter] process we have to go through sometimes when we veer way out of the normal lane of life we have always lived in.
- Your taste buds will eventually change. This was one of those things I wasn’t sure I believed. BUT 4-years later and after a cheat night at Chili’s (because hospital food gets old, and we were celebrating so much) neither one of us liked the cheese, the queso, or the sour cream. (and side note: our stomachs did feel the after effects of the cheat meal).
- Don’t do swaps! At first. I know some people can do this with ease, but for others it is hard! My dad would know a fake burger or chicken strip without skipping a beat and he’d dramatically shake his head, close his eyes and make a sour face because it’s fake. I find that being honest with myself about what things are helps me to not be weirded out about swaps. We do some swaps and until my son was born and eating big people food we did use Gardein on a more regular basis. However, now that he is here, we don’t do it much anymore and if I do, I have to make him something else. Once you are accustomed to eating differently, then I think swaps are great. But call it what it is.
- Don’t allow yourself to fall into the habit of eating too many carbs. At that point (especially if you are vegan for health reasons) it’s not exactly a healthy diet even though it is technically vegan. So, be careful with that.
- Consider doing a juice cleanse or a smoothie diet for a week or so before you start eating a plant based diet. We started our Vegan journey this way and after drinking carrot juice for what seemed like a year, eating pretty much anything sounded good. It made the transition much easier and I was just excited for “food food.”
Okay, I will stop rambling now, but here are my top 7 best tips for starting a Vegan diet. Some days in the beginning can be difficult and you might miss things like cheese, or milk, but I PROMISE the rumors about our taste buds changing is true and your cravings will change. I no longer crave normal things that I used to crave. I crave things like cashew cheese, my Cuban stew, tofu coconut curry, tofu scramble with salsa, etc. You will get there and it is worth it.
Your body will feel better (if you don’t fall into the beans, rice, and pasta trap) at least ours does. It was definitely a noticeable change. But I am not here to convince you. I assume if you are here it’s because you are already wanting to be a Vegan. So, happy eating!