Are you a vegan? Do you know someone who is vegan? Are you thinking of going vegan but don’t really know where to start? We bet you can say yes to one of those questions!
Whether you are curious about veganism because of health reasons, to help the planet, save the animals or just want to learn more about it, we are going to tell you all about eating vegan.
Is It Difficult To Eat Vegan?
Over 1 million people in North America practice veganism. However, that leaves lots of the population that may find it difficult to eat vegan. This may be because they are overwhelmed by the thought of not eating animal products, don’t know where to start, worried about having “nothing to eat” or don’t know how to prepare healthy vegan recipes.
To make vegan cooking and preparation easier for you, here are 5 simple tips:
- Make sure you always have basic ingredients on hand for a vegan meal (vegetables, beans, rice, quinoa, etc.)
- Get creative with your meals and experiment with new foods
- Find a website you like and trust that provides vegan recipes such as LFLC Vegan Recipes
- Plan your meals for the week
- Do your research and ensure you are getting all the necessary nutrients for a healthy vegan diet
Raw Vs. Cooked Vegan?
Raw vegans choose to eat only raw foods. This includes fresh vegetables, fruit and dehydrated foods. If they do consume ‘cooked’ food, it is only heated up to a temperature no higher than 48 degrees Celsius.
Regular vegans consume no animal products (including eggs, fish and dairy) and will consume cooked food.
Tofu & Tempeh
Tofu and tempeh are two foods that are commonly used in vegan dishes. But you may have no idea what they are or what to do with them! Let us break them down…
Tofu is a food made with condensed soy milk. It is used in Asian inspired dishes and has become a popular vegetarian option in many restaurants around the world. It has a very mellow flavor and will take on the taste of whatever it is cooked in (ie. sauces, spices, curries, etc.). Tofu can be cooked numerous different ways but some popular ones are baked, pan-fried, grilled and scrambled. It is sometimes even used in desserts as a thickener!
Nutrition facts* for about 3 ounces of tofu: 70 calories, 4 grams of fat, 2 grams of carbs and 8 grams of protein.
Tempeh is a food made with fermented soybeans that are formed into a patty. It is becoming more popular with the vegetarian community as it is higher in fiber than tofu. The fermentation of the soybeans also makes it better for the digestion system! Like tofu, it can be cooked multiple ways, such as steamed, crumbled, pan-fried and grilled.
Nutrition facts* for 3 ounces of tempeh: 140 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 10 grams of carbs (7 grams of fibre) and 16 grams of protein.
*will vary depending on the brand
Vegan Labels Don’t Equal Healthy!
I’m sure you have picked up a box of cookies or a bag of chips and saw the word “vegan” on it. But just because something is vegan, it doesn’t automatically make it good for you! Processed food is still processed food. Even vegan packaged food can contain preservatives, chemicals and unnecessary refined sugars.
When transitioning to veganism, it is easy to become a “junk food vegan.” But don’t fall into that trap! Make sure most of your food is coming from nutrient-dense whole, natural foods and you won’t have a problem getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals for a healthy body.
Popular Vegan Recipes for Lunches
Wondering what in the world can you bring to work for lunch or send with your kid to school? Well, some common lunches for working individuals and kids alike are soups and stews, power bowls with veggies and quinoa, loaded salads with avocado and beans, tofu stir-fries and veggie burgers!
Vegan Breakfast Combos
Breakfast doesn’t have to be boring as a vegan. Some popular options are oatmeal/ porridges topped with fresh berries and nut butter, healthy homemade muffins, tofu and vegetable scramble, green smoothies, homemade power bars or toast with avocado, nut butter, fresh fruit or even hummus!
Best Herbs & Spices For Vegan Food
Like any other cuisine, spices are your friend when cooking vegan dishes. Try using fresh herbs like rosemary, sage, thyme, coriander and basil in your simple vegan recipes to add that extra flavor kick.
Don’t have fresh herbs on hand? Don’t fret! Bottled spices such as garlic powder, cumin, cayenne, turmeric and of course sea salt add a great flavor to your dishes. Experiment with different types of spices, you may be surprised at what works well together!
Use LFLC to Make It Easy To Eat Vegan!
Let us help you make you vegan cooking easier!
Try using the Meal Planner and Calendar to plan out your meals for the week to make sure you have all the necessary ingredients and are prepped and ready to go…
Find it here: LFLC Meal Planner
We have tons of easy vegan recipes to try out.
But some of our favorites are…
Who says you need to give up mac and cheese when going vegan?
Pink? Healthy? Vegan? Count us in for this radish soup…
Say yes to this delicious, nutritious smoothie that makes a great on the go breakfast!
Don’t know how to clean cauliflower or cut a perfect bell pepper?
Check out all of our tips and tricks in the kitchen.
Can you eat out while being a vegan?
Heck yes! Tons of restaurants are adding vegan options to their menus. Almost every restaurant has a veggie burger or vegetarian pasta option. If you can’t find anything on the menu, order a bunch of sides to make a meal! Some examples are baked beans, side salad and rice to make a protein-packed meal.
Always be sure to inform the server of your food choices as some restaurants will cook in butter.
One Last Tip: Are you eating honey or not?
As we know by now, being a vegan means eating no animal products. Some vegans chose to not even by-products of animals, and that means honey. It is a completely personal decision to eat honey or not.
If you chose not to, try sweetening your vegan desserts with maple syrup, dates or stevia.
Now that you know everything there is about becoming a vegan, get in the kitchen and start cooking!
Be sure to talk to your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet.