Many believed the vegan diet was just a fad that would come and go just like the grapefruit juice diet. However, because of the many benefits I spoke about Wednesday, (click here for the amazing benefits blog) it is not only a diet but a lifestyle that is here to stay.
One of the first things that may come to mind when you decide to adopt a vegan lifestyle is, “What in the world am I going to eat?” Believe it or not, just thinking about this keeps many people from wanting to try a plant-based diet but thank goodness there are so many wonderful and tasty options for you to try! From meat to dairy, you can find replacements for some of your favorites in the grocery store. And even better, you don’t have to go to specialty grocery stores for these options anymore because regular grocery stores are hip to the plant-based game too!
Now let’s get to the good part! If you’ve been curious about trying out a plant-based diet but you have no idea what foods you can try out as substitutions, let me give you some tasty options that are easy to find and prepare!
Let’s start with what’s quite possibly the most requested when it comes to substitute options. For some people, cutting meat out of their diets isn’t a big deal but for others who are used to having some form of meat at every meal, this may be a challenge. Today, however, there are so many companies in the vegan meat business that you may have a hard time choosing which ones to eat! You can find options for chicken, beef, bacon, even turkey! Companies like “Beyond Meat” have different varieties of beef substitutes. They offer everything from beef hamburger patty substitutes to beef crumbles flavored for tacos or pasta meat sauce!
***Word of caution!***
Look at the labels carefully. If you cannot pronounce the ingredient or have no idea what it is, you probably should not be consuming it. Many products have soy. Please take into account that most soy produced in this country is from a genetically modified source.
Now at first, this one was a hard one for me to wrap my brain around…until I tried one for myself and was pleasantly surprised! There are several different brands that make vegan cheeses in all forms, from shredded, to slices, to blocks of cheese even! Some people have used crumbled tofu as a cheese substitute as well. Vegan cheese options are also great for people who are lactose intolerant. If you search the grocery store and find ingredients like the ones mentioned above, have no fear there is an easy spread that you can use with cashews, onions, salt, nut-based milk, and nutritional yeast. Check out Pinterest as they are full of them.
There are brands that make vegan mayo but you can also make your own at home.
Non-dairy ice cream options have been popular for a long time. There are ice cream brands that use everything from rice, soy, and/or coconut milk instead of a dairy base. They also have vegan ice cream sandwiches, which should make the kids really happy!
Just like ice cream, non-dairy milk substitutions have been around for a long time. There are various nut-milks, soy milk, hemp milk, oat, and rice milk to name a few. The prices for these kinds of milk are fairly reasonable so you can buy a couple of different options at a time and give them a try. Personally, almond and oat are my favorites. There is a creaminess many of the others do not have.
There are several other options for meat and dairy substitutes but these are some of the most common ones. Pinterest offers a world of options and recipes that include some of the items listed above and doing a general Google or Pinterest search can provide you with more options as well. The most important thing I want you to take away from today is that you don’t have to feel limited if you choose to go with a vegan lifestyle. The choices are abundant, tasty, and many of them pack a powerful punch of nutrients. If you’re going to try any of these items listed above or if you discover new options, come back here and let us know! We’d love to share what you’re loving amongst our community!