On this page you will find a few tips and guidance for incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet or going vegan completely. I remember I didn’t know where and how to start when I first decided to go vegan, so I want to collect some resources here that I would have been thankful for.
How to go vegan
If you are not sure you want to try out a vegan diet or need a few reasons to be convinced, head over to the resources page to find some inspiration! 😉
Yes, I know it might seem a little overwhelming when you go from being an omnivore or vegetarian to living on a vegan diet. You are used to certain foods and have your habitual set of recipes. When you remove all animal products from those, there might not be a whole lot left. This means, to go vegan you will definitely have to make a few changes, even if only small ones.
When I decided to go vegan, like most people I thought: “What am I supposed to eat then?” But trial and curiosity taught me better. For the first few weeks, I kept it very simple- mostly out of laziness. I had lots of salad, plain veggies, sweet potato fries, vegan burritos…But once I started trying out fancier vegan recipes, a whole new world opened up to me! Going vegan should not be so much about sacrificing and cutting out foods, but more about discovering new choices and adding to your palette!
By now, there are so many books, blogs and magazines to help you transform your diet. You don’t have to start with complex recipes that require 20 different ingredients. There are many basic recipes, which require only a few ingredients and limited time for preparation. I will keep expanding the list of “newbie”-friendly recipes below, so go ahead and try them out! 😉
Tips for starters
- Try new things! Embrace variety and keep trying different recipes to broaden your repertoire. Discover and buy new vegan products at the supermarket. Try as many things as possible. You should not feel like you are sacrificing anything, but rather discovering new things.
- Consider getting a high speed blender. Smoothies are an easy & tasty way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet. A blender is also useful for making dips and sauces.
- You do not have to be a perfect vegan! Eating animal products on occasion, if you are craving them, is okay if that is what you want. Eating plant-based most of the time is already a thousand times better than not eating vegan at all! 🙂
- Make meal plans: I like to sit down on the weekend and plan a few meals I am going to cook the following week. Knowing what you will need makes shopping a lot more efficient, and you don’t have to go back to the store every other day to pick up another item.
- Freeze leftovers: Doubling the portions you cook and then freezing half of it can save you some time in the kitchen on busy days. Then you can quickly defrost one of those meals!
- Nutrition: If you are worried about not getting enough protein, you can have vegan protein shakes (pea/ hemp/ bean protein). Also, you might want to take B12 supplements once in a while if you do not get any B12 from food. B12 is only found in animal products and we definitely need it, but now it is added to some brands of soy or almond milk and some other vegan products, so just check the labels.
I try to always keep a few elementary things stocked at home, so I can come up with a quick fix even if I haven’t been shopping. These are the essentials I would suggest buying when you first go vegan: (they are based on my own preferences, so add or leave out anything you want)
- plain oats (or vegan granola, or other grains like amaranth. I always make sure there is no added sugar in them)
- fresh fruit
- milk (any of these: almond, oat, rice, coconut, hazelnut, cashew, spelt)
- yogurt (soy, almond or coconut)
- cocoa powder (pure, unsweetened)
- maple syrup as sweetener
- chia seeds
- fresh veggies (e.g. to make salads or bowls)
- grains: rice, quinoa, bulgur, millet
- pasta (most pasta is made out of flour & water)
- rice noodles
- beans (black and re-fried beans, mixed beans)
For snacks/to go:
- vegan cheese or meat (e.g. tofurky, only if you like)
- vegan snack bars
- peanut butter (or other nut butters)
- dark chocolate (usually milk-free)
- hummus (for sandwiches or to dip veggies in; you can make it yourself too)
- baby carrots
- flour (whole wheat, spelt, gluten-free)
- baking powder
- vegan butter/margarine
- coconut oil
Recipes for vegan “newbies”:
- to be continued…