Not eating certain foods can be a challenge if you limit your mindset with thinking about what you are “giving up.” In reality, you only stop eating four things - animal meat, eggs, dairy, and honey. Don't forget about the hidden animal ingredients and by-products I mentioned in Tip 3. You will start discovering a plethora of new options to try. I hated cauliflower (or at least so I thought). But it turns out I love the little cruciferous vegetable. I steam it, roast it, puree it, and make a lot of cheese sauce using it. When changing your diet, you can start by replacing your favorite meals with a vegan alternative. If you haven’t checked lately, there are dozens upon dozens of vegan meats on the market. Beyond Meat makes burgers, meat crumbles, and a new bratwurst all out pea protein. But their texture and taste, especially the bratwurst, can make many people think they are eating animal meat. Tofurky makes deli slices, holiday roasts, grilled chicken style strips, tempeh bacon, and more. There are many more brands as well. A simple search on Vegan Essentials proves the number of vegan meats available, and they are becoming readily available in most supermarkets.
That is not a problem, and honestly, one of the most exciting ways. I ate a lot of Gardein and Morningstar Farm meaty crumbles when I first became a vegetarian. I still occasionally use Gardein or Beyond Meat crumbles (most Morningstar Farm products have milk and/or egg in them), but now I usually use some type of vegetable, nut, tofu, or tempeh to highlight the hardiness I am craving. Beans and lentils can become burgers, tofu and tempeh can create bacon, chickpeas can be turned in a tuna-less salad, and cashews and cauliflower can make a creamy cheese sauce. There are so many creative ways in which you can highlight the flavor of vegetables and make them the star of the dish.
8. Where will you get your protein?
Protein (and an overall fully balanced, nutrient-rich diet) is abundant in vegan sources. Beans, vegetables, grains, greens, tempeh, tofu, nuts/nut butter, and quinoa are all excellent sources of protein. I am not a nutritionist and will not give out nutrition advice. But based on my personal experience, I consume all of the nutrients I need for my body and my energy level. Even my husband, who is an endurance athlete, has run multiple marathons and ultra-marathons all while eating plants. Making sure you are eating a balanced diet will allow you to fuel and nourish your body. You may want to consider taking a B12 supplement. B12 is found in animal products, and as a vegan, you can benefit from taking a B12 supplement or eat food fortified with B12. Most supplements are small and usually only need to be taken once per week ("What Every," n.d.).
9. You have to give up cheese, and it is as horrible as it sounds.
Just kidding! I am vegan, and my fridge has at least three to four different types of cheese in it at any given time. Just like vegan meats, there are a countless number of vegan cheeses on the market now. I talk to people who have been vegan for a long time, and they tell me their woeful tales of not having any vegan alternative to cheese for years. Honestly, that would have sucked. Even in the short time, I have been a vegan, many new types and flavors of vegan cheese have hit the grocery store shelves. You can buy it sliced, cubed, in blocks, gourmet style, or even already saucy for you. You can also make vegan cheese at home using nuts, veggies, and nutritional yeast.
10. Hidden Ingredients in Beer and Wine
Beer and wine are also products you have to watch for hidden animal ingredients. The filtering process for both might include fish or eggs because they are used as a clarifying agent. Barnivore.com is an excellent online resource to help determine if a beer or wine is vegan-friendly and will sometimes state what clarifying agent has been used. Being that there are so many vineyards and breweries, not every beverage is on their website. However, you can contact the vineyard or brewery. They are generally happy to help and answer all of your questions.