So you’ve decided to take the leap. You are now officially vegan. You hate animal cruelty. You might want to lose weight. You actually give a shit about the planet. You want a better life for all.
So now what?! Where do you go from here? Do vegans really eat more than grass? Is salad going to be my main staple now? What kind of vegan meat and dairy alternatives are out there? Who do I ask? Where do I turn? The internet seems loaded with resources, but they can be overwhelming. Also, my cousin Al keeps giving me shit about not eating meat and my mom says, “Why don’t you like my pot roast anymore?” with tears in her eyes. The guys at work talk about their smoked meats and their wife’s killer Sunday cheesecake they ate. I feel left out. Is it worth it?
FUCK YES IT IS! It will be one of the best decisions you will ever make, for yourself, your family, the exploited animals, and the entire planet you live on.
First, some basics. The animals will thank you. We are their voice. Veganism is awesome for your health. It’s more than easy to get all the protein you desire, no matter how many idiots ask you that same clichéd question.
I take a multivitamin and a vitamin D pill daily. I figured a multivitamin certainly won’t hurt. I live a busy crazy lifestyle like most people-married, kids, work, rarely enough sleep, love my Jack Daniels, pets, eating on the fly, bills, weather, you get the picture. I take a vitamin D supplement because I was diagnosed as being extremely low last year, as were most people (omnivores and herbivores) in my cloudy winter climate, but that’s another blog post for another time.
Other than that, I confidently rely on my awesome vegan lifestyle to get me through the day. I eat healthy most of the time, but definitely love some meat, cheese, and snack alternatives. I am hooked on Just Mayo vegan mayo, but as delicious as it is, it’s still loaded with fat and calories. It’s flavorful as fuck though, I promise you that.
Ok, back to the basics…….veganism isn’t that fucking hard. You just need some sound advice, without weird ingredients, extremely long cooking hours, and shit that confuses even the best of us. Sure, once you get comfortable, you may happily tread into the “what the fuck is that ingredient?” cookbook. More power to you. In the meantime, enjoy the helpful list that follows.
Breakfast has so many options it’s a no brainer.
Toast, peanut butter, jelly, vegan margarine (or butter), apple butter, Marmite, oats, hash browns, blueberry pancakes, stewed tomatoes, beans on toast, cereal, bagels, any nut or plant based milks, Field roast sausages, any fruit or vegetable, to name just a few. You could be like me and eat a Mexican meal loaded with hot sauce for breakfast. Just enjoy. Eat whatever the fuck you want.
Let’s move onto lunch. Yes, salad out your ass is just fine. Add Gardein chik’n cutlets, or burgers. If you are responsible, you will have made a hearty soup in the crockpot the day before to use for lunch the next day. But, let’s back up. This is 101!
Again, any fruit or veggie is fine. A wrap loaded with veggies, beans, and a nice mayo or salad dressing is perfect. I had lasagna and ice cream cake for lunch, but I do basic a lot too. Who doesn’t? Beans, lentils, chips, guacamole, salsa, sandwiches are all easy. Celery and peanut butter, carrots and dip. Lots of frozen vegan meals out there too for quick and easy. We love using Tofurky deli slices and loading up huge sandwiches with lettuce, tomato, Just Mayo and potato chips for crunch. Pasta goes a hell of a long way with just about anything.
Next up is dinner, or tea as Captain UK would call it.
We do everything from completely homemade to some meat and cheese alternatives. Tonight I chopped some peppers that needed using up, along with some leftover rice. Some nights I use alternatives. Field Roast, Chao, Violife, Miyoko’s, Tofurky, Follow Your Heart, SO Delicious, Lightlife, Trader Joe’s, are just a few of the great brands to check out. Pasta, tomato sauces, lots of sautéed veggies, and rice. Go ethnic—Indian, Ethiopian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese. The options are endless. There are roasts, burgers, cutlets, meals, stir fries, etc. You can do amazing things with tofu, but admittedly, I was scared to death of it at first. Three years later, I finally cooked some, teriyaki style and loved it.
Finally, but important, are the snacks.
We eat the hell out of popcorn. Good for you and we love that shit. Pretzels are great too. Many chips are vegan, maybe not healthy, but just fine. There are great dip and snack recipes all over the fucking place on the internet. Just stay clear of the complicated ones until you’re ready. Again, fruit, veggies, nuts—go for it. Breyer’s makes a mean nondairy cookies and cream ice cream. Live a little.
I’m here for you. Shout if you need help. I may not be the most eloquent one, but I will steer you into the right direction.
Glad you’re here.